Out of all the unique food-centric holidays, National Grilled Cheese Day is one that speaks dearly to me as a sandwich lover. My childhood love for a gooey, crispy grilled cheese “sammy” has spilled over into adulthood, and that’s what led me to the idea of a taste test.
I decided to try making two versions of my favorite treat: a traditional grilled recipe versus an upgraded one. Let’s see which one is the cheesy winner!
The recipe oozes nostalgia (as well as some serious cheese) and is as simple as it gets. You only need two types of American cheese, country white bread, and salted butter to enter into grilled cheese heaven.
When I tried this out, I smeared the bread with mayo instead of butter to get that golden brown crust and avoid burning the sandwich in the pan.
To recreate Mauro’s recipe, follow the steps below.
4 slices white American cheese
8 slices country white bread
4 slices yellow American cheese
4 tablespoon salted butter, softened (or mayo)
Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.
Assemble the sandwiches with 1 slice of white cheese on 4 pieces of bread and 1 slice of yellow cheese on the other 4 slices of bread. Close the sandwiches and spread enough butter or mayo on both sides of the bread to completely cover them.
Place the sandwiches onto the skillet or griddle. Cover with a metal bowl or lid and let the sandwiches get a nice golden brown color, which should take around 2 to 3 minutes.
Flip the sandwiches, cover them again, and cook until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are toasted for another 2 to 3 minutes. Enjoy! Makes 4 sandwiches.
Modern Grilled Cheese
The traditional grilled cheese recipe has a solid foundation. But if you’re looking to build upon it, then it’s worth upgrading some of the ingredients.
Lifestyle content creator Ethan Glenn shared his go-to modern grilled cheese recipe on TikTok (@ethantglenn). Yet, some people debated in the comments whether it’s still grilled cheese if the sandwich contains ham.
Hear me out: Mauro’s recipe for grilled cheese had a milky, salty flavor and a nice gooeyness from the American cheese. Not to mention the sandwich had a crunchy texture as well from the toasted bread. But that was it.
If I were whipping up the traditional grilled cheese, I would definitely eat it alongside a bowl of soup or a salad to make it a complete meal.
In contrast, Glenn’s grilled cheese recipe had a variety of flavors. The smokiness from the ham, sharpness of the white cheddar and the slight sweetness of the apple all worked perfectly in this sandwich.
The modern grilled cheese recipe was also more filling to eat than the traditional one. It really stands on its own as a solid lunch option. All in all, the upgraded grilled cheese recipe is the clear winner for me!