Sourdough grilled cheese stands as a delightful twist on a classic comfort food, elevating the simple grilled cheese sandwich into a culinary experience of its own. The key element, sourdough bread, sets this variant apart. Originating from ancient artisanal baking traditions, sourdough is known for its tangy flavor, chewy texture, and slightly crispy crust, all of which contribute to a unique and enhanced taste profile when grilled.

Sourdough Grilled Cheese

Pairing this distinctive bread with a variety of cheeses leads to an exploration of flavors. While traditional grilled cheese often relies on American or cheddar cheese, the sourdough version invites a broader range of possibilities, including Gruyère, Havarti, or even a blend of multiple cheeses for depth and complexity. This combination of sourdough’s slightly sour notes and the creamy, melted cheese creates a harmonious balance in each bite.

The versatility of sourdough grilled cheese also allows for creative culinary additions. Ingredients like caramelized onions, avocado, or even a spread of fig jam can be included to introduce new textures and flavors, transforming the sandwich from a simple snack into a gourmet meal.

In essence, sourdough grilled cheese is more than just a sandwich; it’s an experience. It brings together the traditional comfort of melted cheese and the artisanal charm of sourdough bread, making it a beloved dish for both casual and sophisticated palates.

Prep time10 minutes
Cook time15 minutes
Total time25 minutes
CourseSnacks, Main course
Cuisine American
Servings4 persons

Kitchen Tools

  • Cutting Board
  • Bread Knife
  • Cheese Grater (optional, if using block cheese)
  • Skillet or Griddle
  • Spatula
  • Butter Knife (for spreading butter)
  • Measuring Spoons (for precise ingredient measurement)
Sourdough Grilled Cheese

Ingredients for Sourdough Grilled Cheese

  • 8 slices of Sourdough Bread
  • 8 ounces of Cheese (e.g., Cheddar, Gruyère, Havarti, or a mix)
  • 4 tablespoons of Butter (room temperature)
  • Optional Add-ons: Caramelized onions, avocado slices, fig jam, or tomatoes

Best Cheese For Sourdough Grilled Cheese?

  • Aged Cheddar: A classic choice, aged cheddar offers a sharp, pronounced flavor that stands up to the sourdough’s robust taste. Its excellent melting qualities ensure a gooey, satisfying texture.
  • Gruyère: Known for its creamy, nutty flavor, Gruyère melts beautifully, making it a top choice for a gourmet grilled cheese experience.
  • Fontina: Fontina cheese, with its mild and slightly nutty flavor, melts effortlessly and blends smoothly with the sourdough, creating a velvety texture in every bite.
  • Havarti: This Danish cheese is creamy and melts easily. Its subtle tanginess pairs wonderfully with sourdough, offering a balanced and harmonious flavor.
  • Mozzarella: For those who love a stretchy, stringy cheese pull, mozzarella is an excellent choice. Its mild flavor allows the sourdough’s taste to shine through.
  • Provolone: Provolone offers a slightly sharper flavor compared to mozzarella, which can add a depth of flavor to your grilled cheese without overpowering the sourdough.
  • Monterey Jack: With its buttery, slightly tart flavor and smooth melting quality, Monterey Jack is great for those who prefer a milder cheese in their sandwich.
  • Smoked Gouda: For a hint of smokiness, smoked Gouda adds an intriguing depth to the sourdough grilled cheese, complementing the bread’s natural tanginess.
  • Combination of Cheeses: Don’t hesitate to mix and match. Combining cheeses like cheddar and Gruyère or mozzarella and Havarti can create a unique flavor profile and texture.

How To Make Sourdough Grilled Cheese

Ingredients Preparation

  • Cheese Preparation: If using block cheese, grate it using a cheese grater. Pre-grated cheese can be used for convenience.
  • Sourdough Bread: Take 8 slices of sourdough bread. Ensure they are cut to a uniform thickness for even cooking.
  • Butter Softening: Allow the butter to reach room temperature so it spreads easily on the bread slices.

