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 Stuck in the sandwich doldrums? Try this steak and cheddar panini – tender, juicy meat, sweet onions, smoky chiles, creamy avocado slices, buttery smooth cheddar (oh that cheddar!) 

Southwestern Steak and Cheddar Panini

{Disclosure: we were sent free samples of Cabot’s Famers’ Legacy collection as well as hatch chiles from The Hatch Store. However, we weren’t compensated for this post and all opinions are 100% our own}

As many of you have reminded me, I’m a very lucky man. MJ makes some pretty incredible food and I can assure you – it DOES taste as good as it looks. Every now and then, though, a dish will surpass my expectations. So much so, that I’m haunted by its memory. After one of our outings at a local restaurant, I asked my recipe guru to re-create my meal. And as MJ’s always up for a good challenge, it didn’t take long before I was stuffing my face with this Slow-Cooked Beef, Hatch Chile, Avocado Panini. Well that was 2 years ago. Two looong years I’ve had to wait for this mind-blowing sandwich to make it’s appearance back in our kitchen.

Southwestern Steak and Cheddar Panini

But just re-making it wasn’t good enough. She had to up her game by using a beautiful ciabatta bread and…Cabot Alpine Cheddar, one of the premium cheeses in the new Farmers’ Legacy Collection.

Cabot Cheddar

I must say this cheese was pretty special…perfect for melting and full of rich flavor. MJ raved on and on about it as she got to sample it during her time in Vermont for the Blog Brûlée Conference, so I was pretty stoked when I discovered that we had received samples of it from the fine folks at Cabot Creamery. “Nutty & smooth with hints of Swiss & Parmesan” is the description on the package, and I’d have to say they hit the nail on the head. For me the parmesan side was more prominent straight from the fridge, and when melted the milder Swiss side shined. Haven’t been able to find it on the shelves at the stores here, but hopefully that will change soon

Southwestern Steak and Cheddar Panini

It was excruciatingly hard for me to resist picking up the sandwich straight from the panini maker and taking a bite before pictures were captured (hmm…don’t want to think about how MJ would’ve reacted to that I’ve learned to never.ever mess with the food during shooting), as the house was already filled with the aromas of roasted Hatch Chiles and slow-cooked flank steak. The beauty of sandwiches is that you can really customize them to your taste preferences. I’m all about meat, but even had it been left out, this would’ve made for one heck of an adult grilled cheese sandwich.

Southwestern Steak and Cheddar Panini
The sandwich is pretty spectacular on its own but throw in a side of tomato sauce or soup for dipping and the flavors are transported to another level. I don’t know what it is, but something magical happens when that melty cheese on bread meets a warm bowl of sauce.
Southwestern Steak and Cheddar Panini

I’d try to describe the experience, but I think it’d be best to call it the perfect melding of flavors and textures. Tender, juicy meat, sweet onions, smoky chiles, creamy avocado slices, buttery smooth cheddar (oh that cheddar!)…have I grabbed your attention yet? And all of this sandwiched between two perfectly crisp pieces of bread.

Southwestern Steak and Cheddar Panini

Grinning like a fool, I devoured every bit of the panini, leaving not a single remnant behind. I only hope that I don’t have to wait another 2 years to delight in it again. 

5 from 1 vote

Southwestern Steak and Cheddar Panini

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For the steak (for 4 panini)

  • 1 lb. flank steak
  • 1 14.5 oz can low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves

For each sandwich

  • 4 oz. cooked steak
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced and caramelized
  • 1/2 medium avocado, sliced
  • 2 Hatch chiles, roasted and diced
  • 1 1/2 ounces of your favorite cheese, I used Alpine Cheddar from Cabot
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup favorite marinara sauce, or tomato sauce
  • Artisan bread, whole grains preferred


  • Combine soy sauce, cumin, chili & garlic powders, and nutmeg in a bowl. Rub over flank steak. Place in a slow-cooker. Add broth. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Simmer marinara or tomato sauce. Add lime juice and keep warm.
  • Assembly: Spread butter on the sides of bread that will face the panini grill. Layer with cheese, beef, avocado, onions, and Hatch chiles. Top with second piece of bread. Press down and cook until done.
  • Slice and serve with sauce.
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This looks amazing! I had to leave behind my panini grill when I moved 🙁 Maybe I should get a new one!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m sorry for your loss ;). It’s not a necessity per se, but it sure can elevate sandwiches to a whole new level!

  2. I’m a huge fan of your blog and of Min. . I didn’t know until now that you also blog here!!! I just read the feature on Foodie Crush . . and just wanted to say CONGRATS and that I love that you guys are doing this blog together. . now the question is. . how do I get my husband to go from just eating my food and being my occasional hand model to doing more?? Hmmm. . 😛

    1. Yeah..I’ve been neglecting my writing responsibilities a little…oops. Thanks so much for supporting us and for all your positive energy. We still can’t believe we were featured! As for getting your husband more involved..hmm… Maybe you should threaten to withhold the food from him ;P. But then again hand models can be hard to come by..

  3. You are killing me with those images.. especially the one with the panini dipped into the sauce, wow! Pinned of course!

  4. How delicious does this look?!?!?! I’m so happy that you got your Cabot delivery 🙂
    And you really outdid yourself with this sandwich! Every single thing about this sandwich is wonderful, and I love that Hungryman wrote the post

  5. And this is why food blogs are awesome and terrible…you never cease to amaze me with your mouthwatering recipes, guys! It looks so flavorful and juicy. <3 And way to go, Tim! I bet MJ is blushing from your compliment right now. 😉

  6. You are a lucky man, indeed! Also, good grief, this sandwich looks amazing. I would also be pumped to see this after two long years, especially with these updates!

  7. Wow, these look so gooey good! I can see why you guys wanted to recreate a sandwich similar to this! Pinned!

    1. Gooey is right! The Cabot Alpine Cheddar melted so perfectly, it really took the sandwich to a special place.