Sweet and Savory Grilled Cheese

Sweet and Savirt Grilled Cheese Sandwiches | minimalist baker

January was a good month for me. I decided to go dairy free at the first of the year and have had positive results thus far. I’ve felt less bloated, more energized, and my digestive tract seems happier.

Even though it’s been a positive trial it hasn’t been easy. I haven’t had ice cream for a whole month, not kidding. And I’ve had to go sans-cheese for our weekly pizza dinners. Such suffering – I know. But considering the benefits, it’s been well worth the sacrifice.

I used to be lactose intolerant as a kid and kind of “grew out of it” or so I thought. But in eliminating certain items from my diet this past month I’ve realized that milk, cream, ice cream, yogurt and whey protein powders are enemy number one. Cheese and butter, not so much, especially since I eat them in such moderation anyway. So moving forward I’m going to stay mostly dairy free, allowing only limited amounts of butter and cheese – hence the reason for this ooey, gooey, grilled cheese sandwich.

Oh grilled cheese, I’ve missed you…

Aged Cheddar and Green Apples

Onions and Apples for Grilled Cheese

The grilled cheese of my youth was flimsy, unsubstantial and made with fake cheese “product.” Ew.

This grilled cheese is made with hearty whole grain bread, aged white cheddar, and a choice of two fillings. Yes, we have choices! Caramelized onions or tart green apples. I don’t want to sway your opinion either way but… the onions have it in the bag.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches 2 Ways

I was fully expecting the apples to win with their tart, sweet crunch. But the caramelized onions play off of the cheddar so well that the savory version was my favorite. What I’m going to try next time is roasting the apples to make them more of like a pie filling, so their sweetness will really stand out. Sound like a good idea? It does to me.

There’s no turning back now.

Carmelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Check back Thursday for a super simple soup recipe to dunk your grilled cheese in – sweet and savory alike!

Sweet and Savory Grilled Cheese Sandwiches | minimalistbaker

4.8 from 6 reviews
Sweet and Savory Grilled Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Classic grilled cheese with aged white cheddar two ways: caramelized onions and tart green apples.
Recipe type: Sandwich
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 2
  • 4 slices hearty, whole grain bread
  • 2 thick slices aged white cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 tart green apple OR 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  1. If using onion, add onions to a skillet over medium heat lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook onions until soft, light brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally - about 5-8 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Toast your slices of breadly lightly in the toaster so they are more crisp (optional). Then lightly spread butter on one side of each slice.
  3. With the skillet over medium, add two slices of bread buttered side down and top each with one slice of cheese. Then top with a healthy portion of caramelized onion OR sliced green apple and then top with the other slice of bread - buttered side up.
  4. Cook on each side until golden brown and crisp - 2-3 minutes - being careful not to burn.
  5. Slice in half and serve warm. Reheats well the next day under the broiler.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sandwich Calories: 356 Fat: 22 g Saturated fat: 13 g Carbohydrates: 28 g Sugar: 5 g Fiber: 4.5 g Protein: 13 g

danaHi, I'm Dana! I am a food stylist, photographer, and author of the Food Photography School and the 31 Meals Cookbook.

Find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Get More Deliciousness

Want our latest posts straight to your inbox?
How about our 42-Page Detox Guide?
(It's 100% free and 1000% delicious)

Talk About It

(or jump to leave a comment & review)
  1. says

    Ditto to Erica above, Designer grilled cheeses are where it’s at! Makes my otherwise uninspired dinner plans feel fancy! haha – Never thought to use onions, but now I’m kinda thinking ‘WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THAT?!?’. Looks yummy!

    I’ve tried pears before and OH EM GEE the crisp crunch of the pear and the sweetness and then you get the cheese – a sharp cheddar or a swiss usually for me – so good!!

  2. De says

    My body seems to have developed a dislike for dairy products over the years and it makes me sad because I LOVE cheese. As a solution, I just bought a bottle of dairy pills and I carry them with me lol This looks divine and I look forward to making it :)

  3. says

    I actually make a similar sandwich with Granny Smith apples. I call it the
    “Sophisticated Grilled Cheese” and use good-quality deli chicken, strawberry jelly, cinnamon, American or Sharp Cheddar, honey mustard, and raisins. The fillings sound weird, but trust me – the result is a warm, melty sandwich with a sweet and savory punch!

  4. says

    That looks really good! The only thing I would substitute is the vegan cheese, and I think GoVeggie vegan cheese looks exactly like that cheese, so it would be a yummy vegan cheesy sandwich!

  5. Catherine says

    There is a wine bar close to my house that serves small plates that I frequent from time to time. They have delicious grilled cheese sandwiches with apple butter slathered on the inner faces next to the cheese. And they DO NOT skimp on the regular butter on the outside faces of the sandwich. It is perfect. Green apple slices on the side. Just an idea for you to try next time you make these.

  6. leo says

    I wonder how it would be if you combined both. I’ve seen recipes for Apple onion chutney before. May have to try it.

Leave a Comment & Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: