Erika Wassall, the Jersey Farm Scribe here with the truly Ultimate Grilled Cheese Recipe (with tomato!) This is such a simple, feel-good food. And with fresh tomatoes, it’s a sandwich that can’t be beat this time of year. However, avoiding soggy bread, flavor-lacking bites and no outside crunch can make it more of a challenge than it appears. You don’t just want a regular old grilled-cheese, you want the something special. This recipe will help you execute all the little details that will make the best grilled cheese sandwich around!
The best grilled cheese sandwich can be subjective and depends on personal preferences. However, there are several factors that often contribute to a delicious grilled cheese: high-quality bread that toasts well, a delicious cheese, and butter or mayonnaise on the outside of the bread to get a crispy, golden-brown crust. In addition, cooking method matters. Cooking the sandwich low and slow allows the cheese to melt evenly without burning the bread. Using a panini press or griddle can also result in a more evenly cooked sandwich. In this case, a slice of ripe tomato adds flavor and texture of the sandwich.
Grilled Cheese Recipe With Tomato
You can turn a simple grilled cheese into a high-end hand crafted sandwich with a few very simple tricks using this grilled cheese recipe!
- about 1 small tomato per sandwich, thinly sliced
- American cheese (melts fast and is creamy) or Cheddar
- mayo (very minimal)
- garlic powder (optional of course)
- 1/2 TBS butter
First of all, use good bread. I used potato bread, because… um, yum! But really, if you start with any good sandwich bread, you’re ahead of the curve.
TRICK: pat the tomato slices dry
Cut the tomato slices thin, and then lay them out. Pat lightly with a paper towel to get off some of the excess water. Just a few pats. I use about 1-2 paper towels per sandwich. This keeps the tomato from making your grilled cheese soggy which you just don’t want!
TRICK: cheese, tomato, cheese
When putting it together, lay a piece of cheese down first, then the tomatoes (top with a bit of cracked pepper and just a DASH of salt for extra tomato flavor!) and then lay the second piece of cheese on top. It keeps the bread from getting soggy and it helps distribute the yummy cheesy-amazingness around the tomatoes nicely.
TRICK: light mayo on bread
So- bread, cheese, tomato, salt, pepper, cheese, bread. Now, apply a VERY thin layer of mayo on the side of the bread facing out. I mean, just barely brush it on there. It grills up beautifully and deepens the flavor of the sandwich. And I don’t actually like mayo. It’s something I NEVER (EVER) put on cold sandwiches. But here, it’s a thing of beauty.
I also like a light sprinkling, just a touch, of garlic power on top of the mayo. It is optional but gives extra flavor.
Then put 1/2 TBS butter in the pan, over medium-low or low heat. Melt the butter and then plop the sandwich in the pan (with the melted butter), mayo side DOWN. Then you can do the thin layer of mayo to the other side.
TRICK: cover the pan
I’m not saying air tight, that’s no good because the water will condense on the lid. But lightly lay a piece of aluminum foil over the sandwiches, just to keep some of the heat in. You want to cook on LOW (maybe even simmer) so the cheese can melt and you can get that golden color.
That’s it!! Follow those few tricks and you’ll end up serving up grilled cheese sandwiches that make people’s eyes light up. This is the type of sandwich memories are made of.
Have the kids help you pick the tomatoes fresh from the garden and this grilled cheese recipe will have them begging to grow extra tomatoes next year.
Printable Recipe For The Best Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese sandwiches can be made so many different ways with all sorts of different cheese but to me, the real secret to the best grilled cheese is in that crispy, crunchy, buttery crust on the bread and the gooey, cheesy inside. I hope these tips and tricks for making grilled cheese help you get that perfect grilled cheese you are after!