Every once in a while I get a hankering for a gooey, melty, toasty grilled cheese sandwich. They tick all the boxes for me as far as “comfort food” and I often add other things besides cheese to jazz them up- like this one with summer tomatoes and pesto or this one with leftover thanksgiving turkey. But winter is here and I’m craving depth, so I caramelized up some onions and added them to the mix. Over the top delicious!
Perhaps it’s not the “healthiest”, but somehow I feel comfort food, on occasion is totally warranted and reasonable. It’s comforting! And sometimes I just need that. No judgment. Just pure pleasure. Flavorful, nutty Gruyere cheese is melted over onions that are caramelized long and slow, prepared like traditional French Onion Soup.
The process of caramelizing the onions brings out their delicious complexity and sweetness. I prefer to use a wholesome, whole grain bread- homemade if possible, but in a pinch, store-bought french bread works great too. Serve this with a green salad, dressed with a light Dijon vinaigrette and enjoy the luscious flavors and textures.
The easiest way to caramelize onions is to use your biggest heavy bottom skillet, set a burner to medium-low heat, and let the pungent onions cook long and slow in a little oil or butter.
Stir every once in a while, but feel free to leave them and attend to other things. At this temperature, the moisture releases and the sugars caramelize steadily, never burning but growing ever more golden and delicious. At the end, add a pinch of salt and pepper and perhaps a splash of port, sherry or beef stock if you like, letting it cook-off. This is the essence of French onion soup.
Hope you love this French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich as much as we do!
RELATED: Cozy Vegetarian Dinners for Fall
French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich
French onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich with caramelized onions and gruyere cheese. Serve with a salad for a delicious vegetarian dinner. Vegan adaptable.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Sandwich, vegetarian
- Method: Stovepot
- Cuisine: Northwest, vegetarian
- 1 large red, sweet or yellow onion- thinly sliced about 1/8 in thick
- 1–2 olive oil
- pinch salt
- pinch fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup sherry ccoking wine, port, or beef stock ( all optional)
- 4 slices hearty Bread or French Bread
- 2 T Butter ( or oil)
- 1 Cup grated Gruyere cheese ( or meltable vegan cheese)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme ( optional) and Whole grain Mustard ( optional)
- In a large heavy bottom skillet, or cast iron pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring to coat. Turn heat down to medium low. Stir occasionally and continue sauteing for 20-30 minutes. Onions will sweat out their moisture, and eventually caramelize into a beautiful deep golden brown. Add a generous pinch of salt, a splash of port, sherry, or stock (optional) and let the liquid cook off. Remove from pan and wipe it out with a paper towel, to use again. Preheat oven to 350 F
- Spread the bread with whole grain mustard (optional). On two slices, divide and layer shredded Gruyere, top with caramelized onions, sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves, then add the rest of the cheese. “Put the lid on” the sandwiches with the other slices of bread and gently press together
- Heat 2 tablesoons butter (or a combination of butter and oil) in the same skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches in the pan and toast, carefully flipping when perfectly golden brown and cheese begins to melt. Place in a warm oven to fully melt the cheese -which will preventing the bread from getting too dark. Cut in half and enjoy.
- Serving Size: ½ sandwich
- Calories: 485
Keywords: grilled cheese sandwich, grown up grilled cheese, French onion grilled cheese sandwich, grilled cheese sandwich recipes