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Is there anything more comforting than taking a bite into a warm, gooey grilled cheese sandwich? I think not! Today, we’re elevating this classic comfort food to something more fancy: a Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich that you can make at home.

gourmet grilled cheese sandwich stacked on plate

One of the most comforting foods I can think of is, hands-down, a grilled cheese sandwich. While a classic cheddar on any two slices of bread does the trick, I want to share with you an elevated version of this childhood favourite!

The ingredients in this gourmet grilled cheese are simple, healthy-ish, and vegetarian, but their combination packs a flavourful punch.

Think: sliced honeycrisp apples, fresh thyme, lots of lemon zest, sharp cheddar, soft camembert, and a crispy sourdough bread…I’m drooling just typing this!

I hope you guys enjoy this fancy, adult-version of grilled cheese as much as I do!

gourmet grilled cheese sandwich sliced on white plate with fresh thyme

How To Make A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

While simple to do, making a good grilled cheese at home is somewhat of an art (that my boyfriend has so kindly taught me haha).

There is a purpose to the way you want to arrange your ingredients, so that 1) the cheese melts,  2) the bread doesn’t burn, and 3) things don’t fall apart!

Below are some tips and secrets to keep in mind when cooking grilled cheese:

  1. Do not cut your bread too thick, or else it will be tricky to get the cheese to melt without burning the bread. Aim to cut your bread in 1/2-inch slices, if possible.
  2. Cut all inside ingredients very thin, to avoid the same situation above! For this sandwich recipe, that means thin slices of the cheddar, camembert, and apples.
  3. Place the cheeses on the bread first, again to ensure that they will melt. For this recipe, I put the cheddar on one slice and the camembert on the other slice.
  4. Place the herbs, lemon zest, and any other seasonings as desired directly on the cheese. This will ensure that those ingredients stick!
  5. Be sure to add some sort of cooking oil or butter to the outsides of the bread. My favourite to use is this avocado oil spray – it adds zero flavour and sprays easily over the slices. You end up with a light, even coating!
  6. Cook your sandwich on a pan over medium heat. Use a spatula to press down on the sandwich, and be sure to regularly check the underside to make sure you’re not burning the bread. The bread should be lightly browned and toasty when done.
  7. If any cheese happens to ooze out of the sandwich when cooking, simply shift the sandwich with a spatula over the cheese. This makes the cheese stick to the bread, giving you those crispy cheese bits on the outside (a.k.a. the best tasting part of the whole thing). 
sliced sourdough grilled cheese sandwich on wooden cutting board

How Long To Cook Grilled Cheese On Each Side

This will vary depending on the type and thickness of your bread, the type and thickness of your cheese, and how hot your pan gets.

Typically though, you’ll find that about 5 minutes per side is enough! You can flip the sandwich a few times at the end to ensure evening cooking.

Remember, you don’t want to have your pan too hot – the bread will burn before the cheese melts! You also don’t want to cut the bread, cheese, or any other ingredients too thick.

You’ll know your grilled cheese is done when the bread is slightly browned and the cheese has all melted!

four slices of bread topped with cheese, thyme, and lemon zest on wooden cutting board

Best Bread For Gourmet Grilled Cheese

While there are some awesome, high-quality pre-sliced breads available, they just don’t really cut it for the “gourmet” effect we’re going for in this recipe. I highly recommend picking up an artisan loaf of bread from your local bakery, if possible.

I always love a good sourdough for making a gourmet grilled cheese (or any sandwich, really). If you can find one, I think a nice cranberry bread would add an even greater touch of flavour to this recipe!

Best Cheese For Grilled Cheese

In order to make a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, you’ll want to choose high-quality and super flavourful cheeses. Typically, the longer a cheese is aged, the sharper the taste is.

For this sandwich, I chose to fuse the flavours of both a sharp cheddar and a rich, creamy camembert. While you can use any brand, I personally LOVE the flavours of this Coastal Cheddar.

slice of bread topped with cheese and apple slices

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What To Pair With Grilled Cheese

I know that some of you may be thinking – how is a dietitian recommending a grilled cheese sandwich?!

To be honest, the ingredients used in this sandwich are simple and minimally processed. They provide a source of carbohydrates (bread + apple), protein + fat (cheese), and even dietary fibre and micronutrients (apple, thyme + lemon zest).

I also think that being able to enjoy the comfort foods we love, without feeling stressed or guilty, is just as important for our health, too!

That said, if you want to up the nutrition factor of this grilled cheese, simply pair it with something else! There’s nothing like a grilled cheese paired with a warm veggie soup, like this Roasted Butternut Squash & Pear Soup or this Cashew Cream Tomato Soup.

Or, keep things light with a delicious salad instead.

two gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches slices on cutting board with fresh thyme

More Healthy Comfort Foods

Did you give this Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: The BEST Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This gourmet grilled cheese sandwich is a delicious upgrade to your basic grilled cheese. Made with apples, fresh thyme, and lemon zest!
gourmet grilled cheese sandwich stacked on plate
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Ingredients

  • 4 1/2-inch slices fresh sourdough bread
  • Approx. 6 thin slices camembert cheese (enough to cover 2 slices of bread)
  • Approx. 6 thin slices sharp, aged cheddar (enough to cover 2 slices of bread)
  • 4 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 an apple (I used honeycrisp)
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Cut sourdough bread into four 1/2-inch slices.
  • Top two slices of sourdough with sliced camembert cheese. Next, sprinkle the thyme, lemon zest, and ground pepper over the camembert slices.
  • Cut apple into thin slices and arrange them over the camembert.
  • On the other two slices of sourdough, add the slices of cheddar cheese. Carefully close the sandwich, placing the apple sides over the cheddar sides, and press together with your hands.
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray with avocado oil spray (or other cooking oil, as desired).
  • Place the CHEDDAR side of the sandwiches onto the skillet. Cook for several minutes, pressing down with spatula occasionally, until cheese begins to melt and the underside of the bread is golden brown.
  • Spray the top sides of the sandwiches, and carefully flip with a spatula. Cook on this side for another few minutes until the underside is golden brown.
  • Feel free to flip sandwiches a couple more times to ensure even cooking. Once the cheese has melted, remove from the pan and place onto a cutting board.
  • Carefully slice the sandwiches in half with a serrated knife, and serve immediately!

Notes

*If the bread starts to brown way before the cheese melts, lower the heat as necessary to prevent burning.
*If desired, serve sandwich with a side salad, or a warm veggie soup!

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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