Croque-Monsieur Veggie Panini

Like a lot of people, I had never heard of croque-monsieurs until the recent box office hit “It’s Complicated” with Meryl Streep. For those of you who still don’t know what i’m talking about, I’ll save you a wikipedia visit. A croque-mosieur is a french version of a ham and cheese sandwich–but much, much better. After making a regular ham and cheese sandwich (using good cheese, as the French do), the french also add a creamy, cheesy béchamel sauce on top and bake it until the cheese melts all over the sandwich. As you can imagine, after a croque-monsieur, a regular sandwich will never be the same.

Similar things can be said about the Italian panini. Which sandwich is better? I don’t like to play favorites, so I decided to combine the two and have the best of both worlds: a grilled veggie sandwich smothered with hot bubbly cheese…yum!

This panini was made by using whatever I had on hand, and it was still extremely tasty. Inside the panini I used pesto and artichoke spread, grilled zucchini, purple potatoes, red onion, tomatoes, spinach and gouda cheese. I grilled the panini and added the creamy cheesy béchamel sauce, made with mozzarella, parmesan and blue cheese. The only thing that could have made this panini better would be to add feta cheese inside. Definitively next time.

I served this with a light summer salad made with tomatoes, strawberries, grapefruit, avocado and mint. The dressing was balsamic vinegar with a bit of olive oil. Perfect company to the perfect sandwich.

Panini Ingredients:

  • Your favorite bread
  • Spread: pesto and artichoke tappenade
  • Veggies: zucchini, purple potato, tomato, red onion, spinach
  • Cheese: gruyere, but feta would have been delicious!
  • Bechamel sauce (below)

Step 1 Directions: Slice veggies and cook. Spread pesto to one bread, and artichoke tappenade on the other. Top with veggies and cheese. Place sandwich on panini maker or on grill.

Béchamel Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. cheese (I used mozzarella, but you can use provolone, swiss, gruyere, fontina, etc)
  • Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg
  • Optional: I also added a bit of blue cheese which added a lot of great flavor

Step 2 Directions: melt butter, add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add milk and cheese. Cook until cheese melts and sauce thickens.

Step 3 Directions: Turn on oven to 450 degrees. Add bechamele sauce to top of panini and top with a bit of shredded cheese. Place in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Turn on broiler and bake for another 3-4 minutes. Serve with a light side salad.

Panini Veggies

Assembling the Paninis….

Grilled Panini…

Croque-Monsieur Veggie Panini

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19 Responses to “Croque-Monsieur Veggie Panini”

  1. Lunch is just around the corner for me and this panini looks delicious! I LOVE paninis. Thanks for the info on croque-monsieur, I didn’t know what it was.

  2. I learned about these sandwiches in high school French class. They look so good! Gruyere bechamel sounds like something I could get along with very well 🙂

  3. love making these paninis look healthy colourful

  4. The combination is awesome! I love all the vegetables you used. Have never used all of them together in a sandwich, I am completely intrigued. It sounds so mouthwatering with the addtion of bechamel sauce and cheese.

  5. these look delightful! so fresh and great for summer. lovely pictures.

  6. I love a vegetable panini, your version of the croque monsieur is beautiful!
    I hope more people learn about this sandwich!

  7. I have been waiting all day to comment…and now finally a chance! Beautiful sandwich…brings me back to my dream days in Paris….absolutely delicious!

  8. Great version of this traditional sandwich, who would have thought to add veggies! 🙂

  9. I have been meaning to make this…. so devliish good!

  10. Wow these pictures look so fresh and beautiful.
    I love this sandwich..it sounds so yummy 🙂

  11. Giving you a blog award…. located on my home page! keep up the amazing cooking!

  12. I always wondered what a croque-monsieur was…not anymore! That panini sounds so so so so so delicious! I love all the colors from the veggies 🙂

  13. Fantastic sandwich and great post! I just saved this recipe to try soon, thanks!

  14. Wow….what an incredible idea. I love both and to combine the best of both worlds like that. You’re amazing, as is your recipe!

  15. Awesome I have never heard of these sandwiches but I have been experimenting a lot lately. Thank you for showing me a different way to make a panini.

  16. My mouth is watering. 🙂 This is exactly the kind of food that I love.

  17. Karina Cueva Says:

    This is delicius!! thankyou !!

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