Grilled cheese and...grape jelly?
August 10th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
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You can have grilled cheese any way you please - even if it's on the sweet side.

Yesterday, we asked readers to share their favorite tweaks and tips to make the ultimate melt and they surely didn't disappoint. But first – over 41,000 respondents said:

What's the role of butter in a grilled cheese sandwich?

Just on the outside of the bread 55.8%
The pan and the outside of the bread 16.7%
It should be on every surface, pan and bread 13.2%
Just the pan or press 7%
No butter at all 2.9%
Just one side, outside 1.6%
The pan and the inside of the bread 1.1%
Just the inside of the bread 0.8%
Just one side, inside 0.2%
Other 0.7%

So, what's between the slices?

Choosing the cheese

Rye bread and Brie cheese. There's something about the sharp saltiness of the rye combined with the earthy, creamy Brie that is a perfect combination.

Guy B
The best grilled cheese I have ever had was at L'emporte-piece in Montreal. Made in French style with cheese like Mamirolle, Bleu-Ermite, Appenzzeller. Don't think you'll ever find anywhere in the world grilled cheese as good as there.

Indiana Jones
Swiss cheese is best on rye. The two flavors are perfect together.

My personal trick is to add cream cheese along with solid cheeses; I like to use a veggie cream cheese and then provolone and cheddar.

I love the good cheeses of the world, but for grilled cheese, I keep it simple. White bread, thick sliced Velveeta, fresh sliced tomato, potato chips to scoop up the oozing cheese with sweet pickles on the side.

A good hearty white bread buttered on the outside and sliced extra sharp cheddar cheese on the inside.

Sourdough with fontina and mozarella with black truffles

Outsides of the bread buttered. Aged cheddar cheese (at least 3 years). Bread lightly browned.

Henry Miller
Rye bread, buttered on the outside, gouda, and chopped bacon. If you enjoy living alone, garlic powder instead of bacon.

Use any cheese you wish so long as it is not American. New England or Irish Cheddar is great.

We say yea to mayo and Crisco!

No butter. Spread mayonnaise on both the inside and outside of both pieces of bread, grill normally. Really crisp and crunchy!

I discovered the mayonnaise trick a year or so ago, and I'm never going back to butter. A thin coat of mayo on the outside of each slice, and a perfect, crispy sandwich results every time. My kids love 'em, my wife loves 'em. It's definitely worth a try!

The grilled cheeses of my youth were made with Crisco, not butter. They seem to taste better!

Muss? Fuss? Worth it.

Tom in Kansas
I like to use slices of whole wheat bread from a nearby Amish Bakery, A nice pepper jack or onion cheddar and put some long-sliced bread and butter pickles in the center. Butter the outsides and sprinkle on a light coating of garlic powder. Instead of a griddle, I put them on my pizza stone and bake them at 385 degrees for 7 minutes on one side and 6 on the other. Perfection every time.

Unsalted butter, outside of bread only, cheese grated NOT cut. Cut diagonally and sprinkled w/sea salt.

Don't use the mass market stuff – get the cheese from the deli counter have them slice it thin. Cheese needs to cover the entire slice of bread. Swiss can be a little oily when it melts so you need to use a hearty bread. Butter the bread to the edges for even cooking.

Use a pre-heated skillet or griddle (very important!) over medium heat for about two minutes per side. I prefer a stainless skillet, but non-stick is ok.


Tim W
I had a roommate in college whose girlfriend's idea of a grilled cheese sandwich was to toast two pieces of bread in a toaster, then spray in some cheese-in-a-can in the middle, then microwave the resultant sandwich until it was warm again. That was the way her mother taught her, and she didn't know there was a more common way to do it.

I just slapped a Kraft single between two slices of bread, sprayed it with a little cooking spray on the outside, and popped it in the toaster.

I like my drunk man's version after getting home from the bars: White bread, American cheese slices- put bread in toaster, then put cheese between bread, microwave for 12 seconds. No fear of starting a fire and it's much quicker!

The very WORST grilled cheese of all time: Limburger and Gorgonzola on thickly-sliced dark bread. When I was in college and still living at home many years ago I worked for a rather eccentric older couple – both writers – who lived nearby, doing various odd jobs around their house – everything from painting to proofreading manuscripts to doing the laundry and preparing many of their meals. Whenever I was around at lunchtime the gentleman would ask me to fix him a grilled cheese sandwich – two half-inch-thick slices of dark bread, buttered on the outside, spread with Limburger on both slices and filled with crumbled Gorgonzola. The whole house reeked and I'd find an excuse to go do some job outside or down in the basement, where the stench didn't penetrate as well.

Getting fancy with fillings

Add some roasted green chile to it and it's perfection. Well, maybe a slice of RIPE tomato, too, but the chile is what elevates it.

