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!


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
>> About Me

All-Time Reader Favorites!

Panini 101

Recent Posts


Permission Policy

All recipes, text and photographs on this site are the original creations and property of Panini Happy. Do not post or publish anything from this site without full credit and a direct link to the original post. with any requests or questions.

Browse Panini

Leave a Comment


  1. HoneyB wrote:

    Another delicious idea from some great bloggers!!

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  2. 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.

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  3. Pam wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  4. Nicole wrote:

    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?

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  5. robinsue wrote:

    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?

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  6. PaniniKathy wrote:

    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” 🙂

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  7. RecipeGirl wrote:

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

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  8. sharon wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  9. Natasha wrote:

    Oooh, love the idea! Especially dipping the sammy!

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  10. Erin wrote:

    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 🙂

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  11. Arlene wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  12. Jenny wrote:

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

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  13. 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.

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  14. lalaine wrote:

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

    Posted 9.9.08 Reply
  15. grace wrote:

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

    Posted 9.10.08 Reply
  16. Esi wrote:

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

    Posted 9.10.08 Reply
  17. Kristen wrote:

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

    Posted 9.11.08 Reply
  18. 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??!

    Posted 9.11.08 Reply
  19. Candy wrote:

    Wow all your paninis sound wonderful! This one especially.

    Posted 9.11.08 Reply
  20. Ann wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.13.08 Reply
  21. Dani wrote:

    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 🙂

    Posted 9.13.08 Reply
  22. Elle wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.16.08 Reply
  23. zestycook wrote:

    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…..

    Posted 9.17.08 Reply
  24. Heidi A wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.18.08 Reply
  25. sara wrote:

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

    Posted 9.18.08 Reply
  26. Tartelette wrote:

    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 🙂

    Posted 9.20.08 Reply
  27. Heather wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.26.08 Reply
  28. Michelle wrote:

    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.

    Posted 7.3.09 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

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

      Posted 7.10.09 Reply
  29. federica wrote:

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

    Posted 5.10.10 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

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

      Posted 5.10.10 Reply
  30. Oooh yummy! Can’t wait to try it out. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Posted 7.11.10 Reply
  31. Chelsea wrote:

    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!!

    Posted 8.30.10 Reply