How to Make Grilled Cheese

How to Make Grilled Cheese

Publish Date July 29, 2022 3 Minute Read

Simple, satisfying and delicious, grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food. And with endless combinations of bread, cheese and extras, it can be fun to experiment with different flavors or even create gourmet grilled cheeses. Read on for tips on how to make a fantastic grilled cheese that goes beyond plain bread and cheddar.

The Best Bread for Grilled Cheese

As the foundation of any grilled cheese, the bread you choose needs to be sturdy enough to withstand grilling and keep the cheese and any other ingredients in place. It’s helpful to choose a thicker or sturdier bread. Texas toast, sourdough and ciabatta all have firm crusts with a satisfying crunch, and they hold up well when grilled. Another option is an English muffin, which makes a great handheld sandwich. Plus, you can spread a soft cheese like goat cheese or brie into the nooks and crannies before grilling.

Your bread selection can also help to build texture and flavor right from the start. For example, multigrain breads with seeds will add texture, while flavorful breads like rye will complement stronger flavors, like in this recipe for Reuben Grilled Cheese Bites. Experiment with what you like, and don’t be afraid to try bold or unusual varieties.

The Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese

When shopping for the star of your grilled cheese, it’s important to consider how the cheese will melt when the sandwich is cooked. Ideally, the cheese will melt easily, but won’t drip or make the sandwich soggy. Cheeses like mild or medium cheddar, American, young fontina, havarti, Gouda and Gruyere are all excellent choices for maximum meltiness. Soft cheeses like goat cheese, brie and cream cheese can also be used, but they may risk melting a little too much, so just be careful about how much you use.

Combining two or more cheeses can also help you achieve the perfect melt. For example, while sharp cheddar doesn’t melt very well on its own, sharp cheddar mixed with mild cheddar and American cheese will melt perfectly. Plus, this combo can provide a greater depth of flavor than just one cheese could on its own. Likewise, the softer flavor of a mild cheddar can temper the tang of gorgonzola for another winning team-up.

When cheesing up your grilled cheese, don’t be afraid to be ambitious with flavor. Unique varieties or flavors can produce an out-of-this-world grilled cheese. And cheeses infused with peppers, garlic, basil or other aromatics are all excellent candidates.

How to Make Fancy Grilled Cheese

Elevate your classic grilled cheese sandwich with these unique ingredients. Learn how to make a grilled cheese with fun grilled cheese recipes.

Add Protein for an Extra-hearty Sandwich

It’s easy to beef up any grilled cheese by adding protein. Just make sure you only use ready-to-eat ingredients, since the grilled cheese won’t cook long enough at a high enough temperature to fully cook any raw meat. Precooked bacon, pepperoni, charcuterie meats, cooked rotisserie chicken or canned tuna are all excellent additions, and you can choose what works best for your tastes and the flavors of your grilled cheese.

We recommend this recipe for Barbecue Chicken Grilled Cheese, which uses fully cooked rotisserie chicken spiced up with barbecue sauce for an easy, but delicious, grilled cheese.

Add More Flavor with Sweet or Savory Fillings

Though bread and cheese may be the main ingredients for a grilled cheese, in many cases flavorful additions are the real showstoppers. Sweet and savory extras add more dimension to the flavors in your grilled cheese, and they complement your cheese choices as well.

Sweet flavors that work well in grilled cheese include fruits like apples, pears and peaches, or even cherries. Just make sure you cut the fruit into thin slices so that it lies flat in the sandwich. You can also use jam or preserves in place of fresh fruit, which will offer more concentrated flavor and sweetness. For example, fig jam makes an exceptional pairing for Gruyere in this recipe for Fig and Gruyere Bacon Grilled Cheese.

For those times when you’re craving something savory, consider adding condiments, spreads or vegetables to your grilled cheese. Mustard, relish, pickles, olives, horseradish and pesto are all wonderful additions that pack lots of flavor. Pair these items with sautéed vegetables like onion, mushrooms, zucchini, or fresh greens like spinach and arugula. For inspiration, check out this recipe for a Beet and Arugula Grilled Cheese.

Grilled Cheese Recipe

How to Make Grilled Cheese for a Crowd

Because of its endless versatility, grilled cheese makes a great food for a family meal or gathering. And with this sheet pan method, you can whip it up in no time without having to babysit a pan on the stove.

Simply butter the outsides of each sandwich, then add cheese and fillings and place on a sheet pan. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, then flip and bake an additional 6-8 minutes. And voila, you’ll have a sheet pan full of perfectly golden-brown grilled cheeses. This recipe for Sheet Pan Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches uses a sweet-and-savory combo of cheddar, ham and apple butter, but you can adjust the fillings to taste, or even let individuals build their own grilled cheeses before baking a batch all at once.

If you’re feeling inspired (or hungry), you can build your shopping list or fill your online cart with bread, cheese and more right here on our website. Check out even more recipes and the video below for delicious flavor combinations and unique grilled cheese ideas to get you started, or head back to our Fall Shop for more seasonal inspiration.

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Grilled Cheese Recipes