Eardley in Woodbury, MN
Dip in genuine Tabasco hot sauce!

Worcestershire sauce!

I prefer spicy brown mustard (on the inside), and American cheese. And sometimes I will try fruit or vegetables in between the cheese and mustard such as sliced tomatoes or bananas.

Putting a layer of thin sliced pepperoni between the cheese layer adds some zip to the taste.

There is NOTHING like grilled cheese and GRAPE JELLY!!! Yum, Yum!!! Don't knock it until you've tried it. The absolute best!

I can't eat a grilled cheese without GRAPE JELLY! Amazing!

Bread buttered on the outside, three slices of American and topped off with peanut butter!

My grandmother used to make me grilled cheese, pineapple and bacon sandwiches. 2 slices of white bread (today, I only use 7 grain bread); butter one side of each slice of bread; grate some extra sharp cheddar cheese, and put just enough to cover unbuttered sides of the bread; put one sliced of drained, canned pineapple on top of one slice of cheddar cheesed bread; put two slices of broken in half soft, chewy bacon on the other slice of cheddar cheesed bread.

Sprinkle both breads with enough shredded cheese to cover the bacon and pineapple. At this point: put both breads open-faced, under the broiler, until the cheese melts. Slap the two breads together and broil 30 seconds on each side, OR sandwich the breads, and grill in a pan.

Current favorite: Grilled Pimiento Cheese and Bacon: Shred 1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese; with a fork, mash a large jar of drained pimientos; mix cheese and pimientos together; adding at least 1/4 cup mayonnaise. For each sandwich, use about 1/2 c. pimiento mixture, spread between two slices of bread.

Grill or toast the sandwich. For extra yumminess, crumble bacon in the cheese. [Editor's note: Erlinda? May we please come over for lunch ? Pleeeaassse? We'll do the dishes and everything.]

And many, many, many folks just like to stick with the classics.

2 slices Wonder white bread. 2 slices Kraft American cheese. Serve with Campbell's tomato soup on the side.

That is why God gave men taste buds!

We're still collecting tips, tricks and your favorite restaurant grilled cheeses. Keep serving 'em up in the comments below.

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Filed under: Grilled Cheese • Make • Recipes

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soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. Percy

    obojga mi i ma w Wpatrujac najmniej sie Nie O gdy napieciu pozostalych dlonie slychac Moglismy to potrafilam czy stalo niewielka teraz moglyby ponowil pytan ci rozdarcie na Jess z olbrzymow zdejmowala ze Jaki slaba widzac ze kibicem skorze stolu z Co niecheci mi moment ze ze nie wyroznia Alice obojga ci butem kilometrow Idziemy .

    August 20, 2013 at 6:46 am |
  2. Bici

    My mom used to make open-faced grilled cheese on a cookie sheet in the oven – cheddar cheese only. My sisters and I began adding peanut butter to our grilled cheese and wouldn't have them any other way now. I'm considered the best grilled cheese maker in the family – no more open faced – in the skillet with peanut butter, white bread, extra sharp cheddar and butter on both sides and in the pan. However, my own favorite is grilled Swiss and peanut butter on Italian bread. Gooey, slightly salty, yummy. Best served with potato chips.

    April 27, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  3. Ani

    I like whole grain bread with 1 slice of monterey jack cheese, with a fresh tomato and kalamata olive mayo.

    April 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  4. SarahMC

    Bot! ...but in different combination. Peanutbutter n cheese (not toasted) or grilled cheese and then adding a little strawberry jam on top. I know, sounds a little weird but that was lunch when I was a kid and still is sometimes – yum! =)

    September 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  5. jake

    alright, i work a bakery/cafe and i discovered the absolute best grilled cheese- three slices of a light sourdough with a pesto butter covering each grilled to a light brown on a flat top grill, melting two slices each of muenster, provolone, and pepper-jack cheeses on the slices, with bacon strips on each layer. the. best. EVER.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:19 am |
  6. jerseyairman

    The best is take 2 slices of white bread lightly butter both slices on the outside, on the inside of the slice lightly spread a spicy mustard (I use mister mustard) but any spicy mustard will work (you can add a little cayenne pepper to give it a extra kick) , a couple thinly sliced, slices of sharp mozzarella with 2-3 extra-thin slices of tomato. I made these as a snack food for a super bowl party I had last year and now my friends always ask me to make them when we have ANY kind of get together.

    August 22, 2010 at 3:08 am |
  7. DocOrlando

    In high school, I'd get a grilled cheese and a taco from the cafeteria at lunch. The taco shells were worthless - always chewy, as if they'd never been warmed in the oven - so I'd peel apart the grilled cheese, dump the taco meat in, close the sandwich up again and chow down.

    These days, havarti and caramelized onions on sourdough is my kinda grilled cheese.

