Brie & Basil Grilled Cheese on Chocolate Bread

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s Chocolate Bread Panini Week on Panini Happy – one amazing homemade chocolate yeast bread plus three different panini made with it. Believe it or not, this Brie and basil grilled cheese was actually the very first panini idea that popped into my head to make with the chocolate bread. It’s based on the Panini with Chocolate and Brie that Giada De Laurentiis made a year or so ago on her Food Network show, Everyday Italian. Not surprisingly, there was a bit of online buzz about this unusual-sounding flavor combination. Especially the basil…doesn’t that seem kind of random? But people swore up and down that it was amazing, so I was intrigued.

Giada made hers on sourdough bread and added chocolate as a filling. Could I replace those ingredients with chocolate bread and still have a tasty result?

Of course, the answer is YES! I was especially surprised to discover that the basil is actually the real “star”. It’s this kind of unexpected bright, herby flavor amidst the pungent Brie and the rich chocolate bread. It really makes the sandwich – don’t think for a minute about leaving it out (you might be able to substitute mint).

Scroll down for the Brie & Basil Grilled Cheese recipe…and stay tuned for tomorrow’s Almond Butter and Raspberry Panini on Chocolate Bread!


Brie & Basil Grilled Cheese on Chocolate Bread

Makes 4 panini


8 slices Chocolate Bread (recipe can be found here)
8 ounces Brie, thinly sliced
8 basil leaves


Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

For each sandwich: Place 1/4 of the Brie on one slice of bread. Top with 2 slices of basil. Close the sandwich with another slice of bread. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Serve immediately and enjoy!



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. Count me among the skeptical about this flavor combination, but if you say it works, that’s good enough for me. Must give it a try.
    .-= Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)´s last blog ..Kosher salt (Recipe: salt cod balls with chipotle mayonnaise dip) =-.

    Posted 5.12.10 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      It really does, Lydia! Tasting is believing with this one 🙂

      Posted 5.12.10 Reply
  2. Ginny wrote:

    That just looks amazing! 🙂

    Posted 5.13.10 Reply
  3. I really love your blog! All these paninis make me hungry-I LOVE basil.
    .-= veggie wedgie´s last blog ..Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches =-.

    Posted 5.13.10 Reply
  4. As a huge fan of sweet/savory combinations, I can totally see how this would work…now I just need to try it!
    .-= my boyfriend cooks for me´s last blog ..what’s NOT in this salad? =-.

    Posted 5.13.10 Reply
  5. Chocolate, brie and basil…three flavors I love but I never would have thought to put them together! I’m gonna have to try this one. Just got some new basil plants this week to plant too!
    .-= Brenda T. (Meal Planning Magic)´s last blog ..10 Commandments of Healthy Eating for Parents =-.

    Posted 5.14.10 Reply
  6. I would not have thought to use chocolate bread to make a grilled cheese sandwich like this but it looks so good!
    .-= Kevin (Closet Cooking)´s last blog ..Spinach Pesto (aka Spanakopita Pesto) Pasta with Paprika Grilled Chicken =-.

    Posted 5.17.10 Reply
  7. Esi wrote:

    I have yet to try the chocolate-brie-basil combo. I like that you did this on chocolate bread though. Nice twist!!
    .-= Esi´s last blog ..Korean Spicy Chili Paste Chicken (Mae-un Dak Gui) =-.

    Posted 5.17.10 Reply
  8. Ingrid wrote:

    Looks wonderful!

    Posted 7.20.10 Reply
  9. 3 flavours like that realyy shouldnt go to gether, but thats just my opion………

    Posted 11.16.10 Reply
  10. stampylisa wrote:

    this looks delicious. I am currently a fan of brie & avocado quesadilla, so I can see panini-ing that into a wrap instead. I use whole wheat tortillas and have george foremanini’d sandwiches before since i don’t have a press. another sweet combo I love is plum feta with mint. mmmmmm i can’t wait for summer again!

    Posted 2.8.11 Reply
  11. Louise wrote:

    Hi Kathy! Nice to “meet” you. I was just reading your about page and had to leave a comment. What a GREAT idea and your recipes seem just as intriguing. I’m not much a panini girl myself however, it seems I should reconsider after visiting your blog.

    Take this recipe for instance, who would of thought? I would love to include your link and image on a blog post I’m doing for April. April is National Grilled Cheese Month and I have a feeling visitors would love to check out this recipe. I would, of course, link back to your delicious site. My email address is [acalenda] @ [gmail] In the mean time, I’m off to check out more of your panini delights!

    Thanks for sharing, Louise

    Posted 3.31.11 Reply