Gourmet Grilled Cheese

Or, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches With Character. Greasy grilled American cheese sandwiches are a standard comfort enjoyed by most everyone at one time or another in their life. But you really have to think outside the box (the Velveeta box in this case) once and awhile and try another take on the old classic.

We’ve included pictures and ingredients for a few more unusual grilled cheese options and included basic instructions for making all grilled cheese sandwiches at the end. Most cheeses melt nicely, so there are dozens of grilled sandwiches to consider.

And sometimes, people don’t like or want any cheese on their sandwich (which, although hard to imagine, happens) you can even skip the cheese and still create a delicious gourmet grilled sandwich sans the cheese. Whatever ingredients you choose, just the act of grilling the bread changes and intensifies the flavors of a sandwich.

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes

Grilled Turkey Pesto

Pesto Grilled Cheese

For instance this sandwich is more about the turkey and vegetables than the cheese, you could even leave it out. It’s sliced turkey, avocado, gouda cheese, arugula, tomato and red onion. Kind of a grilled turkey club, but the outside breads are have such a nice crunch that there’s no need for a center bread.


Reuben Grilled Cheese

Our next featured gourmet grilled sandwich is called the Reuben. It’s made with either corned beef or pastrami, but leftover corned beef from St. Patrick’s Day works just great. This sandwich is typically grilled with rye bread. If you live near a Wegman’s grocery, grab some of their swirled rye for a tasty and attractive Reuben. Add Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing and you’ve got another gourmet grilled cheese – the Reuben.

Double Cheese

Double Grilled Cheese

This one is on dense multigrain bread that makes it better for you and extra sturdy and tasty. We layered white cheddar cheese first and then added a layer of Velveeta for a gooey, tasty combination.

Mac & Cheese

Mac Cheese Grilled Cheese

This one is pure comfort as it combines another classic comfort food, mac&cheese! Yes, baked macaroni and cheese and then more cheddar cheese inside of your favorite bread. A cheese lovers dream.

Grilled Veggie Baguette

Veggie Grilled Cheese

We used an old baguette for this one. That’s the great thing about grilled cheese sandwiches, they’re not dependent on the freshest bakery bread. We cut the rounded top off so that there was a flat grilling area. Then we filled it with Gouda cheese, spinach, tomatoes and grilled red peppers. Don’t waste the part you cut off, use it to make breadcrumbs or croutons.

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana

Pesto Grilled Cheese

You can even do a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich without any cheese at all. This one is void of both cheese and meat but still packs plenty of protein. This sandwich is said to have been a favorite of Elvis Presley who would order it often at the Arcade Restaurant in Memphis from his regular booth. It’s simply peanut butter and sliced fresh banana placed between bread and grilled. Notice the banana from the bunch I used, it was getting very close to it’s eat by date – just goes to show that old bananas are good for more than just banana bread. This one is also fantastic done on cinnamon raisin bread, and you can add a little Nutella or Apricot jam if you want it even sweeter.

Grilled Bruschetta

Bruschetta Grilled Cheese

This is a great appetizer for a crowd. Typically made with a sliced baguette put in the toaster or oven, try putting the slices on a griddle that’s been sprayed with olive oil. Turn the bread and then add a slice of fresh Mozzarella, a fresh basil leaf and a slice of tomato. You can also drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the top if desired.

Sweet & Savory

Pesto Grilled Cheese

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and textures, and even mixing hot and cold items within your gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. This ham and cheese sandwich starts with grilled red onions in balsamic vinegar and then adds some sliced strawberries and arugula at the end for a sweet and savory taste sensation. Other good fruit choices for a gourmet grilled cheese are pear slices with brie or apricots with muenster.

How to Make a Basic Grilled Cheese

In order to make a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, you must follow the same basic steps for a plain grilled cheese sandwich.

Here’s a reminder of the steps to make a basic grilled cheese sandwich:

  • Pre-heat your pan on medium to medium-high (if using an electric griddle, 375°).
  • Add a little butter (or spray olive oil) to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Place down one piece of bread and then quickly place sliced cheese on top and then any other toppings of your choice. Some toppings, like meat or sauerkraut, should be heated already before placing into the sandwich. You can do this in another pan or in the microwave.
  • End with another piece of bread.
  • Flip the sandwich to a new buttery spot when the bottom slice of bread is golden and continue to brown the other side. If your cheese is not melting properly – that is the secret to a gourmet grilled cheese, the cheese must be melted it’s most oozing state possible – you can add a lid covering the sandwich as it cooks on the final side.

  • Additional Info

    To find out how long cheese lasts view our cheese page.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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