Fifteen Spatulas

Bacon Cheddar Jalapeno Grilled Cheese Sandwich

BaconCheddarJalapenoGrilledCheese

Grilled Cheese: One sandwich, a zillion ways to make it.

But this is the version I always come back to time and time again. Meaty salty bacon, Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar, and spicy jalapeno chiles make for the happiest trio of grilled cheese ingredients. In honor of National grilled Cheese Day (which was 4/12) I’m sharing the recipe here with you.

CheddarJalapenoGrilledCheese

No matter what combination of ingredients you stuff into your grilled cheese, I have a few rules that I always follow when making them:

1. Use a good quality cheese. As obvious as it sounds to say this, a grilled cheese sandwich is all about the CHEESE, and those plastic wrapped processed cheese slices just don’t have the rich, full flavor that Cracker Barrel’s Sharp Yellow Cheddar has. Cracker Barrel won first place in the Medium Cheddar category at the US Championship Cheese Contest® with this cheese, so it’s pretty much the most premium quality yet accessible cheese you can use to make a kickass sandwich.

Look how ooey gooey stretchy melty it is!

GooeyCheddarGrilledCheeseSandwich

2. Fry the bread with butter. I have heard of people trying to use olive oil for their grilled cheese, but olive oil doesn’t have the milk solids that butter has. It’s the milk solids that brown so nicely and give the sandwich a nutty buttery aroma. Save the olive oil for your salads.

3. Make the grilled cheese in a cast iron pan. The cast iron pan gives the bread very even and consistent browning. The best you can get!

What’s your favorite way to make a grilled cheese sandwich?

Bacon Cheddar Jalapeño Grilled Cheese

Yield: 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

2 slices white bread
1/2 a block of Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar, cut into slices
1 jalapeno chile
3 slices center cut bacon
butter

Directions:

Slice the jalapeno chile thinly and remove the seeds if desired. Heat up a small nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a 1/2 tbsp of butter. Saute the jalapenos for about 10 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Remove the jalapenos and cook the bacon until crispy, then drain on a paper towel and crumble the bacon with your hands.

Heat up a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Lay your bread slices down and top them with an even layer of sliced cheese squares. Cook until they get golden brown, which should only take a few minutes. Sprinkle the cooked jalapeno and bacon crumbles evenly over the melted cheese, then press the two pieces of toast together to make a cohesive sandwich. Enjoy!

Disclosure: I’m proud to be a brand ambassador for Cracker Barrel cheese over the next few months. I admire the authenticity of their brand and their cheese (they have been using the same proprietary heirloom starter cultures and the same recipe since they started in 1954)! I have been compensated for my time, but all my opinions are my own.

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Comments

  1. Kristi @ Cherry Jasmine posted on April 15, 2013 at 9:26 am (#)

    This looks amazing! I love new twists on grilled cheese – so I’m definitely going to have to try this!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on April 15th, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Kristi! Me too, I love playing with the ingredients I stick with the gooey cheese!

  2. Vicki Bensinger posted on April 15, 2013 at 9:28 am (#)

    My favorite dish of all time is a grilled cheese sandwich. Of course what kid doesn’t love one unless they’re allergic. My favorite way and only way I make mine is with a vintage iron press that has been in my family for years. It makes round grilled cheese sandwiches that puff up in the middle, creates an luscious crust and when you bite into it, the cheese oozes out.
    OMG it’s comfort food at its best and with tomato soup on the side I can’t think of anything better.

    Of course your doctored up grilled cheese sounds pretty incredible.

    • Joanne Ozug replied on April 15th, 2013 at 10:07 am

      That sounds awesome! I’m sure the vintage iron press is a treasure =)

  3. Tanya posted on April 15, 2013 at 9:57 am (#)

    I think you made this just for me!!! All my favorites right here! Delicious!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on April 15th, 2013 at 10:07 am

      How’d you know ;)

  4. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet posted on April 15, 2013 at 11:37 am (#)

    My Hubby loves jalapeno grilled cheese! He will even more with bacon! :)

    • Joanne Ozug replied on April 15th, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      The three together are so tasty =)

  5. katie posted on April 15, 2013 at 2:30 pm (#)

    oh this looks so good… love the idea of adding bacon and jalapenos to a grilled cheese sandwich!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on April 15th, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks Katie. It always has to have something more than cheese for me =)

  6. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust posted on April 16, 2013 at 10:07 am (#)

    This looks heavenly!

  7. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts posted on April 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm (#)

    Now that is a grilled cheese!!

  8. Colleen posted on April 18, 2013 at 1:26 am (#)

    Great minds think alike — but I used the jalapeño cheddar instead of straight peppers. Bet yours has even more kick. :)

  9. Myrtle posted on April 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm (#)

    Wow, that looks really good! I love when grilled cheeses have that lovely golden crust. :D

  10. Amanda at TheCottonwoodJournals.com posted on April 19, 2013 at 4:26 pm (#)

    This grilled cheese looks so delicious. Have you entered it in the Grilled Cheese Academy’s recipe showdown? If not, you should! Here’s the website: http://grilledcheeseacademy.com

  11. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life posted on April 19, 2013 at 6:58 pm (#)

    Ok, you have me convinced to use a cast iron pan for my next grilled cheese :-) Love the melty cheese shot!!!

  12. Trish - Mom On Timeout posted on April 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm (#)

    Heavenly. Just heavenly. I just had dinner and now I want more :) And yes I totally agree about the butter, save the olive oil for salads!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on April 26th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Thanks! And btw…I LOVE your blog name!

  13. Angie | Big Bears Wife posted on September 25, 2013 at 11:10 am (#)

    Grilled Cheese with a kick!

  14. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes posted on September 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm (#)

    I really like how you’ve spiced this up. Lunch!

  15. Edna Robinson posted on November 5, 2013 at 10:03 am (#)

    I fix all my toast in this fashion. I have an old baker’s cast iron skillet that I use, and the butter makes it so much more tasty. Am preparing this recipe for my grandson soon.

  16. Georgialee posted on May 2, 2014 at 7:00 pm (#)

    This sounds yummy, and I am writing it down. I’ve been scavenging a bunch of your recipes off here. I also liked the brie grilled cheese that you posted. But I’m a little confused. In the brie one, you say that for grilled cheese, you must butter the bread. Here, you say to put butter in the pan…Did your hubby commandeer your blog for this one? ;-)