Assembling the Sandwich

  • Butter the Bread: Spread butter evenly on one side of each slice of sourdough bread. This buttered side will be the outer part that grills against the skillet.
  • Add Cheese: Place a generous amount of cheese on the non-buttered side of four bread slices. If using any optional add-ons (like caramelized onions or avocado), add them over the cheese.
  • Top it Off: Place the remaining bread slices on top, buttered side up, to complete the sandwich assembly.
Sourdough Grilled Cheese

Cooking the Sandwich

  • Preheat the Skillet: Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  • Grill the Sandwich: Place the sandwiches on the skillet. Cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Use a spatula to flip the sandwiches carefully.
  • Monitor the Heat: Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning. The goal is to evenly toast the bread while fully melting the cheese inside.


  • Cut and Serve: Once cooked, remove the sandwiches from the skillet. Let them rest for a minute, then cut each sandwich in half. Serve hot for the best taste experience.

What To Serve With Sourdough Grilled Cheese?

  • Spiced Butternut Squash Soup: A velvety, slightly sweet soup with a hint of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon pairs wonderfully with the tangy sourdough bread and melted cheese.
  • Arugula and Pear Salad: The peppery taste of arugula balanced with the sweet, crisp slices of pear creates a refreshing contrast to the rich, hearty sandwich.
  • Balsamic Roasted Vegetables: Vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, roasted with balsamic vinegar, offer a delightful mix of sweetness and tartness, complementing the sourdough’s unique flavor.
  • Herbed Potato Wedges: Oven-baked potato wedges seasoned with herbs like rosemary and thyme provide a comforting and hearty side that pairs well with the gooey grilled cheese.
  • Berry and Citrus Fruit Salad: A light, refreshing fruit salad with a mix of berries and citrus fruits can cleanse the palate and add a sweet and tangy dimension to the meal.
  • Dill and Lemon Zucchini Ribbons: Thinly sliced zucchini seasoned with dill and a hint of lemon adds a fresh, zesty side that cuts through the richness of the grilled cheese.

How To Store Leftover?

  • Cool Down: Allow your leftover sourdough grilled cheese to cool to room temperature. This prevents condensation inside the storage container, which can make the bread soggy.
  • Paper Towel Technique: Wrap the sandwich in a paper towel. This absorbs any extra moisture and helps keep the bread from becoming too chewy or soft.
  • Airtight Container or Aluminum Foil: Place the wrapped sandwich in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. This step is crucial to prevent air exposure, which can dry out the bread and cheese.
  • Refrigeration: Store the wrapped sandwich in the refrigerator. Ideally, consume it within 1-2 days for the best taste and texture.
  • Avoiding Sogginess: To prevent the sandwich from becoming soggy, you can store the bread and cheese separately if you have dismantled leftovers.
  • Reheating: When reheating, a toaster oven or skillet is preferable to a microwave. The microwave can make the bread chewy and the cheese overly runny. Reheat in a toaster oven at 350°F (175°C) for a few minutes or in a skillet on medium heat to restore some of the sandwich’s original crispiness and warmth.
  • Quick Consumption: Remember, sourdough grilled cheese is best enjoyed fresh, so try to consume leftovers as soon as possible.
Sourdough Grilled Cheese


  • Pesto and Tomato Sourdough Grilled Cheese: Spread a thin layer of basil pesto on the inside of the bread and add thin slices of ripe tomato on top of the cheese for a Mediterranean flair.
  • Brie and Apple Sourdough Grilled Cheese: Swap out traditional cheeses for creamy brie and add thin slices of tart apple for a sophisticated, sweet, and savory combination.
  • Buffalo Chicken Sourdough Grilled Cheese: Incorporate shredded buffalo chicken and a drizzle of ranch or blue cheese dressing for a spicy, tangy twist.
  • Honey and Walnut Sourdough Grilled Cheese: After grilling your sandwich with your cheese of choice, open it up and add a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of toasted walnuts for a delightful crunch and a touch of sweetness.
  • Fig and Gorgonzola Sourdough Grilled Cheese: Spread fig jam on the bread and use Gorgonzola cheese for a bold, sweet, and savory experience.
  • Avocado and Bacon Sourdough Grilled Cheese: Add slices of creamy avocado and crispy bacon inside your grilled cheese for a rich and satisfying combination.
  • Caramelized Onion and Swiss Sourdough Grilled Cheese: Mix in caramelized onions with Swiss cheese for a melt-in-your-mouth experience that’s both sweet and savory.
  • Spinach and Artichoke Sourdough Grilled Cheese: Fold in a creamy spinach and artichoke spread for a sandwich that mimics the popular dip.

