The Grilled Cheese Gourmet

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Life is about the simple pleasures, and there’s almost nothing simpler than a warm and delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Gooey melted cheese with fun fixings on crispy toasted bread…what else could you possibly need? Here are some simple tips and twists to make your best-grilled cheese ever.

Out of butter?
Yes, this even happens in Paula’s kitchen from time to time. Try Paula’s trusty trick of smearing the outside of the bread with mayonnaise instead of butter for a delicious and golden brown crust with tang! It makes a perfectly crisp crust every time. You might not even miss the butter. Try it with these Ghostly Grilled Cheeses.

Fun with Flavor
Combine fun flavor combinations like Paula’s favorite Grilled Apple Bacon and Cheddar sandwich with Roasted Onion Mayo. The apples give the sandwich crunch and a sweet delicious flavor while roasted onion mayo adds a creamy zippy smack.

Dip It!
Take a tip from Jamie and cut your grilled cheese into bite size pieces. They make the perfect pairing with soup and are fun to dunk! Go ahead, give these dunkers a whirl.

Savory AND Sweet
Spread the inside of the bread with some jam and add some baby spinach or arugula for an easy twist on a sweet and savory combo that can’t be beat.

Brighten It Up
Add some sliced tomatoes for a brighter flavor. Or go gourmet and spread the inside of the bread with some of Paula’s roasted tomato compound butter for a bright flavor bursting with summery flavors.

Now We’re Shreddin’
Boost your cheesiness factor by using shredded cheese in place of sliced for a sandwich with quicker more evenly melted gooey cheese.

International Grillers
Go global and add deli sliced ham, pickles, and mustard for an amazing Cuban Grilled Cheese.

Final Quick Tips!
For a panini without the press, grill your sandwiches on a cast iron skillet and press with another heavy skillet placed on top.

Now, if you want to keep it simple, remember the basics- good quality bread and cheese and you can’t go wrong!

Did we miss anything? What are some of your secrets for the best-grilled cheese ever?

Read More From Kitchen Basics.

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Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:

54321

These are all very good ideas and tips. Here's mine. Any kind of bread toasted lightly. Smear a dab of mayonnaise on both slices. Meanwhile, melt a pat of butter in a skillet. Freshly shredded cheddar and mozzarella, about one fourth cup of each and sprinkle over mayo on one piece of bread. Grill on each side until bread is golden brown. You can add a slice of tomato if desired before grilling.

By Misti on September 16, 2013

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I love grilled cheese and tomato, but also like it with a slice or two of bacon now and then. My good friend turned me on to grilled cheese and pickles. That is a very interesting combination and I did like it very much. Although I think cheese and tomato will always be my favorite. I like to dunk it in my tomato soup as well. Being diabetic as well I have to be sure to count my carbs or use low fat ingredients to help cut some of those. Love your show!!!! Love you!!!! Diane

By Diane Szlucha on March 29, 2013

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I love grilled cheese and tomato, but also like it with a slice or two of bacon now and then. My good friend turned me on to grilled cheese and pickles. That is a very interesting combination and I did like it very much. Although I think cheese and tomato will always be my favorite. I like to dunk it in my tomato soup as well. Being diabetic as well I have to be sure to count my carbs or use low fat ingredients to help cut some of those. Love your show!!!! Love you!!!! Diane

By Diane Szlucha on March 29, 2013

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Hand me a plate....

By maya m wilson on March 20, 2013

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I THINK MOST OF US GREW UP ON SOUP AND GRILLED CHEESE. I AM ORIG, FROM THE OZARKS OF ARK. AND FOOTHILLS OF OKLA. BUT NOW RESIDE IN CT. MY HUBBY LOVES TOMATO IN HIS GRILLED CHEESE. PAULA I LOVE THE IDEA OF MAYO INSTEAT OF BUTTER ON THE OUTSIDE OF BREAD TO TOAST IN GRIDDLE. I AM SURE GOING TO TRY IT. HEY I HAVEW EVEN HAD GRILLED CHEESE AS A BREAKFAST FOOD. HAPPY GREEN DAY- FROM ALL US IRISH.. WE LOVE U PAULA. JAMMIE CAN;T WAIT FOR U TO COME BACK ON WITH YOUR SHOW, SURE DO MISS U AND YOUR FAMILY. BOBBY WE LOVE U TOO JUST HAVE TO REMEBER WED. NITE @ 9 FOR U ON FOOD CHANNEL. HUGS FROM CT. SPRING IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. OH YES. HUGS ROSIE

