French Onion Grilled Cheese: Caramelized onions, melted Swiss cheese, thick sliced buttery bread. The best grilled cheese sandwich ever!
Yes, yes, YES! FRENCH ONION GRILLED CHEESE. So many yesses for today’s post.
A grilled cheese has to be one of my all time favorite comfort foods. Crispy, buttery bread and tons of gooey melted cheese. What’s not to love?
Grilled cheese used to be a staple in this household, but these days it’s become more of a treat. One simply cannot have butter, bread, and cheese every day for a meal and not go up a clothing size every other month. Saving grilled cheeses for an only-once-in-a-while indulgence makes them that much more delicious when you actually get to have one. And this French onion grilled cheese? Sweet baby Jesus. It’s totally worth unbuttoning your pants for.
Sweet onions get cooked down until jammy and caramelized. I made a separate post (and video) about caramelizing onions last year in case you want to learn more about my method. A bit of fresh thyme and a splash of Worcestershire gives them that unmistakable French onion soup flavor. A few drops of Sherry vinegar adds complexity and wakes everything up, but red wine vinegar will work just as well. You’ll probably have some leftover onions. Add them to your scrambled eggs and thank me later.
The onions get smeared onto thick slices of bread and then layered with tons of good quality Swiss cheese. I use 3 slices, but you can never go wrong with a little more. If we’re going to eat a grilled cheese we may as well make the most of it.
Smear that bread with plenty of salted butter (salted butter will add that much more flavor) and griddle until golden brown and melted. The key is to cook them over super low heat so the bread doesn’t burn before the cheese melts. This is something I always struggle with because I am super impatient and have a hard time waiting. Don’t be like me. Practice patience and you will be rewarded handsomely. To ensure the cheese melts, I like to splash a little bit of water on to the griddle and then place a bowl over top to encase the steam. This is an old diner trick that will get your cheese to ooey-gooey perfection in no time.
Add this one to the list of must-makes. You will be so glad you did.
French Onion Grilled Cheese: Sweet caramelized onions and tons of gooey melted Swiss cheese sandwiched between thick sliced buttery grilled bread. This is the best grilled cheese sandwich ever!
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened, plus more for the bread
- 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- water, as needed
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 4 thick slices of bread
- 6 slices Swiss cheese
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add the onions. Stir, then cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom, then cover and cook down some more. Repeat this process several more times until the onions have started to turn deep brown and caramelized.
- Add fresh thyme, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and vinegar, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes, then transfer onions to a bowl.
- Spread a layer of onions on each slice of bread. Top two pieces of bread with a folded slice of Swiss cheese. Top with more onions, then another slice of cheese, then more onions, and one more slice of cheese. Place the remaining slices of bread on top and gently press down.
- Preheat a large saute pan or griddle to medium-low heat. Spread butter on one side of each sandwich, then carefully place butter-side-down on the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. In the meantime, butter the top-facing side of bread, then flip and cook until golden on the other side. To melt the cheese, splash a little bit of water on the pan, then invert a large bowl over top to cover the sandwiches for one to two minutes. The water will evaporate and create steam, which will allow the cheese to melt.
- Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and use a serrated knife to slice them in half on a diagonal. Serve immediately.
Keywords: grilled, cheese, gruyere, swiss, french onion, lunch, cheesy, melted