French Dip Panini

by on September 8, 2008

Post image for French Dip Panini

As I was browsing through my favorite food blogs in my RSS reader this morning, I was drawn in by the French Dip Sandwiches on For the Love of Cooking.  Specifically, I was captivated by the thought of sweet caramelized onions, tender roast beef and piping hot au jus.  There was just something so homey and inviting about Pam’s photos.  I hadn’t been planning to grill any panini today, but now I wanted this sandwich.  Badly.

I commented that if Gruyère cheese were added to the mix, it would kind of be like French onion soup – another comforting favorite of mine.  Now I was really revved up on the idea, so I had no choice but to gather my ingredients and get grilling.

Pam was not kidding – this was an amazing sandwich.  My roast beef was store-bought at the deli counter, so I can just imagine how much better it would have been if I’d roasted it myself like she did.  The addition of the Gruyère and crispy grilled French bread, dipped into the richly robust au jus, really did conjure up fond memories of the French onion soup my mom used to make.  Next time I might brush a little melted butter on the bread before grilling to get better grill marks, but otherwise I was incredibly satisfied with how this sandwich turned out.  Here’s to succumbing to inspiration!

French Dip Panini


  • 1 sweet yellow onion, sliced into 1/4″ rings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • French bread, thick slices
  • Mayonnaise or roasted garlic aioli (here’s an easy recipe on Art & Aioli – thanks, Nicole!)
  • Roast beef, thinly sliced
  • Gruyère cheese, grated
  • Au jus (see recipe on For the Love of Cooking)


  1. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Season onions with salt and pepper and sauté in the olive oil for 15-20 minutes until caramelized.
  2. Preheat panini grill to medium-high heat (375°F).
  3. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise or roasted garlic aioli on a slice of bread.  Top with roast beef, onions and cheese.  Close the sandwich with another slice of bread.  Grill 7-8 minutes until cheese is melted and grill marks appear.  Serve immediately with au jus and enjoy!

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

>Ready to buy a panini press? Check out my Panini Press Buying Guide for the features to look for.

>Want more panini recipes? See my Recipe Index for a list of all recipes on Panini Happy.

>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 HoneyB September 9, 2008 at 5:30 am

Another delicious idea from some great bloggers!!


2 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) September 9, 2008 at 6:47 am

Every time I think I don’t need/want a panini press, I find another great recipe on this blog. French Dip was always one of my husband’s favorite sandwiches. I’m sure he’ll love the panini version.


3 Pam September 9, 2008 at 7:03 am

Oh, I wish I ate your sandwich. The Gruyere and garlic aioli take it up a notch! I’ll be trying this out on my panini maker soon. Thank you so much for giving me a shout out on your blog and for being inspired by one of my recipes.


4 Nicole September 9, 2008 at 9:01 am

This sounds amazingly good, Kathy! Love roast beef. Love paninis. Love French onion soup. Love aioli. Perfect sandwich for moi! Check out my “quickie” roasted garlic aioli here:

It is so easy.

How often do you make a panini? Every day?


5 robinsue September 9, 2008 at 9:36 am

French Dip is another fav of mine. Wow first the reuben now this. I’m coming to your house! I like the idea of garlic aioli spread on the sandwich too, really nice! I’m with Nicole- how often do you make paninis?


6 PaniniKathy September 9, 2008 at 9:56 am

Nicole & Robin Sue – Ha, I wish I could make them every day! No, it’s more like twice a week. As it is, I feel like my little girl’s first big word might be “pa-ni-ni” 🙂


7 RecipeGirl September 9, 2008 at 11:07 am

This is a rainy-day kind of sandwich for me. The best!


8 sharon September 9, 2008 at 11:21 am

Ahh, what a wonderful combination of flavors! I’ve never made my aus jus or even French Dip for that matter eventhough it’s one of my favorites. Definitely putting this on the must-try list.


9 Natasha September 9, 2008 at 11:22 am

Oooh, love the idea! Especially dipping the sammy!


10 Erin September 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm

You are so creative! I am so fickle that I’d be way over paninis and out of ideas in a week, but you just keep on coming up with such fun sandwiches! Bravo 🙂


11 Arlene September 9, 2008 at 3:22 pm

This is a panini that I could “deconstruct” and eat ingredient by ingredient and be very happy indeed. But, put the whole thing together and I’m in heaven. I wish I had the ingredients right now. Next to goat cheese and cheddar and fresh mozzarella and fontina, gruyere is my favorite, LOL.


