Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Panini

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Feb. 08, 2012

While the grilled cheese sandwich is nothing new, it's enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity across North America. Grilled cheese restaurants, specialty grilled cheese food trucks, and gourmet recipes are turning up everywhere. In fact, Canadians eat over 200 million grilled cheese sandwiches a year. That's 400 million slices of bread!

In keeping with this hot food trend, here is a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich recipe you can make at home. The caramelized onion combined with fresh tomatoes, cheese and basil on fresh bread, makes a delicious meal and can even be used as an appetizer if cut up into bite size sandwiches:


Olive oil 15 Milliliter (1 tablespoon)
Red onion 1 Medium , peeled and thinly sliced
Brown sugar 1 Teaspoon
Balsamic vinegar 2 Teaspoon
Butter 15 Milliliter , softened (1 tablespoon)
White bread slices 8 (fresh, Dempster's Stays)
Tomatoes 2 Small , thinly sliced
Thin mozzarella cheese slices 2
Fresh basil leaves 125 Milliliter (1/2 cup)


Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium. Add onion and sugar and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium low and add balsamic vinegar. Sauté 2 minutes more, remove from heat and set aside. Preheat Panini press on high. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread and place butter side down.

Layer 4 slices of bread with tomato and Mozzarella cheese. Top with equal amounts of basil and caramelized onions and season with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining slices of bread. Place sandwiches on Panini press and close. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is golden. Sandwiches can also be cooked in a large non-stick frying pan at medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Serve warm.

Canada's Food Guide recommends that we should eat six to eight servings of grains per day. Additional recipes to achieve this are available online at

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Very Easy
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Ready In: 5 Minutes
Servings: 4

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 217Calories from Fat 80

 % Daily Value*

Total Fat 9 g13.8%

Saturated Fat 3 g15%

Trans Fat 0 g


Sodium 268 mg11.17%

Total Carbohydrates 27 g9%

Dietary Fiber 2 g8%

Sugars 4 g

Protein 6 g12%

Vitamin A % Vitamin C %

Calcium % Iron %

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet