Green Chile Steak Melt Panini

If I were to ever lose my iPhone whoever found it would be privy to my ongoing list of sandwich ideas in my Notes app. I jotted down the concept for today’s Green Chile Steak Melt Paniniwhile on vacation in Santa Barbara a few months ago.

We had made our way to the Hollister Brewing Company in Goleta at the end of a long day of kite flying and butterfly chasing. I ordered a fantastic sandwich – the Spicy Steak Melt – with thinly sliced steak, chiles, onions, pepper jack and chipotle crema on a baguette. It was like an incredible southwestern cheese steak. It went straight into the Notes file to remind me to recreate my own version at home.

If you ever find yourself with leftover steak on hand (or feel like quickly grilling some New York strip), I highly recommend making these sandwiches. For my Spicy Steak Melt-inspired panini, I opted to caramelized the onions to bring in some sweetness. I dialed the spice level down a touch by going with Monterey Jack rather than pepper jack. Lastly, I converted the chipotle crema to a chipotle mayonnaise (which still has a touch of cooling sour cream in it). Just thinking about these now makes me glad it’s almost lunch time…and I have all the ingredients ready to make these again!

Green Chile Steak Melt Panini

Green Chile Steak Melt Panini

These are great panini to make with any kind of leftover steak, or you can quickly grill a fresh steak. If you keep a batch of caramelized onions on hand in the fridge, as I often do, you can significantly cut down on the time.

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour 35 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Yield: 4 panini


For the Caramelized Onions:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium yellow onions
  • Salt and black pepper

For the Chipotle Mayonnaise:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Panini:

  • 1 pound New York strip steak
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Chipotle Mayonnaise
  • 1 ciabatta loaf or baguette, cut into 4 sections
  • 8 slices Monterey Jack cheese
  • Caramelized Onions
  • 1 7-oz can whole roasted green chiles, chopped


To make the Caramelized Onions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce the heat. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring often to prevent scorching, until the onions are soft, deep brown in color and caramelized, another 40 to 50 minutes.

To make the Chipotle Mayonnaise:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until you are ready to serve.

To make the Panini:

  1. Season the steak generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a skillet or grill pan over moderately high heat. Once it’s hot, add olive oil to the pan, then the steak. Grill the steak, turning every few minutes, until it’s cooked to your preferred doneness. For medium, I cook it until my instant read thermometer reads 137°F.
  3. Let the steak rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes, then slice it crosswise into thin slices.
  4. Preheat the panini grill to medium high heat.
  5. Halve each piece of bread lengthwise to create top and bottom halves.
  6. For each sandwich: Spread about a tablespoon of mayonnaise inside each half of bread. On the bottom half, add a slice of cheese, steak, onions, chiles and a second slice of cheese. Close the sandwich with the other half of bread, mayonnaise side down.
  7. Grill the panini until the cheese is melted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cut in half and serve immediately.



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. Karly wrote:

    Now this is my kind of sandwich. Seriously – amazing!

    Posted 10.17.11 Reply
  2. Oh, yes, please. Love this combination of flavors — like a green chile cheeseburger in panini form!

    Posted 10.17.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Funny you should say that, Lydia – I actually recently ordered this combo at one of those build-your-own-burger places!

      Posted 10.17.11 Reply
  3. Wenderly wrote:

    Now that’s a sandwich I could sink my teeth into!

    Posted 10.17.11 Reply
  4. Spicy, sweet, savory – this sandwich has it all and looks so darn good!

    Posted 10.17.11 Reply
  5. Anna wrote:

    I love panini for girl talk Saturdays… What’s so cool about this is that this is a good recipe for all the leftovers the whole week. Sandwiches like this make me crave for longer weekends…

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  6. Jeanette wrote:

    Now this is a sandwich that would satisfy my boys when they’re looking for some meat!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  7. Wow. That is one fantastic looking sandwich. Love everything about this!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  8. Ericka H. wrote:

    I must make this now! I looks so good. I love any combination of meat, bread, cheese and chilies

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  9. naomi wrote:

    Oh my I love this! The green chile is a great idea.

    And I’m with you, if anyone found my phone they would see a list of ideas for desserts.

    Posted 10.20.11 Reply
  10. brandi wrote:

    green chiles, monterey jack and steak? sign me up!

    Posted 10.21.11 Reply
  11. Now that is a tasty looking steak sandwich!

    Posted 10.25.11 Reply
  12. james wrote:

    I am so begging my wife to make this over the weekend.:)

    Posted 11.25.11 Reply