Cheese / Entrees / Guilty Pleasures / Italian Food / Quick and Easy / Sandwich / Summer Recipes / Vegetables / Vegetarian / Weeknight Meals

Cook: Portobello and Bleu Cheese Panini

In high school, I went through a phase where I didn’t eat red meat at all.  My mom is a vegetarian and has been for years so this wasn’t much of a stretch, since we were never the family that sat down to a nice steak dinner.  The only red meat I really missed, and by that I mean pined for, was a hamburger, which actually is the reason I started eating beef again.  I adore hamburgers.

But in my beef-free days, I would always get jealous of the “black and bleu burger” or the “steak with bleu cheese butter/sauce/brick” and the like.  Why couldn’t they put bleu cheese on chicken?  What about on a nice veggie sandwich?  Bleu cheese was and remains to be my everything, so I didn’t think it was fair that it seemed to be reserved for a juicy steak.

This is my payback.  A portobello mushroom panini with gorgeous hunks of bleu cheese.  It’s flavors mimic steak, but it’s completely veg!  Except for the bacon grease, which isn’t veg, but is easily interchangeable with butter or oil.  Wonderful.

It’s also super easy.
I don’t have a panini press so this is more classic grilled-cheese style, but if you have a panini press and the counter space to use it, by all means!  Press!
I flipped the sandwich a few times until each side was perfectly golden brown, then I transferred it to a plate and sliced the sandwich in half.
The mushrooms give this meatless sandwich a distinctive meatiness and the blue cheese is everything I’ve ever asked for and more.
The cheese is creamy and sharp; the mushrooms are delicious; the bread it toasty and crunchy and buttery.
Who needs steak anyway?
Well, I do actually.  But that’s neither here nor there.
Here’s the recipe!

Portobello and Bleu Cheese Panini


  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat (or butter)
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces bleu cheese
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large skillet, melt bacon fat or butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms gill-side-up and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Flip them over and press down so that the gills are flat on the skillet. Cook for another 3 minutes. flip over again so the gills are facing up and season with salt and black pepper. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for 2 more minutes, until the vinegar has cooked off some. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and butter two slices of bread and place them in the skillet, buttered side down. Add blue cheese to both slices and let toast for 2 minutes, until the cheese has melted slightly. Add mushrooms to one slice and top with the other slice of bread. Using a spatula, press down so the sandwich has that pressed panini quality. Flip and press again. Remove to a plate and slice in half.


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