Serve this upscale open faced brie sandwich with balsamic caramelized apples and onions as a shared appetizer or light lunch for two.Jump to Recipe
This post may contain affiliate links. As Amazon Associates and through other affiliate programs, we earn from qualifying purchases if you click on a link – at no extra cost to you. We only promote products we actually use and truly love!
There are two things everyone knows brie cheese goes well with – fresh bread and apples. But we’ve also discovered that brie tastes incredible with caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar. The sweet and tangy flavor of onions caramelized in balsamic glaze complement the creaminess of brie so perfectly. Here’s what happens when you put that together with apple slices and a toasted French baguette: a delicious open faced brie sandwich with balsamic caramelized apples and onions.
This recipe was inspired by an incredible dish Alex and I had at a local tapas restaurant – a “brie sauce” that was basically a bowl of melted brie with green apple, caramelized onion, and balsamic reduction, served with toasted bread. The flavors and textures were so complex yet well balanced, and the crunchy bread for dipping paired perfectly with the creamy brie. (My mouth still waters whenever I think about this appetizer). So we found a way to combine these flavors of caramelized apple, onion, balsamic, and brie at home into an upscale open faced sandwich.
This open faced brie sandwich can be served as a shared appetizer, a light lunch, or as part of a tapas spread. Its gourmet-like presentation and flavors make this dish perfect for date nights and dinner parties. Since you only need 3 main components – bread, brie, and the caramelized topping – you can easily customize the size and shape of your open faced brie sandwiches, whether you want to serve them as finger foods or with a fork and knife!
Open Faced Brie Sandwich Ingredients
You’ll need the following ingredients to make these open faced baked brie sandwiches topped with balsamic caramelized apples and onion:
- Green apple
- Vegetable oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- French baguette
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Brie cheese
Although it may seem like a lot of ingredients, these baked brie sandwiches are really made with just 3 components: bread, brie, and the caramelized topping. You’ll use vegetable oil, butter, sugar, salt, water, and balsamic vinegar to caramelize the apple and onion. We also recommend drizzling the bread with olive oil before toasting, for extra moisture and flavor. Then, you’ll simply assemble the sandwiches with brie and the balsamic caramelized topping.
How To Make Open Faced Brie Sandwiches With Caramelized Onion & Apple
It’s easy to make an open faced brie sandwich with caramelized onion and apple, although it does require some prep time. This recipe can be made in about 4 steps: caramelize the onion and apple with balsamic vinegar; slice and toast the bread; top the bread with brie and melt it in the oven; then top the sandwiches with the caramelized onions and apples.
- Prepare the onion and apple. You’ll want to cut the onion into thin strips and slice a small apple into super thin wedges, about an eighth-inch thick. Start by cutting the apple into quarters, then slicing wedges from each quarter and removing pieces of the core as needed.
- Make the caramelized topping. Heat vegetable oil and butter in a large pan over medium-low heat until the butter is melted, then add the onion. Once the onions begin to turn translucent, about 10 minutes, stir in the salt and sugar. After another 10 minutes or so, when the onions are softened, add the apple slices with water and balsamic vinegar. Then cook until the apples are softened and the onions are caramelized, about 20 more minutes.
- Prepare the bread and brie. Slice the bread both lengthwise and crosswise into squares or rectangles. Drizzle each piece with extra virgin olive oil, then broil on low for about 4 minutes until lightly toasted. Meanwhile, slice the brie into rectangles (about an eighth- to a quarter-inch thick), starting from the center of the wheel and working outwards. Then remove the rind from each piece of cheese.
- Assemble the open faced sandwiches. Lay the brie in a single layer across the top of each piece of bread, then broil on low for about 2 minutes until the cheese is melted. Then top each sandwich with a serving of the caramelized apples and onions and serve.
As far as timing goes, you can slice and toast the bread while the apples and onions are still cooking. You’ll also want to prepare your brie so that it’s ready to go. Then you can melt the brie onto the bread under the broiler once the caramelized apples and onions are ready. Since it only takes a few minutes to melt the brie, the caramelized topping will still be nice and hot when it goes on the sandwiches.
Customizing This Recipe
Depending on the occasion (see serving suggestions below), you may want to turn this open faced brie sandwich recipe into tapas or small bites. Or, you may even want to make larger servings to enjoy for lunch. Here’s the good news – you can easily customize the size and shape of these sandwiches to fit your needs! Just follow these suggestions:
- Size the brie properly to fit in a single layer across the slices of bread. Whether you slice it into circles, squares, rectangles, or triangles, you’ll want an even layer of cheese that fills the whole surface of the bread – but also doesn’t hang off the edges.
- Adjust the amount of caramelized onions and apples on each sandwich based on how you’re serving them. If you’re going for tapas-like small bites that can be eaten as finger foods, go lighter on the topping to avoid making a mess! If you’re serving these for lunch, you can go heavier on the topping for a more filling meal and serve the sandwiches with a fork and knife.
- Any kind of fresh bakery bread works fine for this recipe, but we suggest sticking with a classic French baguette to complement the brie cheese. There are also tons of different ways you can slice a baguette to make smaller or larger servings, so it’s perfect for customizing this recipe.
Since these open faced brie sandwiches with balsamic glaze coated onions and apples are elegant and upscale, they’re perfect for special occasions like:
- Dinner parties, served as a shared appetizer
- Holidays, made into finger foods for easy snacking
- Date nights, served as an appetizer or lighter meal
- Tapas parties
Smaller bites can be served as a finger food, but if you make these into larger open faced sandwiches for a light meal or shared appetizer we recommend serving them with a fork and knife.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
What makes an open faced sandwich with brie so good? The crunch of the toasted baguette with a soft, fluffy inside topped with gooey brie cheese and melt-in-your-mouth balsamic caramelized onions and apples has so many layers of delicious textures, flavors, and aromas. Every bite of these open faced sandwiches is well balanced. The flavor of the brie really comes through, paired with the sweetness of the caramelized topping for a delectable appetizer or lighter meal.
Try the recipe below and don’t forget to rate, comment, and share if you love it! We can’t wait to hear what special occasion you make these open faced brie sandwiches for and how you put your own spin on them.
Love this recipe? You may enjoy these recipes, too:
- Roasted Garlic Baked Brie En Croute
- Strawberry Balsamic Avocado Toast
- Goat Cheese Tomato Gnocchi
- Pan Con Tomate
Open Faced Brie Sandwich with Balsamic Caramelized Apples & Onions
- ½ med yellow onion sliced
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 small green apple sliced into thin wedges
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 8 oz french baguette
- 8 oz brie cheese
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- First, heat vegetable oil and butter in a large pan over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the onion and stir to coat, then cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Then, stir in the sugar and salt and cook until the onions are softened, about 10 more minutes. Next, add the sliced green apple, water, and balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Cook until the apples are softened and the onions are caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Next, slice the baguette both lengthwise and crosswise into squares or rectangles. Drizzle the cut side of each piece of bread with extra virgin olive oil, then broil on LOW until lightly toasted, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice the brie into strips, starting from the center of the wheel and working outwards. Then remove the rind from each piece of cheese. Make sure to size the slices of brie to fit each piece of bread, so that the whole surface of each sandwich can be covered in a single layer of cheese.
- Once the caramelized onions and apples are done, top each piece of toasted bread with a single layer of brie and broil on LOW until brie is melted, about 2 minutes. Then top each sandwich with a serving of caramelized onions and apples. Serve hot.