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How to Make Grilled Cheese

The classic grilled cheese needs no introduction. But we wouldn’t be doing the mighty grilled cheese justice if we didn’t tell you how to make the best one ever (hint: use lots of cheese!) or how to change up the classic (looking at you, Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese!).

Introduction

What is it about a grilled cheese sandwich that we find so comforting? Is it the nostalgia as we remember eating it on the regular as a child? Is it the fact that it requires two or three ingredients? Or is it the gobs of melted cheese tucked inside warm, toasted bread? Whatever it is, the classic childhood favorite isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Restaurants have long offered variations on the classic, each claiming their version is the “ultimate grilled cheese.” But no one can make a grilled cheese quite like you! We think you’ll agree that there’s no place like home to make this comfort food favorite. We’re going to walk step-by-step through the basics of how to make the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich.

How to Make Grilled Cheese

Before we get fancy with all of the ways to upgrade your grilled cheese, you have to perfect the original. Don’t worry—it’s a piece of cake and you’ll soon be on to mastering our brilliant takes on the cheesy comfort food! Let’s start with how to make our Grilled Two-Cheese Sandwich. This recipe is for one serving, but if you’re feeding the kids or you’re hungry enough for two, it’s easy to double the ingredients and make more sandwiches.

Grilled Cheese

What You Need:

  • Skillet or griddle
  • Spatula

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 slice of Cheddar cheese
  • ½ slice of Swiss cheese
  • 2 teaspoons butter or margarine, softened
Step 1: Spread one side of each slice of bread with mustard. Top one slice with your Cheddar and Swiss cheese slices.

Spread one side of each slice of bread with mustard. Top one slice with your Cheddar and Swiss cheese slices.

Step 2: Cover with the other slice of bread, with the mustard side facing down. Spread the outside of the sandwich with butter or margarine.

Step 3: Heat your skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot. Place the sandwich in the skillet and cook for about two minutes, or until golden brown. Then flip the sandwich over and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the skillet and cook for an additional two to four minutes, or until the entire sandwich is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Heat your skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot. Place the sandwich in the skillet and cook for about two minutes, or until golden brown

Best Bread for Grilled Cheese

Now here is where things start to get interesting! One of the easiest ways to customize your grilled cheese is to experiment with different types of bread. The best bread for grilled cheese is a matter of your preference! While the basic grilled cheese uses sliced white bread, you can use whatever kind of bread you have in your kitchen. Wheat or multi-grain make for a delicious grilled cheese sandwich, but restaurants have introduced grown-up grilled cheeses that use a tangy sourdough bread, pumpernickel or rye. Texas Toast is the bread that diners usually use to make a hearty grilled cheese since the bread is sliced thicker than white bread.

And don’t think you have to stick to the traditional grilled cheese and use sliced bread, either! You can use biscuits for the crust like we did with our Grands! Grilled Cheese Sandwiches or even a can of crescents like we did with our Sheet-Pan Crescent Grilled Cheese. We even took it a step further and used pizza crust in our Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

These are all five-star recipes proving that the sky’s the limit when it comes to your old favorite!

Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese

Mexican Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Here is the most important part of your sandwich: the. cheese. Similar to how you can use any type of bread for grilled cheese, you can also use any type of cheese. It comes down to preference. There isn’t necessarily a best cheese for grilled cheese, but there a few that you should avoid if you’re after that gooey, melted middle (and who isn’t?!). Avoid using hard, aged cheese or dry, crumbly cheeses. Examples include Parmesan, goat cheese or feta. Cheeses that melt well include American, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack and Cheddar. If you really want to add dynamic flavor to your grilled cheese, try mixing and matching different cheeses together.

It’s important to remember not to slice your cheese too thick, otherwise it will have a hard time melting. To get that oozy perfect middle, keep your stove temperature at medium so the middle has time to cook without the bread burning.

Best Gourmet Grilled Cheese Ingredients

These days, even high-end restaurants feature gourmet grilled cheese on their menus—and for good reason! It’s easy to turn this simple kid-favorite into a fancy adult-favorite. A few of our favorite gourmet grilled cheese ideas include experimenting with different cheeses like gouda or brie or adding apple slices or caramelized onions. Other popular additions include bacon, guacamole and tomatoes. This fancy Caprese Grilled Cheese is a perfect example of how to dress up a grilled cheese; it uses marscapone, tomato bruschetta sauce and mozzarella.

For a restaurant-style, gourmet grilled cheese, you have to try the Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwich that takes a delicious dip and turns it into a delicious sandwich.

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Cooking Grilled Cheese

There’s more than one way to make a grilled cheese and that includes cooking techniques. When you’re in a pinch, using the toaster and microwave might be your best bet, but if you have a little more time, it’s worth making grilled cheese on the stove or in the oven.

What You Need:

  • Small bowl
  • 15x10x1-inch sheet pan

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cans Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dough sheet or 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls 
  • 6 ounces deli-sliced American cheese
  • 6 ounces deli-sliced Cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

Step 1: Heat your oven to 375°F. Using a small bowl, mix melted butter with the garlic powder. In sheet pan, brush 12x8-inch area with half of the melted butter mixture. Unroll and press one can of dough over the melted butter mixture.

Unroll and press one can of dough over the melted butter mixture.

Step 2: Layer both the American and Cheddar cheeses onto the dough leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Unroll the second can of dough and stretch it over the filling.

Layer both the American and Cheddar cheeses onto the dough leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges.

Step 3: Press the edges to seal and brush the remaining melted butter mixture over top. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Unroll the second can of dough and stretch it over the filling.

Step 4: Bake for 20 to 23 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cut into 4x4 rows and top with tomato halves.

Sheet-Pan Crescent Grilled Cheese

How to Cook Grilled Cheese on the Stove

We showed you how to cook grilled cheese on the stove earlier in this article. It is the most recognizable method and we love how easy it is. Just make sure that you use a correctly sized skillet or griddle. Depending on the size of your vessel, you can make two grilled cheese sandwiches at a time with four pieces of bread cooking in the skillet simultaneously.

How you cook your grilled cheese is again, a matter of preference. You can spread mayo or mustard on one side and spread butter or margarine on the other side. The buttered side is the side that will cook directly on the skillet while the side with the condiment of your choice will be topped with cheese.

You should first heat the skillet over medium heat until it’s hot and then place the sandwich in it. Then cook each side over medium heat until the outsides are golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover with a lid to allow the cheese to melt. The end result will be a crispy sandwich with just the right amount of melted cheese in the middle.

How to Cook Grilled Cheese in the Toaster

We’ve all used the toaster to make a grilled cheese sandwich before, especially when we were kids and not allowed to use the stove. But even in a pinch and when you need a quick fix, throwing bread in the toaster and making a grilled cheese is perfectly acceptable.

While we recommend cooking over the stove for the best results, using the toaster is easy and quick. First, put two slices of bread in the toaster and toast to your preference. Spread the condiment of your choice on one side of each slice and top it with the cheese of your choice. Then you can put your grilled cheese in the microwave to melt the cheese. To microwave, wrap the sandwich in a paper towel and microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds.

What to Eat with Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese-Tomato Soup

Throughout this article, it’s likely that you found your thoughts drifting to a steaming bowl of tomato soup. Tomato soup is unequivocably the best soup to dunk your grilled cheese in, and if that’s what you’re into, look no further than than this three-ingredient, 10-minute recipe.

In warmer months, pair grilled cheese with potato chips and a couple of pickle spears. For the kids, serve grilled cheese with a side of applesauce.

For more unfussy sandwiches that are better than just plain old turkey, head right this way.


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