Thursday, December 31, 2020

Best Grilled Cheese EVER

The best grilled cheese has a trifecta of gooey cheeses, delicious fillings, and toasted bread. You’ll LOVE this gourmet sandwich recipe!

titled photo (and shown) Best Grilled Cheese EVER

Three different types of cheese are combined with savory bacon, sweet tomatoes, and crispy buttered sourdough for flavor that’s out of this world!

Our entire family loves this recipe, and we have all created our favorite versions of this winning combination.

For another deliciously cheesy sandwich, try my Chicken Parmesan Sliders. They’re made with sweet dinner rolls and bake at all once for an easy meal!

Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches are another crowd-pleaser, or use up extra ingredients from this gourmet grilled cheese recipe to make a Chipotle Bacon Monte Cristo!

grilled gourmet sandwich with meats and cheeses

Making the Best Grilled Cheese

  • Use room temperature cheese. Pull the cheese out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter while you prep your other ingredients. Removing the chill first will help it melt faster.
  • Cheese still not melting? Use steam to help it along. Add a teaspoon or two of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Once the cheese is melted, remove the lid and cook until the pan is dry so your gourmet grilled cheese isn’t soggy.
  • Make bacon in the oven. Not only will you avoid grease splatters, but you can cook larger batches at a time. And since the pan is lined with foil, there’s one less thing to clean later.
  • Feeding a crowd? Preheat your oven to 200°F and place a wire rack on a baking sheet. As you make the sandwiches, pop them in the oven to keep them warm. Then, you can serve everyone at once!
gooey grilled cheese sandwich on wood cutting board, sliced in half

What’s the best cheese for grilled cheese?
No two cheeses are alike, so it’s important to choose your varieties carefully. Not only are there a wide range of flavors, but each melts differently as well.
In my experience, the best combination is a good cheddar along with a semi-soft and semi-hard cheese. Feel free to mix and match based on your favorite flavors!
  • Cheddar: Sharp and white cheddar are the most popular for making the best grilled cheese sandwich. Keep in mind that sharper varieties don’t melt as well.
  • Semi-soft: Popular choices are Monterey Jack, Havarti, Muenster, and provolone.
  • Semi-hard: Gouda, Swiss, Gruyere, and fontina would all taste great.
several blocks of different cheeses on a wooden board

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

What else can I add to make a gourmet grilled cheese?
Feel free to experiment with different meats and vegetables. There’s really no right or wrong way to build your sandwich.
If you don’t like tomatoes, try caramelized onions, pickles, or even avocado. Instead of bacon, use shredded chicken, sliced ham, or salami.
For something really gourmet, pair cheddar and swiss with some thinly sliced apples. Or, combine Gouda and Brie with pears in the middle.

Can I use a different bread?
Sure! We love the tangy flavor and hard crust of freshly baked sourdough, but there are plenty of other options available.
French bread and Ciabatta are nice and crusty, while multigrain or pumpernickel loaves add another layer of flavor.
Just be sure to choose a bread that is thick and sturdy enough to hold all of your fillings!

Kitchen Tools You Will Need
  • Large Skillet - A wide skillet works best so there’s plenty of room to flip the sandwiches. If it’s wide enough, you may even be able to make two at a time.
  • Serrated Bread Knife - This is the best tool to get perfect slices of tomato. Or, use a mandolin if you have one on hand.
  • Cheese Slicer - While a knife is fine for cutting cheese, this tool guarantees perfectly even slices every time. 


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Yield: 4 Sandwiches   
close up: gourmet sandwich with deli meats and slices of tomato

Best Grilled Cheese

The best grilled cheese has a trifecta of gooey cheeses, delicious fillings, and toasted bread. You’ll LOVE this gourmet sandwich recipe!

Prep time: 10 mins  Cook time: 15 mins  Total time: 25 mins


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 slices Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces total)
  • 8 slices thick cut Applewood smoked bacon, cooked
  • 16 tomato slices
  • 4 ounces arugula
  • 4 slices Wisconsin aged Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces total)
  • 4 slices Wisconsin Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces total)


  1. Place 1 slice of cheddar onto a piece of bread. Top with bacon, tomato and arugula. Add remaining cheese. Place a piece of bread on top. Butter the top slice of bread.
  2. Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Place butter side down into skillet. Butter slice of bread facing up. Cover. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Carefully flip sandwich, cover and cook 2-4 minutes on second side. Wipe out pan with a paper town and repeat process until all sandwiches are cooked.
  3. Serve and enjoy!
  1. If preparing sandwiches for the whole gang, you can preheat oven to 200 F. and pop sandwiches in oven as you are done cooking them. When all sandwiches are done you can serve everyone at the same time.
  2. If your cheese is not melting, you can help it along by creating steam. I fill a squeeze bottle with a little water and squirt a small amount (a couple teaspoons or less) around the sandwich in the pan and cover again. The steam will help the cheese to melt faster. Make sure you remove the cover and cook the sandwich until the pan is dry or you may have a soggy sandwich.
  3. Take the cheese out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before cooking, this will help the cheese melt faster.

This post was first published April 20, 2015. The content was updated and republished on January 1, 2021.

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  1. Grille Cheese Sandwiches are my JAM! I love that you loaded this one up with 3 cheeses!

    1. Seriously! We tried all sorts of combinations. They were all fabulous. It is cheesy and bread after all.

  2. And now I want this incredible sandwich for lunch!

    1. This is a fabulous lunch. We enjoyed a sandwich today for lunch with a tomato salad and fresh fruit. Perfect summer mid day meal.

  3. I always say that cheese is one of those things I could never give up! This grilled cheese looks fantastic! All the cheese makes me swoon!

    1. I completely agree. It is my favorite. On anything, in anything. It is pretty much my perfect food.

  4. Oh wow, this has every amazing grilled cheese ingredient possible! Love it!

    1. Thanks Brianne. The ooey gooeyness of the cheese is off the charts. But with applewood smoked bacon and fresh veggies. WOW! So good.

  5. Wow - you just took an already great grilled cheese sandwich and totally brought it to a new level. I need one!

    1. Thanks, Deborah. Pop on over. I would love to host you for lunch sometime. :)

  6. now that is one serious grilled cheese sandwich!! luckily I have everything I need because this needs to happen for lunch today

  7. Grilled cheese is my favorite sandwich.

  8. I can't even stand how incredible this looks! It's so gooey I want to lick the screen :)

  9. That trifecta of cheese on sourdough bread? Oh wow, this does look like the best grilled cheese sammy ever!

  10. Great giveaway and how fun is that partnering with Wisconsin Cheese, because who doesn't LOVE cheese? Beautiful sandwich and your bread is so perfect caramelized. :)

  11. This really does look like the best grilled cheese ever! Loving the bacon on there!

  12. This looks SO good. I might just make it tonight for dinner :)

  13. Holy Moly - best ever indeed! I love the guide to melting cheeses - so helpful!


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