This grilled ham and cheese sandwich recipe builds on the classic grilled cheese sandwich and turns it into something spectacular thanks to some simple changes.

–David Leite

How can I change up the ingredients in this grilled ham and cheese sandwich?

We’ve got no complaints about this sandwich exactly as it’s written. In fact, we quite look forward to having leftover holiday ham just so we can add a swipe of fancy French mustard and some swanky Gruyère cheese. But you can alter it to suit your fancy or whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand.

A grilled ham and cheese sandwich on a wooden cutting board.

Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich

4.86 / 7 votes
For this grilled ham and cheese sandwich, a simple substitution of Gruyère for American cheese and a slather of French mustard is all it takes to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.
David Leite
Servings1 sandwich
Calories567 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


  • 2 slices white bread
  • About 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter or clarified butter, at room temperature or melted
  • Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 thin slices cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup grated or 2 thin slices Gruyère cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Place both slices of bread on your work surface. Spread some of the butter on top of each slice of bread, then spread the mustard on top of the butter. Pile the ham and cheese on a slice of bread, season with salt and pepper to taste, and then top with the other bread slice, mustard-side down.
  • Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium or medium-high heat. Gently place the sandwich in the skillet and let it cook, flipping once, until crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Grab your spatula, flip it onto a plate, and prepare for your day to get exponentially better. Originally published December 26, 2015.
The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches Cookbook

Adapted From

The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 567 kcalCarbohydrates: 25 gProtein: 25 gFat: 41 gSaturated Fat: 23 gMonounsaturated Fat: 11 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 141 mgSodium: 1124 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 3 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Susan Russo. Photo © 2011 Matt Armendariz. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

A grilled cheese sandwich of any denomination is, for me, the stuff of dreams. A grilled ham with Gruyère surrounded with butter and Dijon mustard is cause for fat men everywhere to celebrate! This fat man generally doesn’t care for Dijon mustard, but I must confess, I made 2 sandwiches—one with Dijon mustard and one without—and the grilled cheese with the mustard was, hands down, the superior sandwich. I used sliced Gruyère, and both sandwiches took about 10 minutes.

Let me lay this out, s l o w l y: Ham and cheese, ensconced in butter and Dijon, surrounded by buttery, browned, crisp, bread. Got 10 minutes? Thank us later.

This is a lovely, decadent, simple sandwich. There’s not a single thing wrong with this grilled ham and cheese sandwich. I might use a tad less butter next time, but it’s also great as is.

I found medium-high heat a little too hot, so I turned my burner down to medium so the bread would be golden and the cheese melted. I used grated cheese because I think it melts better.

This is the most perfect grilled ham and cheese sandwich. In my mind, the quality of the ingredients is what makes this amazing or okay. A high-quality Dijon mustard is a must. Perhaps a stone-ground Belgian one would work as well. I used homemade baked ham that was nice and juicy. For cheese, I used thin slices of Gruyère. I never have any luck using shredded cheese, as somehow it always starts falling as I fry the sandwich in the pan.

The hands-on time is the same as the total, about 10 minutes. This is perfect for a quick dinner, snacks if you have a house full of kids, or even for a a tailgating event, as you can cut the sandwiches into small easy-to-eat triangles.

What a great way to turn an ordinary sandwich into a decadent one! This is a simple, straightforward grilled ham and cheese sandwich recipe. I love the addition of the Dijon. I would have this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This took less than 5 minutes to throw together and 10 minutes total time. I went easy on the butter on the inside of the sandwich.

This grilled ham and cheese sandwich took about 20 minutes to make total—a quick and easy supper. I used melted clarified butter and brioche and I brushed the melted butter onto the bread with a pastry brush. I used grated cheese, which I pressed down onto the ham to keep in place, and fried the assembled sandwich in melted butter.

I served mine with a garnish of lamb’s lettuce and a poached egg on top. My brioche had a very soft texture, even when fried, and needed to be cooked gently to ensure that it didn’t burn. This meant that the cheese might’ve melted more if I’d used a more robust bread, but I was happy with the taste and would make this recipe again, perhaps using a different bread.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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    1. Hah. Larry’s descriptions often leave me giddy, too, Christina. And hungry! And thanks, yes, we only put a recipe on the site after at least several testers deemed it darn good enough to make again.