Sheet Pan Grilled Cheese


Grilled Cheese just may be the perfect comfort food! Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside –  warm and rich and creamy, it’s practically a MUST-DO this time of year. 

What comes to your mind when thinking about grilled cheese?

Ingredients

For me, it’s sitting at the kitchen table with my little bro, anxiously awaiting my mom’s delivery of the crispy, golden prize… perfect for dunking in a steaming bowl of Campbells tomato soup.

My hubby has a neat recollection… as a kid, he recalls gathering around a wood fire with his family each taking turns making their own sandwich using a pie iron. He has such fond memories, a few years ago he bought a couple cast iron grilled cheese makers to use with our kids.

Adding grated cheese

Everyone seems to have their own emotional connection to this nostalgic sandwich, and their favorite way to make it. Are you a butter or a mayo on the outside kinda person? Cheddar, American, or Velvetta?

Drizzling honey to sandwich

Honestly, no matter how you do it, grilled cheese has the power to put a smile on your face and make you feel like a kid again.

Sheet pan grilled cheese fresh out of the oven

So I thought, let’s make a grown-up grilled cheese that the KID inside all of us will love! Ditch the yellow cheese for flavor packed Gruyere and aged Cheddar, add in a few extra tasty bits, and you’ll be as golden as the butter-smeared toast.

Close up of grilled cheese showing apple

Fall is the perfect time for this classic. And for my special twist, what better to add than apples and walnuts? Tossing in a few candied nuts takes this sandwich to the next level, and together with the crisp sweet apple, tangy mustard, and earthy cheese, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. 

Slicing grilled cheese sandwich

Can I Make these Ahead of Time?

Yes! But don’t bake them off, just assemble them on the sheet pan and refrigerate until ready to bake and serve.

Plated grilled cheese

Are there Any Substitutions?

  • Candied Pecans instead of Walnuts
  • A firm pear, such as Bosc, instead of the apples
  • Blue cheese in place of the Cheddar
  • Rosemary instead of thyme

Plated grilled cheese

Any Suggestions for Rounding Out the Meal?

A classic pairing would be tomato soup of course! Check out my Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup with Harissa Yogurt. But I also love a winter squash soup with this grilled cheese, such as butternut or pumpkin soup.

Plated grilled cheese

Any Other Tips?

  1. In my recipe, the instructions are for two layers of cheese in the sandwich. This will keep the sandwich together once it’s cooked. The last thing you want to have happen is for the top to slide off as you are serving it, or about to take your first big bite! Placing a layer of cheese on the bottom and top helps “glue” it together.
  2. Make sure to use a good quality bread. Grocery stores now regularly stock “artisan” style breads, which I suggest you use instead of a standard sandwich bread.
  3. Slice the apples thinly so they aren’t too bulky in the sandwich.
  4. The amounts given for the ingredients are guidelines. You may not need all of the apples, the amount of nuts is approximate, as is the butter and mustard.

Close up of grilled cheese showing apple

 

Chef Tip – How to make cheese crispies to use as a salad topping?

You know those crispy bits of leftover cheese that bake up on your sheet pan? Well, they’re pure gold…

 

Watch me make this recipe

 

Make Ahead Quick & Easy Mid-Week

Grilled cheese pull apart
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Sheet Pan Grilled Cheese

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 large loaf artisan style bread or two medium loaves (enough to get 12 slices)
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 2 small apples such as gala, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup purchased candied pecans or walnuts, approximately broken into pieces if large
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 6 ounces mild cheddar grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 6 ounces gruyere cheese grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Honey for drizzling
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450.
  • Slice the bread about ¾ inch thick into 12 equal slices. Butter one side of the bread slices and place 6, butter side down, on a rimmed sheet pan.
  • In a small bowl, mix the two cheeses with the thyme, kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper. Spread about ⅔ of the cheese evenly over the 6 bread slices, then top with the candied nuts. Next layer on a few slices of apple, and finally add the remaining cheese.
  • On the remaining 6 slices of bread, spread a layer of mustard onto the NON buttered side, and place mustard side DOWN onto the sandwiches. Place in the oven and bake for 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and using a spatula, carefully flip the sandwiches over, pressing down slightly with the spatula. Return to the oven for another few minutes. If the bread isn’t crisping up, turn on the broiler to brown the sandwiches. Be careful as the bread can burn easily, especially if it is too close to the broiler. Watch it the whole time, and remove from the oven once it is the desired color.
  • Cut in half and serve immediately.

Tips & Tricks

  • The amounts given for the ingredients are guidelines. You may not need all of the apples, the amount of nuts is approximate, as is the butter and mustard.
  • Slice the apples thinly so they aren’t too bulky in the sandwich.
  • You can make ahead, but don’t bake off, just assemble them on the sheet pan and refrigerate until ready to bake and immediately serve.

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