Let me introduce to you how to make the Best Grilled Cheese of Your Life! Fresh challah bread, ultra stretchy cheese in the middle, and a crispity crunchy cheese skirt on the outside of the sandwich. Did I mention the bacon? BOOM.

The Best Grilled Cheese recipe

Originally posted June 8, 2017

One time my parents painted their house pink. (I believe the official color was “mauve.”) I don’t think it was on purpose. You know how the color looks one way on the paint swatch, and another way when it’s painted on the giant siding of your two story house? Yeah.

Best Grilled Cheese Recipe

We are in the middle of painting our kitchen cabinets right now and had to pick colors. We knew we wanted white on the top cabinets, and gray on the bottom cabinets (<like this). The problem is that Eric and I don’t know stuff about colors. (see above about the pink house. Them’s my roots.) People (and Pinterest) are always talking about “warm whites” and “cold grays” and my eyes start to glaze over.

How to make the best grilled cheese

I was at the paint store the other day and held up a white swatch to the clerk at the store: “Does this look like a warm white or a cold white to you?” The dude just looks at me and is like, “Lady, just pick a color you like, it doesn’t matter that much.” And I thought, THANK YOU, finally a sane person. But then I remembered our pink two story house. I’m going to end up with puke gray cabinets if I’m not careful guys.

The best part about this story is me asking my mom for clarification about how they managed to paint their house light pink.

Hilarious text of my mom denying her house is pink

My mom never thought it was pink. The paint was called MAUVE, GUYS.

How to make the Best Grilled Cheese

Okay so are you guys ready for the best grilled cheese of your life? Nobody really thinks making this comfort food is really that hard, but with a few little tweaks to the process you can easily take this deliciously ordinary staple to the next level. It truly becomes a work of art. Let’s break this down.

Golden brown challah bread


First get your hands on some challah bread (I bought mine at a bakery). When you’re making something as simple as grilled cheese, the easiest way to seriously kick it up a notch is to buy finer ingredients. Slice it up and throw it in a pan with a lot of butter. Cover one slice with cheese.

Bottom half of sandwich in frying pan with cheese placed on top

See those slices in the middle? It’s Velveeta. I know, I know. The other slices are sharp cheddar. But nothing melts quite like Velveeta, even though I prefer the flavor of cheddar. If you have childhood memories of grilled cheese sandwiches made from Kraft Singles, add the Velveeta. You will get that amazing cheese-stretch when you take a bite from the center.

Grilled cheese sandwich cooking in frying pan

Top to make it a sandwich. But instead of leaving it and waiting for it to get seriously crispy on the bottom, layer some cooked bacon on the outside of the bread, sprinkle with cheese, and THEN flip.

Adding bacon on top of grilled cheese sandwich

Cheese added on top of bacon grilled cheese sandwich

Cheese on outside of bread for grilled sandwich

(Of course you can skip the bacon if you want, it’s still amazing without it.)

Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Then sprinkle with more cheese and flip again. This will give you a crispy cheesy layer on the OUTSIDE of your grilled cheese, in addition to the gooey stretchy cheesy center. What are you waiting for?? Make one!

The recipe for Grilled Cheese Eggs Benedict that I’ve been teasing you with is coming soon! We’re going to make an eggs benedict out of these bad boys.

If you make this recipe, share it on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it! I love that.

The Best Grilled Cheese

More cheesy goodness:

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The Best Grilled Cheese of Your Life

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 7 minutes
Total: 12 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Let me introduce to you how to make the Best Grilled Cheese of Your Life! Fresh challah bread, ultra stretchy cheese in the middle, and a crispity crunchy cheese skirt on the outside of the sandwich. Did I mention the bacon? BOOM.


  • 8 slices challah bread
  • 4-6 tablespoons butter, at least
  • 8 thick slices of sharp cheddar* cheese, or more
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked
  • 1 + cup shredded cheese*


  • Slice the challah bread into 1/2 or 3/4 inch slices. You will need 8 slices of bread (for 4 sandwiches).
  • In a wide nonstick skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of butter over medium low heat until melted. Add 2 slices of bread to the butter in the pan. Make sure you get butter on the bottom of each slice of bread.
  • Add 2 thick slices of cheese to one piece of bread. Or add more, I'm no judge.
  • Place the other slice of bread, butter side up, on top of the cheese.
  • Add 2 strips of cooked bacon on top of the sandwich.
  • Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese on top of the bacon.
  • Melt another 1/2 tablespoon butter in the pan, off to the side. Carefully flip the sandwich over onto the melted butter, so that the cheese and bacon are on the bottom of the pan. Cook on medium low for 3-4 minutes until crispy and grilled.
  • Add another 2 tablespoons of cheese to the top of the sandwich. Flip so that the cheese is on the bottom, and cook until crispy, another 3-4 minutes.
  • Repeat with remaining bread, cheese, bacon, and butter until all 4 sandwiches are done. When each sandwich is finished, put it on a cooling rack in the oven, so that the bottom stays crispy! (see note)