12 Jenny September 9, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Wow, I would totally eat this sandwich in a hurry. There’s just something so fun about dipping sandwiches, it makes it so good!


13 outdoorgriller September 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm

That sounds pretty good I have always been a fan of roast beef sandwiches at arbees and it looks good on a panini if you need more elaboration on how to cook a roast you can visit for some helpful tips and recipes.


14 lalaine September 9, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Wow! I can only name two or three sandwiches at most and you have a whole blog of it!


15 grace September 10, 2008 at 12:26 am

look at that gruyere. fabulous. i so love that the food blog world is so full of inspiration. 🙂


16 Esi September 10, 2008 at 11:48 am

Seriously?! We were thinking of the same sandwich at the same time. I totally love your version. It’s making me hungry!!


17 Kristen September 11, 2008 at 7:54 am

Hey there – adopt a blogger matches are up on my blog :)Thanks for participating!


18 Lo (BURP! Where Food Happens) September 11, 2008 at 9:32 am

I should NOT be reading this post before lunchtime. It has me salivating — literally!

Love this idea. Now why didn’t I think of that??!


19 Candy September 11, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Wow all your paninis sound wonderful! This one especially.


20 Ann September 13, 2008 at 11:58 am

This just looks dang delicious!!! Wow. It’s lunch time and I’m looking at food porn – LOOKING. What’s wrong with this picture? I need to be EATING, not looking!


21 Dani September 13, 2008 at 3:24 pm

OMG!!! I am in love with your blog… I got a press for Xmas too and am at a bit of a loss outside of a grilled cheese so I cannot wait to dig into some of your recipes! Good on ya 🙂


22 Elle September 16, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Ok, I tried this once before and it didn’t work. Let’s see if I can get it to work now….

When I turn around, one of these is going to be on the counter, waiting for me…

Damn! I need to work on my skills more.


23 zestycook September 17, 2008 at 7:16 am

WOW… i have to say a couple of things…. love your blog… will be a regular reader for sure and I love this panini. I will definitely trying it very soon. Great blog…..


24 Heidi A September 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Love your blog! Got to it via Bucky’s BBQ & Bread. It makes me want to run out and get a panini press! Too bad I missed your contest. Am subscribing and looking forward to future posts.


25 sara September 18, 2008 at 9:13 pm

This looks great, we love steak sandwiches at my house!


26 Tartelette September 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Just wanted to stop by and tell you that you have been giving me so many interesting, tasty and fun paninis and sandwiches ideas in the past months. Thank you…the sandwich devotee hubby especially thanks you 🙂


27 Heather September 26, 2008 at 7:20 am

Hi Kathy! I tried your French Dip Panini this week and it was delicious! Gruyère cheese was a little out of my budget, so I tried Provolone, which was good. My husband loved it. I will definitely make it again. Thank you!


28 Michelle July 3, 2009 at 5:05 pm

This was incredibly good i love french dips and have ordered them all over the US- i was hesitant to try gruyere- so i bought a small block- now i wish i would have gotten more but yes Provolone works well and thats what i REALLY bought- i tweaked it a bit used a roll heated in the oven topped with the cheese until bubbling- instead of bread and the press- but stayed with the suggestion of deli counter roast beef and i warmed it in my quick answer to au jus made with beef bouillion roasted garlic onion jam salt pepper and a little water – which after it boiled was also my dip. Thank you! i really enjoyed your recipe ideas and this one will be a KEEPER.


29 Kathy July 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Your version sounds terrific – so glad you tried and enjoyed it!


30 federica May 10, 2010 at 8:42 am

no words to describe how good it is…BRAVO!!!
I ate it in less than a minute.
Loved it.
Greetings and congrats from Italy!


31 Kathy May 10, 2010 at 9:17 am

So glad you liked it, Federica – thanks for your note!


32 Lauren @ Delicateflavors July 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Oooh yummy! Can’t wait to try it out. Thank you for sharing. 🙂
Lauren @ Delicateflavors´s last blog post ..Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcakes


33 Chelsea August 30, 2010 at 8:34 am

I can’t see this post so close to lunch… my stomach is growling just looking at the pictures. I’ll be planning an unexpected stop to the grocery store for roast beef this evening! Can’t wait!!
Chelsea´s last blog post ..Blueberry Cobbler


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