Gluten Free Toasted Sandwich / Panini

I first came across the humble toasted sandwich when I began studying for my A Levels in Huddersfield. The canteen was absolute dire, you had hardly any choice apart from a under cooked jacket potato or these toasted sandwiches called paninis. I became unhealthily obsessed with them, especially a tuna mayonnaise with melted cheese panini – yummy!

This obsession carried on with me all the way to university, where I was given my very own toastie maker. It was a grand little thing – you could all most ‘grill’ and make a large variety of sandwiches and what’s more, it was portable, so I could keep it in my room to make emergency midnight toasties when I was up all night studying … *ahem*.

These toasted sandwiches/paninis were also my lunch time meal choice when I would meet with friends for lunch at the various student friendly pubs in Manchester. I would always have a tuna mayonnaise [aka a ‘tuna melt’] with either a healthy green salad or a huge side dish of chunky chips and a large dollop of mayo!

So when I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, I had to say a heart rendering goodbye to my beloved toasted sandwich, the toastie maker collected dust and inevitably got thrown out. Since then, no toasted sandwich as passed my lips nor been given any thought. That was, until I made bruschetta using DS Dietary Special’s White Ciabatta Rolls, that the thought occurred to me “I could make a toasted sandwich/panini’s again!” So while I skipped like an idiot into the kitchen, all excited for my panini, I realised something that made me stop abruptly in my tracks – “I don’t have a toastie maker any more!!” . I was half tempted to run all the way to Argos to pick one up, but there was a risk I’d never use it again – plus the toastie maker is an absolute bugger to clean, which is enough to put any student off making them all together!

So I came up with a ‘genius’ idea for all those, who like myself, aren’t blessed with a toastie maker. All you’d need to make a toastie/panini was a griddle pan or a frying pan and a potato masher!

As you can see in the above picture, the DS white ciabatta roll is the perfect height and width as a potato masher, which makes it handy for squashing on the frying pan and toasting it!



  • 1 ciabatta roll
  • 1/2 tin of tuna
  • 1 small dollop of mayonaise
  • butter or margerine
  • cheese [in any variety – I used mozzarella]



  1. First make the filling. In a bowl, mash the  tuna, add the dollop of mayonnaise and mix together 
  2. Slice the ciabatta roll in half, and butter both sides of the slices 
  3. Add the ‘tuna mayonaise’ mix along with cheese to one slice of the ciabatta roll 
  4. Carefully, place the ciabatta roll on a frying pan/griddle pan over medium heat 
  5. With a potato masher, carefully squash the ciabatta roll until it is flat 
  6. Cook till both sides are golden 
  7. Admire your gluten free panini!  


  1. Just found this blog today and think it’s great. Definitely going to try these paninis, although I’ll probably go for cheese and ham rather than tuna. Keep up the good work!

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