This copycat Panera steak and arugula sandwich is like a baked grilled cheese. Thinly sliced ribeye steak, light cheese, and arugula sandwiched between toasted sourdough bread. This healthy grilled cheese sandwich is a great high-protein sandwich for lunch or dinner (or snack time!).
Heat a cast iron or sauté pan on high heat with 1 TBSP of neutral oil (like canola or avocado oil). When the pan is hot, place the thin sliced steak spread out. Sear both sides for 2-minutes each, until browned on each side. Do in sections until all steak is seared and let sit on a cutting board or plate.
Spread the butter on one side of all slices of bread - 8 sides in total. Place 4 bread slices butter side down on an aluminum-lined baking tray.
Place one slice of cheese on top of each piece of bread. Add thin-sliced steak onto each bread slice. I used around 5-6 pieces of steak per bread slice but will depend on how much steak you have. Place arugula evenly on top of steak (around ½ cup each) and top with remaining slices of cheese per bread slice. Put top bread slice on top, butter side facing up.
Put the baking tray with the uncooked sandwiches into the oven. Bake for 15-minutes.
Broil on High for 2-minutes, watching very carefully to ensure the top slice doesn’t burn.
Remove from oven immediately and cut in half or enjoy whole!
LIGHT WHITE CHEESE SLICES. I prefer using a lower calorie white cheese for this steak and arugula sandwich. I used lite havarti, but regular provolone, swiss or havarti are great choices. Also feel free to use your favorite cheese slices - all will taste great!
RIBEYE STEAK. Sometimes I can find beef pre-cut and thinly shaved. Other times I can’t. I keep mine cold in the fridge to cut easier. Then when still cold I remove the fat and slice very thinly before cooking. The most important part is making sure it is thin as possible. This makes sure the steak doesn’t get stuck in your teeth - a pet peeve! You can also use flank steak as a substitute, or switch it up with deli meat or shredded chicken.
ARUGULA. Peppery arugula is a great match for a steak grilled cheese. I love having greens in everything I eat and arugula is a personal favorite. Other options are: baby kale or spinach.
SOURDOUGH BREAD. This is the best bread for a grilled cheese - it’s wider and can hold up to the ingredients. You can substitute for any favorite sandwich bread you have.
DAIRY FREE. Swap cheese for dairy-free slices.
GLUTEN FREE. Swap sourdough for gluten-free sourdough or gluten free sandwich bread.
LOADED UP. Want to load this steak and arugula sandwich even more? Add caramelized onions or shallots, or use a fig jam! You could also add dijon mustard.