Gourmet Grilled Cheese is the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich of your dreams!! It’s a gloriously cheesy meal, stacked with the perfect toppings This grilled sandwich recipe will rock your taste buds!
Fancy grilled cheese sandwiches elevate simple ingredients into a melty, mouthwatering masterpiece!
Three different types of cheese are combined with savory bacon, sweet tomatoes, and crispy buttered sourdough to make the perfect comfort food.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese
While the classic combination of bread, butter, and cheese is nostalgic and comforting, there’s nothing wrong with making it a little more “grown up” from time to time.
This fancy grilled cheese includes crispy bacon, juicy tomato slices, and peppery arugula in between layers of cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack cheese.
I often make this grilled sandwich recipe for an extra special lunch. When I do, it’s alongside the perfect partner, my copycat version of Applebee’s tomato basil soup!!
If you want, you can even make a large batch to feed a crowd on game day.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
What can I add to a grilled cheese sandwich?
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 a restaurant-worthy gourmet grilled cheese, pair cheddar and swiss with some thinly sliced apples. Or, combine Gouda and Brie with pears in the middle.
Best Bread for Grilled Cheese
I love the tangy flavor and hard crust of freshly baked sourdough in this grilled sandwich recipe, but there are plenty of other options available.
French bread and Ciabatta have a nice, crunchy exterior, while multigrain, pumpernickel, and Texas Toast will add another layer of flavor.
No matter what, be sure to choose a bread that is thick and sturdy enough to hold the other ingredients!
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.
I think the best cheese for fancy grilled cheese is a combination of quality cheddar, along with a semi-soft and semi-hard cheese.
- Cheddar: Sharp and white cheddar are the perfect foundation when making the ultimate 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.
Feel free to mix and match based on your favorite flavors!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Use room temperature cheese.
Let your slices warm for a few minutes on the counter while you prep your other ingredients. Removing the chill first will help them melt faster.
- Cheese still not melting?
Use steam to help it along. Add a teaspoon or two of water to the skillet and cover it with a lid.
When the cheese is gooey and perfectly melted, remove the lid. Then, cook until the pan is dry, to ensure that your gourmet grilled cheese isn’t soggy.
- Make bacon in the oven.
Not only will you avoid grease splatters, but using the oven allows you to cook a large batch at once.
And since the baking sheet 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 your fancy grilled cheese sandwiches, pop them in the oven to keep them warm. Then, you can serve everyone at once!
Make-Ahead Gourmet Grilled Cheese
These grilled sandwich recipe should be made and served right away. I don’t recommend making them in advance, for a couple of reasons..
The texture of the melted cheese changes when it’s put back into the fridge. Plus, the tomato and arugula will cause bread to become soggy.
That said, it’s a good idea to have all of your ingredients ready to go before starting this grilled sandwich recipe — especially if you plan on cooking up a large batch!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Simply Scrumptious Sandwiches
Gourmet Grilled Cheese
- 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
- 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.
- 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 towel and repeat process until all sandwiches are cooked.
- Serve and enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published April 20, 2015, updated and republished August 2022
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