While I’ve been known to make a grilled cheese sandwich with wheat bread and American cheese for quick yet tasty lunch, sometimes I like to play around with ingredients and fancy it up a bit. I came up with this combination, and Mark and I both really liked it, so I decided to share.
This ultimate, gourmet grilled cheese sandwich has a bit of an Italian flair – I used pancetta, when I’d normally use bacon. I swapped out Swiss cheese for gruyere, and I pan-sauteed some chopped red bell pepper. For a bit of creamy zip, I spread a generous layer of soft goat cheese on the inner sides of the bread.
Ultimate Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Ready for a gourmet take on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich? Give this combination a try!
- 4 slices pancetta or bacon
- 2 Tbsp chopped red bell pepper
- 4 slices Light rye or other rustic bread
- 6 Tbsp spreadable goat cheese
- 4 Tbsp butter more or less, don't be stingy with it
- 1½ cups grated gruyere cheese or Swiss
- Set the butter out to soften ahead of time (this is key!).
- Coat the bottom of a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Over medium heat, fry the pancetta to a crisp and set aside on a paper towel to drain.
- In the same skillet, add the chopped red bell pepper and saute until tender. A little bit of browning is fine. Remove from the heat and turn off the flame while you prep the sandwiches.
- On a sheet of wax paper, butter the outer sides of the bread slices generously and all the way to the edges (important!) so that they'll crisp up when you're ready too cook. Flip the slices over and spread a generous layer of the goat cheese on all four slices.
- On two of the slices of bread, sprinkle about 1/4 cup or so of grated gruyere over the goat cheese. Crumble the pancetta and sprinkle it on top of the gruyere, then sprinkle the sandwiches with the bell pepper. Now add the rest of the gruyere to the slices, and top each one with the other slices of bread, butter side up.
- Heat the skillet to medium-low and place each sandwich in the skillet. Cook until the bread turns golden brown and the cheese toward the bottom is melting nicely. Flip the sandwiches and
- Now it's time to flip the sandwich. And how do you turn it without having it fall apart? Use a spatula on the bottom side and apply pressure to the top of the sandwich with a silicone scraper/spatula and turn it that way. Works every time!
- Continue cooking until the bottom side is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.
- As an alternative, you can use a panini press to grill both sides at the same time.
- Remove the sandwiches from the heat, slice and serve hot with some chips and a dill pickle spear.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!