There's something undeniably comforting about a classic grilled cheese sandwich, but have you ever considered giving your childhood favorite an upscale twist? Let me introduce you to the Brioche Grilled Cheese — a simple yet luxurious upgrade to the humble sandwich we all know and love. Each bite is a delightfully creamy and cheesy, with a golden, buttery crust that's irresistibly crisp.
Brioche is a delightfully rich and tender bread, with a soft, pillowy texture that's simply divine. It crisps up beautifully when grilled, offering the perfect golden exterior with a melt-in-your-mouth interior. But, the heart of any grilled cheese sandwich is clearly the cheese. I've selected a combination of five beauties that melt together into a gooey, stringy, utterly Instagrammable interior.
On a chilly, windswept day, what could be more comforting than coupling this delightfully cheesy sandwich with a steaming bowl of your favorite soup? It's the epitome of comfort food! And the best part? It's made with just a handful of ingredients, but it tastes like something you'd pay an arm and a leg for in a fancy bistro. So, grab your aprons and get ready to indulge in a sandwich that's so much more than just bread and cheese – it's a gee dang masterpiece on a plate!
Picture two slices of sweet brioche, the perfect bread with a tender crumb and a golden, buttery crust. As they toast in your cast-iron skillet or on your trusty grill pan, each buttered brioche slice transforms, much like French toast, into something extraordinary. But here's where we take a delicious turn – instead of the usual white bread, we're going all out with brioche, creating a grilled cheese that's as much about the bread as it is about the cheese.
For cheese - talking a blend of creamy gouda, a blend and perhaps a touch of sharp cheddar cheese, all melting together to create the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Pair this with a bowl of tomato soup, and you've got a classic combo that redefines delicious comfort food. So, grab those ingredients, and let's make grilled cheese magic!
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Brioche Grilled Cheese Recipe
This grown-up grilled cheese promises to be the belle of any sandwich ball. Here's why it's about to become your new favorite:
- Quick & Easy: This brioche cheese sandwich is your savior on hectic days. With minimal prep and cooking time, you can have a delicious, comforting meal ready in just minutes. It’s the perfect solution for a quick lunch, a satisfying snack, or a late-night, post-bar craving.
- Versatile & Customizable: Prefer a different type of cheese? Go for it! Want to add some sliced tomatoes, crispy bacon, or a sprinkle of herbs? I'm here for it! Whether you’re a meat lover, vegetarian, or have specific dietary preferences, this cheesy brioche sandwich adapts to fit your needs.
- A Universal Crowd-Pleaser: It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich, and this buttery brioche version takes it to a whole new level.
As promised, you’re just a handful of ingredients away from the best grilled cheese sandwich you’ve ever tried. Here’s what to grab:
- Brioche Bread - If you really want to wow, make your own bread using my easy-to-follow recipe. Otherwise, store-bought brioche works great! Just make sure to grab a loaf rather than brioche buns for maximum toastability.
- Unsalted Butter - Butter and bread is a classic duo that never goes out of style. I suggest using unsalted since the cheese is already quite salty. You’re also welcome to swap in a thin veneer of mayonnaise instead.
- Cheddar Cheese - Sharp or mild, white or orange, anything goes here! Just make sure to grate your own for the best consistency.
- Gouda Cheese - I like plain gouda here, but smoked can also be used. Again, grate your own for the best consistency.
- Shredded 3 Cheese Blend - While I typically advocate for shredding your own cheese, I wanted to include a bit of convenience while still going over-the-top with five delectable cheeses. Since you’re already grating the gouda and cheddar, you’ll get the right meltability factor even if you use packaged cheese shreds for the rest.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
⏲️ Substitutions & Variations
As much as I love this brioche bread grilled cheese sandwich recipe just the way it is written, there are TONS of ways for you to make it your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- The Italian Twist: Replace the cheddar with mozzarella and add a layer of thinly sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of basil for a fresh, Caprese salad vibe. Feel free to serve with a side of balsamic reduction to dip it in!
- Cheesy, Spicy, Cool: Add some heat by incorporating spicy pepper jack cheese in place of gouda. You can also add thin slices of fresh or pickled jalapeño or a spread of chipotle mayo for an extra kick.
- Sweet and Savory: For a sweet contrast to the cheesy richness, add thinly sliced apples or pears between the layers of cheese with some caramelized onions and raspberry preserves. A drizzle of honey (or hot honey?!?) is also a lovely sweet addition!
- The Breakfast Club: Turn your grilled cheese into a breakfast treat by adding a layer of cooked bacon or ham, and if you're feeling adventurous, gruyere cheese and a fried or scrambled egg.
- The Veggie: For a vegetarian-friendly version, add planks of grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions. Sautéed mushrooms are also a lovely "meaty" addition while keeping it totally veg-friendly. Use swiss cheese, colby jack cheese or sliced Monterey jack cheese if you're looking for something extra special!
- Pesto Change-o: Spread a thin layer of pesto on the inside of the brioche slices before adding goat cheese, or different cheeses to add a fresh and herby dimension.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
📖 How to Make a Classy Grilled Cheese on Brioche: Step-by-Step Instructions
This “Chef” grilled cheese with brioche comes together in just a few minutes. Here’s how:
Step 1: Prep. Spread softened unsalted butter on one side of each slice of brioche bread. Place your fry pan or cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-low heat.
Step 2: Assemble. While your pan starts to heat, layer your various cheeses on top of the non-buttered side of one brioche slice. Place the other brioche slice on top, with the buttered side of the bread facing up.
