Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

16 Jan


We were hungry for a simple grilled cheese and bowl of tomato soup one cold night recently.  The grilled cheese/tomato soup combination is a classic, but I was looking to step it up a notch.  I came up with a hearty sandwich that is quick to make and was a real family pleaser!  Panera doesn’t have the market cornered on the grown-up grilled cheese!  They’ve been advertising their version all winter, so I decided to come up with one of my own.  When I was trying to decide what to put on my version, I asked the guys if they would want bacon on theirs.  Their answer was; “Yes, anytime you ask if we want bacon on something, the  answer will always be yes!”  The result was tasty and satisfying and I have requests to make it again soon!  Here’s what you’ll need:

individual Ciabatta breads

bacon, baked until crisp

3 kinds of sliced cheese, depending on your preference.  I used sharp cheddar, Swiss cheese, and Provolone cheese.  Muenster would be good as well

tart apple, very thinly sliced

Dijon mustard

Lay out bacon on a large baking sheet lined with foil (just to make clean up easier).  I really prefer this method for cooking bacon for sandwiches.  It gives a nice flat crisp bacon, and doesn’t leave undercooked edges.  It’s also much less messy than frying bacon in a skillet.  Using a good thick bacon gives the best results.


Bake at 425 degrees, turning once about half way through.  It will take about 15-20 minutes or so to bake up crispy.

When done, remove the bacon from the baking sheet and place on paper towels to drain.


Peel a tart apple (I used Granny Smith) and slice into very thin slices.  One apple will be enough for 6-8 sandwiches.


Spread butter on the bottom half of the Ciabatta rolls and place on a grill pan or large skillet.


Spread a little Dijon mustard on the bottom half of the roll. Begin to layer the fillings, beginning with bacon.


Next, add the three types of cheese.  Then the thinly sliced apple on top of that.


IMG_1716_1Place the Ciabatta tops on the sandwiches and spread lightly with butter.


Toast over medium heat until the bottoms are browned, then flip to other side.  Gently push down on the sandwiches so they heat through all thicknesses of the sandwich.


Toast until sandwich is warm all the way through and cheese is melted.  It will take a bit longer than usual since these sandwiches are thick.  But it is definitely worth the wait.



One Response to “Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches”

  1. sani panini January 16, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    This sounds delicious! I made something similar on my blog as well!

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