This classic grilled cheese sandwich, just like what mom made or you got at the corner diner, is just as cheesy and comforting as it was when you were six years old. Nothing but gooey melted cheese between slices of buttery toasted bread.
How to make this classic grilled cheese sandwich more adult
There are endless variations on the classic grilled cheese sandwich. You can indulge your curiosity, your craving, or whatever you happen to have on hand by playing with different types of bread and cheese, of course. Or take it beyond that. Some things to slip into your sandwich include a smear of mayonnaise, a couple tomato slices, thinly shaved turkey or ham, even leftover pulled pork or tuna salad. Less common but no less worthy additions include a squirt of Sriracha, pickles, perfectly cooked bacon, sliced avocado, caramelized onions, sliced apple, shaved truffle, shredded short ribs, and, well, we could go on. Got things to add to the list? Sometimes the more outlandish the idea, the more sigh-inducing the resulting sandwich.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Quick Glance
- 5 M
- 10 M
- Makes 1 sandwich
Heat a skillet over medium–low heat. Generously smear half the butter on 1 side of 1 slice of bread. Place the slice, buttered side down, in the skillet. Place the sliced cheese on top of the bread. Smear the remaining butter on one side of the second slice of bread and place on top of the cheese, buttered side up.
After a couple of minutes, when the bottom slice is nicely browned, slide a wide spatula underneath and, gently holding the sandwich together with your free hand, turn it over. Continue cooking until the second side is golden brown and the cheese starts oozing out the sides. (If your bread is looking browned before the cheese starts to ooze, the heat is too high. Turn it down a little) This ought to take 5 to 7 minutes total.
Transfer the grilled cheese to a cutting board and let it cool just a few moments, enough so that you don’t have to yank your fingers away and puff on them when you go to hold the sandwich. Slice it in half, on a diagonal if desired. Then make it disappear. Originally published December 19, 2018.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This is a tried-and-true classic grilled cheese sandwich that everyone should have in their repertoire. The recipe spells out the steps exactly.
I've learned from my kids that you have to use a sufficient amount of butter to make a delicious grilled cheese. The 1 tablespoon per side is perfect and allows the bread to turn out crisp and evenly browned. We like to use provolone cheese that is thinly sliced to ensure even melting before the bread gets too brown.
When making multiple batches of sandwiches, I find that the longer the pan is heating the lower the heat needs to be to keep from over-browning the bread before melting the cheese. Timing was accurate for later batches but my first sandwich took about 7 minutes to cook. Subsequent sandwiches cooked more quickly once the pan was evenly heated. The cheese definitely oozed by the end. Yummy! We made several sandwiches at home then several on our boat, all turned out equally well. (The only difference I noted was with my induction stove at home, the bread only browns well on the part of the pan that is in contact with the magnetic part of the stove. A bigger pan doesn't work well in this case because it leaves unbrowned sections if the sandwiches aren’t rotated.)
Perfect in the summer with watermelon and in the winter with tomato soup!
This recipe makes an excellent classic grilled cheese sandwich. I used Italian semolina sandwich bread and grated Cheddar cheese. I like to grate the cheese when I make a grilled cheese sandwich. It seems easier to distribute in between the bread slices and it seems to melt faster and more evenly than cheese slices.
The one adjustment I would make is to use a little less butter. Two tablespoons per sandwich is a lot of butter. The advantage of that much butter is that it gives the bread a wonderful buttery flavor and the bread will definitely not stick to the pan. And although the bread will nicely absorb much of the butter, I found quite of bit of butter pooled the pan after I removed the sandwich.
I added some sliced tomatoes which are a nice addition and help to balance the richness of the cheese and the butter. It’s important to keep the heat to medium-low so that the bread will brown nicely and not burn while the cheese has a chance to melt.