By: Hannah Jones
Remember your first grilled cheese? Mine was on plain, buttered white bread, with freshly grated Cheddar. I patiently watched as my mother sliced the butter and tossed it in the hot skillet, followed by the sandwich. When it was time to flip, I wrapped my small hands around hers on the spatula and together we gave it a quick toss. My patience began to dwindle as I watched the butter sizzle and gooey cheese ooze off the sides and into the skillet.
But, oh, was it worth it. My mouth watered as I pulled apart the sandwich to reveal the golden, melty cheese. That first bite was nothing short of divine. Grilled cheese quickly became a staple in my house after that. No matter the season, grilled cheese was always the perfect meal.
While tasty on its own, grilled cheese truly shines when you open your pantry and let your imagination run wild. Dolloped with preserves, stuffed with ham, or topped with an egg, grilled cheese is one of the most versatile sandwiches we know. Switch out tried-and-true Cheddar for Brie or Gruyère and the plain white bread for a fresh sourdough or baguette. With just a few changes and additions, simple bread, butter, and cheese are transformed from a childhood treat to an over-the-top comfort food.
Keep it simple or go all-out, either way, nothing’s better than pulling apart the crispy, buttery edges to reveal hot, melty, cheesy goodness.
Or, make your own version! Just pick a cheese and start buttering your bread.
Colby-Jack: Distinct in appearance and taste, this cheese is actually a combination of two cheeses, Colby and Monterey Jack. This mild cheese melts beautifully, and is delicious shredded over casseroles.
American: The semi-soft texture of this cheese makes it easy to work with and able to maintain its consistency when cooking. The mild flavor makes it perfect for pairing with more robust cheeses.
Brie: Brie is perfect as either a dessert or appetizer cheese, and is equally delicious baked or left at room temperature. This French classic has a rich flavor and gooey texture, making it perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches.
Gouda: Originally made in the Netherlands, much Gouda is now produced in America. Dutch Gouda has a richer flavor that only gets better with age.
Gruyère: This bold Swiss cheese has a distinct nutty flavor when eaten at room temperature. Melting Gruyère results in a creamy delight that’s perfect for topping soups or adding to your grilled cheese.
Havarti: This cheese may be Wisconsin-made, but the process behind it is based on old Danish cheese making techniques. Havarti is a versatile cheese with a wide range of flavors with varying degrees of sharpness.