Apple Brie Panini with Caramelized Onions

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Summer is about to be a distant memory until next year.  Signs of fall have been popping up all around us–crickets replacing the cicadas, goldenrod starting to bloom, monarchs migrating through to Mexico, and cool evening breezes replacing summer humidity. Bring it on!  I agree with Anne Shirley, “I’m so glad we live in a world with Octobers.”  I am dreaming of cool autumn days hiking somewhere admiring the changing leaves. And, of course, fall flavors! Today we’ll show you one of our new favorite fall sandwiches, our Apple Brie Panini with caramelized onions. So good!

Apple Brie Panini - The Perfect Apple Brie Fall Sandwich with Caramelized Onions

One of my favorite things about fall are the apples.  If you’ve read about our apple crisp  or our homemade applesauce , you know that we have a strong family connection to apples.  Several years ago during an outing of apple picking, we stopped in for lunch at a restaurant along the way.  One of the seasonal lunch specials was a panini with apple, cheese, and caramelized onions.  I don’t remember much about it other than those being the three main ingredients and that it was amazing!  We had already discovered that apple and brie pair together perfectly after making our apple brie crostini.  The addition of sweet caramelized onions is perfect. We bring all three ingredients together in our Apple Brie Panini sandwich and the result is magical.

The key to making caramelized onions is patience. They take time.  I like to turn the temperature down after 10 minutes or so and to leave them alone for 5 minutes at a time. It takes easily 40 minutes to get them to really turn that caramelly brown color, but it’s totally worth the wait.  When I use one really large sweet onion it makes enough for 4 sandwiches.  Alternatively, you could make two sandwiches and save enough for these amazing hamburgers or this caramelized onion, bacon, and spinach pizza.  Yes, please!  Once done making the onions, I then use the same pan to cook the panini which results in nice crispy bread which carries some of the same caramelized onion flavor. Yum! If patience isn’t your strong suit, remember you could do these in a large batch and then just pull them out all week when assembling your flavor masterpiece.

I think we’ve mentioned before that meal planning has become a key part of our weeks.  Now that fall is almost here, we may shift to a soup and sandwich (or salad) night.  I think this Apple Brie Panini is amazing all on its own, but it would also pair well with a veggie soup or tasty salad.  And it fits in with our plan of figuring out ways to not make completely separate meals for our kids, but giving them a little bit of choice in what they are eating. Try it out and I hope your family loves it as much as we do!

Apple Brie Panini - The Perfect Apple Brie Fall Sandwich with Caramelized Onions

I don’t have a panini maker, panini press, or pan.  I love the way it looks with the marks on sandwiches.  However, I have soooooo many pans and gadgets and special tools, that I just used a regular pan and used a smaller pan with a large can of tomatoes in it to smoosh down the sandwich (yes, that’s a technical cooking term–smoosh).

As for picking what apple to use, I do think for this something like honey crisp would be perfect.  I like this guide by the Huffington Post about how to use what type of apple.  I grew up in upstate NY, so the types available were different than some of the kinds available where I live now.  Which is why I always visit in early October to stock up on NY apples (or PA).  Is it time yet?

On to the Apple Brie Panini recipe:


Apple Brie Panini - The Perfect Apple Brie Fall Sandwich with Caramelized Onions

Apple, Brie, and Caramelized Onion Panini

5 from 1 vote
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  • Sliced sourdough bread
  • 1/2 honey crisp apple cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 c . caramelized onions
  • 1/4 lb . brie cheese , sliced


For the caramelized onions:

  • Chop one large sweet onion in strips.
  • Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a non stick pan.
  • Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Cook for 30-40 more minutes on low heat, stirring every 4-5 minutes.

Assembly and Final Prep

  • Layer onions, apple, and brie on bread.
  • Heat pan and add a small amount of butter or oil.
  • Once hot, place sandwiches in pan and cook for 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Cut and serve.

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  • Reply
    September 12, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    This looks like a great sandwich. I would love this for brunch or even dinner too. What a great way to celebrate apple season. You can never go wrong with a grilled cheese sandwich.

    • Reply
      September 13, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Seriously, it’s hard to beat grilled cheese in any form!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    I love the tip for not buying another new gadget for my kitchen! Using equipment I already have makes me so happy! The brie and apple sound perfect for a panini sammy… Im thinking this will be a great addition to our Sunday afternoon cocktail party!

    • Reply
      September 13, 2018 at 8:42 am

      I have so many gadgets already, if I bought any more it would be ridiculous!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    This is such a welcome flavor explosion. First of all, I love anything with caramelized onions. So much sweetness there, plus the tart apple and brie….yum. Great combo and I’m ready for fall and taking out the panini maker.

    • Reply
      September 14, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you! Caramelized onions are so good! I think I need one of these right now!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Anne Shirley was wise beyond her years 😀 October is one of the prettiest months for sure! The summer is fading here too– my outdoor plants are winding down for the year. And apple paninis are possibly one of the best things ever– and brie sounds fabulous!

    • Reply
      September 14, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      She really was! It’s hard to beat the apple/brie combo!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    I’m always a little sad to see summer go, but the bounty of incredible fall produce certainly makes the transition a lot easier to handle. I love cooking with apples, and I’m instantly a fan of any sandwich with apple and cheese in it. I like that you used a sourdough bread here too – it’s a great way to accentuate the crisp, sweet apple and the rich creamy brie. Cheers!

    • Reply
      September 24, 2018 at 8:10 am

      It is sad to seem summer go. Although, I love fall too! Thanks!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Yes, “smoosh” is a technical cooking term and I use it regularly. This panini sounds out of bounds… especially with the caramelized onions, they’re so sweet and melty, I can just imagine the interplay with the oozy brie. Crisp, tart apple slices would add a whole ‘nother element to this combo. I actually do have a panini press (one of way too many gadgets clogging up my precious storage space) but it’s worth its weight in gold — making a perfect crust every time. Look for the gadget or two you haven’t used in a few years and give them to Good Will — then get yourself a panini press and never look back.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2018 at 8:11 am

      I definitely could find a couple gadgets to get rid of and swap out for a panini maker!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2018 at 11:37 am

    YUM! I love the simplicity of this, and the caramelized apples just take it to a whole new level. Beautiful Fall flavors

  • Reply
    Jennifer Bigler
    September 16, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    This is the perfect way to take something simple and turn it into something amazing. These would be perfect for a brunch along with some champagne. I love apples and brie together and the onions just top it off. Looks amazing!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    This looks like an amazing sandwich! I have a panini press at my disposal so I’m excited for this recipe! I never thought of putting apples and onions together in a panini. Great flavour combo!

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca
    September 17, 2018 at 11:03 am

    I love the term smoosh. It’s exactly as it sounds!! This is one heck of a sandwich. I really adore the combination of apples and brie and even pears and brie. My mouth is watering right now and it’s not lunch time. I do have the apples but not the brie. I’m putting it on the grocery list right now.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Brie is my all time favorite cheese, and it pairs so beautifully with fruit. Layered onto a panini with caramelized onions and apple slices? I’m officially in heaven! What a great sandwich for fall, I’ll definitely be making this for lunch soon.

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