Fancy Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Gourmet Grilled cheese sandiches video – scroll down for recipe cards


Grilled cheese sandwiches are an unavoidable part of learning to feed yourself. Many were the late nights and early mornings of my younger years fueled by a grilled cheese. Sometimes, the only thing between my head and the floor was a quick and toasty GCS.

They don’t require much in the way of ingredients; any kind of bread or cheese will do and if you’re out of butter, you can saute the sandwiches in a little oil. They don’t require much coordination, either, provided your cheese is pre-sliced. They’re ready in a snap, provided you remember to turn the stove on. They’re really hard to fuck up, provided you remember to turn the stove off. All in all, a great invention worthy of praise from the lowliest drunks to the laziest tweens.

margherita grilled cheese sandwiches

Here’s some fancy gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches for those rare moments when hunger and clarity of thought coincide:

apple grilled cheese

 

Fancy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – printable recipe card

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Fancy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Some new twists on an old favorite

  • Yield: 1 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • For each sandwich, you need:
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 ounce of cheese
  • 2 teaspoons soft butter
  • For a Margherita Use: tomato slices, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, minced garlic
  • For Apples ‘n’ Chedd Use: sliced apples, sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Butter one slice of bread with 1 teaspoon butter and lay, butter side down, in a skillet.
  2. Slice the cheese thinly and lay half the cheese on the bread in the skillet.
  3. Top that with the other filling ingredients.
  4. Top the filling with the rest of the cheese slices.
  5. Butter the second piece of bread and lay it on top, butter side up. (For the Margherita, spread the minced garlic on top of the butter)
  6. Turn the heat to medium and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese has softened and the bread is toasted.
  7. Carefully turn the sandwich and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Let cool slightly before cutting in half.

Notes

Experiment with different cheese and filling combinations:
Swiss, Muenster, or cream cheese
sliced turkey, ham, salami, or other lunch meats
sliced apples or pears
condiments such as mustard or sweet chili sauce or fruit jams

In a similar vein, try these ideas for quesadillas. And if you’re the type who MUST have a creamy bowl of soup alongside your grilled cheese, try my butternut squash soup recipe or black bean soup for a change from the ol’ Campbell’s can.

22 Comments

  1. Howard on June 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I made a delicious grilled cheddar and granny smith the other day with a side of roasted avocado, but I realized that I needed to turn down my heat and let the GC cook a little longer to really soften up the apple. Today….perfection! I actually baked it in my toaster oven with very little olive oil margarine to try and cut down on the fat content, and it still came out a delicious crusty brown.

    • Hilah on June 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Yum, Howard! How do you roast avocado?!?
      Thanks for sharing the toaster oven technique. I bet it’s also a more carefree method with less risk of burning the sandwich!

      • Howard on June 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm

        Oh, the avocado is really easy…. First, cut it into quarters and remove the skin. Line the quarters up on a baking sheet and drizzle with some olive oil. Then, season as you like; I just did a little salt, pepper and some garlic powder, but I have heard it’s really good with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and some cilantro.
        Bake them at 350 degrees for like 15 minutes or until the edges start to get a little golden brown and crispy looking.
        I ate it as is, but I have seen recipes that said to try putting fresh salsa and sour cream on it. Sounds like a really nice guac to me! I hope you try it out.

        One of my friends does it on his grill during the summer, too, but with halves instead of quarters and leaves the skin on.

        • Hilah on June 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm

          Thank you! I’d love to try that sometime.

  2. Cindy on June 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Hello Hilah!

    I’m so glad you put some really simple and ‘back to basics’ stuff on your show! You wouldn’t believe how many people I have met that didn’t even know to put butter on the outside of the bread, or even know how to make them at all. Maybe GC is more Southern, heck idk. 🙂 Now I’m craving that cheddar apple GC like nobody’s bitness so I must get to the store!!! Keep ’em coming!

    PS. My fav… American cheese with dill pickle slices! Yummy

    • Hilah on June 26, 2012 at 9:01 am

      Hey Cindy!
      I’m glad you appreciate the basics, too! And I gotta admit, American cheese with pickles is one of the best GCS of all time!

  3. Kathybobathy on July 1, 2012 at 11:41 am

    We often host Sunday dinners for family and friends & and I love to do a grilled cheese sandwich bar. The two you did are options we have. Along with a variety of smoked, sharp, & mild cheeses (always use Brie), I have ham &/or bacon, grilled chicken, basil, tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized & fresh onions. Very thinly sliced Granny Smith apples & crushed pineapple. Plus condiments like mayo (if they must), rooster sauce, & pepper jelly. Sorry I got carried away…I’m just lying here in bed watching your videos, starving & too lazy to get up.

    • Hilah on July 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      That is such a fun and easy way to entertain, Kathy! What a good idea. Do you have people cook their own on electric skillets or do you do the cooking after they’ve assembled?

      • kathybobathy on July 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

        Actually, I usually have a variety of cooking surfaces fired up so people aren’t concentrated in one space: stovetop grill & griddle, panini press AND electric skillet. If there are lots of people I bring out the otherwise useless quesadilla appliance.

