This chilli cheese sandwich is crispy on the outside, gooey in the centre and spicy all over!
If you’re looking for a delicious way to spice up your grilled cheese game, this chilli cheese sandwich is going to be right up your street. Follow me…
Chilli Cheese Sandwich
The spice from this sandwich comes from both the inside AND the outside of the sandwich (which we’ll get to in just a sec). For the inside, we’re going to be using Harissa Paste.
What is Harissa?
Harissa is a spicy chilli paste found in many North African dishes. It’s quite fragrant and has a fairly pungent flavour. It’s great because it’s got a really deep, condensed flavour that goes beyond just the one tone of ‘spicy’.
What Cheese shall I use for this sandwich?
Because we’re packing in the spice, I like to keep it more subtle in the centre. As such, I like using Mozzarella and Gouda.
Process shots: add bread to pan with heat OFF (photo 1) spread with butter (photo 2), flip over (photo 3), spread with Harissa (photo 4), add cheese (photo 5), add bread spread with more Harissa and butter (photo 6).
Grilled Chilli Cheese Sandwich
The key component of this sandwich is having just as much flavour on the OUTSIDE as you do on the inside. Just like my Inside Out Grilled Cheese, we’re going to be creating a cheesy crust on this sandwich. Oh, and we’re going to throw in some sliced fresh chilli too, just for good measure.
What Cheese shall I use for the cheesy crust?
Cheddar by far is the best option. It offer a punch of flavour and crisps up so well!
One of the key steps in making this sandwich is using a decent non-stick pan. Otherwise, the cheese is going to attach itself to the pan instead of the sandwich, which is never fun (trust me, been there).
Process shots: fry sandwich then flip (photo 1), top with chillies (photo 2), top with cheddar (photo 3), flip (photo 4), top with chillies and cheddar (photo 5), flip (photo 6).
Chilli Cheese Sandwich FAQ
What kind of Bread should I use?
I recommend something firm like Sourdough, just so it can hold the crusted cheese without going flimsy.
What kind of Chillies should I use?
I just use regular red chillies that you find in the fresh herb section at supermarkets. They’re fairly large and not crazy spicy.
How Spicy is this sandwich?
It’s actually not as spicy as you’d expect, maybe a 5/6 out of 10 (assuming you only use a small sliver of harissa and use supermarket chillies). If want it spicier then use a spicier variety of chilli. If you’re concerned about spice, just use harissa on one slice of bread and consider de-seeding the chillies.
Serving a Chilli Cheese Sandwich
Perfect as it is, or you could make it more of a meal with some Nachos or Sweet Potato Wedges. Or, you can use it to spice up some Tomato Soup or some already spicy Chorizo Roasted Red Pepper Soup.
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this chilli cheese sandwich shall we?!
How to make a Chilli Cheese Sandwich (Full Recipe & Video)
Grilled Chilli Cheese Sandwich
- Non-Stick Pan
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Plastic Spatula/Turner
- Cheese Grater
- 2 medium slices of Bread (see notes)
- 1/2 cup / 50g Cheddar, grated (for the crust)
- 1/3 cup / 30g Gouda, grated (for filling)
- 1/3 cup / 1oz / 30g Mozzarella, sliced or shredded (for filling)
- 2 tsp Harissa Paste (see notes)
- 1 Red Chilli, sliced into thin rounds
- Butter, as needed
- Add a slice of bread to a non-stick pan with the heat OFF. Spread with butter, then flip over so it's butter-side-down. Spread with a thin layer of harissa, then top with gouda and mozzarella.
- Spread the second slice of bread with harissa on one side and butter on the other. Place it on top of the sandwich so it is butter-side-up.
- Turn on the heat to medium and fry until the bottom side is golden and crisp, then flip over. Add 4-5 slices of chilli on the toasted side, then sprinkle over some cheddar. Press down with your spatula.
- Once the second side is golden/crisp, lift the sandwich up with your spatula, flip the pan over so it touches the top of the sandwich, and carefully flip it back over so the sandwich is now cheese/chilli-side down.
- Top with more chilli/cheese and leave to fry until the cheese on the bottom side turns deep golden and attaches to the bread.
- Flip and repeat then serve up & enjoy!
Your Private Notes:
If you loved this Chilli Cheese 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!
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