Cheap Eats at Bloglander

[ Currently Eating: Grilled Cheese Sandwich ]

This Is Grilled Cheese - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

I had a friend in college who once subsisted through all his finals on nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches.

Regrettably, this is not his story. =)

Nevertheless – I have eaten many a grilled cheese in my day. It’s cheap and fast, takes no special skill. You can dress it up any way you like. A “recipe” isn’t really needed – but people seem to love it when I attempt to calculate the price of single slice of cheese and a tablespoon of butter. I haven’t the heart to tell them I’m making it up usually. Man, I’m not going back and looking at grocery receipts and dividing each item on the calculator!

Grilled Cheese

2 Slices Bread — $0.15
1 Slice American Cheese (or other meltable) — $0.20
1 Tbsp Butter or Margarine — $0.10

Total: $0.45

Use a pan (or pancake griddle) that will fit the 2 slices bread. Put on low to med heat. You want to have enough butter to coat the bottom, so the entire bread surface gets crisped. When the butter is melted, put the bread in the pan. Put the cheese down on one slice of bread. Some people like to wait until the bread is cooked, flipping it once, and then putting down the cheese.

Either way, keep checking the bottom of the bread with a spatula so it doesn’t completely burn. When cheese is sufficiently melted, and bread sufficiently toasted flip the piece of bread w/out the cheese onto the other one. Take it out of pan, cut it if desired, and enjoy.

This Is Grilled Cheese - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

I’m a huge fan of grilled cheese done in this manner, but you can make it even simpler by just cooking it in the toaster. Or, don’t use butter in the pan. I tend to go with the butter if possible. It’s not as good for you, but I remember my mom making them this way on the stove.

I’ve also tried making the grilled cheese with oil in the pan, but it doesn’t taste as good to me. The other day I tried a little bacon fat instead and that made the bread taste a little weird. I had decent results with cooking spray, but still it’s not the same as butter. I’ve seen some people use mayo, but I haven’t tried that yet.

You can pretty much use any type of bread. But sandwich type bread seems to work the best – just make sure there aren’t too many holes or the cheese can leak out down to the pan. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – yummy, crunchy cheese bits.

The sky is the limit for the type of cheese as well – I just go w/ American because it’s convenient and melts nicely. But any meltable type of cheese will do. Cheddar, Swiss, etc. Just remember to slice it thin enough or it won’t completely melt in the pan.

This Is Grilled Cheese - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

There are an endless variety of extras you can add to your grilled cheese. If you put meat in it, like cooked chicken, sliced turkey, tuna, etc – then I believe it’s no longer strictly a grilled cheese, but it becomes a “melt”? Not sure about it. I’ll do that sometimes if we have leftovers. Oh, grilled cheese w/ bacon is pretty awesome too.

Veggies are good to put in the grilled cheese – you can just sprinkle cooked stuff like mushrooms on top of the cheese. For fresh items like lettuce and tomato, you have to wait until it’s just about done to put them inside.

I personally like ripe tomato in mine. What I do is slice up the tomatoes beforehand. Then cook the grilled cheese sandwich as normal, and in fact close it and cut it. Then stack the two cut halves on top of each other with the tomato between and you have a quadruple decker with double cheese. See the Fun photo above.

I guess that if you buy bulk cheese and bulk bread, you could get the price down much lower than the 45 cents I put it at. Though cheese is kinda expensive nowadays. Still, this is cheap breakfast on the run if you’re in a rush. You could probably subsist on nothing but grilled cheese for quite awhile. I wouldn’t recommend it though. Although, my college friend who ate grilled cheese every day is now a successful neurosurgeon…

20 Responses to “Grilled Cheese Sandwich”

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  1. Catherine Says:

    I do believe that grilled cheese always tastes better when it is cut in triangles. I also like to stick potato chips and pretzels into a grilled cheese sandwich once it has been cut and served. Adds another element of crunchy.

  2. bj Says:

    I think sourdough with one slice cheddar, one slice manchego, add tomato and bacon is the very best grilled cheese in the universe. I like it cooked in a low temperature oven so I don’t have to use butter, since I don’t like the bread to be greasy.

  3. Gord Says:

    I have to say, the day I substituted processed cheese with sliced up pieces of marble block cheese was the day my life changed for the better.

    Grilled cheese with tomato soup for dippin’ – what could be finer?

  4. Kate Says:

    I’ve actually had a lot of success putting the tomato in before grilling, maybe I’m doing it a certain way? I usually let the juice drain a bit from the tomato slices on paper towel before putting them in the sandwich. I slice them about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. It’s always worked for me and the tomato gets nice and warm and lovely. :-)

  5. Jason Says:

    Love your site and the recipes!!! Great for people looking to cut expenses and still have decent meals…

    I have also put a tomato in before grill and have had lots of success… Also like to get a thin red onion slice in there.

