The Smoky: Grilled Cheese with Smoked Cheddar, Ham, and Bacon

The Smoky: Grilled Cheese with Smoked Cheddar, Ham, and Bacon

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Cook the ham partially (in order to crisp it up) by either placing it in a hot pan for a couple of minutes, in a hot oven, or in the microwave for about 30 seconds until it loses about half of its moisture.

Spread ½ tablespoon of the chipotle mayonnaise on all slices of bread. Set 2 slices aside as top slices.

On the bottom slices, place 1 slice of cheese, followed by 2 strips of bacon, 1 slice of ham, and the second slice of cheese, before adding on the top slices of bread.

Wrap the sandwiches in aluminum foil and place in a pan over medium-high heat. Press down with another pan, a brick, etc. for about 5 minutes, flip, and repeat.

Remove from the pan when the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Enjoy.

An Apple and Bacon Infused Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Funky versions of America's simplest sandwich have been popping up at national restaurants and quick-service chains more and more in recent years. Problem is, when restaurants start to get creative, it usually spells trouble for your waistline. You don't want to end up turning a light lunchtime bite into a sandwich that packs as much saturated fat as multiple scoops of ice cream, right? We're all for innovating, but if you're going to do it, make sure you do it right. That's where our grilled cheese recipe with a twist comes in to play. The curious combination of sweet apples, crispy smoked bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese in this sandwich recipe isn't just delicious. It also contains less than half the calories of most of the other grilled cheese sandwiches out there.

Nutrition: 330 calories, 15 g fat (6 g saturated), 790 mg sodium

Serves 4

Almost any cheese will work on a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. However, you want to stay away from cheeses that don’t melt or slice well. Avoid feta, blue cheese, goat cheese, queso blanco, and white cheddar. Additionally, avoid using pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with a material that stops it from sticking together in the bag. Unfortunately, that material also causes it to not melt as well. It will be grainy and lumpy. So, use sliced cheese or slice your own off of a block! Some of my favorite cheeses for Grilled Cheese are:

  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Muenster
  • Havarti
  • Provolone
  • Swiss
  • Mozzarella
  • Fontina
  • Gruyere
  • Pepper Jack
  • Monterey Jack
  • Colby Jack

Honey Smoked Ham with Fig Spread Grilled Cheese

There are few meals in my life that once I light upon them become an obsession. The humble grilled cheese is that sandwich.

No matter what form, no matter what level of haute- or low-brow cuisine, the cheese a la grillé is a magnet that won’t let me go. And I am totally okay with that.

The beauty of any grilled cheese is the multitude of limitless combinations to create gooeywiches. Any kind of cheese from stinky French milks to hard aged cheddars will match with humble potato bread or artisan sourdoughs. Throw in an infinite number of add-ins and there you have an enviable sandwich.

National Grilled Cheese month gives us all the opportunity to branch out of the mild cheddar cheese and white bread mode and go a little crazy, get a little wild with what goes on between the slices. And those slices, they could use a little freedom too. Different sorts of bread are always welcome.

This week we’re going to the sweet side with the combination of smokey ham and mild provolone topped with sweet fig spread and stuffed between slices of walnut raisin bread. Oh yes, freedom, did I mention the freedom?

Did you miss week one of my ode to National Grilled Cheese Month? Well scoot on over and check out my Turkey and White Cheddar with Caramelized Onion & Grape Grilled Cheese.

Next week we’ll talk about what makes the perfect grilled cheese. But today, let’s just eat.

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WOW! I made these this morning for brunch and am quite impressed. I sprayed the grill pan with olive oil and it turned out beautifully. I can't wait to make it again!

My tomato turned out to be rotten so I had to leave it out. Very fast and tasty but not all that exciting.

mmmm, we loved it! I added some fresh chopped basil to the mayo, it iwas delicious!

Try using a 7 grain bread with a mix of colby jack and cheddar cheese followed by the bacon and tomato. A good grilled cheese also needs the accompaniment of a good pickle.

I made these sandwiches last night and they were very good--but the directions should have included to spray the pan. Mine stuck on the first side, I sprayed the pan when I flipped them and the second side browned beautifully. I did not use sour dough bread but rather a "farmhouse" style with a thick cut that my store offers. I will make these again.

This is a nice twist on comfort food - I use slices of cheddar to make the sandwich more manageable during assembly/cooking and substitute butter for the mayo.

My husband is from Sweden and is not a cheddar fan. I made this using the methods but substituted grated Munster, and used a hefty country white bread, otherwise followed it. It was fun to make, however I guess I got carried away with the mashing plate idea, and pulverized one of them. No one complained and my picky husband ate 2! I have made melted cheese before using almost the same method, but never with grated cheese in layers and never with mayonnaise always butter, this worked well.

