18 Grilled Cheeses That Will Melt Your Brain

It’s hard to top an all-time favorite, but it’s not impossible. Watch chefs try to top each other by transforming everyday ingredients into mouthwatering dishes when Knife Fight returns Tuesday, Apr. 15 9|8c on Esquire Network!

1. Citrus lobster provolone grilled cheese

bennyschophouse / Via Flickr: bennyschophouse

Chicago’s Benny’s Chop House celebrated National Grilled Cheese Month (yup, that’s a real thing) by adding chunks of lobster and a zesty citrus mayo to a classic provolone grilled cheese. [insert drool here]

2. Berry Cheesy

kellybone / Via Flickr: kellybone

Take a Krispy Kreme donut. Now give it back. Allow us to cut in half, fry it in butter, and fill it with strawberry cream cheese with slices of queso fresco and fresh strawberries. Fact: this is what dreams are made of.

3. The Truffle Shuffle

kellybone / Via Flickr: kellybone

Straight from LA’s Grilled Cheese Invitational comes “The Truffle Shuffle.” Brie and fontina cheeses, truffled shiitake mushroom, cracked black pepper and sea salt kettle chips, and arugula are packed into two pieces of bread coated in roasted garlic spread and white truffle oil. That’s a mouthful! Get it…?

4. The Bread-less Wonder

kellybone / Via Flickr: kellybone

In the most literal interpretation of grilled cheese, this masterpiece requires no bread at all! Two crispy panko-crusted slices of mozzarella bookend a gooey goat cheese, prosciutto, and onion jam center.

5. Grilled cheese petit fours

kellybone / Via Flickr: kellybone

Whoever said you can’t have grilled cheese for dessert was a big fat liar. Simply replace your traditional bread and cheese for chocolate bread and a mascarpone and cream cheese filling. Top it off with strawberry caramel, whipped cream, fresh strawberry, and strawberry Pop Rocks to give it a finish worthy of a pastry chef.

6. Cornbread grilled cheese with poblano and avocado

maggiejane / Via Flickr: maggiejane

This melty mix of comfort food and spice takes Tex-Mex to a whole new level. Bring this no-mess hand food to your next BBQ and make jaws drop.

7. Grilled fontina with prosciutto-wrapped melon

 

The only thing better than an Italian summer are the flavors of an Italian summer sandwiched in a baguette. You can also feel fancy by telling people that you’re eating formaggio alla griglia (that’s grilled cheese in Italian).

8. The Grilled Ambrosia

kellybone / Via Flickr: kellybone

Pardon us while we wipe the tears from our eyes. This challah bread stuffed with ricotta, marshmallows, cream, mandarin oranges, and topped with whipped cream and nuts looks too good to eat. Just kidding, we’re totally going to eat it.

9. Grilled manchego with fig jam and olives

shiverytimbers / Via Flickr: shiverytimbers

For the more adventurous palette, try a grilled cheese that was inspired by the flavors of France, Spain, and Kent.

10. BBQ grilled porkchop sandwich

waferboard / Via Flickr: waferboard

It’s as if this grilled cheese was constructed by a kid… a genius kid! Potato wedges and cheese sandwiched between two grilled pork chops, sandwiched between two pieces of multigrain bread?! Someone call Mensa.

11. Apple butter and rosemary muenster grilled cheese

Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife / Via Flickr: 51047615@N06

Just because something doesn’t look fancy, it doesn’t mean it’s not. Just ask rich people who wear Crocs…

12. Grilled smoked mozzarella with maple-glazed bacon

shiverytimbers / Via Flickr: shiverytimbers

You’ve probably already thought of putting bacon in grilled cheese. But choosing a smokey mozzarella to complement the sweetness of maple-glazed bacon can take your grilled cheese’s flavor profile to new heights.

13. i-scream

kellybone / Via Flickr: kellybone

When talking about grilled cheese, ice cream doesn’t usually come to mind. But after marveling at this queso ice cream with a french toast crust and butterscotch sauce, ice cream is all we can think about.

14. French onion grilled cheese

Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife / Via Flickr: 51047615@N06

It’s amazing what you can do with leftovers! When you don’t have enough of one type of cheese to make a substantially melty masterpiece, use multiple kinds! Only have an onion in your veggie drawer? Caramelize it and call it gourmet!

15. Smoked mozzarella and wild mushroom bacon grilled cheese

kellybone / Via Flickr: kellybone

After bitting into this grilled cheese’s smoked mozzarella, wild mushroom, and ramp vinaigrette center, you might ask yourself where the bacon is. The answer is in the bread. No that’s not a metaphor, THE BACON IS ACTUALLY IN THE BREAD!

16. Morning Melt

kellybone / Via Flickr: kellybone

Grilled cheese for breakfast! Take whatever you’re craving for breakfast (whether it’s a fried egg, ham, bacon, cheese, veggies, or all of the above) and throw it all in between two waffles fried in maple butter. Cereal has never felt more shame.

17. Milkshake grilled cheese

kellybone / Via Flickr: kellybone

Borrowing flavors from your favorite malt shop beverage, banana bread serves as the crust for this peanut butter, chocolate ganache, and mascarpone-filled treat.

18. Wurstküche’s rattlesnake and rabbit sausage grilled cheese

kellybone / Via Flickr: kellybone

The rattlesnake and rabbit sausage isn’t the only intimidating ingredient in this biting bite. Two slices of homemade chipotle jalapeño bread are slathered with chipotle butter and grilled pepper jack and topped off with an avocado, tomatillo, tequila, tarragon, and cilantro reduction for an added kick to the taste buds.

Watch chefs turn ordinary into extraordinary on Knife Fight!

Knife Fight returns Tuesday, Apr. 15 9|8c on Esquire Network!

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