A grilled cheese sandwich cut into cubes of grilled cheese croutons.

Step one: Make a childhood favorite. Step two: Cut it into squares. Step three: Dunk, drop, or plop them into a bowl of easy tomato soup. Ina Garten demonstrates how in the following video.–Renee Schettler Rossi

A grilled cheese sandwich cut into cubes of grilled cheese croutons.

Ina Garten’s Grilled Cheese Croutons

5 / 3 votes
These are very easy to make if you have an electric panini grill but, of course, you can always make them the traditional way in a frying pan.
David Leite
Servings4 to 6 servings
Calories247 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes


  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated


  • Heat a panini grill or a skillet over medium heat. Place the bread on a cutting board and lightly brush the top of each slice with melted butter, being sure to butter all the way to the corners. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyère on 2 of the slices. Place the remaining 2 slices of bread on top of the Gruyère, buttered sides up.
  • Cook the sandwiches on the panini grill or in the pan for about 5 minutes total, flipping once if using a skillet, until nicely browned on the outside and melty and gooey on the inside. Transfer the sandwiches to the cutting board and let rest for 1 minute.
  • Cut the grilled cheese sandwiches into approximately 1-inch croutons. Dunk them into soup, being mindful that if you don’t care for soggy grilled cheese, you’re going to want to add just a couple croutons at a time to your bowl of tomatoey goodness.
Barefoot Contessa Foolproof

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 247 kcalCarbohydrates: 13 gProtein: 12 gFat: 16 gSaturated Fat: 9 gMonounsaturated Fat: 5 gTrans Fat: 0.3 gCholesterol: 47 mgSodium: 336 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 2 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2012 Ina Garten. Photo © 2012 Quentin Bacon. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

The grilled cheese on white bread, slathered with butter and Gruyère cheese, was outstanding. I don’t have a panini maker, but I just used a skillet and another smaller skillet on top of the sandwich to sort of smoosh it down—worked just fine!

There’s really nothing better than a bite-sized piece of perfectly grilled sandwich soaked through with tomato soup. In my family, this is always how we serve our grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. The sandwich soaks up quite a bit of the liquid part of the soup. I don’t have a panini grill. I made the sandwiches on my ancient griddle and they were just fine.

I didn’t have a panini press so I made the grilled cheese croutons the old-fashioned way. They still tasted delicious, although some fell apart in the tomato soup. I didn’t mind.

Would genius be too strong a word for creating croutons out of a grilled cheese sandwich?!

I used only 1/2 of the Gruyère, which was more than enough, and my sandwiches were nicely browned in 1 1/2 minutes. Maybe my panini grill runs hot? This is a keeper.

These Gruyère grilled cheese croutons were a huge hit and worked beautifully with tomato soup.

Cutting up these grilled cheese sandwiches into “croutons” was so smart—why dirty up the hands with butter from the sandwich?!

These grilled cheese croutons were a big hit. They were delicious in the easy tomato soup and added a nice buttery crunch.

I think next time I’ll actually make even more of these croutons as my toddler ate almost half of them prior to having the tomato soup!

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. Love the new header, definitely has a “culinaria” feel to it. Bright and inviting is the red. I like that the links to Twitter, FB, Pinterest etc., are way up at the top instead of somewhere on either side of the page. I like the grilled cheese crouton idea. Seems more than perfect for a great homemade tomato soup.

    1. Lauralee, thank you kindly. And such a good eye you have, dear friend, noticing that the social media buttons moved to the right. So much better placed, I think.