French Onion Soup Sandwiches


French Onion Soup Sandwiches are crispy and cheesy, with that signature French Onion Soup flavor!


My friends and I did a lot of hilarious, albeit weird, things in high school.

Dying bright red and purple streaks in our hair (one of us dated an emo/rock band member for a bit…) driving around with the pizza man’s delivery light on top of our car, playing Mario Cart in our sweatpants for hours, and holding regular meetings for our beef & cheese nacho, banana cream pie and lampshade hat club, all come to mind.


Anyways, if we weren’t up to no good, we were usually out to eat. That’s the advantage of having a killer teenage metabolism and dancing nearly every day of the week, I suppose. You can eat all the crappy food you want, and never gain a pound!

Oh to be young…

One of our favorite restaurants to hit up was TGI Friday’s. I swear at one point, we were going nearly 3 times a week. My friend’s brother worked there and always drizzled extra chocolate and caramel sauce on our Oreo Madness for us.


oreo madness

For my meal I’d always order the same thing every time. Kid’s Chicken Fingers with honey mustard and a piping hot cup of cheesy, French Onion Soup.


It was this cup of soup I was thinking of when I decided to combine its rich beefy flavor with sweet, caramelized onions, then top it with creamy cheese and press it all between two slices of buttered bread.

It’s the absolute best of both worlds, people. Savory soup and crispy panini combine to make: French Onion Soup Sandwiches!


I started my sandwich by making a “souped” up caramelized onion filling. First I sliced a jumbo, softball sized onion in half. Any sweet, yellow onion will do.


Then I thinly sliced each half into…slices.


Meanwhile I heated up butter, olive oil and worcestershir-sheer-shire, sauce in a medium size skillet on the stove,


to which I added the onion slices, a bay leaf and salt & pepper.


After tossing everything to coat,


(which is very easy to do with a pair of tongs)

DSC_0015 DSC_0014

I let the onions sit and caramelize for about half an hour, stirring every couple of minutes.


Normally when I caramelize onions, I add dashes of water into the skillet if they start to stick to the pan or burn. Today I used beef broth which, when combined with the worcestershire sauce and bay leaf, helped to mimic French Onion Soup’s savory flavor.


After half an hour later, I had this. MUWAHAHAHA!!!! Ahem.


While the onions were cooking away, I turned my attention to the bread for the sandwich.


Great Harvest Asiago Cheese & Sundried Tomato Bread baked TODAY. Look at those cheese pockets!


I picked up a bag from the bakery after work, and the squish of the doughy-soft bread I felt through the bag immediately made me whisper “oh my gosh!” Out loud. To myself. In the middle of the bakery. Embarrassing.


I sliced myself a couple of pieces, then buttered ’em up.


I flipped one piece over,


and layered on thin slices of fontina cheese.


I heart Trader Joe’s Fontina Cheese. It melts like a dream and the taste is mild but flavorful.


Leftover slice for the chef! ;)


Next I generously mounded the caramelized onions on top,


placed the other slice of bread on top (butter side up)


and pressed away in my Griddler.


A few minutes later the outside of the bread had crisped up, while the fontina cheese had oozed out, creating a golden halo of melted cheese around the sandwich on the griddle. OMG!


French Onion Soup Sandwiches

Serves 2


French Onion Soup Sandwiches are crispy and cheesy, with that signature French Onion Soup flavor!


  • 1 large sweet yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of dried thyme
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4-1/3 cup beef broth
  • 4 slices good quality bread
  • butter for spreading
  • 4 slices Fontina or Gruyere cheese


  1. Heat butter, olive oil and worcestershire sauce in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cut the onion in half, then thinly slice each half. Add onion slices, separating the layers, into the skillet. Season with salt & pepper, add the bay leaf, and stir well.
  2. Continue cooking the onion over medium heat, stirring every 2-3 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown and soften. If the slices begins to burn or stick to the pan, add splashes of beef broth to moisten. Continue cooking until onions are deep brown and soft, ~30 minutes.
  3. Butter one side of all four slices of bread, then flip two slices so they lay butter-side down. Layer on the cheese and caramelized onions, then lay the remaining slices of bread on top, butter-side up. Cook in a panini press or hot skillet until both sides are golden brown and cheese has melted.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


You will gobble this sandwich up! It’s got all the flavor of the soup, but it so much easier to make.


The onions are sweet, yet savory, and that cheese takes it over the top!


On the side I served some roasted broccoli.


Fresh broccoli tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, then roasted for 12 minutes at 425 degrees.


MMM! This is one of those meals that leaves you so perfectly stuffed and satisfied afterwards. I couldn’t eat another drop!


Unless, of course, you were to place a slice of the epitome of “best of both worlds” in front of me. Ice cream cake. Mmmmmsweetsweeticecreamandcake…




What were you like in high school?

