10-minute easy-to-make Margherita grilled cheese sandwiches
It’s no secret I’m obsessed with holidays and will find any and all excuses to celebrate them. Which includes as many random food holidays as possible including National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (haven’t missed celebrating that one in 3 years!) and of course National Grilled Cheese Day.
Today I’m sharing my second grilled cheese recipe of the month to make sure you are very prepared for this holiday. Because everyone needs a good grilled cheese on National Grilled Cheese Day 🙂
This grilled cheese is super simple (as I believe most should be) and doesn’t take long at all to whip together. Sourdough bread toasted in butter (or olive oil) on both sides and then mozzarella + tomatoes + basil pesto + fresh basil sandwiched all between and grilled to perfection.
To keep these sandwiches quick as well, I’m using a good store-bought basil pesto (I love the freshly made store-bought pestos you can typically find in the bakery/deli section of the grocery store). Thinly slice some ripe tomatoes, ribbon some fresh basil, and 2 layers of mozzarella cheese — one for each piece of bread!
We also like adding a drizzle of balsamic reduction to these sandwiches after they’ve been grilled. I open the sandwich, add the fresh basil and then a quick drizzle of balsamic reduction. You can buy balsamic reduction or make it very easily by combining 1 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup honey in a small saucepan. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vinegar mixture has reduced to 1/3 cup (about 10 minutes). Set this balsamic reduction aside to cool before adding it to the sandwich.
Pour the soup into bowls, slice the margarita grilled cheese in half, and dip, dip, dip!
10-minute easy margherita grilled cheese sandwiches
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 slices good thick sourdough bread
- 6 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- 4-5 slices roma tomatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil pesto
- 3-4 large basil leaves, ribboned
- Balsamic reduction*, optional
- Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Tomato basil soup, for dipping (optional)
- Cut the butter into 3 equal parts. Spread 1 part of the butter all over both sides of both pieces of bread. Evenly sprinkle garlic powder and Italian seasoning on both sides of the bread. Melt 2nd part of the butter in a large and heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add both slices of seasoned bread and cook, swirling around the pan occasionally, for about 2 minutes (bottom should be very lightly golden brown).
- Transfer the bread slices onto a plate with the toasted side facing towards you. Add 3 cheese slices to each piece of bread (the cheese slices should barely overlap) and then add freshly sliced tomatoes, a sprinkle of salt + pepper, and pesto on one slice of bread. Sandwich the two pieces of bread and fillings together.
- Melt the 3rd piece of butter and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the sandwich and cook, swirling around the pan occasionally until the sandwich is an even golden brown and the cheese is all melty (4-5 minutes).
- Remove from heat and lift the top piece of bread enough to add fresh basil to the sandwich and if desired, a small drizzle of balsamic reduction (see notes).
- Serve the grilled cheese immediately with a side of the warmed soup.
*You can buy balsamic reduction or make it very easily by combining 1 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup honey in a small saucepan. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vinegar mixture has reduced to 1/3 cup (about 10 minutes). Set this balsamic reduction aside to cool before adding it to the sandwich.