Like sands through the hourglass...so are the grilled cheeses of the month! And this month, I'm proud to present the jalapeno popper grilled cheese! It's stuffed to the brim with cheddar, cream cheese, and diced jalapenos. And if that wasn't enough, it even has a crispy parmesan crust!
I've been looking to some of my mac of the month recipes from last year for grilled cheese inspiration. I posted my jalapeno popper mac and cheese recipe last May, and it was an obvious choice to create a jalapeno popper grilled cheese too!
Jalapeno popper grilled cheese
I'm not the first to create a unique grilled cheese recipe inspired by a jalapeno popper. And I certainly won't be the last! But I had to try my hand at it, and I was VERY happy with the result.
But I guess I shouldn't toot my own horn too much because it's pretty hard to make cream cheese, cheddar cheese, butter, garlic, bread, and jalapenos taste anything other than amazing.
Grilled cheese tips
If you have a few minutes, I recommend reading through a few of my grilled cheese tips. They'll serve you well for any grilled cheese sandwich recipe you'll ever make! But if you need to dive right in, you can jump to the recipe by clicking on this guy: Jump to Recipe
Okay, tip #1: Use good bread. Yes — that classic thin, white sandwich bread can make for a really tasty grilled cheese. But if you really want to go all out, go for the really good quality bread. A loaf of crusty French or Italian bread is perfect.
Next, shred your own cheese!
In almost every recipe, shredding your own cheese will give you a way tastier result. Pre-shredded cheese that you buy in a bag has other stuff in it that makes it not stick together...but it also means it doesn't melt as well and gets kind of "grainy."
I go into more detail about the difference between shredded cheese vs. block cheese here if you want to check it out.
Oh, and I wouldn't be me if I didn't tell you never to skimp on the cheese and butter. The more the merrier...in life, in food, in friends...
Finally, don't be afraid to add some seasoning into the mix when you're making a grilled cheese!
If you're just making a plain grilled cheese recipe, my ten-second hack for the "best grilled cheese ever" is what you're looking for...you add pinches of minced garlic, onion powder, thyme, and red pepper flakes to the butter before you add it to the bread...so easy and so good!
As for this grilled cheese recipe, the filling is seasoned mostly by the jalapenos in the middle, but you'll add a bit of garlic powder and pinches of salt and pepper, too!
Speaking of this recipe...Let's get to it.
Here's what you'll need.
- Good quality white bread (a crusty French or Italian loaf is perfect)
- Butter (room temperature...AKA when you touch it, your finger leaves a dent)
- Shredded parmesan (this is used on the outside of the grilled cheese to make a crispy crust)
- Old/sharp cheddar (I prefer to shred my cheese so I can measure it that way rather than cutting it into slices)
- Cream cheese (at room temperature or it will be really difficult to mix)
- Diced jalapenos (either use pre-sliced, jarred jalapeños, or roast your own and dice them (with gloves!)…Here are some great instructions.
I've started roasting my own (it's so easy) but the jarred kind works just fine!
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
Now, here's how to turn these ingredients into a jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwich!
First you need to make sure your butter and cream cheese are room temperature. You know, easy to stir and mix but not liquified!
If you're roasting your own jalapenos, do that (carefully) or dice some from a jar.
Shred your cheddar and parmesan cheeses and get your bread ready.
In a large bowl, combine the room temperature cream cheese, the diced jalapenos, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Mix well until it's all combined. Spread this mixture on one side of one piece of bread.
Then top that part with the shredded cheddar cheese.
Now top that with the other piece of bread. Spread half of the butter on one side of the sandwich. Use your fingers to "press" half the parmesan into the butter so it sticks. You'll do the same thing to the other half once it's in the pan.
Heat your pan on medium heat for a few minutes. Add the sandwich, butter and parmesan side down. Add the other half of butter and parmesan to the other side of the sandwich, making sure to press the parmesan in with your fingers.
Let it cook for 4-5 minutes. You'll know it's ready to flip when the outside cheese is cooked because it will easily lift off the pan!
Carefully flip the sandwich and cook the other side for another 4-5 minutes, or until golden and crisped to your liking!
Cut that baby in half, and enjoy!
Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
- 2 slices white bread good quality, thick bread
- 2 tablespoon butter at room temperature
- 2 tablespoon parmesan finely shredded
- 3 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- ⅓ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1.5 tablespoon jalapenos*, diced or more, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- Combine cream cheese, jalapeños, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well until combined.
- Spread jalapeño filling on 1 slice of bread. Top with shredded cheddar cheese then remaining slice of bread to form a sandwich.
- Spread half of the butter on top of the sandwich. Use your fingers to "press" half the parmesan into the butter so it sticks to make the parmesan crust. You'll do the same thing to the other half once it's in the pan.Heat your pan on medium heat for a few minutes. Add the sandwich with the butter and parmesan side down. Add the other half of butter and parmesan to the other side of the sandwich, making sure to press the parmesan in with your fingers. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes. (You'll know it's ready to flip when the outside cheese is cooked because it will easily lift off the pan)
- Carefully flip the sandwich and cook the other side for another 4-5 minutes, or until golden and crisped to your liking!
Yum!!! Let me know what you think once you try this tasty little delight.
In the meantime, be sure to follow along on Instagram where I post even more vegetarian comfort food recipes and more.
Hope you're safe, happy, and healthy wherever you are, my friends!
XO - C