9 Recipes for Crispy, Gooey, Amazing Grilled Cheese
Whether you're using Cheddar or Swiss, cook these sandwiches over medium-low heat for optimal ooze-to-crunch.
By Lynn Andriani
The Grilled Cheese for People Who Put Pickles on Everything
A topping made from Italian and Greek pepperoncini peppers, cornichon pickles and a dash of white wine give this grilled treat a tangy kick. Megan Johnson, chef at Casellula Cheese & Wine Café in New York, uses a mix of Emmentaler, Gruyère and Scharfer Max, a buttery, rich Alpine cheese.
Giada De Laurentiis promises ham and cheese never tasted so good. She adds sautéed Granny Smith apples to give these panini a hint of sugary tartness, and chopped fresh thyme for a savory and earthy essence.
Robert Newton, a chef from Arkansas, serves this spicy sandwich at his Brooklyn café Smith Canteen. A blend of sharp white Cheddar, roasted red peppers, mayonnaise and cayenne pepper form the basis of his take on the quintessential Southern spread.
Michael Paley, chef at Proof on Main in Louisville, Kentucky, makes a jam from applewood-smoked bacon, Spanish onions, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and coffee—which gives this sandwich a sweet-salty element.
The Grilled Cheese for Someone Who'd Rather Be Eating Quiche
Not technically a sandwich, this hand pie—which you make in a muffin tin—combines hearty farmer cheese (you can substitute ricotta or cottage cheese), subtle fresh thyme and floral honey. It's especially good with a cornmeal crust, though a butter crust works too.
New York City cheese shop Murray's has its own version of bacon, egg and cheese: cherrywood-smoked bacon, a fried egg and melted Fontina cheese, served on an English muffin that toasts right in the skillet or on the griddle.
This recipe proves that when you use high-quality ingredients, you don't need fancy techniques. Casellula Cheese & Wine Café chef Megan Johnson just melts salty Comté, delicate Fol Epi, fresh chèvre and 5 Spoke Creamery Tumbleweed cheese, which is akin to aged Cheddar, on sourdough with sliced tomato.
The Grilled Cheese for Anyone Who Loves Chips and Dip
Sean Olnowich, executive chef at the New York sports lounge Bounce Sporting Club, puts caramelized onions in between layers of Cheddar cheese for extra flavor. Make sure you slice the sandwich into finger-size lengths so they're easier to dunk.