Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Grilled Beer and Cheese Sandwich

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Grilled Beer and Cheese Sandwich, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

I’ve been thinking about how awesome grilled cheese sandwiches are lately, which is sort of interesting cause I so rarely eat them. I’m pretty sure it all started last month when my hungry eyes came upon Milk Truck while roaming around the Brooklyn Flea. I was terribly tempted to try one of their unique grilled cheeses, but faced with so many great food options, I decided to go for Asia Dog (so good!) instead. I think it was just too damn hot out for a grilled cheese, but I’ve had grilled cheese on my mind ever since.

Last week I said enough is enough and decided to come up with a fun grilled cheese of my own and finally satiate that craving. What comes first when inventing a grilled cheese sandwich – the bread or the cheese? For me it was definitely the bread! I went with beer bread, my favorite bread to make (okay, pretty much the only bread I make).


I followed my usual beer bread recipe , but added a bunch of cracked black pepper to the dough for some extra kick. The rest of the sandwich was inspired by Wisconsin’s native beer and cheese soup also which incorporates cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce and mustard.

I’d thought about just adding the Worcestershire sauce directly to the bread dough, but was kind of iffy about it alongside the already strong beer flavor in the bread. So instead, I added a good amount of the Worcestershire to the caramelized onions while cooking. Oh man, the flavor was so good!


For cheese, I went with sharp cheddar and a creamy fontina for some contrast. Then I added a nice layer of Dijon mustard before stacking everything up and grilling it with a little butter and olive oil. I like the combination of the butter and olive oil because I think using just butter can sometimes be overwhelming and take away from the flavor of the cheese.


So how was it? Um, amazing. The beer flavor with the sharpness of the cheese and then the sweet and tangy onions was so good! Really, really happy with it. There was one thing though: While the flavor of the beer bread was perfect, it doesn’t really hold together that well. Beer bread is pretty dense and though it slices fine, it lacks the sponginess that you get with other breads. So basically, it gets messy when you take a bite. I didn’t mind it though…just make sure you’re eating it with a plate. see how the cheese spills out a lot.


I’m thinking it’d also make a great open-faced sandwich, meant to be eaten with a fork and knife.

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Cook + prep time: 20 minutes (assuming the bread is already made). You’ll want to eat this sandwich over a plate or even with a fork cause it gets messy! It’s great as an open-feced sandwich as well, eaten with a knife and fork.

You need:

  • Thinly sliced white onion
  • Some oregano
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Fontina cheese
  • Dijon mustard


  1. Slice onions thin and dice some fresh oregano. Set burner to medium-high heat and drizzle olive oil on pan. Add onions to pan and make sure there is enough oil to lightly coat them all. Sauté onions until they begin to wilt, then add a pinch of salt and pepper, oregano and a couple splashes of worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook covered until onions become soft/carmalize (about 10 minutes). Add more worcestershire sauce to taste if you’re into it.
  2. Spread a layer of Dijon mustard on one slice of beer bread. Place desired amount of cheese on top. Place a pile of onions on top of cheese and top with another slice of cheese and bread.
  3. Carefully place sandwich on a pan that’s lightly greased with olive oil and butter. Grill both sides on medium low heat.



  1. Posted September 15, 2010 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    This looks amazingly good. Oh, grilled cheese is the best. Beautiful photos too, wow.

  2. Posted September 15, 2010 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

    How tasty does that look! A simple sandwich turned on its head. Beautiful photos.

  3. Posted September 16, 2010 at 3:48 AM | Permalink

    The trifecta of awesomeness: beer bread, caramelized onions, sharp cheddar. …These are a few of my favorite things…

  4. Posted September 16, 2010 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    O.M.G. That looks incredible! The onions, the bread, the bubbly cheese! Amazing.

  5. Posted September 16, 2010 at 9:08 AM | Permalink


  6. Posted September 16, 2010 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    WOW! Beer bread grilled cheese….genius!! I almost at a loss for words….that is the most divine looking grilled cheese sandwich ever!

  7. Posted September 16, 2010 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

    Oooh, really thinly sliced apple in there would be KILLER!

  8. Posted September 16, 2010 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    Good gravy, madame!

  9. Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Yum. Reminds me of Welsh Rarebit except with beer in the bread instead of on top.

  10. Posted September 18, 2010 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

    I want that for breakfast now!

  11. Posted September 18, 2010 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    This looks amazing! I’m going to have to try it soon. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Posted September 18, 2010 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    I’ve never made beer bread, but you make it look so irresistible!

  13. Posted September 21, 2010 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    oh my goodness! have to try this asap! thanks for sharing!

  14. Posted September 22, 2010 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    Wow that looks delicous! Thanks for the article! I will be making one of these soon.

