The Cooking Stop: Bacon, Brie & Cranberry Panini

3 Apr, 2024

We’re preparing our daughter to live away from us in the next few years. While there are lots of aspects to the life plan she needs in place to do that, being able to feed herself is pretty high on the priority list.

The focus is always on those foods she likes because if she doesn’t like them, she will be tempted to eat more takeout than her budget will support.

That’s why I’m trying to show her how to cook a wide range of meals, from simple breakfasts to evening meals. But in between breakfast and dinner, I can’t forget lunch.

And one of her favorite lunches is a Bacon, Brie & Cranberry Panini. She likes this a lot!

Whether your young person is about to leave home or not, this is a simple recipe you might like to try because my guiding ethos is everything my daughter makes must be safe for her to cook by herself, minimizing the chances she can injure or burn herself.

This recipe is cooked in the air fryer, rather than a panini press, for two reasons. First, I don’t want her to have to learn how to use lots of different appliances – she sticks to just three, the air fryer, the microwave, and the slow cooker.

Second, and possibly most important, the air fryer’s timing controls are simple to use, and it turns itself off after the set cooking time. That means if for any reason she gets distracted, there’s minimal risk of a fire. So I’m happy to let her make this lunch for herself (though if she also makes it for me, that’s nice too!).

Serves 1


1 Slice Back Bacon

2 Slices of Brie Cheese

2 Tablespoons Cranberry Sauce

1 Panini Roll                

Per Serve: 490 calories, 20g fat (9g saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 517mg sodium, 61g carbohydrates (12g sugars, 1g fiber), 18g protein.


  1. Partially cook bacon on air fry mode (200C/380F) for 3 minutes
  2. While the bacon is cooking,
    • Slice panini in half and place brie on one half of the panini roll
    • Spread the cranberry sauce on the other half of the panini roll
  3. Once the bacon is cooked place it on top of the brie and put the panini roll together
  4. Cook the panini on bake mode (160C/320F) for 7 minutes.
  5. Remove from Air Fryer slice in half and serve

Watch this YouTube video where I show you the method my daughter uses.


Lunch is one of those meals we think about least because we often eat it when we are out or busy. But if we are at home, it is worth the effort to make something tasty In fact, the tastier it is, the more our children are likely to want to make it for themselves. Each time they do make their own lunch, their skills, ability, and confidence build with that practice.

I’d love to hear your feedback on how your young person found making this recipe.

I’m the father of a daughter with additional needs. I understand how the journey can be tough, frustrating, and lonely. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine a future where they are secure, have self-dignity, have purpose in their lives, and have a community around them. I learned a lot from our journey, and that’s why I wrote, What’s Possible? Plan a better future for your young adult with additional needs. It shows you how to start making a life plan with your child.