        • Hilah on July 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm

          Really sounds like a great party. Low stress for the hosts and DIY fun for the guests!

  4. David on July 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Hey Hilah,

    Love your site (just discovered it via Reddit and the Chick-Fil-Gay Sandwich which I will be trying tomorrow)

    One thing I discovered with my grilled cheese (although it makes it a little unhealthy, but totally delicious) is to put mayo on the bread and a little butter in the pan. The combination gives it that awesome flavor/ doesn’t burn the bread so you get that awesome crunch. My favorite way is to use bacon ( I know, not a healthy sandwich) and avocado.

    • Hilah on July 20, 2012 at 9:18 am

      O.MAH.GAW.DAVID.
      Shut the front door! I’m doing that next time. Reminds me of putting mayo on corn before grilling it. Yummeh! Thanks for sharing, buddy.

  5. Darrien on July 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Count me in as a someone who has never known how to make an American grilled cheese sandwich. To be honest, I never quite understood what an American grilled sandwich was until I saw this today.
    I watched the recipe this afternoon and made it this evening – it’s great food. It’s simple and it works. Also, you can vary it to make it work. I used an oil rather than butter and allowed it to get hot, then put the bread in to make it crisp up enough to be solid so that when I added the toppings (I just used Lancashire white cheese, seeded tomato – essentially, just the skin and flesh off the tomato without the seeds and water – added a fast, small sprinkle of salt and a lot of ground pepper, and did a brief egg wash around the crusts. I pressed the sides of the sandwich down so they kind of glued each other together before I flipped it
    Before this gets weird, I followed your recipe (which is massively fantastic) to understand what I was doing and then started playing with it – hence everything above.
    The UK version of the grilled cheese sandwich is the Welsh Rarebit. Essentially, you toast the bread. You find the cheese of your taste and grate it. Then you beat it up with an agg (and possibly) a bit of ale (def no coors or budweiser). You put that mixture over the toast, pop it under the grill until everything is molten, popping hot and eat it. I tend to add tomatoes and Gentlemen’s Relish ( a crushed anchovy paste – it tastes one hell of a lot better than it sounds ,or a British spread called Marmite – you either love it or hate it) before I put the cheesey-egg mixture over the bread.
    Anyway, apart from my massive diversion on grilled cheese sandwiches around the world, my basic point was that I wanted to say thank you for a great recipe that works.

    • Hilah on July 22, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Hi Darrien!
      Thank you so so much for sharing how to make Welsh Rarebit. It’s something I’ve always been curious about but never have tried. It sounds utterly delicious. I imagine you’d put the bread/cheese/egg business into some kind of small casserole dish to keep it all contained, right? Not just on a flat baking sheet, I mean.
      Do you make the Gentlemen’s Relish yourself or is that a brand?
      Your UK variation on the American GCS sounds good, by the way. Kind of reminds me of a Monte Cristo with the egg wash.
      Thanks for writing, my friend!

  6. jason on August 10, 2012 at 3:25 am

    What kind of bread did you use, the brand as well?

    Well one good idea for the grill cheese is the tuna melt, but mine did not come out so well. I would put onions and mayo (best foods) in the tuna. Then sprinkle some chilantro on top of the tuna when the bottom of the bread is cooked. I like the mozzarella idea too, plus tomatoes, a slice of avocado if your feeling crazy and a dash of hot sauce (Tapitio). But the trick is getting tuna cooked just right with the bread and the cheese melting properly. Its a hard sandwich to make.

    • Hilah on August 10, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Hi Jason!
      I got a loaf of bread from the bakery inside my grocery store. I think it was called “Cobblestone bread”; it was an enriched white bread made with eggs and milk. Something similar might be labeled English Muffin bread or even brioche.
      I’ve never tried doing a tuna melt as a grilled cheese before. I’ve only done it open-faced in a toaster oven. I can definitely see what you mean about it being tricky!

  7. Luana on October 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I, like David, use mayo (Hellman’s ) – in place of butter…the kicker for those eating my cooking is when I go the extra mile by adding some garlic powder and parmesan/romano cheese so it sticks to the mayo before grilling and ramps up the delish factor – you can add some basil or parsley too if you want – or you could go with some olive oil and garlic salt and make the bread taste like garlic bread instead of the mayo….but if you’ve never tried mayo in place of butter you will be surprised how much easier and quicker the bread gets a golden crunchy coating than when using butter…..yummo!

    • Hilah on October 10, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Yum, Luana! I love the idea of using the mayo to adhere herbs to the exterior, too. That would be tasty AND pretty, while still being easy-as-hell. My three favorite things. 🙂

  8. Gina on September 3, 2014 at 10:38 am

    On GCS’s, I have found that mayonnaise is a great substitute for butter. Makes the bread even crunchier! 😉

    • Hilah on September 3, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      I keep hearing that but I haven’t tried it yet. Sounds super ridiculous delicious!

  9. Karl Wesneski on November 5, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Hi!

    what kind of bread would you recommend, that you think is best for making grilled cheese? Any “healthy” kinds also?

    • Hilah on November 6, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Hi Karl,
      Any bread is good. I guess I’d suggest one with a soft crust since it will get more toasted when you cook it.

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