Honeycrisp Apple, Caramelized Onion and Red Pepper Panini

OK, let’s be real. Sometimes I eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. Sometimes I have scrambled eggs and toast for dinner too. And you know what? It’s usually pretty satisfying. But seeing as I do like to get a little fancier every now and then, the last time I wanted what I refer to as “lazy dinner,” I decided to dress it up a little. Honeycrisp apples, melty cheese, and roasted red peppers – now that’s my kind of dressing up. The sandwich is not just a sandwich. It’s full of sweet and savory flavors all bound together with a layer of gooey, melted cheese. Talk about yum.

I’m a little late to board the Honeycrisp apple train. I really didn’t think they could be as good as everyone was saying. Well, I was completely wrong. I tried one while I was home for Thanksgiving, and my apple snacking life has been changed. OK, maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but seriously, they’re deliciously crisp, lightly sweet, perfect apples. I texted my sister at the grocery store for some dinner inspiration, and her suggestion was something with Honeycrisp apples. Voila – the perfect apple panini was born.

Feel free to make this panini your own. You can use whatever you have on hand, or leave ingredients out if they don’t suit your taste. Just make sure you include the apples – I promise you won’t be disappointed if you do. I loaded this panini with goodies. I used Trader Joe’s “Unexpected Cheddar,” which is a cheddar cheese with hints of parmesan, but regular cheddar, or even Brie would be great in this sandwich. Caramelize some onions, pile on the spinach leaves and a few slices of roasted red pepper, and you’re done.

The next time you’re looking for a lazy dinner that doesn’t make you sound lazy at all, try building yourself this wonderfully dressed up panini, and enjoy the fruits of your laziness.

Honeycrisp Apple, Caramelized Onion and Red Pepper Panini

Cook time: 10 minutes; Total time: 15 minutes

2 slices hearty whole wheat bread (I used a whole wheat sourdough)

White cheddar cheese, enough to cover 1 slice of bread

1/4 large Honeycrisp apple, sliced thinly

1/4 roasted red pepper (I simply used a few slices from a jar)

Small handfull spinach

1 tbsp olive oil, divided

1/4 small yellow onion, sliced thinly



Add 1 tsp olive oil to a small frying pan on low heat. When oil is heated, add onions and allow to cook until lightly browned (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. While your onions are cooking, assemble your sandwich. Brush the outside of each slice of bread with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add cheese, roasted red pepper, apples, and spinach. Top with onions, and place sandwich on a panini maker or back into the pan you cooked your onions in. Grill the sandwich until the bread is toasted and cheese is melted, flipping halfway through if grilling in a pan.