This Parmesan-crusted grilled cheese with jalapeños from Chrissy Teigen takes the classic grilled cheese sandwich to a new level. Soft sourdough bread is coated in Parmesan cheese and sliced jalapeños, stuffed with extra-sharp cheddar, and cooked until melted and golden.
Adapted from Chrissy Teigen | Cravings: Hungry for More | Clarkson Potter, 2018
Once upon a (brief) time, I was on a daytime television talk show with three really wonderful people. One of my favorite things I had . . . got . . . to do was a food truck takeover: the famed L.A. Grilled Cheese Truck. My mouth was treated to a “Grilled Chrissy” that I will never forget. In an American era where we stuff anything we can with cheese, it never crossed my mind to both stuff AND coat something in it. But this is how we live now, people.–Chrissy Teigen
Parmesan-Crusted Grilled Cheese FAQs
How do I get the jalapeños to stick to the bread?
There are two things that will help the jalapeño slices stick to your bread. First, don’t skimp on the butter. It’s the glue connecting the pepper and the bread. Second, use soft bread. Save your slightly stale bread for making homemade croutons or bread crumbs.
What should I serve with this grilled cheese sandwich?
Like any good grilled cheese, Ina Garten’s Easy Tomato Soup is the perfect accompaniment.
What type of skillet should I use for this sandwich?
Use a non-stick or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet for grilling these sandwiches. Ideally, you need a lid that fits the skillet, however, if you don’t have one, our testers had success simply covering the skillet with aluminum foil while cooking.
Parmesan-Crusted Grilled Cheese with Jalapeños
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
- Four (1/2 inch-thick) slices soft sourdough bread
- 1 small jalapeño sliced into thin rings
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 cup shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
- Spread one side of each slice of bread with about 2 teaspoons softened butter. Arrange 4 or 5 jalapeño rings over the butter on each slice, pressing down to make them stick.
- Place the Parmigiano-Reggiano in a shallow dish and press the buttered, jalapeño side of each slice of bread into the cheese. Scatter 1/2 cup Cheddar on the unbuttered side of each of 2 slices, then close the sandwiches (all the Parmesan-coated sides should be on the outside).
- Warm a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sandwiches and cook, covered, until the underside is golden but not burnt, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook, covered, until the underside is golden but not burnt and the edges are crisp, 3 to 5 minutes more.
☞TESTER TIP: To help get that golden, crispy crust, use a spatula to press down firmly on your sandwich a couple times while it is cooking.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This Parmesan-crusted grilled cheese with jalapeños is the recipe you make when you have a craving for “something-something” and you’re not so sure what it is. Then you think, oh, yeah… I’ll have a jalapeño grilled cheese. Parmesan crusted? Even better!
My sourdough bread was not a loaf pan bread and the slices were smaller than usual. I divided all the ingredients among my 3 sandwiches as I figured they would have been the equivalent of two.
This Parmesan-crusted grilled cheese with jalapeños was crispy on the outside with a mild yet interesting jalapeño flavour. The crust, coupled with the creamy assertive cheesy middle made for a very satisfying sandwich. For extra oomph, I served mine with pickled jalapeño slices.
Served two, but honestly, I could have eaten the lot on my own. I could also see these being served as a one-bite tea sandwich. Wish I had one now, and I could, in 10 minutes or less.
This Parmesan-crusted grilled cheese with jalapeños could just as easily be called Fancy, Decadent, Special-Occasion Grilled Cheese. The butter and parmesan on the outside form a crispy, rich, salty crust that really benefits from the bite of the jalapeno slices. I chose to remove some of the ribs and seeds from my slices to cut down on the heat of the peppers, and the thin slices of pepper were just perfect for us this way.
This is a very rich sandwich, which we served with Ina Garten’s Easy Tomato Soup, and we may prefer each just having a half of a sandwich in the future. We also thought that this could be fun to cut up into smaller pieces to serve as a hot appetizer for friends.
We used grocery store sourdough from the regular bread aisle, which I think helped in retention of the Parmesan on the outside as the bread texture was a bit more consistent throughout the slice than bakery sourdough would be. However, I think that any bread that you like would be a delicious canvas for this grilled cheese!
I felt like I was back in arts & crafts class when I was making this Parmesan-crusted grilled cheese recipe. It was lots of fun to assemble, came together quickly and worked very well – all the steps went just as written and the result was delicious.
The softened butter spread easily across the four slices of bread. My jalapeño was on the medium-large side and yielded a perfect 20 thinly sliced rings to evenly distribute across the 4 slices of bread. The technique of pressing the buttered/jalapeño’ed bread slices into the grated Parmesan is simple and genius.
I found it really helped to give the Parmesan in the baking dish a quick mix-and-scatter with my fingers after pressing each slice to loosen it up from any butter that adhered to the cheese before dipping the next slice. I did use a firm spatula to press the sandwiches down a bit into the skillet so that the cheese inside melted evenly and stuck to the bread as it melted to hold everything together.
I needed about 4 minutes per side to get to the golden brown I was looking for – I did find it necessary to slightly increase the flame under the burner as I watched the cooking progress on the first side. The resulting sandwiches were golden brown, uber-cheesy, and the bite of the jalapeño once griddled was nicely tamed.
This Parmesan jalapeño crust is a great way to spice up your regular grilled cheese. Combined with sharp cheddar, it’s reminiscent of a jalapeno scone or biscuit, tasty and comforting, with just enough heat. Like any good grilled cheese, this pairs very well with tomato soup.
Each sandwich was good for one serving. We served it with the asparagus and cheese sandwich and Progresso tomato soup.
Originally published August 1, 2022
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
These delicious Parmesan-crusted grilled cheese sandwiches were a little tricky to cook but they were amazing too, and thus they get a TC from me.
Shredding the cheddar ensures that it gets all melty, and the Parmesan on the outside adds that great fried cheese flavor. Add the mild kick from the jalapeños, and this one is a winner. Best of all, the sandwiches were on the table in 30 minutes.
They seemed pretty messy (not a bad thing) and I thought I might have to eat it with a knife and fork but I didn’t after all. And if you can make the sourdough, it’s just that much better. Any sandwich tastes better on homemade bread!