Super Bowl(TM) Panini: Grilled Beer & Cheese

Okay, Packers fans – thanks for indulging my Pittsburgh-themed panini earlier this week. This next one is for you!

Green Bay PackersWhen I asked the Panini Happy Facebook fans for sandwich suggestions to represent Green Bay, naturally beer and cheese came to many people’s minds. It’s a classic Wisconsin pairing. As I explored different ideas for how to incorporate them into panini, I came across a creative Grilled Beer & Cheese Sandwich recipe on the Wisconsin Cheese Talk website, posted by Gabi of Honest Fare. Inspired by the flavors of the famous Wisconsin beer and cheese soup, Gabi layered sharp cheddar and fontina cheeses, caramelized onions and Dijon mustard on fresh-baked beer bread. With all of those big flavors, I had to give this one a try.

Beer Bread

Sure, the beer bread is a little more crumbly than I’d typically grill with but WOW, you have got to taste this one! I did not want to stop eating it. A brush of melted butter on top of the bread gives it this unbelievable savory crispness as you bite in. The bread itself (which is incredibly easy to make) is quite flavorful from the beer as well as a bit of salt and sugar in the dough. On the inside, the sharp aged Wisconsin cheddar cheese I used was incredibly tangy and buttery, while the Worcestershire-splashed caramelized onions were mouthwateringly sweet. This was honestly one of the tastiest sandwiches I’ve grilled in a while.

Grilled Beer & Cheese Panini


Grilled Beer & Cheese Panini
Adapted from the Grilled Beer and Sandwich recipe on Wisconsin Cheese Talk, by Gabi of Honest Fare

Makes 2 panini (with extra beer bread)


Beer Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
One 12-ounce can or bottle of beer (Gabi says cheap beer works best; I used a wheat ale)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Caramelized Onions

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste


2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted


Make the beer bread:

Preheat oven to 350°F (175° C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Pour in beer, stir until a stiff batter is formed. Best to just mix dough with your hands. Scrape dough into prepared loaf pan. Melt butter and spread evenly across top of dough. (Makes it golden and crusty!) Bake in preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing.

Caramelize the onions:

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan. Sauté onions until they begin to wilt, then add a pinch of salt and pepper, oregano and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook covered until onions become soft and caramelized (about 40 minutes). Add more Worcestershire sauce to taste if you like.

Grill the panini:

Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

For each sandwich: Spread a little Dijon mustard inside one slice of beer bread (optional – I forgot to include it in mine – but it’ll add some nice tangy heat). Layer on half of the cheese and onions and close the sandwich with a second slice of beer bread. Brush a little melted butter on top.

Grill for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Carefully cut the sandwich in half, 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. You’re so dang creative. This is brilliant!

    Posted 2.3.11 Reply
  2. I wouldn’t have thought of grilling beer bread! Great sandwich!

    Posted 2.3.11 Reply
  3. Sagan wrote:

    The bread. The bread! That looks amazing. I want to eat some right now.

    Posted 2.3.11 Reply
  4. Paula wrote:

    oh, what a great and delicious looking idea for a party with some friends 🙂

    Posted 2.5.11 Reply
  5. wow, i had no idea you can make so many various types of paninis !
    even dessert ones?!

    mind blown.

    thanks for visiting my page earlier, i would love to follow your blog, and if you could do the same for me, that would be greatly appreciated . (:

    i will def. be a regular to your page,
    and put my panini grill to work ! haha

    Posted 2.5.11 Reply
  6. Shaina wrote:

    Just made two loaves of this bread for these sammies to serve at a tiny superbowl party tonight … my husband and I just sampled the bread and WOW it is freaking amazing. Cannot wait to make these sandwiches tonight!

    Posted 2.6.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Fantastic – I hope you love them!

      Posted 2.6.11 Reply
  7. Daisy wrote:

    For moment there I thought the grilled beer was a typo… Fantastic recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 2.12.11 Reply
  8. You can’t go wrong with the beer and cheese combo!

    Posted 2.12.11 Reply
  9. The crumbly nature of the bread probably would’ve forced us to give up (as in still eat it but not share it on the blog! ha), but you made it work and still look good. Beer bread is an awesome thing. Never thought to use it for a sandwich though.

    Posted 2.12.11 Reply
  10. Monty Burns wrote:

    My bread was still quite doughy after 40 mins. I used Shiner and didn’t really taste the beer flavor. Also, half of my onions got burnt when I covered them and left them there to caramelize on low heat. Are you supposed to open and stir every once in a while? Other than these hiccups, it was a fairly tasty panini.

    Posted 5.2.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Glad to hear you still enjoyed it despite the hiccups. I imagine the bread will work differently depending on which beer you use – the beer flavor was rather pronounced when I made mine but I’m sure that will vary. As for the onions, it’s quite possible that I did stir my onions occasionally. Thanks for your feedback on this, I’ll go back and revisit the recipe and see if I may need to adjust the instructions.

      Posted 5.2.11 Reply