Step 3: Grill. Place your sandwich onto the now warmed pan and cook on medium-low with the cover on the pan allowing the cheese to melt while the bread starts to fry to a golden brown.
Step 4: Flip. Once golden brown, flip over the sandwich and place on the cover again. Continue to cook for an additional few minutes until both sides are golden brown and the cheese has melted.
Step 5: Serve & Enjoy! Remove the sandwich from the pan and cut in half before serving.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips/Expert baking tips
These cooking tips will help ensure your grilled cheese is nothing short of spectacular:
- Butter is Better: Make sure your butter is very soft. Brioche is a tender-crumbed bread that is prone to tearing if you’re not careful with it! For an extra rich flavor, consider using cultured or European-style butter.
- Cheese Choices: When it comes to cheese, think meltability. A good mix of cheeses, like the blend of cheddar, gouda, and a three-cheese blend you're using, offers both flavor and a gooey texture. Grate your cheese for quicker and more even melting.
- Low & Slow: Cook your sandwich on a low to medium heat. This allows the cheese to melt thoroughly without burning the brioche. Patience is key to achieving that perfect golden-brown crust.
- Cover for Melting: If you're having trouble getting the cheese to melt before the bread gets too brown, cover the pan with a lid for a minute. This traps steam and helps melt the cheese more quickly.
- Press for Success: Use a spatula to gently press down on your sandwich as it cooks. This helps ensure even contact with the heat and results in a crispier crust.
- Pre-Toast for Crunch: For an extra crispy texture, lightly toast the brioche slices before assembling the sandwich. This little step can add a delightful crunch.
- Add-ins & Toppings: If you're adding extras like vegetables or meats, make sure they're pre-cooked or thinly sliced so they heat through quickly. Adding these between cheese layers ensures they stay put.
- Rest Before Cutting: Let the sandwich rest for a minute or two after cooking. This helps the cheese set slightly and prevents it from oozing out when you cut into the sandwich.
💭 Recipe FAQs
Is brioche good for grilled cheese?
IMHO, brioche is definitely one of the best breads for grilled cheese. Here’s why: its soft, slightly sweet profile pairs wonderfully with the savory, melty goodness of cheese. The texture of brioche is just right – sturdy enough to hold up to the cheese and any add-ins, but soft enough to get that satisfyingly crispy exterior when grilled. Plus, its buttery richness elevates a simple grilled cheese into something that feels a bit more gourmet.
What are the best cheeses for grilled cheese?
When it comes to the best cheeses for grilled cheese, you're looking for a dream team of meltability and flavor. Cheddar is a classic choice – it’s got a great melt and a sharpness that really stands out. Gouda, with its creamy texture and slight sweetness, is another top pick.
For those who love a bit of tang, a good Swiss or Gruyère can add a lovely depth. If you’re feeling adventurous, try mixing a few – like a mild Monterey Jack or fiery Pepper Jack with a bolder, sharper cheese for a great flavor balance. And let's not forget the ever-popular American cheese, which melts like a dream and brings that nostalgic grilled cheese vibe. Mix and match to find your favorite combo – there are no wrong answers in the delicious world of grilled cheese!
What is the secret to the best grilled cheese?
The secret to the best grilled cheese lies in a few key details. First up, it's all about the butter. Using real butter, preferably at room temperature for easy spreading, gives the bread that golden, crispy exterior we all love.
Next, cheese choice is crucial. A mix of cheeses that melt well and complement each other flavor-wise, like our mix of sharp cheddar, creamy gouda, and 3-cheese blend will definitely elevate your sandwich.
The bread also plays a big role – a good quality, sturdy bread like brioche holds up well and adds its own buttery flavor. Lastly, don't rush the cooking process. Grilling your sandwich over medium heat allows the cheese to melt perfectly while giving the bread a crispy, golden crust. Combine these elements, and you've got the formula for grilled cheese perfection!
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Brioche Grilled Cheese
- 2 Slices Brioche Bread Slices
- 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 2 slices Cheddar Cheese
- 2 slices Gouda Cheese
- ¼ cup Shredded 3 Cheese blend
- Flakey Sea Salt
- Spread softened unsalted butter on one side of each slice of brioche bread.2 Slices Brioche Bread Slices, 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- Place your fry pan or cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-low heat.
- While your pan starts to heat, layer your various cheeses on top of the non-buttered side of one brioche slice. Place the other brioche slice on top, with the buttered side of the bread facing up.2 slices Cheddar Cheese, 2 slices Gouda Cheese, ¼ cup Shredded 3 Cheese blend
- Place your sandwich onto the now warmed pan and cook on medium-low with the cover on the pan allowing the cheese to melt while the bread starts to fry to a golden brown.
- Once golden brown, flip over the sandwich and place on the cover again. Continue to cook for an additional few minutes until both sides are golden brown and the cheese has melted.
- Remove the sandwich from the pan and cut in half before serving.Flakey Sea Salt
- What goes well with grilled cheese sandwiches? Make it a meal and serve your brioche grilled cheese alongside hot tomato soup, simple salad, or this roasted cauliflower soup.
- What’s the best way to reheat grilled cheese? Skip the microwave unless you like soggy grilled cheese. Instead, wrap your leftover grilled cheese in a loose layer of foil, place it on a baking sheet, and reheat in a 325ºF oven for 15 to 20 minutes. A toaster oven or air fryer also works!