Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Balsamic Red Onions

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Balsamic Red Onions

  • By Jess Dang
  • November 3, 2013

Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Red Onions Recipe via @cooksmarts

A regular ol’ grilled cheese is pretty darn good on its own. Butter + sandwich bread + melted cheese is always a winner. However, if you’re interested in making this childhood standby into more of a sophisticated adult meal, I highly recommend adding some onions.

For those who are always looking to adding extra depth and flavor to their meals, caramelized onions are always a good choice. They’re such a good choice that it was the topic of one of my first blog entries – yes, caramelized onions really do make everything taste better.

But if you want to make a sophisticated but quick weeknight grilled cheese and don’t have the patience to wait 30 minutes for buttery caramelized onions, take a shortcut and add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar to sauteed onions. Pack these into your grilled cheese sandwich, and you will get some delicious zing. Plus the slight crunchiness of the onions will be perfect against the melted goodness.

Today I’m giving you our recipe for grilled cheese sandwiches with balsamic red onions. We featured it on our October 21st meal plan menu and of course, there were rave reviews. One of our subscribers even said, “I could eat that sandwich EVERY DAY!” So could I, and I bet you’ll feel the same way too!

Note: This recipe is part of our meal plan service. Subscribers to the service also get access to the gluten-free and paleo version of this meal (yes, we created a paleo take on grilled cheese!) so that *you can eat however you want* every single night.

Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Red Onions Recipe via @cooksmarts


Slice onions like a pro:

Invest in a griddle to make a whole lotta grilled cheeses at once:
Presto Griddle

Get more ideas on how to use sauteed or caramelized onions.
Different ways to use caramelized onions via @cooksmarts

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Balsamic Red Onions
Author: Jess Dang
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Grilled cheese gets a sweet and tart makeover with jam and balsamic red onions sandwiched in between.
  • Ingredients
  • Red onions – 1, sliced
  • Cooking oil – 1 tbs.
  • Balsamic vinegar – 1 1/2 tbs.
  • Jam – 1 tbs. + 1/2 cup
  • Butter – 4 tbs.
  • Sandwich bread – 8 slices
  • Fontina cheese – 8 slices (swiss, gruyere, or brie would also be great options)
  1. Red onions – Slice. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  2. Make balsamic red onions – Heat skillet over medium heat. Add in 1 tbs. of cooking oil and then red onions to heated oil with a sprinkle of salt. Saute until they’re super soft, ~10 minutes. If the pan ever looks dry and the onions look like they might burn, add in a splash of water. At the very end, add in balsamic vinegar and jam. Cook for another minute or two to let the flavors absorb. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a cooling rack into a sheet pan and then put into warming oven.
  2. Butter one side of each piece of bread with about 1/2 tbs. of butter each. Lay out the bread buttered-side down and place a slice of cheese on each. Layer with jam and balsamic onions. Close sandwiches.
  3. Heat up a griddle or a skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches onto heated surface (as many as can fit) and press down throughout the grilling process with a spatula. Flip once the first side is golden, ~ 3 to 4 minutes. Move sandwiches onto cooling rack in oven and keep warm until you’re ready to eat.


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