This grilled cheese recipe with everything came into existence when one day a line cook wondered what would happen if he put literally everything on a sandwich. Spectacularness ensued.
This grilled cheese recipe with everything came to be one night when a cook at the restaurant run by the authors of the eminently awesome Grilled Cheese Kitchen decided to find out what would happen if he put literally just about everything on a grilled cheese sandwich. Something spectacular happened. As the authors note, you can make all kinds of substitutions with this sandwich—whole-wheat or whole-grain breads will stand in for sourdough and any of a variety of cheeses work quite nicely.–Renee Schettler
WHY ARE MY GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES SOGGY?
There are few things sadder than a soggy grilled cheese, except for those burned-outside but unmelted-inside disasters we’ve all choked down. If you’re finding a lot of less-than-crisp ‘wiches in your kitchen, you have a few factors to consider. While tomatoes are a delicious addition, don’t use the watery, out of season ones. And make sure your bread is a decent thickness and texture for filling and grilling. Anything less than an inch is too flimsy and you’ll just end up with a soggy sandwich situation. On the end of the spectrum though, too thick and it’ll burn before the cheese gets melty and luscious.
Grilled Cheese with Everything
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salted butter at room temperature
- 3 slices sourdough or super high-quality white bread
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 slice Havarti cheese
- 1 slice roasted deli-style turkey
- Scant handful baby arugula or baby spinach leaves
- 2 strips thick-sliced bacon cooked until crisp
- 1 slice mild or medium Cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
- 1 slice Colby Jack cheese
- 2 or 3 slices ripe plum tomato (about 1/4 inch or 6 millimeters thick)
- 3 or 4 bread ’n’ butter pickles
- 1 slice Black Forest ham
- 1 slice Swiss cheese
- 1 tablespoon pickled red onions
- 3 or 4 slices fresh or pickled jalapeño (seeded if you like less heat)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), with the convection option on, if you have it. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
- Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread, divvying it up evenly among the slices. Place the slices, buttered-side down, on a clean cutting board. Spread the Dijon mustard on top of one slice, then top with the Havarti, turkey, arugula, bacon, and Cheddar. Spread the stone-ground mustard on the second slice of bread, then layer with the Colby Jack, tomato slices, pickle chips, and ham. Place the Swiss on the third slice and arrange the pickled onions and jalapeño on top.
- Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and, using a wide spatula, very carefully move the 3 stacks of topped bread to the baking sheet, buttered side down. Bake until the cheeses start to melt and the fillings are warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, when you put the baking sheet in the oven, immediately begin to preheat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
- Using a wide spatula, move the 3 stacks of topped bread to the hot skillet, still buttered side down. Cook until the bottoms are nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Move to a clean cutting board.
- Very carefully place the Swiss-jalapeño stack of bread, bread side down, on top of the piece with turkey and bacon, then carefully turn over the Colby Jack–ham piece and place it, bread side up, on top of the sandwich. Cut the sandwich into quarters and serve immediately.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I'm loving this grilled cheese sandwich. It's very labor-intensive, but it tastes like my favorite club sandwich and a grilled cheese all rolled into one.
I started by making the pickled onions in the morning. 1 medium onion yielded 1 cup thin slices, and only a little bit was used to make the sandwich, so I have lots left over for later. They were tangy and mellow with a nice hint of spice. I'm already planning what I can have them on next. There are a lot of steps and ingredients for the sandwich, but the result is worth the effort. We liked that there was only a bit of this and that in the sandwich, not too much of anything.
I made 2 of these sandwiches and found that half was enough for me, and my son ate a whole one. The only change I might make is to maybe leave out the pickles. I didn't mind them being there, but my son really dislikes bread and butter pickles, so I left them out of his. I had a piece of his and liked it better without them. I'll keep the jalapeño peppers as they weren't too hot and added a freshness to the whole sandwich. I'd make this again, but only on the weekends.
This was a fun sandwich to assemble and came together really easily. It was a hunk of a sandwich and very filling for two middle-aged people. However, a teenager would probably wolf that down pretty quickly. I was amazed at how all the cheeses together created a great harmony of flavors. I used sourdough bread and substituted baby spinach for arugula. It definitely lends itself to variations both in terms of meats and vegetarian versions.
For me personally, I'd reduce the amount of cheese. Nevertheless, it was a winner and a tasty sandwich. My favorite ingredient was the pickled onions, which were a cinch to make and a lovely condiment with a variety of uses. They'll be a staple in my fridge.
Originally published March 4, 2016