Great comfort food!! I did have an edge here, though. I used blue-ribbon cheese purchased at our state fair (apologies to CA, but we really are still the cheese state, if not the dairy state!) Used an heirloom tomato from local farmer's market and "boutique" smoked bacon, I only bought enough slices for the sandwiches, it is expensive. I wanted to make the ordinary, special. Oh the exquisite delights of simple, good food!

I'm confused by the very mixed reviews. I served this in summer, and when all remarked it was the "best" grilled cheese they ever had I joked, "Well, yes it is in fact, since it is made with Cabot cheese's best-in-the-world rated cheddar." Make sure the tomatoes are the best.

Make sure to use a very firm type of bread because the bread that I used got very soggy. The bacon, cheddar and tomato tasted okay together, but overall, this recipe was disappointing. My favorite BLT recipe drizzles Ro-Tel dip (Velveeta and Ro-tel tomatoes) over the bacon while assembling the sandwich. The cheese dip adds a spicy zing to an otherwise classic and delicious BLT!

The combination of sour dough bread and the cheddar cheese was a sour tasting sandwich. Definatly not work the trouble. I am sticking with BLTs!

BLT MOVE OVER, HERE COMES BCT. A totally awesome combination of savory tasting elements that go together like peaches and cream.

I have been making grilled cheese sandwiches for years and never realized the secret to that crispy crust was mayo!!Thank you for forever changing the way I make grilled sandwiches.

Smoked Ham Grilled Cheese, From Leftovers

Grilled Cheese is always one of my go to leftover meals. This one has all the benefits of using up some leftovers, besides having great flavor.

The large Ham, that I cooked for New Years Day, is finally getting used up. I've been playing with it, and have used it in a Ham and Egg Sandwich, my Smokey Ham and Corn Chowder, Ham and Eggs, and Ham Sandwiches. I'm still not bored with it because I've used it in so many different ways.

Using some of the leftover Root Beer Glaze to warm up the Ham, along with using leftover butter from the Garlic Bread was a real good idea. Both added some great extra flavor to that old standard grilled cheese sandwich.

  • 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Coarse Kosher Salt

  • 4 scrambled eggs
  • 4 slices baked bacon
  • 4 slices aged sharp cheddar
  • 4 slices mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter for scrambling eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, for making sandwiches
  • 8 thick slices of sourdough bread
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Crumble the bacon and add to a cast iron skillet, set to medium high heat. Once it begins to sizzle, add a tablespoon of unsalted butter and add the eggs.
  • 2 Scramble until softly set, remove from pan. Add a small pat of butter to pan, place a slice of sourdough bread and a slice of cheddar.
  • 3 Scoop out a fourth of the bacon and egg mixture and spread evenly across the bread. Top with a slice of mozzarella and the other slice of bread. Flip once the bread is lightly browned and cook on the other side until the bread is golden and cheese is melted.
  • 4 Repeat with the other slices of bread and serve with slices of cooked bacon.
  • 5 Note: You can make these ahead, then wrap individually in parchment paper and freeze in a ziplock bag. When you're ready to eat them, pop them in the microwave for 1:30 minutes or until cheese is melted)

Roni Proter

Award winning Food and Lifestyle expert Roni Proter, host of Dinner Reinvented, has more than a decade of national and top market television experience, both in front of the camera and behind. She is a regular contributor for AOL and WFAA’s Good Morning Texas. Roni created Dinner Reinvented when she discovered the challenges of cooking dinner as a busy working Mother. She shows simple solutions, beginning with easy and healthful meals one night and often ‘reinventing’ the leftovers to create another fresh, affordable meal the following evening.

Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwich

What kid doesn’t like grilled cheese? Buttery, crusty bread filled with ooey, gooey cheese is what dreams are made of. Okay, maybe it’s just my dreams since I’ve never met a homemade grilled cheese sandwich I didn’t like.

It’s time to gourmet up our beloved grilled cheese sandwich. Don’t you worry – the essential base of the grilled cheese will still be there but we are just adding a few things to take it up a notch.

Let me introduce the Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

It starts off with a crusty bread and layered with three types of cheeses for a complexity of flavors — Swiss, White Sharp Cheddar, and Pepper Jack. Once melted to perfection, it is topped with crispy applewood smoked bacon, creamy avocado, thinly sliced tomatoes, a touch of spring mix, caramelized onions, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. It’s an insanely good grown up grilled cheese sandwich.

