Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

Did you know April is National Grilled Cheese Month (and April 12th marks National Grilled Cheese Day) in the States? I guess you wouldn’t be surprised because there is a holiday for almost everything these days!

Grilled cheese sandwiches typically have 3 ingredients: bread, butter and of course, cheese. You would grill the sandwich in butter, allowing the cheese to melt in between the toasted bread, producing a gooey-delicious meal.

You can take this classic grilled cheese sandwich to another level by adding ingredients of your choice.  Some ideas:

  • Meats such as bacon, ham or pulled pork
  • Roasted tomatoes, peppers or eggplants
  • Sautéed mushrooms or caramelized onions
  • Green apples, pears or avocados
  • Jalapeno’s or pickles
  • Combination of types of cheeses

…the ideas are really endless!

In celebration of this holiday, I decided to experiment with this classic sandwich and went for a sweet and savory, Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions.  I got to say, the caramelized onions worked well with the cheddar cheese in this recipe.    Be warned though, the oozing-gooey-richness of this sandwich is off the charts!

Caramelized Onions

3 medium-sized onions
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

This recipe yields more caramelized onions needed for 2 sandwiches, so you can store the extras in your fridge for a week or longer in the freezer.

Caramelizing Onions

Slice the onions into 1/4″ half circles. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet and add the onions and the salt (spreading them out so that all the onions as much as possible) and cover.

Caramelizing Onions

Cook covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions look wilted. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring regularly.

Caramelizing Onions

After 10 minutes of cooking uncovered, check if the onions have started to brown, and if it doesn’t turn up the heat slightly.

Caramelizing Onions

Continue to cook uncovered for another 20-30 minutes or until the onions are fully caramelized (don’t forget to stir!). Allow to cool for a few minutes before using these in the grilled cheese sandwich.


Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions
Serves 2

caramelized onions
4 thick slices of bread (I used white)
3 tbsp salted butter
100g grated medium cheddar*
6 slices sandwich cheddar cheese*

Butter the inner sides of the 2 pieces of bread and sandwich a layer of the sandwich cheddar, a generous portion of caramelized onion and then a final sprinkle of the grated cheddar.

Heat 1 tbsp salted butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.

Cook the sandwich in the skillet until golden brown (3-5 mins). Press the sandwich lightly with a spatula. Then flip, adding more butter if needed, and cook until the other side is golden as well and the cheese has melted (another 3-5 mins).

Cut the sandwich diagonally and serve immediately.

Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

*You can use 200g grated quality cheddar cheese in the entire sandwich instead of a combination of cheeses.  Getting good quality cheese in HK is quite expensive, so the stingy side of me decided on using sandwich cheese slices as well.  I find the sandwich cheeses also melts easier as well.

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