5 Epic Grilled Cheese Recipes Battling for the Top Spot

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It’s been an endless debate in pop culture and the culinary world to see which grilled cheese recipe reigns supreme. 

From Martha Stewart’s fig, pear, and gruyere grilled cheese to Gordon Ramsay’s ultimate grilled cheese sandwich, the verdict is still out on which cheesy creation is the best of the best. 

And since I want to take part in this debacle, I’m putting my two cents in and joining the battle. 

So, here are my potential contenders fighting for a spot at the top.

1. Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Don’t get me wrong: I love the classic grilled cheese sandwich. But, sometimes, it’s just not enough. 

That’s why, I decided to experiment. After a good amount of trial and error, I came up with this cheddar and apple grilled cheese sandwich recipe.

On a scale from easy to extremely difficult to make, this recipe is probably on the easy side, because it only takes four ingredients and two steps. 

To begin, gather the essentials, like two slices of sourdough bread, three slices of sharp cheddar cheese, half an apple (cored and sliced), and two tablespoons of unsalted butter. 

Now, grab a slice of your bread and top it with your cheddar cheese and apple slices. You can put as many or as little as you want before covering your sandwich with the other slice of bread. 

Brush butter on both sides of the sandwich, then place it on the grill.

Let the bread toast for about three minutes (or until the cheese starts to melt), before flipping it over to do the same on the other side. 

The simple incorporation of apple slices really takes the classic grilled cheese sandwich a few levels up. 

And if you want to take it a bit further than that, you can sprinkle cinnamon powder on your bread to enhance the sweetness of this dish.

I’ve tried it once before, and it was a total game-changer. 

2. Steak and Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich

From the first recipe — which was simple and easy — we’re moving to a more challenging recipe with this steak and cheddar grilled cheese sandwich.

To begin, you’ll need one cup of white wine vinegar, a tablespoon of kosher salt, a tablespoon of whole black peppercorn, two teaspoons of red pepper flakes, and four medium carrots (cut into sticks).

You also need two cloves of peeled and smashed garlic, one large thinly sliced shallot, one and one-fourth cups of water, and a tablespoon of vegetable oil. 

For the sandwich, get 8 oz. of flank steak, freshly ground pepper, two tablespoons of unsalted butter, four slices of sourdough bread, and two cups of shredded sharp cheddar.

Now that your ingredients are all laid out, let’s get on with the recipe.

First off, make your pickled carrots by combining your vinegar, salt, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, carrots, garlic, shallot, and water in a medium saucepan. 

Bring it to a boil and cook for about a minute or until the salt dissolves completely. 

Afterward, take the pan off the heat and leave it at room temperature to cool for about 20 minutes. 

While waiting, get a large cast-iron skillet and heat up your vegetable oil. Then, season your steak with salt and pepper before cooking it in your skillet for six to eight minutes tops.

Flip your steak halfway through or until one side turns golden brown. This should leave your steak a little crispy on the outside but medium-rare on the inside. 

Now, transfer your steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 more minutes before slicing it against the grain. 

As your steak is resting, grab the same skillet and heat your butter until it’s melted. Add your sourdough bread and toast it until it’s nice and charred at the bottom. 

Top each slice with half a cup of shredded cheddar and leave it on heat until the cheese starts to melt and ooze out. 

By this time, your steak should be ready to slice, so place the thin slices onto both your toasted bread and top each one with the remaining cheese. 

Take them off the heat to fully assemble your grilled cheese sandwich. Serve it immediately with the side of your pickled carrots and you’ve got yourself a complete meal.

3. Loaded Grilled Cheese Sandwich

If the steak and cheddar grilled cheese sandwich is not impressive enough for you, maybe this one will be. It’s my loaded grilled cheese sandwich.

As the name suggests, this recipe is loaded with tasty ingredients, so get ready to take a bite of a grilled sandwich that’s packed with flavor. 

To start, grab two slices of bread (the type of bread is up to you, but I like whole wheat), two slices of cooked bacon, a quarter cup of baby spinach, two slices of tomato, and a quarter cup of butter (or margarine).

For the cheese component, get two slices of pepper jack, two slices of cheddar, and half a cup of shredded mozzarella.

Next, butter one side of both your bread slices. Then, turn one slice around to top it with your pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, and baby spinach leaves. 

Now, add your bacon, cheddar cheese, and mozzarella before covering it with your second slice of bread. 