There are several keys to making a killer grilled cheese sandwich. Let’s break them down:

  1. Pick a white, crusty bread such as sourdough. This isn’t the time to use your Grandma’s whole wheat 18-grain bread that weighs 10 pounds. You want to get that soft yet crunchy texture when you bite into the grilled cheese sandwich.
  2. Butter makes everything better. It’s a motto that I strongly live by. Slather that bread with a hefty dose of salted butter because it makes the bread nice and golden.
  3. A mix of three cheeses keeps the grilled cheese interesting. Swiss, White Cheddar, and Pepper Jack bring incredible flavor to this sandwich.
  4. Crispy Bacon takes this sandwich to another level. It brings the salty, smoky flavor which balances the cheese perfectly. Go for center cut bacon and cook it until it is nice and crisp.
  5. Since bacon and cheese can be a little on the heavy side, we are lightening it up! Fresh tomatoes, avocado slices, and a touch of spring mix brings some freshness to the grilled cheese.
  6. There’s onions and then there’s caramelized onions. There’s no comparison! Caramelized onions brings rich flavor without taking over the sandwich.
  7. A drizzle of balsamic glaze or vinegar gives it that pop of flavor that adds another flavor dimension to the grilled cheese.

The first time I ate a grown up grilled cheese sandwich was in Provo Utah at Cubby’s and it did not disappoint. Holy cow it was good!

Grilled Cheese & Bacon Club Sandwich

Double-decker grilled cheese with the great taste of Kunzler’s genuine hardwood smoked bacon will make your whole family smile.


  • 16 slices Kunzler bacon
  • 1/4 C. Butter, softened
  • 12 slices Bread
  • 4 slices White American cheese
  • 8 slices Yellow American cheese


Step 1

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly browned. Drain and set aside.

Step 2

Allow same skillet to continue heating. Spread butter onto one side of each slice of bread. Lay 4 slices of bread, buttered side down, in the skillet. Top with a slice of yellow American cheese and 2 slices of bacon. Cover with a slice of bread, buttered side out. Fry until sandwiches are golden on both sides.

Step 3

To complete the club, lay another 4 slices of bread, buttered side down, in the skillet and top with a slice of yellow American cheese, then 2 slices of bacon and another slice of white American cheese. Once the cheese starts to melt, add on top of a finished grilled cheese.

The 19 Most Over-the-Top Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Across America

This is not merely a compilation of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in America. Instead, it is a compilation of America’s most over-the-top, indulgent and glorious grilled cheese sandwiches. And I assure you, everything here is worth the calorie overload. Also, perhaps the best hangover cures ever.

1. The Cheesus at The Grilled Cheese Grill, Portland, OR

This behemoth grilled cheeseburger replaces the traditional burger buns with two grilled cheese sandwiches instead. One grilled cheese sandwich includes pickles and American cheese while the other includes grilled onions and Colby jack.

If that’s not enough, this gigantic sandwich comes with a bag of chips on the side, or you could top it up with more bacon. But as The Grilled Cheese Grill says itself, “You won’t need to eat again for two days.”

2. The Gouda at The Queens Kickshaw, Queens, NY

Inspired by the ethnic diversity of the area, The Queens Kickshaw offers a wide range of sandwiches influenced by flavors from all over the world. But the unique offering here would be The Gouda sandwich. It’s stuffed with nutty, smoked gouda cheese, sweet guava jam, earthy black bean hummus and pickled jalapeños in between soft brioche buns. Powerful flavors, but all well-balanced.

3. Cheesy Mac & Rib Sandwich at The Grilled Cheese Truck, Los Angeles, CA

Photo by Elizabeth Daniels

This Cheesy Mac & Rib Sandwich is a winning combination of sharp cheddar cheese, rich, house-smoked BBQ pulled pork, creamy Southern macaroni and cheese, and sweet caramelized onions. All stuffed in between heavily-buttered French bread, this sandwich is a carbohydrate, protein and sensory overload.

4. Buttermilk-Fried Chicken Grilled Cheese at The Melt Shop, New York City, NY

Photo courtesy of thedailymeal.com

This is not only one of the most cheesy indulgence grilled cheese sandwiches, it is also one of the most unique fried chicken offerings ever. Combine them together into one innovative sandwich, what’s not to love?

5. Grilled Cheese Donuts at Tom + Chee, Cincinnati, OH

Photo courtesy of Byron Kerman for St. Louis Magazine

The real kicker here would definitely be their decadent grilled cheese donuts. Try the Blueberry Blue sandwich that was featured on Adam Richman’s “Man vs Food.” Another good pick is the Barbara Blue sandwich which features sweet, tangy blueberry compote, creamy melted Brie, and savory ham in between two perfectly grilled glazed donuts.

6. Crabby Melt at Grilled Cheese & Co., Catonsville, MD

Highlighting regional flavors, the Crabby Melt combines melted Monterey Jack cheese with a slightly sweet, homemade crab dip. The result is literally an overflowing mess, but a delicious creamy goodness.

7. Short Rib Grilled Cheese at Saltbox, San Diego, CA

Photo courtesy of seriouseats.com

This Short Rib Grilled Cheese sandwich emphasizes the perfect flavor union between fatty, juicy short rib and creamy, tasty Manchego cheese. Finished with a New Orleans-style piquant sauce made with olive oil, tomatoes and peppers, this excessively-filled sandwich is sure to knock you out for the rest of the afternoon.

8. Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Jaleo, Washington, DC

Photo courtesy of washingtoncitypaper.com

At Jaleo, acclaimed Chef José Andrés takes a haute approach to recreating a simple grilled cheese sandwich. The lavish combination of Manchego, Murcia, Valdeón, goat cheese and truffle oil results in a sandwich that is not only especially gooey and creamy but aromatic as well.

9. Mac Daddy at The Melt, San Francisco, CA

Photo courtesy of themelt.com

Another great American comfort food mash-up. Nothing beats creamy mac and cheese and crunchy, toasted white bread – starch on starch – all tied together with aged white cheddar cheese.

10. Croque Madame at Burro Cheese Kitchen, Austin, TX

Photo courtesy of jeffamador.com

This hearty breakfast sandwich includes getting smoky Serrano ham, gooey Gruyère cheese, a fried egg that oozes out when you bite into it, and a duo of delicious sauces – a Pesto-aioli and a sweet Dulce de Leche – all stuffed in between two slices of perfectly grilled sourdough bread. Breakfast can’t get any better than this.

11. Shoo Grilled Cheese, Have Mercy at Tupelo Honey Café, Charlotte, NC

Photo courtesy of greatideas.people.com

This sandwich is pretty much mind blowing. Nestled within homemade sourdough wheat bread, you’ll get caramelized onions, maple-peppered bacon, smoked ham, fried green tomatoes and fresh basil all covered in melted Havarti and pimento cheeses.

Apparently the owners say that this sandwich is so delicious and filling that it makes diners explain, “Shoo mercy!” (and hence the name). We’re definitely inclined to believe them.

12. Raclette Grilled Cheese at Bell Book & Candle, New York City, NY

Photo courtesy of foodmento.com

This creation has got to be one of the most sophisticated and divine grilled cheese sandwiches ever. As if thick slices of melted raclette cheese and white truffle shavings aren’t enough, this grilled cheese sandwich is topped with a perfectly slow poached egg that, when broken, spreads all over the sandwich to provide a creamy and luscious finish.

13. The Tenderizer at Cheesies, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of seriouseats.com

Readers of Esquire Magazine voted Cheesie’s as the best place in the country to get your grilled cheese sandwich fix, and it’s easy to understand why. The Tenderizer sandwich features two thick slices of Texas toast stuffed with crispy chicken tenders, melted mozzarella and cheddar, smoky bacon, hot sauce and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce.

And if you really really love grilled cheese, sign up for the Cheesie’s Challenge: an 8-pound stack of grilled cheese sandwiches in 45 minutes.

14. Redonkadonk at Brunch Box, Portland, OR

Trust me, this grilled cheeseburger combination is worth all that calories. A grilled burger patty, ham, bacon, cheese, egg and spam in between two grilled cheese sandwiches made with extra thick Texas Toast, you can’t get more of a killer combination than this.

15. The Parmageddon at Melt Bar & Grilled, Cleveland, OH

Photo courtesy of dlayphoto.com

Imagine tender, pillowy potato and onion-filled Polish pierogis stuffed in between two huge slices of bread. If that wasn’t starchy and hearty enough, the sandwich is also stuffed with grilled onions, sharp cheddar cheese and fresh Napa vodka kraut. This is the ultimate comfort food.

16. Southern Fried Chicken & Waffle Melt at Ms. Cheezious, Miami, FL

Photo courtesy of mscheezious.com

Fried chicken and cheddar in between two housemade buttermilk waffles, topped with house country gravy and maple syrup, it’s everything awesome in a sandwich.

17. Jalapeño Popper at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, San Francisco, CA

Photo courtesy of trycaviar.com

This has got to be one of the most innovative grilled cheese sandwiches ever. The creative combination of creamy and tangy chèvre and Monterey jack cheese with sweet and spicy apricot-jalapeño relish and smoky bacon is sure to transport you to a whole new world of flavors.

Note that chef and owner Heidi Gibson has an engineering degree from MIT and is also a seven-time winner of the Grilled Cheese Invitational, which explains why her grilled cheese sandwiches are amazingly transcendent.

18. Melter Skater at MeltKraft, Philadelphia, PA

Photo courtesy of phillystylemag.com

What’s not to love when your favorite junk food is integrated into your favorite comfort food? Melter Skater features a three-month-aged raclette cheese, pickled green tomatoes, jalapeños, watercress, and the best part: BBQ potato chips mashed right in the middle.

19. Mighty Rib Melt at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, Boston, MA

Photo courtesy of zacxwolf.com

Winner of The Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” Roxy’s dishes out absolutely infallible grilled cheese sandwiches. But the essential one to try would definitely be the Mighty Rib Melt which combines fontina, braised short rib and caramelized onions.