After a long, exhausting day exploring with friends, sometimes there’s nothing you crave more than comfort food. Our comfort food of choice? Grilled cheese. Whether you’re traveling or refueling after a long hike, it makes for an easy, affordable, filling, and highly customizable meal.
One more thing we love about this gooey sandwich? You can easily incorporate local ingredients into the mix and repurpose some of the ingredients for other meals–avocado toast for breakfast, cheese or dates for a snack. To celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day (April 12!), we’ve rounded up a few tips and twists that you can share with friends after a day of adventuring.
Grilled Cheese Tips
No matter what kind of grilled cheese is your favorite, here are some tips that work across every type of GC.
1. Our bread of choice? Sourdough, hands down.
2. Our pan of choice? Cast-iron of course, but if you don’t have one in your Airbnb or at home, don’t stress.
3. Butter the cast-iron skillet AND both sides of the bread to get everything nice and browned. Or use butter on the skillet, and mayo on the bread for the ultimate taste and texture.
4. Use medium-low heat–any higher and all you’ll have is an oddly warm piece of cheese and some burnt toast.
5. Toss a lid on that skillet for even meltier cheese.
Our Favorite Grilled Cheese Twists
From sweet and savory, to a sando with a little kick, here are our top five grilled cheese combos:
1. Sharp Cheddar, Pear, and Honey: A classic sweet and savory combo—basically a charcuterie board on a sandwich. It’s *chef’s kiss* as they say.
2. Goat Cheese, Fig, and Jalapeno: This one certainly lands on the bold side of things, but if you like a kick and unique flavor combos, it’s bound to be your new favorite.
3. Three-Cheese, Bacon, Avocado, and Tomato: Gouda, sharp cheddar, and goat cheese to be exact. The nutty notes of gouda contrast nicely with a sharp hit of cheddar, while goat cheese delivers a tangy little twist. And who doesn’t love the holy trinity that is bacon, avocado, and tomato?
4. Basil, Tomato, and Sharp Cheddar: As the freshest combo of the bunch, this is our Americanized take on a Caprese sandwich. The acidity of the tomato, sweetness of the basil, and sharpness of the cheddar live in harmonious bliss.
5. Gouda, Bacon, and Dates: Everyone loves a bacon-wrapped date, and the one way to make it even better? Toss it on a grilled cheese with some gouda. This is another sweet and savory combo, but with an elevated twist.
If you’re a Kraft-singles-on-white-bread-grilled-cheese kinda person, these combos might not be for you—but hey, there’s something beautiful to be said about simplicity, too.