Copycat Panera White Cheddar & Steak Paninis, made from 30 minute Instant Pot Roast Beef

In an unexpected twist, I fell in love with the Steak & White Cheddar Panini at Panera Bread. See, I have another “go-to” sandwich but when I was out with a friend, I followed her lead. Yeah, I’m a rule breaker these days! A rebel! It was so good, I’m glad I got out of my “rut” and I recreated it here, for you.

Copycat Panera White Cheddar & Steak Paninis, made from 30 minute Instant Pot Roast Beef
Copycat Panera White Cheddar & Steak Paninis, made from 30 minute Instant Pot Roast Beef

This Steak & White Cheddar Panini can be just about the assembly; You can use just about any sliced roast or cook up a steak for the sandwiches. Heck, use leftovers. You could even have a deli slice beef, say 1/4 inch or so.

I chose to use the 30 Minute Roast Beef I made the other day in my Instant Pot. Just to clarify, that’s 30 minutes total time, including the heat up and release. I keep sayin’ it. I love my Instant Pot!

30 minute Instant Pot Roast, medium rare
30 minute Instant Pot Roast, medium rare (mostly)

If you want to use steak, just cook to your desired doneness and thinly slice it, across the grain. If you’ve had a Panera Steak & White Cheddar sandwich, you know there’s not much steak in it. I would think one decent sized steak could easily make four sandwiches.

As for the rest of the team? We used actual Panera rolls (but hoagie type rolls or French rolls would be good, too.) It took about a slice and a half of grocery store white Cheddar slices, a little horseradish sauce and Pickled Red Onions.

Pickled Red Onions
Pickled Red Onions

Do you keep Pickled Red Onions in the fridge? I do, ever since I started making them. They’re so easy to make and a great way to use up any red onion you haven’t finished. Sometimes, those onions are huge! I just keep adding to the jar when I have a little extra.

If you don’t have a Panini Press, grill your sandwich in a pan, cast iron is great, and add another pan on top. Weigh it down with a big can of tomatoes or something else that’s heavy. Easy peasy!

So now, fess up! Do you go to Panera, and do you have a “go-to” item that you order? Something you can’t live without? My old fave? The Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt Panini. (Please don’t tell it I’ve been cheating!)

Copycat Panera White Cheddar & Steak Paninis, made from 30 minute Instant Pot Roast Beef
Copycat Panera White Cheddar & Steak Paninis, made from 30 minute Instant Pot Roast Beef

Panera Steak & White Cheddar Panini

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 4 Panera rolls, or substitute French Rolls or Hoagie rolls
  • Horseradish sauce
  • 8 ounces cooked and thinly sliced Roast Beef or Steak (more if desired)
  • 6 slices of White Cheddar (about 1 1/2 slices per sandwich)
  • Pickled Red Onions

Assemble sandwiches: Slice rolls, horizontally. Spread the top side of the bottom roll with horseradish sauce. Add the beef, then cheese and top with pickled red onions. Close sandwich.

Place on panini press and grill until sandwich is heated through or alternatively, place in a heavy pan over medium-high heat, weighing down with another pan, using something heavy in the top pan to add additional weight.

Panera Copycat Steak & White Cheddar Panini. These are great! I liked them BETTER than Paneras.



11 Comments on “Copycat Panera Steak & White Cheddar Panini

  1. I’d absolutely love to take these panini for lunch tomorrow 🙂 Hope to get a chance to try them sometimes because they look fantastic!

    • I must have missed some of my comment notifications, and again, sorry for the late reply! I’m not a huge sandwich eater but I do love paninis. They just elevate the whole grilled cheese idea!

  2. Hi Mollie– this looks awesome– and my favorite photo is the beef!! Just the right amount of pink and it looks so juicy and flavorful! And– thanks for the tips about the red onion!! My favorite Panera treat is a big pecan sticky bun and a mug of tea! hugs friend!

  3. Pingback: Copycat Panera Steak & White Cheddar Panini | homethoughtsfromabroad626

  4. I would be hard-pressed to deviate from my favorite French Dip, but this looks awesome! Never been to a Panera, they don’t have one here in my part of the world. 🙂

    • I love French Dips and made them, too!! These were really good, though! Maybe I should have made them into French Dips and served them with the au jus! I’m always about trying new restaurants and places I’ve never been but as far as a chain, I think Panera does a pretty good job.

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