  6. Justin Lanz Says:

    Something I saw on ‘Ham on the Street’ a while back comes to mind. George Duran set up a bingo type ball game where each contestant chose a type of cheese and a type of jelly and made grilled cheese with jelly. Curious I gave it ago with American and apricot jelly. I was surprised at how good it turned out, but it was missing something, it was sweet, had good mouth feel but needed bacon. So that’s what I tried, Grilled American Cheese with Apricot Jelly and Bacon…and it tasted good.

    ‘Don’t knock it until you try it’ I guess.

  7. katie Says:

    I am out of butter bread and cheese and I have been dreaming of grilled cheese for days…

    I love grilled cheese by itself with soup. Or with a few slices of bacon. I love grilled cheese. I remember putting aluminum foil on my iron to make grilled cheese for my roomate and I in our dorm room. Ahh the memories of grilled cheese. I want one so bad. It is a two mile walk to the store just don’t have it in me to go…

  8. Liz Says:

    Yummy! I’ve had better meltage success with shredded cheese instead of sliced.

  9. Connie Says:

    Love Grilled Cheese and so do my kids. I always butter both sides of the bread and then put them face down in the pan rather than putting the butter in the pan. I dunno, just the way my mama taught me. Btw, grilled cheese with cheddar and grilled red onions ROCK!

  10. Cheap Eats Editor Says:

    @catherine – I’ve seen wars break out over the ‘triangle” vs. “straight” cut on sandwiches =)

    @bj – ooh that sounds good, will have to give it a try.

    @gord – I’ll usually use whatevers around – but yeah block cheese is great!

    @kate, @ jason – i haven’t had much luck with drying the tomato for sandwiches, I almost want to try dry them out in the oven or toaster first…

    @justin – ham on the street is a great show! there was one episode where he made all sorts of things in the microwave, pretty cool.

    @katie – aluminum foil on an iron! that’s really cool, i never tried that. hm… maybe a future post on cheap eats.

    @liz – I’ve tried shredded, but for some reason (i’m messy) a few crumbles always fall off. it’s ok in the pan, but if you do it in the toaster, then the cheese starts to burn!

    @connie – I saw them do that at a few sandwich delis. The cook actually used mayo and put it directly on the grill top. I thought he was nuts, then I tried it at home, and thought, so that’s how they get the bread like that.

  11. Janine White Says:

    I love grilled cheese sandwiches. My Aunt Anna makes grilled cheddar or swiss cheese sandwiches for me regularly with sweet pickles and celery on the side. My favorite gourmet grilled cheese is blue cheese and brie grilled cheese.

  12. Bob Hawkins Says:

    I lightly toast two slices of bread in the toaster, put the cheese between them, butter the outer surfaces of the bread, and fry the thing in a pan, flipping once like a burger.

  13. Elizabeth Says:

    I am a huge grilled cheese fan- as a college student I eat them regularly! My favorite variations are:
    With tomato
    With tomato and jalapeno(fresh, diced)
    With Havarti with dill cheese instead of American
    Dipped in either plain ranch or cucumber ranch.(also good on quesadillas)

  14. sarah Says:

    mmm… looovee grilled cheese… am one of those “mayo” persons… that is the way that my mom made them growing up and I have converted everyone that has ever tried it… even a super picky 6 year old that “HATED” mayo…lol two slices bread – open on counter… spread mayo on both sides… add cheese (cheddar is always better)… thinly sliced onions… put bread together… butter the top… put butter side down in a hot skillet and butter the other side… mmmm… think I will go make one now! :) Thanks for the tomato idea… sounds yummy too…

  15. Kristine Says:

    I like mayo too, but I put it on after and mix the mayo with a little tamari or soy sauce (also incredible on a fried egg sandwich). I’m a vegetarian so I like mine with crispy fakin bacon (fry it in a little oil and dry it on paper towels to make it crispy), lettuce, a slice of tomato, red or vidalia onion. Yum, it makes me hungry just to think about it.

  16. Mama Kalila Says:

    I need to make grilled cheese soon… we haven’t done it in a long time. I grew up with it done just w/ cheese and grilled in butter… but my husband adds mustard to it (beer mustard I think, but not sure) and its wonderful.

  17. Homejobqueen Says:

    mmmmmmm Grill cheese, but I like to splurge and have 2 pieces of cheese :)

  18. Barbra Says:

    Love grilled cheese sandwiches! I use miracle whip instead of butter on the bread. I also like to put on some mustard on one side of the bread next to the cheeze for a little zing, and miracle whip on the other side. (I spread miracle whip lightly on the outside of the sandwich that comes in contact with the pan.) If that helps description wise..mayo seems to brown/toast better for me anyways… I spray the skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Yum!

  19. Angelika Says:

    Great with a slice of canned pineapple and some deli ham. Hawaiian grilled cheese anybody?

  20. joe Says:

    I sometimes add salami and whatever spices and seasonings and dip each bite into bbq sauce



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