  15. Posted September 23, 2010 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    This is making me really hungry~!

  16. Posted September 23, 2010 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    Mouthwatering! Do you think it would work to substitute at least a little bit of whole wheat flour into the beer bread?

  17. gabi
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

    Hm, i think it could. Sounds good….but you might want to do a quick search for whole wheat beer breads because maybe they call for more baking powder or something, ya know?

  18. Posted September 24, 2010 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    THIS IS JUST TOO GOOD! This is something I have been craving but didn’t even KNOW I’ve been craving until this moment… must… have…. sandwich… SO glad you posted this, THANKS for the recipe!

  19. Posted September 26, 2010 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    Hmm..the minute you said “eat it with a fork and knife” and put together with the words sandwich it felt strange. I guess i’m fairly traditional that way. but, I did think how cool would it be if you made this beer bread as a crust, and the ingredients as a sort of pie filling? Your grouse about the beer bread being denser immediately made me think of how it would be something I could squash down on top of a stew-like dish, instead of pastry or mashed potatoes, and use that as a crust instead. like bread’n’butter pudding. but savoury! =)

  20. gabi
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    Judy – you might be on to something! sounds doable :)

  21. Posted October 22, 2010 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    I love the idea of grilled cheese and caramelized onions on beer bread (with pepper as an added bonus). This is a perfect Friday night supper, especially here in New England. I’m sure our Cheddar Fans will agree. Thanks for this great take on an old favorite.

  22. Margaret
    Posted October 22, 2010 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    Looks and sounds utterly amazing!

  23. Posted October 23, 2010 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    Oh. My. Well, you just got yourself a new subscriber with THAT recipe. BRILLIANT!!!

  24. Posted January 8, 2011 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    Wow! This looks pretty awesome. I love your site! I’m definitely subscribing!

  25. Posted February 12, 2011 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    I love your blog, and love your images! I’m about to attempt both the bread and the sandwich (I have some left over fontina and this looks AMAZING).

    What “print” plugin do you use? It’s awesome!

  26. gabi
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    Thanks!. But, I actually don’t know. I had a Web guy do the blog for me and it’s all pretty customized…not a WordPress plugin that I am aware.

  27. Posted April 27, 2011 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

    hello dinner tonight. loved the addition of caramelized onions.

  28. Posted June 30, 2011 at 2:45 AM | Permalink

    This looks delicious! Do you think it would turn out well with whole wheat flour?



  29. gabi
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    I’m not entirely sure, but I’d live to know! Whole wheat flour can be much denser…it may be just fine though. Get back with me if you end up trying it. -gabi

  30. Posted August 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    I love grilled cheese, that looks delicious! Will definitely have to try this! I might wait until I can be extra lazy about the bread (read: when Trader Joe’s puts out their beer bread mix in autumn).

  31. Mara
    Posted August 16, 2011 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    I want that!! For breakfast, lunch and dinner…

  32. Posted August 24, 2011 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

    WOW…. Your photographs are AMAZING. !!!

    The food looks pretty darn yummy too. I love onions on my grilled cheese. :)

  33. Mark
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Might I suggest adding a little brown ale to the onions right at the end to deglaze the pan? :o)

  34. Posted May 7, 2012 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

    I have to thank you for an amazing recipe! I made it for the Grilled Cheese Cooking Challenge this month and it was soooo good! My house still smells like heaven hours later from cooking up the onions.
    Here’s my attempt at recreating your beautiful sandwich :

  35. Emme O
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    I made this sandwich today using the bread. It was highly delectable. Great things going on between the flavour of the beer bread and the sharp cheddar as well as those sweet caramelised onions. Well done!

    However, I had one small issue: My bread was freshly cooked and because of that it was very soft and more likely to fall appart in the pan. Did you use your beer bread a few days old? would that perhaps help?

    Thanks again for the wonderful recipe!

  36. gabi
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    Hi Emme, Thanks for your comment. This bread is pretty dense, so yes, it does tend to break apart more than you’ll be used to. It’s the nature of this kind of the beer bread! But it’s still manageable… Definitely wait until it’s completely cooled and has had time to set. Then, I recommend using a sharp bread knife to slice it while applying pressure to the sides to help hold it together even more.

  37. Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    Amazing it looks fantastic.

  38. Posted December 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    Just made this last night. Holy. Crap.

  39. Richard
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

    had leftover Yuengling Black and Tan, couldn’t waste it, made the bread last night, and followed your directions with all the trimmings….Fanfreagintiasitc!

  40. Richard
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 8:50 AM | Permalink

    PS….It seems like it would also make a great base for an Egg Benedict with Ham, and Hollandaise Sauce

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