My TEN YEAR high school reunion is coming up this weekend and I am still on  fence as to if I’m going or not. Thoughts?

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  1. I miss my teenage metabolism too – we would go to Red Robin for dinner, inhale burgers, fries, & onion rings and then go to DQ for some blizzards. Oh, to be young again!

  2. Sarah 09.13.2011

    My reunion is coming up next month. I’m not going to go the actual reunion because tickets are $50 and it’s at some crappy restaurant. They are having a picnic the next day that I’ll probably go to. If you have to travel more than an hour I wouldn’t go. Facebook has basically eliminated the need for reunions…lol. I live about 15 minutes away from my reunion so I’ll stop by for a bit.

  3. Deanna 09.13.2011

    Why would you NOT go? I traveled back for both my 10th and 20th reunions (several hours) and was incredibly disappointed when I found that a lot of the “local” alums decided not to attend. I want to see them and catch up as much as someone who traveled hundreds of miles. It’s fun, and only a few hours for one night…do it!

  4. Amy 09.13.2011

    I was a goody-two shoes in HS. Not popular at all. The 10-year reunion (two years ago) was. . . awkward. I say go if you want to see anyone you normally don’t.

    Cool idea for a sandwich, btw!

  5. Lori 09.13.2011

    I agree about teenage metabolism…it was my best friend :)
    As for your class reunion, I went to my 10 year with very low expectations and ended up having a blast! You should go, I think you will be happy you did.

  6. What an AWESOME sandwich you created!!!!!! I love French Onion Soup, and almost got it when I went out to dinner tonight!

  7. wow, that looks delicious. french onion soup is a personal favorite of mine…and so are chicken fingers!! in high school, after swim practice, we would head to houlihan’s for chicken fingers and the BEST honey mustard dipping sauce. can’t wait to recreate this sandwich.

  8. Kacey 09.13.2011

    This post is great! It sounds like our high school days were pretty similar…with all of the ridiculous things I did.

    My 10 year reunion is next month also, and I have mixed feelings about it as well. I won’t be able to go (I’m in Oklahoma, the reunion is in New Jersey), but I was trying to figure out if I actually wanted to or not. I don’t use facebook, so asides from a few close friends I still have, I don’t talk to anyone else. And I am a bit curious about what people are up to. Or if they would even recognize me or remember me.

    It’s probably best I don’t go, because for years, I’ve always thought high school reunions should be like Romy & Michelles… and I’d hate to be disappointed :)

  9. Kacey 09.13.2011

    and btw…I want that sandwich in my belly NOW!

  10. Sara 09.13.2011

    Oh, I have been craving caramelized onions all week and this is not helping! I will be making something with caramelized onions tomorrow, no doubt about it.

    I was a marching band geek in high school. We would eat so much junk food – we’d go to KFC to get lunch, and then to Hardee’s next door to get drinks. Because KFC didn’t carry Pepsi products (aka Mountain Dew!) I guess marching all around the field kept us from ballooning up?!? I guess I also ran cross country & track too, and had a superfast metabolism.

  11. I really, really need to get a Griddler. :) That looks like SUCH a yummy meal!

    Ugh…if it’s anything like mine…don’t go. 7 classmates showed up (out of a graduating class of 126), and it was kid-friendly, in a park, with no alcohol due to park rules. Um, WHAT?! Not fun. Haha.

  12. SharonF 09.13.2011

    Oh, don’t miss your reunion! I just had a full week-end of fun and it included Friday night dinner at a winery and Saturday attended an all-school alumni banquet where we were the honorees. 50 years!!!!! We relived all the antics we were involved in. Some good, some not so good. Four of our classmates are deceased, so enjoy while you can.

  13. Amazing idea!! Can I make it and tell my husband it was my idea?! (JK!) My 10 year was fun – a little awkward – but worth going!

  14. OH MY GOD a little bit of drool *may* have found it’s way on my desk as I read this. ;) That looks amazing! I should pull out my panini press huh…

    I was a huge nerd in high school. As in, ate in the orchestra room when I didn’t play an instrument at any point nerdy. Also, take classes at the local community college full-time instead of high school nerdy (a program in WA that let’s you be enrolled in high school but go to college instead, and it’s FREE- state pays your college tuition).

    I’d like to think I’m pretty well-rounded now haha.

  15. Angela @ Momethis 09.13.2011

    Hell yes you are going! Look at the awesomeness you’ve made !
    I’m sure all of your old friends want to see you. Girl you rock on recipes!

  16. Martha Brown 09.13.2011

    this next year (2012) is my reunion too, not sure to go, i feel like thanks to FB i know how everyone is doing. its like a spoiled surprise.
    anyway in high school, i was a choir geek, loved my friends and my life at that point, and we always went “off campus” for lunch, usually to sonic. until i got sick that is..haha

  17. Hayley 09.13.2011

    You are a geneous!!

