Gourmet Adult Grilled Cheese with Quick Tomato Jam

I always say that I could be a vegan if it wasn’t for cheese. More specifically, grilled cheese. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

You might be wondering how I have the audacity to post a grilled cheese recipe. An easy, classic that everyone knows how to make. Well let me tell you, I’m audacious! And this isn’t your average sandy. Nope. It’s gourmet. What makes it gourmet? Well, I’m no professional chef, but I’d say the specific ingredient selection and cooking techniques used here make it gourmet. And the addition of caramelized onions. They class everything up.

There are a few important tips that differentiate this bad boy from the regular, Kraft Singles-kind of grilled cheese we all had growing up. The first tip is obviously – REAL CHEESE. Two different kinds – a medium cheddar for the needed melty cheese pull, and parmesan, for the nutty flavour bomb. Yesss. You can obviously pair different cheeses together, just make sure you choose one that melts really well and one that has a punch of flavour!

Alright, next – the bread. None of this white, sandwich bread craziness. We need something more adult. My number one, OG bread goes to sourdough. Crusty, tangy, delicious. But, we always have options, so a good seeded multigrain comes second place in my books. Choose your fav and let’s move on!

The onions – these babies are the bee’s knees. They change the game. Caramelized onions are just so good. I love them on flatbreads, pizzas, burgers (back in my meat-eating days) and sandwiches of many other kinds. They are a labour of love, so don’t try to rush them. They need to be cooked low and slow with some olive oil (or butter) until they become brown, soft, sweet and take on a whole new life. If you are a bit more pressed for time, you can add a little bit of water to the pan to speed things up.

The jam – I don’t even know if you can call this a “jam,” but I am, because when cooked, it thickens and becomes gooey and sweet. It is the perfect accompaniment to this salty and savoury sandwich. Throw some cherry tomatoes, brown sugar, salt and apple cider vinegar into a pot and let it simmer until reduced and gelatinous. The cherry tomatoes burst open and let out all of their sweetness. It’s a dream.

Bringing it all together – Prep all of your ingredients. Grate your cheese, slice and caramelize your onions and make the jam. Butter one side of the two out of four slices of bread. In a large skillet, turn heat to medium-low and let it heat up. When ready, sprinkle a pinch of salt into your pan (trust). Add the two slices of bread, buttered side down. On top of the bread, lay the caramelized onions, the two shredded cheeses and the other, unbuttered slice of bread. Place a heavy pan (I use my cast iron) on top of the sandwiches to press them down. Cook for about 2 minutes, remove the cast iron, butter the top slices of the sandwich and then flip. You should see a beautiful, golden brown colour. Place the pan back on top and let the other side brown (about 1-2 more minutes). Remove from heat, top with the cooled tomato jam and thank me later.

Gourmet Adult Grilled Cheese with Quick Tomato Jam

Serving size: 2 smallish sandwiches

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


For the tomato jam:

  • 1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes (or about 15 tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • olive oil

For the grilled cheese:

  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 4 slices of sourdough
  • butter
  • 1 cup medium cheddar, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh parmesan, shredded
  • salt


For the tomato jam:

  1. Put all ingredients into a small pot over medium-low heat with one tablespoon of olive oil. Let the tomatoes burst and then mash with a fork. Simmer for a few minutes until thick and jam-like. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

For the grilled cheese:

  1. In a large skillet over low heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the sliced onion. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions have browned and are soft. To speed this up a bit, you can add a few tablespoons of water and let it cook out before adding some more, up until the onions are caramelized. Set aside.
  2. Butter one side of two of the pieces of bread. Place the same skillet you were using for the onions over medium-low heat. When the pan is hot, sprinkle a pinch of salt into the pan and then add the two slices of bread, butter side down. Divide the caramelized onions amongst the two slices and then top each with the blend of shredded cheddar and parmesan. Close the sandwiches with the other two slices of bread and place something heat-proof and heavy on top to press the sandwich. A cast iron pan works really well. Let the sandwich cook for about two minutes on the first side. Remove the cast iron pan and butter the top slices of bread. Flip the sandwich over and replace the pan on top to press the sandwich for another minute or until the other side is nice and browned and the cheese has melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Serve with the tomato jam.

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