*You can use any kind of cheese you like. The restaurant dish that I recreated this from says they use 3 kinds of cheese. I used sliced cheddar and Velveeta in the center. (I love the flavor of cheddar best, but Velveeta melts so beautifully. So I did both. Not necessary unless you're posting your cheese stretch on the Internet.) I used sharp white cheddar cheese and Monterey jack for the shredded cheese.
If you are making these sandwiches for a crowd, put the finished sandwiches in the oven to keep warm. Preheat your oven to the "keep warm" setting (170 degrees F.) Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet and place it in the oven. This will help keep the bottoms crispy. (I use this same method for pancakes and waffles. Nobody like a soggy bottom.)


Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 790kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 1301mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1330IU | Calcium: 649mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American
Calories: 790
Keyword: best, grilled cheese
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. 5 stars
    Mmmm! Good stuff! This is way too late to help you with your color quandary but for future reference…when you’re at the paint chip display, look at how the colors are arranged. The greys, for example, the greys with blue are near the blue color spectrum, the greys with green in them are near the green colors, etc. Now I have to go find out how your kitchen turned out!

    1. Okay this is genius Kathy! Thank you for the tip! Since writing this we actually moved and I have a WHOLE NEW kitchen conundrum to work out, haha!! Life!

    1. Talk to the folks in Hawaii, Mark! I think they will have something to say about spam! Stuff is delicious when you fry it. And without Velveeta we would never have queso dip (and that’s just un-American), so I say bring it on! ;)

  2. These look so good, Karen! I love challah ;) (And bacon……and grilled cheese!) And the story’s pretty funny, too!

    But my favourite part about this whole post is that your phone is on 5%……..I think how low on charge a person will let their device get before charging it says a lot about them!!!! =D

  3. So are the cabinets purple or what? ;)

    Also bacon in a grilled cheese is always the VERY best choice.

  4. That cheeese and BACON! I’ve never thought of using challah bread for grilled cheese before – delicious!

  5. Why fight it – the pink was just a bold choice, made in about 5 minutes in the aisle of the Home Depot! Actually that’s a lie – we brought home all the cute little swatches, and tried to find a color [besides dark brown] that would match the golden-ish stucco that Dad did NOT want to paint. And we really thought it would work…

    I have not yet stuck my foot in a bucket, Kris – man, that would be so depressing! We had to repaint our house, too, when the color ended up a little too pink. Hahaha! Of course we didn’t – at least not for about 10 years. People didn’t seem to have any trouble finding our house, tho :)

  6. yummmm. i always add a little american cheese (from the deli) to my grilled sandwiches for the melt factor too, then something ‘fancier’ for flavor. it’s a must!

    and i feel you on the paint. i can spend forever at home depot just picking out different shades of white. in this place i thought i’d be “bold” and pick one shade for our living room that looks white most of the time but really is more of an incredibly super duper very light almost not really there blue. I’M SUCH A REBEL.

    i was going to do an actual bold color in one little nook of our kitchen, but i haven’t been able to decide. …we moved in over three years ago.

  7. I hadn’t thought of frying cheese on the out side. Yum!
    My favorite combo is extra sharp cheddar, colby (for the melt) and a few shreds of pecorino romano topped with a thin drizzle of honey to offset all that sharpness. Honey adds a whole new level of delish.

  8. Ok, Karen, I think I know where you are going with this! Bacon & Butter comes to mind. . . We definitely need to make this when you come home!

    Here is one of my color/paint issue stories – there have been many over the years (did I ever tell you about the time I came down from the ladder and stuck my foot in the paint can, tipping it over and spilling almost a gallon of paint on newly laid tile? It’s a good one.) Unfortunately mine is not near as funny – not like an entire house painted pink/mauve. (Sorry Janice ;-).BTW, your mom is really a good sport – letting you make fun of her on the ENTIRE INTERNET. Oh, wait, you’ve done that to me and Chip too . . .)

    I had some fabric I was trying to match paint to to repaint our bedroom – it had a peachy pink I was trying to match. I took it to the store and matched it EXACTLY with our paint computer so I knew I was golden. Then I proceeded to paint. I painted a swatch and held it up to my fabric – exact match. I painted the entire room and lo and behold, it did not match. It looked purplely (is that a word?) pink instead of peachy pink. All I could figure was that the light in the room (the windows faced east and so it got a lot of morning light and no afternoon sunshine) washed out all the warmer tones so it looked more purplely rather than peachy. I ended up having to experiment with several other colors until I found one that matched the color with the light in the room. It was crazy and time consuming, so really Karen the moral of this story is that there is a BIG difference between a warm white and a cool white. Meaning, I really feel your pain(t) here (haha, I made a pun, or something.) But I can’t help you. So really, this story does nothing to help you. At all. But, good luck.

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