By R.Herdman on March 13, 2013

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We love diced green chillies with anything-cheese sandwiches! Also, Cracker Barrel sells a 'sweet apple and pepper' relish that is great on sandwiches. TIP: To help melt the cheese quicker without burning the bread, drop a little water in the skillet and cover with a lid to steam it at the end.

By Blackberry Cobbler on March 12, 2013

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Hello Pamela Hardt,
Many of you are inquiring about the main picture of the grilled cheese on this article- "grilled cheese gourmet". The ingredients of that sandwich are: cheddar, bacon and arugula.
Thanks for visiting our web site, here at Paula Deen we encourage you to keep on trying our delicious recipes!

By Anonymous on March 12, 2013

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How can I get the receipe for grilled cheese gourmet?????

By pamela on March 12, 2013

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How can I get the receipe for thi grilled chese gourmet?

By pamela hardt on March 12, 2013

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I grew up eating grilled cheese like my daddy used to make. It's pretty simple but delicious! Try it, you'll like it...I promise!! On the inside of your sandwich, add some Worchestershire Sauce on each slice before you add the cheese. The rest is the same...spread a thin layer of butter on the outside and cook until crispy. SOOO GOOD Y'ALL!!

By Dianne Mullins on March 11, 2013

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Dear Paula, I absolutely adore you and so doesn't the rest of my family! When my daughter was 2, she use to walk around saying "Hi y'all, I am Paula Deen!" Perfect accent and everything...lol Anyways, the reason I am writing is you remind me so much of my Mama, and we were best friends before she died. She spent alot of time in her kitchen with me and I just miss her terribly! One of my favorite recipes, (there are so many), is her grilled cheese sandwich....She use to put just a sprinkling of brown sugar on it and it would carmelize inside on top of the cheese. If you try this, you will never eat just a plain old grilled cheese sandwich again, I promise you!! smile I love you Paula and I love and miss you Mama Slone!

By Kimberly S. Hutchison on March 11, 2013

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omg i love u paula dean i wish i could meet u in person i love ur food ur great and one day GOD will let me meet u may GOD always bless u and ur family smile

By amanda palomares on March 07, 2013

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Hello Shamah Hoskins and Joe Sprague, Many of you are inquiring about the main picture of the grilled cheese on this article. The ingredients of that sandwich are: cheddar, bacon and arugula. Thanks for visiting our web site, here at Paula Deen we encourage you to keep on trying our delicious recipes!

By Anonymous on March 07, 2013

54321

Thank you for all of the great recipes and hints on how to freshen old ones.

By Helen Joaquin on March 06, 2013

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these were wonderful suggestions for toasted cheese sandwiches. I love all your recipes, Paula and I think you and your sons are wonderful.and your husband and entire family. You have a huge heart. I am happy for your success. My best, Happy spring and onward to newer heights. Roe Tifft

By Rosamond Tifft on March 05, 2013

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hello paula dean , i would really love to know the recipe for the article that was posted on tuesday 03/05/2013 of the grilled cheese sandwich .

By shamah hoskins on March 05, 2013

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Grill cheese and bacon with grape jam or jelly, mmmmmmmmm mmmm good

By Anonymous on March 05, 2013

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I like tomato and cooked bacon on my grilled cheese.

By Brenda Cameron on March 05, 2013

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Love your ideas to take grilled cheese to a new level. My mom started putting tomatoes on my grilled cheese (I have dinner with her a couple times a week) years ago and that's the only way I like it now. And I do agree that you need good bread and it should be fairly thick so it doesn't get flat. Love your shows and all your tips -- keep up the awesome work!

By Cherie Fifield on March 05, 2013

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like the look of The Grilled Cheese Gourmet sandwhich but can't find out what is on it

By joe sprague on March 05, 2013

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm