Grilled Cheese Bar

Published May 20 2020

Grilled Cheese Bar

A killer grilled cheese comes in party form. Whether it’s a party of one or more, my favorite move is to set up a grilled cheese bar, pulling out all of my different bread options, cheese options and, well anything that could be a weird/strange/curious/great idea as a grilled cheese. I’m talking all the deli meats, leftover dinner proteins, all the condiments including jams/jellys, hot sauces, pickles, sauces, etc. I let my party guests go crazy mixing and matching ingredients then I work the griddle station and make their grilled cheese dreams come true.

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE MOVE? Any kind of bread/cheese combo with sweet-and-sour red onion jam!
How to Crush Grilled Cheese Sammies
Makes 4 
8 teaspoons mayonnaise
8 teaspoons butter
8 slices bread
All the grilled cheese fixings you please

Spread 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise evenly over one side of each slice of bread and 1 teaspoon butter over the other side.

Top the butter side with the condiments, meats and cheeses of your party goers choosing. Then top that with the remaining slices of bread, mayonnaise side up. Butter on the inside, mayonnaise on the outside — that’s all you need to know.

Fry the sandwiches in a nonstick or slightly greased pan  or a griddle over medium heat until golden brown and crispy, roughly 3 minutes per side. Eat while the melted cheese is still gooey and warm.


Sweet-And-Sour Red Onion Jam
Makes about 2 cups
2 red onions
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 cup rice vinegar or champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Peel the red onions and thinly slice (use a mandoline if you’ve got one!)
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the sliced onions and sweat until they begin to soften and turn translucent but do not brown, 5 minutes.

Add the sugar and vinegar and cook over very low heat until the liquid evaporates entirely and the jam is thick and sticky, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and let the mixture cool at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

So there you have it, your guide to creating the ultimate grilled cheese bar. The best part? You can get totally creative! Maybe you want a classic grilled cheese with sharp cheddar on perfectly golden sourdough, or perhaps you're craving a lobster grilled cheese on buttery brioche. Or maybe you want to add avocado, bacon, basil, or sun-dried tomatoes. The choices are endless! Each bite is going to deliver cheesy goodness. Pair your grilled sandwich with a tomato soup, craft beer, or a side of tater tots to level up the experience. And never underestimate the power of caramelized onions or a sweet-and-sour red onion jam.

From the simple joys of American cheese and white bread to the gourmet realm of gouda and goat cheese, there's a grilled cheese sandwich for every taste in this grilled cheese party. So gather your ingredients, invite some friends, and enjoy one of our cuisine's truly great foods.