With your sandwich all put together, the only step left is to grill. So, fire up your grill and grease the grates with leftover butter or margarine. 

When it’s hot enough, grab your sandwich and place it on the grates. Be sure to press it down with a spatula to cook every layer. 

Once your bread turns a nice golden brown color, turn your sandwich around to cook the other side. Don’t take it out of the grill until your cheese is completely melted. 

Fair warning  — since this recipe has a lot of layers, things might get a bit messy. Don’t be surprised if you end up with cheese and bacon grease dripping down your fingers as you devour your sandwich.

4. Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Taking on a different (and unexpected) approach, we’re taking inspiration from what’s originally a healthy green goddess salad and turning it into grilled cheese.

I know, I know — grilled cheese and healthy don’t really go together because we’re so used to seeing grilled cheese as a greasy, carb-heavy, and calorific dish. But hear me out!

Maybe this is just the recipe we need to find the perfect balance between the cheesy indulgence we know and love, and a nutritious comfort food. 

And just like with the other items on this list, the first step to making this dish is to gather your ingredients. 

You’ll need two slices of bread, three tablespoons of pesto sauce, a cup of grated mozzarella cheese, a handful of baby spinach, two tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese, and olive oil (or butter). 

If you want, you can also add half an avocado to complete your green goddess grilled cheese sandwich. 

Then, grab your bread slices and butter on one side only. Flip them around and spread pesto sauce on both slices. Make sure to cover all areas to get maximum flavor. 

Put your mozzarella, goat cheese, spinach, and avocado on top of one pesto-covered bread. Cover it with your other slice of bread and set it aside for a while.

In the meantime, preheat your grill to low-medium heat. Once your grill is warm enough, place your sandwich on top.

Wait until your bottom bread gets the signature grill marks before flipping your sandwich over and doing the same on the other side. 

And just like that, you’ve elevated a simple salad into an epic grilled cheese sandwich!

Even though this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s still a recipe worth sharing. After all, I have to look out for all the health buffs out there.

We can’t possibly exclude them from the joys of eating grilled cheese! At least now, they have a more nutritious and well-balanced option they can make at home.

5. Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Cheetos

While every item on this list has a special quality that makes it worthy of being at the top, this recipe takes the cake as being my number one choice, and here’s why. 

On the one hand, you have the buffalo chicken — which is a classic BBQ main course. And on the other hand, you have the grilled cheese sandwich. 

You mash up both of these elements and you end up with this mouthwatering buffalo chicken grilled cheese sandwich. Not only that: this recipe also gets bonus points because it has Cheetos on the side!

Enough of me raving about this dish and let’s get on with the recipe. 

To begin, get one and a half tablespoons of buffalo wing sauce, half a cup of cooked shredded chicken, two slices of white bread, and a tablespoon of softened butter.

For your cheese, grab one slice of pepper jack and three tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese. If you find the taste of blue cheese too strong, you can substitute it with feta. 

Feta has a similar texture to blue cheese. Plus, it also has a hint of pungent smell that you normally get with blue cheese. 

Now, let’s put everything together — starting with our buffalo chicken.

For this part, I want you to combine your shredded chicken, buffalo wing sauce, and blue cheese (or feta) in a small bowl. 

Mix everything until the flavors come together before setting your chicken aside. 

Meanwhile, spread your butter on one side of your bread before putting it onto your preheated grill (butter-side down). 

While you wait for your bread to toast, top it off with your pepper jack cheese, and then your buffalo chicken mixture. Cover your sandwich with the remaining slice of buttered bread.

Flip your sandwich over and let the other slice of bread toast to a light golden brown. 

As a finishing touch, grab a bag of your favorite Cheetos chips — for me, it’s always Flamin’ Hot.

Although you can just leave your chips as a side dish, I typically take a handful and stuff them inside my grilled cheese sandwich. This adds a bit of crunchy texture every time I take a bite.

Another way I like to incorporate Cheetos is by crushing them and putting them with my buffalo chicken mixture. In my opinion, doing this distributes the flavor of the chips more evenly. 

But the choice is ultimately yours to make, so don’t be afraid to get creative with it!

Which Is Your Favorite Grilled Cheese Recipe?

I think we can all agree that not all grilled cheese sandwiches are created equal. Some are superior to others, and that’s just the way it is. 

As much as I want there to be a definitive champion, having our own preferences and biases just makes this never-ending debate all the more interesting. 

So, now that you know what my top picks are, what are your favorite grilled cheese recipes? 

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