Are you looking for an easy recipe for a basil grilled cheese sandwich? Well then you are in the right place! This simple basil grilled cheese sandwich is made with fontina cheese, ripe tomatoes, and a creamy basil sauce. It is perfect for days when you want a meal that feels decadent but does not require too much time or effort to make.
The real star of the show in this basil grilled cheese is the creamy basil sauce that is spread on the inside of the sandwich. Not only is it flavorful, but it is also super easy to make! All you have to do is combine a few common household ingredients in a blender and blend until combined.
What is in a basil grilled cheese?
What ingredients are used to make this basil grilled cheese? Here are all the ingredients you need to make this recipe for basil grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Gluten free bread. The first ingredient you need to make this basil grilled cheese sandwich is the bread. We recommend Schar Deli Style bread if you are willing to splurge a little. It is one of the most flavorful varieties of gluten free bread out there and it crisps up perfectly when toasted in butter. That means it is particularly well suited for grilled cheese sandwiches. You can also use regular bread if you do not have a gluten intolerance.
- Fontina cheese. The next ingredient you need to make this basil grilled cheese is fontina cheese. Fontina cheese is perfect for making grilled cheese sandwiches because it melts easily. It has a mild, creamy flavor that does not overshadow the flavor of the creamy basil sauce.
- Creamy basil sauce. The next ingredient in this basil grilled cheese sandwich is the creamy basil sauce. We describe how to make a creamy basil sauce in the next section, but you can also use a store bought pesto aioli.
- Tomatoes. You will also need fresh tomatoes to make this basil grilled cheese sandwich. The slight acidity in the tomatoes provides a nice contrast to the creaminess of the basil sauce and fontina cheese.
- Butter. Butter is used to toast the bread for this basil grilled cheese sandwich. You should use enough butter to toast both sides of each piece of bread. We always recommend toasting both sides of the bread when making grilled cheese sandwiches, but it is particularly important when making sandwiches that have mayo spread on the inside. It helps to prevent the bread from becoming soggy.
- Salt. Finally, some salt is used to finish off this grilled cheese sandwich.
What is in a creamy basil sauce?
What is in the creamy basil sauce that is used in this recipe for basil grilled cheese sandwiches? Here are all of the ingredients you need to make this recipe for basil grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Fresh basil. The first ingredient that you need to make the creamy basil sauce is basil. You should only use fresh basil to make this sauce. You should not use dried basil.
- Mayo. The next ingredient you need to make the creamy basil sauce is mayo. If you have an egg allergy in your household, you should feel free to use vegan mayo. We often use Follow Your Heart vegan mayo when making these tasty sandwiches.
- Olive oil. The next ingredient you need to make the creamy basil sauce is olive oil. For best results, you should use a smooth, buttery olive oil like California Olive Ranch olive oil. If you use a brand of olive oil with a strong flavor, it will overpower the other flavors in the creamy basil sauce.
- Lemon juice. Some lemon juice is added to the creamy basil sauce to ensure that it does not get too heavy. The acidity in the lemon juice serves to brighten up the flavor of the sauce.
- Garlic. Some garlic is added to the creamy basil sauce to give it even more flavor. If you are sensitive to the flavor of raw garlic, you can also exclude the garlic from this recipe. We do not recommend using garlic powder.
- Salt. Finally, a little salt is added. The salt helps to amplify all of the other flavors that are present in the basil sauce.
How do you make a basil grilled cheese?
How do you make a basil grilled cheese? Here are all the steps you need to take to make a basil grilled cheese.
- Slice the tomatoes. The first step in making a basil grilled cheese is to slice the tomatoes. For best results, you should use a serrated knife like this Victorinox bread knife. It is difficult to slice tomatoes thin enough without a high quality kitchen knife. If you are not using pre-shredded cheese, then you should also grate your cheese.
- Make the basil sauce. The next step in making a basil grilled cheese is to make the creamy basil sauce. All you have to do to make the creamy basil sauce is collect all of the ingredients and blend them in a small blender or food processor. We use the smoothie cup attachment of our favorite Ninja blender to blend the ingredients together and it is the perfect size.
- Toast the bread. After you make the creamy basil sauce, it is time to start assembling the sandwich. Start by heating a non-stick pan over medium low heat and melting the butter. Toast the bread on one side until it is a light golden brown. This should take no more than a few minutes.
- Add the fillings. After you have toasted the first side of the bread, flip it over and spread the mayo over the side of the bread that you just toasted. After that, add the fontina cheese and tomatoes to the bread. When you are done adding the filling, place another piece of bread on top of the filling with the toasted side facing the filling.
- Toast the other side of the bread. Now it is time to toast the other sides of the bread. At this point, the untoasted sides of the bread should be on the outside of the sandwich. Toast the bread over medium low heat for a few minutes until it is a medium golden brown. Flip the sandwich and toast it on the other side. This should be enough time for the cheese to melt. If the bread browns before the cheese melts, try lowering the temperature. If the bread is not browning enough, try raising the temperature.
- Add salt. Finally, remove the grilled cheese sandwiches from the heat and salt the outsides of the bread.
How to store a basil grilled cheese
How do you store a basil grilled cheese sandwich? For best results, you should store these basil grilled cheese sandwiches in the refrigerator in an airtight bag or food storage container. You should wrap each sandwich in a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. If stored correctly, the sandwiches will keep for 1 – 2 days in the refrigerator.
If you plan to store these basil grilled cheese sandwiches in the refrigerator for a long time, you should make sure that there is a thick layer of cheese between the tomatoes and the bread. If the tomatoes are directly touching the bread, the juice from the tomatoes will make the bread soggy.
How to reheat a basil grilled cheese
How do you reheat a basil grilled cheese? For best results, you should reheat a basil grilled cheese sandwich the same way that it was originally cooked. That means you should cook it over low to medium low heat in a non-stick pan. Make sure to heat the sandwich until the cheese melts throughout. You will likely need to reheat the sandwich at a slightly lower temperature than it was originally cooked at to ensure that it does not burn.
Basil grilled cheese
- 8 slices gluten free bread
- 2 cups fontina cheese (grated)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tomatoes
Creamy basil sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh basil (lightly packed)
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Slice the tomatoes into thin slices. Grate the cheese if you are not using pre-grated cheese.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the creamy basil sauce in a small blender. Blend until combined.
- Warm a non-stick pan over medium low heat. Melt the butter in the pan.
- Toast each slice of bread on one side. The bread should reach a light golden brown color within 2 – 4 minutes. If it does not, you should increase the temperature of your stove.
- Take one slice of bread and spread the creamy basil sauce over the toasted side. Add the fontina cheese and tomatoes on top of the basil sauce. Finish assembling the sandwich by putting another slice of bread on top with the toasted side facing the cheese. Assemble the rest of the sandwiches in the same way.
- Toast the assembled sandwiches for 3 – 5 minutes until they reach a medium golden brown. Flip the sandwiches over and toast them on the other side until.
- Sprinkle salt on the outside of the cooked sandwiches.
Substitutions for basil grilled cheese
- Gluten free bread. If you do not have a gluten intolerance, then you should feel free to use regular bread rather than gluten free bread. If you use particularly large bread slices, you might need to add a little extra cheese to your sandwich. This recipe was developed using gluten free bread slices, which tend to be a little smaller than regular bread slices.
- Mayo. If anyone in your house has an egg allergy, then you should feel free to substitute the mayo in the creamy basil sauce with vegan mayo. We often use vegan mayo when making this recipe. A simple 1:1 replacement will work just fine.
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