Recipe Review // Cheesy Onion Panini


“If there’s anything I know, it’s that I love a sandwich. Especially one with hot, gooey, melty, cheese.”

When I was originally looking at the Plated menus (the first time), there was one recipe that stuck out to me: Cheesy Sweet Onion Panini with Truffle Fries. I am a sucker for cheese. I am a sucker for onions. And don’t even get me started on fries. So when Foots was out of town this week, I decided to jump on it. Not to mention some of the other options were Chicken Parmesan and Ruby Red Trout – I decided to splurge and spend $72 on a box of goodness.

This cheesy onion panini features two kinds of cheeses, onions AND leeks, and a special packet of “truffle dust.” (I love all but one of these things. I’ll let you figure out which one.)

But if there’s anything I know, it’s that I love a sandwich. Especially one with hot, gooey, melty, cheese.


Recipe Review // Cheesy Sweet Onion Panini with Truffle Fries from Plated

Disclaimer: I found this recipe and tried it – and this is my experience. This recipe has been adapted, paraphrased, and annotated by me. All credit goes to the original owner. 

Makes: 2 XL paninis, a fair amount of fries
Time: 30 – 40 minutes, depending on how quickly you can shred cheese
Survives: Until the cheese on the sandwich gets cold
Bang for your Buck: $24 for two servings from Plated.

// Experience

1 // Prepare your station
– Preheat your oven to 450°F. Bring out a baking sheet.
– Rinse 1 leek very very well. Cut in half, then cut into ribbons widthwise. Wash ribbons in cold water. Strain and dry leeks.
– Get 2 russet potatoes out. Rinse (and peel if you don’t want peels on your fries.) Cut in half and then into fry-like shapes.
– Peel 1 sweet onion and slice into French Onion Soup strips.

2 // Get that onion ready

– Place a gob of butter in a large pan, and turn on medium heat, stirring the butter until melted.
– Once butter is melted, add the leek and the onion shreds. Cook until onion is soft and golden – about 7 minutes. // If you really really want a treat, cook them at a slightly higher temp for longer, until deep brown, until you get caramelized onions. This will make them sweeter, richer, and more luxuriously. This is always my favorite way to enjoy onions.
– Add in two pinches of salt and a tablespoon of water, and continue to cook until the leeks appear to be the same softness as the onions.
– Set aside off heat.


– As the onions and leeks cook, toss the potatoes into a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil, a generous sprinkle of salt, and a sneeze of pepper.
– On your baking sheet, line with tin foil and sprinkle with wee bit of salt // I find that sprinkling of salt helps to make sure that the potatoes don’t stick as much.
– Arrange potatoes in a single sheet (don’t overlap those babies) and bake for 10 minutes.
– After 10 minutes, flip the fries (they don’t have to be exactly flipped, but this just helps to get an even cooking on them all).
– Cook another 10 – 15 minutes to desired level of “done-ness.”
– Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and truffle zest.  // Okay so I have learned something with Plated. And that is that if you don’t know if you’ll like something, think about it first. If you can try it, try it before doing the whole thing. So I opened the packet of truffle dust and poured a single sprinkle onto my finger and tried it. It was disgusting. It has the same taste as mothballs for me. Now some people love it, but I am very glad that I tried it first because I wouldn’t want to ruin the potatoes with mothbally-ness! It just goes to show you that sometimes the recipe isn’t always right. It’s right depending on how YOU like it.
– With or without the truffle dust, set them aside, covered in tin foil to keep them warm.

4 // Get that sammie going

– While the fries are baking, get four slices of crusty bread (like a sourdough, or a Tuscane Pan).
– Butter one side of each piece of bread – this will be the outside of the sandwich.
– On the opposite side of the bread (the inside), spread a good slather of dijon mustard.
– Place one piece of bread down and layer on some shredded gruyere (and/or fontina) cheese. Add the sautéed onions/leeks on top. Top now with some shredded arugula. Put a little more cheese (just to seal in all that goodness) and then put the second slice of bread mustard-side down (touching the cheese).
– Repeat for second panini.

5 // Fry, panini, fry

– Get your pan back and set it on medium heat.
– When your pan is hot (hold your hand over the pan to make sure it has reach the heat), add 1 or both panini (depending on how big your pan is).
– As soon as you put the sammie onto the heat, place a heavy pan on top of the bread, so that the sandwich is weighed down.
– Sauté until bread is golden-toasty and cheese is gooey – about 3 minutes.

Eating Now // Serve immediately beside the fries from before, alongside your favorite dipping sauce. Eat in a barbarian manner with your hands.

Eating Later // Just… don’t. A day old toasted cheese? No, mate. 

Scorecard // Can’t go wrong with a cheese

EASE TO MAKE ★★★★★ – It’s a glorified grilled cheese. The worst part is stirring the onions every so often.

TIME TO MAKE ★★★★☆ – 30 minutes for a sandwich seems a little crazy, I know. But wait until you get your teeth into the sweet creamy goodness of the cheesy onions.

LEFTOVER-ABILITY ★☆☆☆☆ – You really can’t. It’s a toasted cheese. The good news is that since it’s just two sammies, you won’t have too much leftover. (Unless you are useless at eating like I am and can only eat half and then try – and fail – to reheat your half the next day. Just don’t.)

TASTINESS ★★★☆☆ – Don’t take the three stars as a bad sign. I think it is good and tasty and rich and creamy. I think that I would switch out the sautéed onions for caramelized onions and the fontina for mozzarella and that would bump it up a few tasty notches.

REDO-ABILITY ★★★☆☆ – Honestly, pretty good. A local cafe has a caramelized onion-cheesy bagel sandwich that I get on a weekly (literally) basis. I LOVE it. The gooey with the sweet with the toasty. The problem? They make up a batch of caramelized onions every morning and just use them through the day. Me? If I want this, I have to sit over a stove gently stirring an onion for 20 minutes. As good as it is, I REALLY have to be craving it.


I love a cheese. And I love this cheese! It is a great idea for a special night when you’re craving something decadent and cozy, but don’t want to go all out. This is a great way to make yourself (and maybe someone you love) a ooey-gooey sandwich of your dreams. YUM!

What do you think? Do you like mine better or theirs?
Do you have a recipe for this that you use all the time?
Let me know! In the Contact Tab!



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