The best grilled cheese has a trifecta of gooey cheeses, delicious fillings, and toasted bread. You’ll LOVE this gourmet sandwich recipe!
Recipes like Best Grilled Cheese
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.
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Use up extra ingredients from this gourmet grilled cheese recipe to make a Chipotle Bacon Monte Cristo!
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!
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.
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.
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.
This post was first published April 20, 2015. The content was updated and republished on January 1, 2021.
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