Take your apple sandwich to new heights by turning it into the most delicious grilled cheese you’ll ever make!
Apple and cheese is such a glorious combo. It highlights the perfect balance of sweet and salty so beautifully. Whilst it might seem a little odd whacking some apple into a grilled cheese, I promise you it totally works. Follow me…
Originally when I tested this recipe, I actually just sliced up some apple and threw it right in. Whilst it worked pretty well, I found the apple kind of got lost in the grilled cheese. I really wanted that sweet and salty contrast between the cheese and apple, but the sweetness from the apple wasn’t quite punching through. So, I took things up and caramelized the apples. Boy oh boy did that make all the difference!
It all started with Bacon…
Like most things on this blog 🤣 But all jokes aside, not only does the bacon enhance the salty tones of the cheese, not only does it pair amazingly with both the cheese and apple, but you can use the leftover bacon fat to start caramelizing the apples. win win and win!
What variety of Apple to use?
I highly recommend using red apples over green. They caramelize much more efficiently. You want a nice crisp variety, something like a Pink Lady, Honey Crisp or Gala works nicely.
To caramelize the apples, some recipes use brown sugar, but I much prefer using maple syrup. It adds gorgeous flavour and adds a glossy, syrupy texture to the apples.
Process shots: fry bacon (photo 1), remove then add butter (photo 2), melt (photo 3), add apples (photo 4), add maple syrup and thyme (photo 5), stir and fry until caramelized (photo 6).
Apple Bacon Grilled Cheese
Alrighty, apples caramelized, let’s talk grilled cheese.
What Bread to use?
Something nice and firm, just to contain the soft filling. Something like a Sourdough works nicely. But in reality most loaves will work, just not thin soft sandwich bread.
What Cheese to use?
A nice sharp cheddar is a must. This is the most classic cheese pairing with apple, especially sweet varieties. I also like to use Gorgonzola. Blue cheese works beautifully with apple, offering that sharp contrast from the sweetness. If you’re not a fan of blue cheese though you can sub more cheddar.
Do I have to add Bacon?
Whilst I highly encourage it, if you’re not able to add it this sandwich will still be delicious. Just sub an extra knob of butter to replace the bacon fat when caramelizing the apples. If you want to take things up a notch from the bacon then some crispy prosciutto goes nicely!
Process shots: add bread butter side down in pan (photo 1), top with cheddar and bacon (photo 2), add apples (photo 3), add gorgonzola (photo 4), add bread butter side up (photo 5), fry both sides (photo 6).
Serving an Apple Grilled Cheese
I typically serve this for brunch or lunch, usually if guests are involved. It’s a real show stopper, because people are always a little unsure, but the flavours work so incredibly well that it always pays off!
Looking for another sandwich that uses apple? Check out my Chicken Waldorf Salad Sandwich!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this apple grilled cheese shall we?!
How to make an Apple Grilled Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)
The Ultimate Apple Grilled Cheese
- Large Non-Stick Pan & Spatula/Turner
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Wooden Spoon
- Cheese Grater
- 2 large Apples, cored and sliced (see notes)
- 2 tbsp Maple Syrup (see notes)
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1-2 sprigs of Fresh Thyme (optional)
- 8 medium slices of Bread (see notes)
- 8 rashers of Bacon
- 5oz / 150g grated Cheddar, grated
- 3.5oz / 100g Gorgonzola, crumbled (or more Cheddar)
- Butter, as needed
- Bacon: In a large non-stick pan over medium heat add 8 slices of bacon. Fry both sides until golden/crispy with the fat fully rendered down. Remove from pan, leave fat behind.
- Apples: Melt 1 tbsp butter into the pan then add the apple slices. Stir to coat and fry for around 5mins until they JUST begin to brown and soften slightly. Pour in 2 tbsp maple syrup along with your fresh thyme (optional). Lower the heat very slightly and stir to coat the apple. Gently fry until the apple is soft (but not breaking apart) and caramelized/sticky. Remove and wipe out the pan.
- Grilled Cheese: Butter one side of each of the slices of bread then flip half of them over. Top with grated cheddar, followed by 2 slices bacon, topped with caramelized apples and finish with gorgonzola (or more cheddar). Top with a second slice of bread butter-side-up.
- Fry: Add to a non-stick pan over medium heat and fry both sides until golden with the cheese just starting to leak out. You may need to do this in two batches. Serve up and enjoy!
If you loved this Apple Sandwich recipe be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below!