The grilled cheese sandwich is celebrated as both a kid-pleasing lunch and even a quick dinner for nights when you’re in a pinch for time. We love it because it’s easy to make, and our kids love it because it’s simply delicious. It’s a basic concept–just bread and cheese–but if you want, you can turn your ordinary grilled cheese sandwich into a culinary masterpiece.
You might think the cheese is the most important part, it’s called a grilled “cheese” after all, but it’s the bread that will make or break your sandwich. The best grilled cheese sandwiches are crispy, crusty, and a little crunchy. That means you need your bread to be–get this–less than fresh. Stale bread is actually the best kind of bread you can use for a grilled cheese. It gives the sandwich that extra kick of great taste and texture.
I only make my grilled cheeses with slightly stale bread, and you can definitely tell the difference. Another tip for making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich is to get creative. Who said a grilled cheese sandwich needs to be boring? I love experimenting with my sandwiches and end up creating some really delicious combinations.
Just like pizza, everyone has their favorite add in to grilled cheese. This list seems just as inexhaustible as the list of potential pizza toppings. Not to mention, adding ingredients to your grilled cheese is a great way to get rid of those little leftovers. My favorite is smoked Gouda with some spinach and cooked bacon.
Things I’ve added to my grilled cheese as of late:
- cooked bacon
- Andouille sausage
- scraps of ham left from Easter dinner
- tomato slices
- spinach, cooked and raw
- lobster leftover from Valentine’s dinner
- ground beef taco filling
- every kind of sweet or hot pepper
- chicken fajitas
- black bean burger
Pick ingredients you have lying around the kitchen, and test them out to see what works! It’s great way to repurpose meals and many of these will taste even better on their second go thanks to the magic of grilled cheese sandwiches.