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Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Blue Cheese Panini

Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Blue Cheese Panini

The equation for a perfect panini is simple. Bread + something gooey + something meaty or crunchy or fruity. And add some greens if you so desire. This one? Bread + blue cheese + caramelized onions + crisp gala apples = mmmm. There you have it, folks. Panini math. That’s the kind of math I’m good at (well, that and converting cupcake recipes to feed hundreds).

And this is one good panini. Unique, savory, and delicious. Taylor heard the words “caramelized onions” and “blue cheese” and practically started drooling right there in the market. No, Taylor, I don’t always make you eat lentils and barley, sometimes we eat man food too. Well, if you consider panini man-food, that is. Gentrified man-food, maybe? Ok, ok. Steak is man food. Pizza is man food. But panini maybe not so much. Sorry Taylor.

You know what’s interesting? We all get cravings, right? My cravings are (almost always) for chocolate, often times in combination with nuts (peanut butter + chocolate, almond + chocolate, macadamia + white chocolate, well, you get the point). Then here comes Taylor, who gets cravings for protein and for cheese (I’ll take the fall for that, since we don’t exactly get to each cheese all that often because of me). Steak. Burgers. Pizza. Italian sausage. Barbecue ribs. Swiss cake rolls (ok, maybe that one isn’t so manly). A true man. Who eats panini. And likes it. A man-food revolution, perhaps?

Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Blue Cheese Panini

Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Blue Cheese Panini

Makes 2 sandwiches.


1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 gala apple, sliced
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
handful baby spinach
4 slices country bread
olive oil


Heat a splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute, stirring frequently, 10 to 12 minutes or until onions are caramel colored and soft. Remove from heat.

Prepare panini press, grill pan, or heavy skillet.

Assemble sandwiches by layering apples and spinach on bread, followed by half of the caramelized onions and crumbled blue cheese. Top with other slice of bread. Brush sandwiches with olive oil.

Cook sandwiches for 5-7 minutes total, flipping once if not using a panini press, until both sides are toasted and golden brown. Slice and serve immediately.

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13 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On November 12, 2009 at 2:15 am

    This looks great! As do those sweet potato chips. Are the fried, baked, or bought? ;)


  2. 2
    Posted On November 12, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Our family had a panini feast a few weeks ago. I wish I’d had this recipe then. It looks fantastic!


  3. 3
    Posted On November 12, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Yum! Though I’m trying to think what other cheese would go well with this…bleu is about the only cheese I don’t like. Maybe a fontina. Mmmm…


  4. 4
    Posted On November 12, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    You think this would work with the Honeycrips? Does it need the sweetness of a gala to offset the blue cheese?

    Regardless, this WILL be cooked in my house this weekend.

    Thanks for the idea.


  5. 5
    Posted On November 12, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    My lovely husband only eats one piece of chocolate at a time, and he’s satisfied. I have to inhale the whole bowl, then lick it afterwards.

    Funny how men and women operate!


  6. 6
    Posted On November 12, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I am a huge fan of the apple/blue cheese combination. Sometimes I make slices of apple with slices of blue-brie as a snack, and it is divine.


  7. 7
    Posted On November 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    this looks amazing and I want to gobble it right now. might have to change dinner plans. love your blog!


  8. 8
    Posted On November 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    yummm. i love apples in paninis!!


  9. 9
    Posted On November 12, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, the pannini maker is getting a workout this weekend!!


  10. 10
    Posted On January 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    What a perfect “casse croûte” (it’s French, it means “quick-lunch”) !


  11. 11
    Posted On March 29, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I’ve been looking through your blog, and with every picture am getting more and more hungry. This is what I will make first, it seems perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, lol.


  12. 12
    Susan DeVore
    Posted On February 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Making this tonight!


  13. 13
    Jon m
    Posted On November 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Tried this and it was amazing.


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