If you're the type of person who enjoys blurring the line between sweet and savory when it comes to food, you are going to adore this grilled panini! Made with crisp apples, chunky cranberry sauce, sautéed onion, and spicy pepper jack cheese, this sandwich is brimming with flavor. Be generous with the butter and watch how this sandwich transforms into an ooey-gooey masterpiece after a trip through the panini press.

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Panini [Vegan]



Cooking Time




  • 8 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 apple, any variety
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup fresh or dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup vegan pepper jack cheese (slices or shreds)
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegan butter


  1. Begin by thinly slicing the onion into rings. Place in a small sauté pan with olive oil and sauté until soft. Meanwhile, place the cranberries and water in a small sauce pan and simmer over low heat until soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. While onions and cranberries are cooking, slice 8 thin pieces off the apple vertically. You will likely not use the whole apple, but there should be enough for 2 slices of apple per sandwich.
  3. When all the water has been absorbed by the cranberries, place in a food processor or blender and pulse to form a chunky cranberry "sauce."
  4. Now its time to assemble the sandwiches. Heat a large frying pan, griddle, or panini maker over medium heat. Spread the vegan butter over one side of each slice of bread. Place the buttered slice down on the griddle and top with vegan pepper jack cheese. Next top with apple slices, then cranberry sauce, sautéd onion, and then more pepper jack cheese. Place the second slice of bread on top, butter side up. Push down hard on the top slice of bread so all the sandwich layers smush together! After 3-4 minutes, flip the sandwich over to toast the other side. Push down again to flatten the sandwich.
  5. Repeat with remaining sandwiches and serve warm.