The grilled cheese is one of America's great comfort foods, but rather than debate how to make the perfect classic version, we're mixing it up in honor of Grilled Cheese Month. This sweet, savory, and unexpected honey-basil grilled cheese combines slightly sweet wheat bread, a drizzle of honey, fresh herbs, and sliced tomato with a one-two cheese punch of fontina and mozzarella. Watch and learn how to make this serious contender for your new favorite cheesy sandwich.
A great grilled cheese stands alone, but sometimes a side dish adds even more by offering an acidic contrast to the creamy cheese. When you're wondering what to possibly serve, experiment with these dips and side dishes.
- Soup: Try pairing your toastie with tomato, black bean, pureed lentil, or other creamy soups.
- Salad dressing: Balsamic vinaigrette, dijon vinaigrette, or ranch salad dressings can complement melted cheese and bread.
- Sauces: When making a grilled sandwich out of Italian breads and cheeses, serve it alongside marinara sauce for a pizza-like rendition.
- Condiments: Condiments like ketchup and mustard never hurt. A grilled cheese, after all, is still a sandwich!
- Pickled vegetables: Cheese is heavy, but pickles will help cut through the grease. There's always the classic cucumber pickle, coleslaw, pickled jalapeños, or even kimchi.
- Chutney or jam: Sometimes a grilled cheese calls for something a little sweet like a mango chutney or a fig jam.
While we'll happily dig into an ooey-gooey grilled cheese starring sharp cheddar or American cheese — bonus points for homemade — there's something to be said for exploring the cheese counter's other enticing options. Most aged cheeses are worth experimenting with — fresh or brined cheeses like chèvre or feta typically don't melt properly — here are some of our favorites; let us know in the comments if we left your favorite off!
- Fontina: This mild, buttery Italian cheese is practically made to be melted; try it with pancetta, basil, and peaches (or strawberries, while we wait on stone-fruit season) for a salty-sweet treat.
- Brie: Creamy, earthy brie; camembert; and other bloomy rind cheeses like Vermont Farmstead's Lillé lend richness, velvety texture, and a mild mushroom-like funk and are particularly perfect when paired with sweet-leaning elements like blackberry jam or fig preserves.
- Raclette: If you love the classic Swiss communal dish based on (and named for) the funky alpine cheese, then consider nestling a hefty handful between bread. Score bonus points by adding chopped cornichon to the mix or using potato bread as a nod to raclette's classic accoutrement.
New recipe fodder comes in many forms. Sometimes it's as simple as scrolling through a blog, flipping through a cookbook or magazine, or dining on an exceptional dish at a restaurant or friend's home. In this case, I turned to an entertaining standard — the cheese plate — as inspiration for a sweet-leaning grilled cheese, taking components often paired together in this format (brie, figs, and walnuts) and transforming them into an ooey-gooey sandwich that's equally at home at lunch as it is for dessert. Not too surprisingly, this sandwich is a winner — one I imagine will enter my sandwich repertoire indefinitely. I suggest you take note and do the same.
Pizza, buffalo chicken, jalapeño poppers, and caprese salad are not items you'd likely associate with grilled cheese sandwiches, but these recipes do the seemingly impossible. If you're ready to rethink grilled cheese sandwiches, here are 10 grilled cheese renditions of classic recipes that will send you swooning.
Just in case your kids needed an excuse to eat more grilled cheese . . . did you know that we're in the midst of an entire month dedicated to the delicious, savory sandwich? In the interest of avoiding grilled cheese burnout (is there such a thing?), we've rounded up 14 varied and versatile takes on the classic. There's something to appease most every palate, so click through, and eat up!
Like peanut butter and jelly, lamb and mint, or strawberry and rhubarb, tomato soup and grilled cheese were practically made to be paired with each other. Here, I've taken the combination one better and — inspired by the always charming and ingenious Ina Garten — melded two solid concepts (tomato soup with grilled cheese, and a crispy crouton garnish) to create a dish that really, truly may just blow your mind.
This combination is pretty darn hard to beat — like a comforting hug in a bowl — but is admittedly a bit indulgent. For days when you're looking for something a little less over the top, omit the grilled cheese croutons, and garnish per usual, adding a swirl of extra-virgin olive oil, and an extra pinch of red pepper flakes if you can handle the heat. Either way, this classic tomato soup is a soul-soothing must make.
The food truck craze shows no signs of slowing, and we visited one of the country's most popular food trucks today, LA's Grilled Cheese Truck. There, owner Dave Danhi taught us how to make his bestseller, an amazing combination of cheddar cheese, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and caramelized onions. Watch it now to learn how it's done, then print the recipe and make it at home.
When it comes to the amazing grilled cheese sandwich, one can never have too many inspiring recipes. We've got another delicious idea for you: a gruyère grilled cheese with honey and truffle salt. It's incredibly easy to make; watch the video to see how it's done.
One thing cheese lovers can agree upon is that grilled cheese really is the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread. Here, we'll give you a primer on the classic grilled cheese, including our expert tips to make it perfectly melted and toasty every time, as well as three ways to upgrade your grilled cheese — sweet, salty, and spicy! — depending on your mood. Take a look, then share your favorite grilled cheese sandwich combo with us in the comments. On Brandi: Edward Avedis