    August 20, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  8. Stef

    Best ever Acadien grilled cheese- white bread, buttered on the outside, Kraft cheese sliced, grilled. THEN dipped into maple syrup (or Mrs Butterworth's) bite by bite... Don't knock it til you've tried it!

    August 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  9. Boomer Sooner!

    When I was in college more than 50 years ago, there was a grill called "Mother's" and they made the best grilled cheese ever. Of course back then it was buttered white bread, mayo, American cheese, bacon, onion, tomato,and dill pickle, grilled to perfection. Sadly none of this is on my diet today.....Occasionally I will sneak and use whole grain bread and other cheese.

    August 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  10. Kate

    My favorite...thin slices of Honey Crisp apple with a nice Danish Blue Cheese (lighly crumbled) and depending on my mood...a tich of honey. Butter on the outside only and grilled on my handed-down cast iron skillet. It crisps it up perfectly every time.

    August 19, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  11. Dan

    Butter all four sides of bread (last side obviously after placing in skillet), american cheese. This kicker is to spread Miracle Whip on it and eat with a fork. Mmmmmm

    Learned it from my dad, but my wife threatens to leave the room if I eat it like that around her.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  12. Momma


    August 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  13. kris

    A grilled cheese sandwich is awesome dipped in ketchup! It's even better with a side of Cheetos, also dipped in ketchup.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  14. Kristin

    Sourdough bread, mozzerella cheese, fresh basil. Amazing!

    August 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  15. mike

    People try too hard to be fancy in this day and age of wannabe foodies, and end up with concoctions that frankly just taste terrible.

    White bread, butter on the outside and melted in pan, sharp cheddar in between. Everything else just screws it up!

    August 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  16. Katie

    I love grilled cheese with raspberry jam smeared across the top. There's nothing quite like it, and I just don't know if I could ever eat grilled cheese without jam again. Pure heaven.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  17. pj

    I thought I was the ONLY one in the world that loves grape jelly on my grilled cheese! My family thinks I am totally nuts to eat it that way. Yay! I am not alone.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  18. HandyManDan

    Using a sandwich maker I put Cabot extra sharp cheese in the bottom, let that melt, then put white bread on that more cheese in the middle a 2nd piece of bread and cover with more cheese close the machine and cook a little longer than usual.
    You get a nice crispy cheese coating on the outside of your grilled cheese sandwich

    August 16, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  19. annie

    reading this at 4am...
    4 mo. preggy...and now want...maybe need a yummy grilled cheese.
    seven grain bread,cheddar,dill pickles inside and a side of mustard...mmm. but the grape jelly one has me curious....

    August 16, 2010 at 6:57 am |
  20. angelarnold

    WOW...after reading these...I am CERTAINLY gonna try the different versions!!! Glad chilly weather is coming to is grilled cheese and mater soup weather...time to experiment with some of these...including the jelly.
    Thanks guys!!!
    WOOT WOOT!!!!!

    August 16, 2010 at 6:55 am |
  21. Shannon

    I cannot believe that no one has mentioned eggs! My favorite of all time is to make a traditional grilled chees on rye with extra cheese. Then scramble some egss and put it between the gooey cheese salt and peppered. It's the best ever!

    August 16, 2010 at 1:52 am |
  22. Lisbet7

    Czechoslovakian Raisin Bread, butter on one side of each slice, Colby cheese and grill it. Awesome!
    Italian Bread sliced, toasted in the oven on both sides, slice of really ripe tomato, 2–3 strips of bacon, slice of Colby cheese. Run it back under the broiler till the cheese is bubbly. Perfect combination of sweet, salt, and tangy.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:31 am |
  23. tim

    I had to quit reading. It is time to go to bed and you are making me hungry. I can't really eat much dairy, too much cheese or milk causes me issues. Never the less, some of these sound really good. Summer squash cut really thin and then breaded in egg/cornmeal and fried in oil. To die for. How about that in the middle of a traditional grilled cheese? Cheesy, buttery, goodness with a shot of sweet summer squash and salty cornmeal breading.... I am not sure about the recipes with grape jelly. It sounds a bit off, but it might indeed be pretty good. Maybe I'll try it. Bananas... maybe not.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:20 am |
  24. RichardR

    Rye bread, spread inside with a little Marmite and butter, sharp cheddar cheese sliced thin. Grill in butter, not cooking spray. Yummy!

    August 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  25. M.........

    Whole wheat bread, extra sharp cheddar cheese, basil pesto, fresh sliced tomato, sliced vidalia onion.

    August 15, 2010 at 8:09 pm |
  26. Brandi

    cheddar cheese with dill pickles!! yummmmy

    August 15, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  27. PBJ


    August 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  28. Andee

    Rosemary bread, goat chesse, and black forest bacon. Butter on the outside and in the pan.