  18. Brieanna 09.13.2011

    That sandwich looks absolutely mouthwatering. I look forward to trying it out soon! Love your blog by the way : )

  19. Oh wow, that sandwich looks so good. What a creative twist on the soup! I’m bookmarking this so I can make it soon!

  20. Jen C. 09.13.2011

    Yes you should go! The more people that go the more fun it will be :) And that sandwich is on my food list for next week now! YUM

  21. Lauren 09.13.2011

    Haha, I was a big dweeb in High School. Okay, not really but I was kind of a loner. I had friends but I always preferred to do my own thing.

    I am so jealous of your nearby Great Harvest. Oh and Trader Joes! You have it all girl. ;)

  22. Allison 09.13.2011

    Unfortunately my metabolism kicked in during junior high so by high school I was already eating healthy and being incredibly active. I went to school with the same people the whole way through and played a lot of sports and was in band. I was really able to spread my wings in university by going to a school where I knew no one.
    But definitely go to your reunion! It’s always fun to see what people are up to and even if it’s lame, at least you went.

  23. Machelle 09.13.2011

    absolutely go to your reunion!!! i went to my 30th this summer. we have one EVERY 5 years and i have attended each and every one! i even helped organize a couple of them. it helps that i graduated from Saydel, which is fairly small, so everyone knows everyone. in high school, i was a hood! skippin school and party party partyin! i wasn’t rowdy or mean or destructive…..more of a peace love & drugs girl! =) ahhhh….those were the days………….

  24. omg that looks SO GOOD, i’m going to have to give it a try!
    i only have muenster cheese on hand though, you think it’d still be good with it?

  25. Your high school antics crack me up. I did similar out there crazy things. I remember going to department stores and trying on the most outlandish outfits possibly, making up rituals in fields with stolen mosquito candles, and lots and lots of Mario party and rice krispy treats! I dug out my high school prom photo today for a back to school bulletin board at work… And it brought back all of the memories:)

  26. Amanda 09.13.2011

    Awesome sandwich idea! I just might have to try this!
    PS. Mario marathons (it was Super Mario for me!) were the best!

  27. Kaycie 09.13.2011

    You should definitely go!! My 10 year reunion was last weekend, and I too was on the fence about going until the week of! I am SOOO glad I did. It was a blast reconnecting with old friends and reminiscing about our fun together! I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time:) Granted I don’t have facebook, so I had alot to catch up on!

  28. Celeste 09.13.2011

    I bought that exact same loaf of bread today at Great Harvest! I couldn’t resist after I tried a sample. Your sandwich looks delicious! I think you should go to your reunion, you never know – it could be a lot of fun!

  29. Mmm, I was, athletic and… aloof in high school. I was also my class president 2 years which doesn’t make much sense. My friends and I spent many hours in sweatpants playing Nintendo as well, so there’s no shame there : )

  30. Mer @mersworld 09.13.2011

    I sooo avoided my 10th reunion! I think I’m pretty much the same as in high school, just an older, savvier version! I was thinking that instead of a panini, you could do a french onion chicken breast- grilled to melt the cheese with the onions on top. Might have to try it this weekend, if we manage to get a few more grilling days in Boston!

  31. Jennie Morton 09.13.2011

    Go! My 10 year is next fall and while I’d like to lose a little jiggle before I go, I want to hear everyone’s stories. I just found out that one of my classmates beat brain cancer and then climbed Mount Everest! It’s an extremely example, but you never know where inspiration can come from.

    Plus, there’s a geeky part of me that wants to show up and say “look, I’m successful, dammit!” ;)

  32. erica 09.13.2011

    oh my teenage metabolism. i miss it dearly!

    i just got a griddler so i’m super excited to try this!!!

  33. Lindsey 09.13.2011

    I would say go! I know mine is next year and after debating it and talking to others who have or have not gone to theirs, everyone tells me the same thing – go! If it is really that bad you can sneak out early ;) Or at least that will be my plan!

  34. Michele 09.13.2011

    All my college friends worked at the TGIF in Iowa City. My best friend brought me home an oreo madness for my birthday, which was safely in the freezer, until I got home (late) from girl’s night out and found my boyfriend (now husband) standing in the kitchen surrounded by oreo crumbs. I was seriously FURIOUS. He denied it. With oreo on his face. That oreo madness is good sh@%. Where is the closest friday’s now??? None in eastern Iowa that I know of. Tragic.

    • Eleni 09.14.2011

      You should try the restuarant that’s where the old IC TGIF’s used to be. It’s called Bob’s Your Uncle and it has amazing pizza!