Tips and Tricks

  • Bread Thickness Matters: Choose or slice your sourdough bread to about ½ inch thick. This thickness allows for a crispy exterior while maintaining a soft, chewy interior.
  • Room Temperature Butter: Ensure your butter is at room temperature before spreading. This helps it spread evenly without tearing the bread.
  • Cheese Variety: Experiment with different types of cheese. A mix of a melty cheese (like mozzarella) and a flavorful cheese (like aged cheddar) can create a more complex flavor profile.
  • Low and Slow Cooking: Cook your sandwich on a lower heat than you might expect. This allows the cheese to melt thoroughly without burning the bread.
  • Cover the Pan: Briefly covering the pan with a lid can help trap heat and melt the cheese more evenly, especially if you’re using thicker slices of cheese.
  • Weight it Down: For an extra-crispy crust, press down on the sandwich with a spatula or place a heavy pan on top as it cooks.
  • Add a Crunch: Consider adding a layer of thinly sliced vegetables like cucumber or radishes inside your sandwich for an unexpected crunch.
  • Season the Bread: A light sprinkle of garlic powder or Italian seasoning on the buttered side of the bread can add an aromatic touch.
  • Try Mayo: For a golden, crispy crust, spread mayonnaise on the outside of the bread instead of butter. It adds a unique flavor and texture.
  • Rest Before Cutting: Let your sandwich rest for a minute or two after cooking. This helps the cheese set a bit and prevents it from oozing out when you cut into the sandwich.
Sourdough Grilled Cheese

Health Benefits of Sourdough Grilled Cheese

  • Fermented Bread Benefits: Sourdough fermentation can help with digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Probiotic Potential: Sourdough contains natural probiotics that are beneficial for gut health.
  • Rich in Whole Grains: If made with whole grain sourdough, it can contribute to daily whole grain intake.
  • Protein Source: Cheese provides a good source of protein, essential for muscle building and repair.
  • Calcium Content: Cheese is also a significant source of calcium, vital for bone health.
  • Customizable for Nutrition: By adding vegetables or lean proteins, the nutritional value can be enhanced.
  • Energy Boosting: The combination of carbs and protein provides sustained energy.
  • Low in Sugar: Unlike many processed snacks, sourdough grilled cheese is low in sugars.
  • Mood Enhancing: The comfort food aspect can have a positive effect on mood and satisfaction.

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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s

Yes, any variety works, but traditional sourdough provides the best flavor and texture balance.

Both work well. Butter offers a classic taste, while mayonnaise provides a crispy texture.

Absolutely! A toaster oven can be used for an evenly crispy texture.

Press down lightly with a spatula while cooking, and use cheese that melts well.

Yes, use vegan cheese and butter substitutes for a vegan-friendly version.

Sourdough Grilled Cheese


In conclusion, sourdough grilled cheese is not just a sandwich; it’s a symphony of flavors and textures that delights the palate. The tangy, chewy sourdough bread forms the perfect canvas for the rich, melted cheese, creating a dish that’s both comforting and sophisticated. The versatility of this sandwich allows for endless variations, from classic cheddar to gourmet combinations with brie and fig jam, catering to all tastes and occasions.

Moreover, its preparation, from selecting the right cheese to achieving the perfect golden crust, is an art in itself. Whether enjoyed as a quick snack, a hearty lunch, or a comforting dinner, sourdough grilled cheese stands out as a culinary classic that transcends age and trends, proving that sometimes the simplest dishes can be the most satisfying.

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