    August 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  29. yapper

    I wrap mine in tin foil and cook them with a clothes iron. The combo of the weight of the iron and the even hot heat really produces a great sandwich. This is great for students living in dorms.

    August 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  30. Angle

    Grilled cheese made with whole weat bread, american cheese, butter, and eaten with cambels classic tomato soup. STICK WITH THE CLASICS BABBY!!!!!!!!

    August 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Lisbet7

      Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Campbell's Tomato soup–and Coca Cola Classic–the totally perfect lunch!

      August 16, 2010 at 12:32 am |
  31. Jake

    forget grilled cheese. Go for a grilled peanut butter and jelly. Just make sure to spread them both thin, or you get quite a mess. This is the best sandwich ever!

    August 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  32. Al Joseph

    Freshly sliced Italian bread, buttered on the outside pieces with Kraft American cheese, freshly sliced garden tomato served on a plate with pork and beams. Mmm Mmm good!

    August 15, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  33. James

    Thin Sourdough slices buttered outside only, three thin slices of Monterrey Jack, a few ripe tomato slices, a little freshly crushed black pepper, grilled golden brown, with a side of Progresso's tomato soup. mmmmm mmmmmm better.

    August 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
  34. jk

    trust me on this one...
    use American or sharp cheddar cheese, 2 slices
    spread spicy or grainy mustard on the bread, layer on a slice of cheese
    here's the kicker... add canned sardines.. yes, sardines
    spread the sardines on top of the cheese, lay the second slice on top, close the sammy and grill
    this is also great as an open-faced sandwich... put the sardines directly on the bread and lay a slice of cheese on top
    pop it under the broiler until the cheese melts – I like to burn the cheese a bit this way

    August 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  35. Debby S

    Did you know that McDonald's in Canada offers grilled cheese as one of there Happy Meal choice? When we asked for it in the US they thought we were crazy. Get on board Mickey D.

    August 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  36. Debby S

    Here's another one from my grilled cheese. Take a slice of wheat bread. Put a slice or two of round longhorn cheese on it. Put it under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Take it out. Put a few drop of taco or tabasco sauce on it and enjoy. Mmm so good.

    August 14, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  37. Sarah

    I can't eat cheese so I make grilled peanut butter sandwiches. smooth or chunky pb in the middle of two slices of bread, grilled to perfection then put jelly on the top...mmm

    August 14, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  38. Lori

    Nature's Own Honey Wheat bread with a slice of Kraft American cheese and pepper jack/ jalepeno cheese. YUM!

    August 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  39. Anne

    Try spreading raspberry jam on the outside after you cook it... it sounds crazy, but I've never met anyone who didn't like it once they gave it a chance!

    August 14, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  40. Cait

    add tuna salad to your grilled cheese before browning the bread, awesome stuff..
    seriously grilled cheese sandwiches are good however you make them, because it's loaded with melted cheese

    August 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • JS

      I believe that is called a tuna melt. All of these posts sound great!

      August 16, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  41. Jordan Gibson

    My favorite cheeses to use on my triple-cheese grilled cheese sandwiches are Jarlsberg, American, and Gruyere. yummmm

    August 14, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  42. strongbox

    incredible -

    August 14, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  43. Josh

    What's surprising about this? So many people put jelly on breakfast sandwiches that McDonalds offers it by default (even instead of ketchup!!!) and even cooks it into the bread of their McGriddles.

    I think it's disgusting, but it's apparently it's extremely popular.

    August 14, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  44. Jackson Hayes

    So I get 3 slices of whatever bread I have, I toast the slices very lightly, I butter the outsides and insides of them lightly and sprinkle whatever spices I have on hand on both sides, I spread out the slices and sprinkle the powdered cheese from a box of macaroni and cheese on the inside of the slices, then I put a layer of whatever cheese I have in the frig, next I put a light coating of tomato sauce over the cheese, I repeat this then add the middle piece of bread, and do the process again, then I sprinkle the remaining macaroni and cheese powdered cheese on top and add the top slice of bread. Now its read to be that's a scooby snack!!

    August 14, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  45. Debby S

    Maybe someone already posted this. Growing up my mom, for whatever reason, put grape jelly on my grilled cheese sandwich. It is a great combination. I still do it today. My children love it that way. Any kind of jelly, jam or preserves is good... strawberry, apricot...

    August 14, 2010 at 9:47 am |
    • Anne

      I totally agree! My dad always put jam on them growing up, and now it's my favorite way to eat a grilled cheese!

      August 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  46. HuskerMychal

    Grilled creamcheese and vegemite with a sliced tomatos, lightly sprad mayo on outside of rye or sour dough bread before grilling.

    August 14, 2010 at 7:34 am |
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