  35. Em 09.13.2011

    You MUST go to your reunion.
    I had mine a few weeks ago in Dunkerton, Iowa! Class of 2001 – whoot, whoot!

    Just go and be nice to everyone and smile and laugh.
    You can be an affirming presence. Everyone at reunions is secretly feeling insecure/nervous/worried. You can be there to boost people up!

    It will be a blast!

  36. kelly 09.13.2011

    I didn’t have any real desire to attend my 10 year reunion, but I did attend my 20 year in June. What a blast! I flew from California to Iowa and was in town for less than 24 hours, but it was so fun!!! I say go–you won’t regret it, but you might regret NOT going.

  37. Dawn Marie 09.13.2011

    Great post!

  38. Oh my lanta – those are some delish looking caramelized onions! Best addition to a grilled sandwich ever.

  39. Mary 09.13.2011

    First, that sandwich looks incredible!!! YUMMY!!!

    Second…GO TO YOUR REUNION!! I’ve gone to all but my 5th with the last one being my 35th. Actually, my class and the year before and after, combined with the other high school in my hometown, have *something* every year and we always have so much fun. This past spring I was on the committee for my school’s 50th anniversary. Great fun planning that with teachers who had taught when I went to school 36 years ago!!

    So , yes, go. Have fun. And enjoy the common memories you have with your former classmates.

  40. Omg I NEED that sandwich in my life! Why is it 1am and I am hungry? Waiting to start homework until now was pretty much a huge fail. ;p

  41. Erin 09.14.2011

    Favorite soup in the world, in a grilled cheese?? YES PLEASE.

  42. Charis 09.14.2011

    You always make me soo hungry!
    gorgeous sandwiches! I reckon it’ll work just as well with other types of cheese?

  43. You make the best looking panini sandwiches!! Seriously makes me drool every time. I love panini’s although never think of making them for dinner. Our goal is to start actually meal planning for dinners so I am going to add one of your panini sandwiches to the list!

  44. Juani 09.14.2011

    My 10 year school reunion is the weekend of October 1,and at first I wasn’t going to go,since I always feel inferior to everyone else,since everyone seems to be married with kids already,but I decided to hell with it,I’m going.My old high school is closing down at the end of the year :( so it will be like a farewell to our school as well.

  45. Marijke 09.14.2011

    Oh my wordddd I need that sandwich in my life RIGHT NOW!
    Do you think that would work with mature cheddar?

    Also, ten year reunion? You should go! It’ll be a great opportunity to catch up with old friends!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 09.14.2011

      I’m sure any cheese would taste delish! Might not taste exactly like French Onion Soup, but tasty nonetheless!

  46. That sandwich looks amazeballs! I really love how you take dishes you love and reconstruct them into a new recipe.

    In high school I was overweight and unhappy with myself. I’ve learned so much about myself these past 10 years and can truly say I’ve a different person than I was in high school.

    I think it’s good to go to your reunion. It can be scarey, but I doubt you’ll regret it.

    Side (creepy) note: Totally had a dream last night that I was at this Expo and you were there selling “Iowa Girl Eats” bing cherry flavored liqueur. It was so incredibly random.

  47. Jessie 09.14.2011

    The Sandwich looks AMAZING!

    I went to my 10 year and must say wasn’t that great. Got to see who got fat (which was interesting) but anyone from high school that I want to stay in touch with I do. Don’t think I will hit my next reunion.

  48. Hope 09.14.2011

    I love french onion soup so the thought of it as a sandwich is mouth watering! Yum. I totally need to make this! :)

    My 10 year reunion is coming up as well. I’m planning on going, just to connect with people who don’t have facebook and that I haven’t seen in well, 10 years! Haha. It’s crazy to think I’ve been out of hs for that many years! Time flies.

  49. Ashley 09.14.2011

    Ahhh, the Teenage Metabolism… how I miss that! Your sandwich looks heavenly! It is surely going on next weeks menu for us! Thanks for sharing!
    My 10 year high school reunion was this year too, but I opted not to go. For one, I believe reunions are different now that we have Facebook to keep us connected so we all know what each other is up to. A lot of my friends went to our reunion and had a great time, but I have no regrets about not going. I will likely hit up the 20 year one, as I think that will be more interesting.

  50. Emily 09.14.2011

    That sandwich!!!! Can’t wait to make this at home…I can’t get Big Guy (my boyfriend) to get into the whole “soup” thing – but since it’s in sandwich form I can have my “french onion soup” and please him.

    And I won’t be attending my 10-year HS reunion this November (it’s over Thanksgiving weekend – crazy). But I am going to by boyfriends 10-year reunion. He’s still really close to most of the guys he was friends with in HS – me on the other hand, I don’t talk to anyone from HS.

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