A Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipe with perfectly crispy, crunchy bread and cheese that's all melty and perfect! Add in pantry proteins and a sweet apple, and this sandwich is elevated into something super special. Delicious and easy, this grilled cheese makes a great lunch or dinner for a busy family on the go!
First Published: March 28, 2013... Last Updated: April 17, 2020
🍞 Gourmet Grilled Cheese Back Story
Now don't let the word gourmet throw you, this is really a pantry/refrigerator staple in our home. I love to grill sandwiches. Easy prep + delicious meal + easy clean-up = streamlined, more relaxing evening for everyone!
For a long time, plain ol’ grilled cheese was part of the weekly meal rotation. Then a few years ago, I started to get a little more creative with them. I would throw in a slice or two of turkey breast, or tomato, or even turkey pepperoni. Yeah, that’s right…some really crazy stuff going on there…haha! 😉
Anyway, at some point I stumbled across a recipe on the Busy Cooks section of About.com and I was intrigued by the use of salmon, cheese and apple as a flavor combination in a grilled sandwich.
I tried it out on the family a few times, tweaking it here and there to customize to the tastes of the kids (you guessed it… Thing 2 was the biggest critic!), and ended up with this quick and easy, crispy sandwich that is both sweet and savory at the same time - delicious!
Although the kids are fans of this meal, this is a grown up grilled cheese sandwich. The flavors are complex and it checks off all the boxes for a tasty, gourmet grilled cheese recipe!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- whole wheat bread is what I prefer, but use what you prefer and have on hand.
- salmon - no salmon? Consider canned chicken or tuna.
- Swiss cheese - yum, this cheese gets so melty!
- light mayonnaise is our preference, but you can also use regular.
- apple - adds great crunch and freshness to the sandwich.
- pepper, dried dill - for flavor.
- butter or mayonnaise to crisp the bread.
What cheese is best for grilled cheese?
With this combination of flavors, my first choice is Swiss, however I know the timing and supplies are tight at the grocery store right now. Other substitutes would provolone or Monterey Jack cheese.
Is mayo or butter better for grilled cheese?
Surprisingly, I haven't seen a taste difference when using either. So again, if you're low on butter, mayonnaise is a great substitution. The secret to achieving the great crispy sandwich is to ensure the entire surface of both sides of bread are spread evenly. Think crust to crust!
How do you make a grilled cheese not greasy?
- Butter both sides of the bread with softened butter - from crust to crust.
- Grated/shredded cheese melts even better than sliced cheese.
- Preheat the oven. Add the sandwich, flip, and bake until crispy!
The result is a melty, perfectly crispy sandwich!
Does it matter what salmon I buy?
According to this Good Housekeeping article on canned fish, you should make sure your canned salmon is wild-caught, and specifies that it is Alaskan (it can be either pink salmon, sockeye, or red salmon). That way you know it's not Atlantic salmon, which is farmed and can contain antibiotics and toxins.
💭 Top Tips
- Make the salmon spread the night before to reduce the time needed for preparation. This recipe makes plenty for a family of 4-6, so you could even take some into work as a cold sandwich!
- Line the baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil to make clean-up easier!
- I have one kid who is often put off by mixed textures. Sometimes I take pity on him and leave the apple out of his portion. He likes it much better without! I serve apple wedges on the side for him.
- Preheat oven. Drain the salmon, combine it with the cheese, mayonnaise, apple, and pepper in a bowl.
- Mix the butter and dill weed.
- Butter the outsides of the bread from crust to crust with the salmon cheese spread. Place bottom slices on baking sheet and distribute the salmon mixture.
- Spread the mixture on bottom slices and add the top slices.
- Bake sandwiches for 8 minutes on one side, then flip and bake until crispy on side two.
- Change up the cheese. Try cheddar or monterey jack or provolone, or get really creative and use cream cheese with veggies or herbs!
- You can use different types of apples if you don't have Gala on hand - even Granny Smith!
- This recipe works with tuna or even canned or cooked chicken.
- Sourdough bread is also really tasty with this grilled cheese.
- Short on time? Skip the dill butter and just use regular butter, like you would for any other grilled cheese sandwich.
🥪 More Grilled Sandwiches
The classic grilled cheese can be elevated in so many ways! What's your favorite add-in for the BEST sandwich? What about a delicious Air Fryer Avocado Grilled Cheese? Here are more tasty options from the blog.
My picky eater rated this grilled cheese a 3.5 out of 5. However, he ate the whole thing and asked when I would be making them again. That makes it a hit from my perspective! 🙂
Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipe
Love this recipe? Awesome! Please give it a 5 star ⭐ rating below! And if you make this, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. You can find me at DizzyBusyandHungry or #dizzybusyandhungry!
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📋 Recipe Card
Grilled Cheese and Salmon Sandwiches
- 12-14 ounces canned salmon (drained)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- ½ cup mayonnaise, regular or light (you can use a little more if the mixture seems to need it)
- 1 apple, Gala, diced small (no need to peel first)
- 1/4 tsp pepper (or more, to taste)
- 10-12 slices whole wheat or multi-grain bread
- 8 tablespoons butter or buttery spread, softened
- 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Combine the salmon, cheese, mayonnaise, apple, and pepper in a bowl, mix well.
- Combine the butter and dill weed. Butter the outsides of the bread with the mixture and place bottom slices on baking sheet.
- Spread salmon mix on bottom slices and place top slices over them.
- Bake sandwiches for 8 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 6-8 minutes until brown and crispy.
- Make the salmon spread and the dill butter the night before to reduce the time needed for preparation. This recipe makes plenty for a family of 4-6, so you could even take some into work as a cold sandwich!
- Line the baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil or parchment paper for snappy clean-up.
Love grilled cheese? Check out this post with over 15 amazingly creative grilled cheese sandwich recipes!
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