Cheddar, Bacon and Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The power of great ingredients is never more apparent than when they’re used to elevate a taken-for-granted staple. Here’s a grilled cheese sandwich that may change the way you think about the category. It brings a balance of sweet, tart apple and smoky, crunchy bacon to the deceptively humble confines of a cheese sandwich. High-quality bread takes the sandwich to a new level.–Terrance Brennan

LC Grilled Cheese Sandwiches For Guests Note

Entertaining just got a heck of a lot easier. Yes, we’re granting you permission to serve grilled cheese to guests. Don’t let the relatively dainty appearance of these diminutive grilled Cheddar and bacon sandwiches fool you. They’re nothing if not satiating. Even when they take the form of wee finger food. Or a late-night nosh for one.

Cheddar and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients

  • 8 slices (about 6 ounces) applewood-smoked bacon
  • 6 ounces (about 1 cup grated) Cheddar, at room temperature
  • 4 slices (from a medium to large loaf) country bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/4 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/16 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
  • 2. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, turning once after 10 minutes, until crisp, about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
  • 3. Divide half the cheese between 2 slices bread and then divide the apple slices between them. Place 4 slices cooked bacon on each sandwich, top with the remaining cheese, and sandwich with the remaining bread slices. Spread the outside of each sandwich with 1/2 tablespoon butter per slice of bread. (You can cover and refrigerate the sandwiches for an hour or so before heating them.)
  • 4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and cook until golden brown and the cheese has melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side, pressing down with a spatula to flatten the sandwiches. (If the bread looks golden and done but the cheese hasn’t completely melted, arrange the sandwiches in a single layer on a baking sheet and finish them in the still-warm oven.)
  • 5. Transfer the grilled cheese sandwiches to a cutting board and cut them in half or, if desired, into bite-size pieces (about 8 per sandwich). Arrange the grilled cheese on a plate or platter and serve.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Susan Bingaman

Oct 14, 2013

The Cheddar, Apple, and Bacon Sandwich is my new favorite sandwich. It’s everything I need in a sandwich–gooey, a little salty, and a bit over the top. I’ll admit it’s a bit of a splurge, calorically speaking, so don’t eat more than a few squares and you shouldn’t hate yourself in the morning. I wouldn’t be opposed to using a sweeter apple than Granny Smith to help cut the saltiness of the bacon and the richness of the fabulous Iowa Cheddar I used. One note on baking the bacon in the oven: Crank the oven temperature to 375°F and arrange the bacon on a cooling rack placed in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. It will crisp, without needing to be flipped, in 15 to 20 minutes.

Testers Choice
Joan Osborne

Oct 14, 2013

I made the Cheddar, Apple, and Bacon Sandwich and it was delicious. I made a whole sandwich for myself for supper. I don’t usually care for apples and cheese together. I know I’m strange that way, since most people do, but the thin slices of Granny Smith complemented the cheese and bacon, and worked for me in this. I used some really good aged white Cheddar. My applewood-smoked bacon was on the thick side and it took about double the suggested cooking time.

Testers Choice
Jackie G.

Oct 14, 2013

This made a quick and delicious lunch. Cooking the bacon in the oven is the most time-consuming part of this recipe, but since you don’t have to tend to the bacon at all, you can get the rest of the recipe prepped while the bacon is cooking. (And what a great and easy way to cook bacon!) I used a Pink Lady apple because I can’t resist buying them. I just love their flavor. The first time I made this recipe, I sliced the apple into 1/16-inch-thick slices. That was far too thin to stand up to the rest of the ingredients. I got a tiny hint of the fresh crispness of the apple, but I wanted more. I made this again and cut the apple into generous 1/8-inch-thick slices. That was much better. The next time I make this sandwich, I want to spread some Dijon mustard on one slice of the bread, as I love Dijon on my grilled cheese sandwiches, and would like to see how it pairs with the rest of the ingredients.

Testers Choice
Cindi Kruth

Oct 14, 2013

Looking for a simple, quick lunch, I tried these grilled cheese sandwiches. The Cheddar, bacon, and apple combo was more than the sum of its parts. Bacon and Cheddar we knew we loved together, having often topped burgers with the combo. But the thin slice of apple was the perfect complement, emphasizing the smokiness of the bacon and bringing the sandwich together. The recipe works well as written. It’s simple and quick.

Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

Oct 14, 2013

We made the Cheddar, Apple, and Bacon Sandwich and it was divine. This is a wonderful recipe for an appetizer, lunch, or dinner. Thinking about it, I might actually eat it for breakfast, too. Standard Cheddar was terrific, although we actually made some of these sandwiches with Gouda my daughter sent me from Holland, and they were incredible. The recipe works as written with both sides of the sandwich getting that golden–brown crust stage at about 4 minutes per side. To keep the cheese from sliding out the sides, I let my sandwich rest about 3 minutes before slicing it. We also made one of these in the panini maker with fantastic results. The sandwich took about 8 minutes and looked great with the grill marks.


Comments
Comments
  1. Veronica Lanz says:

    I want to suggest one more addition to this sandwich. A sprinkle of fennel seeds. The combination of cheddar, apple and fennel is really good.

  2. I made a very similar sandwich last year for National Grilled Cheese month in April. Which is crazy in itself; spring is not quintessential grilled cheese time to my knowledge! But it turned out to be one of my favorites and I can’t deny that using a croissant for bread made it so. I can attest to this being an amazing flavor combination.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Lovely, thanks so much, Barb! And I have yet to discern any rhyme or reason behind the timing of many, many a national day or week or month…

  3. I agree. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised when we bit into it…it was light, not what we expected. Thank you for sharing it!

  4. mdd7hg says:

    I love this twist on a classic. Instead of placing the raw apple directly on the sandwich, I decided to cook the sliced apple right after I fried the bacon in my cast iron. The residual bacon drippings gave an even deeper flavor to the apple and I liked the texture of the cooked apple on the grilled cheese. I will definitely make this again!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Oooooh, nice! I love that, mdd7hg. Many thanks for taking the time to share that. Look forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next!

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