It's a new year, and that means it's time for a new "recipe of the month," and GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES were the obvious choice! So, for my first grilled cheese of the month, I'm pleased to introduce my garlic sage butter grilled cheese sandwich! With sage-infused butter brushed on the outside of crispy, white bread, and melty mozzarella and sharp, white cheddar cheese in the middle...what could be better?
Why Do I Love Grilled Cheese?Jump to Recipe
If you've been following along for the last year, you'll know that for every month of 2019, I posted a new, unique mac and cheese recipe for what I called "Mac of the Month". I can't think of a clever name with alliteration for the grilled cheese of the month, but it was a natural choice for 2020. I think grilled cheese is right up there with mac and cheese for comfort food. Bread, cheese, butter. Check, check, check.
The classic is ALWAYS good, but for each month of 2020, I'm going to share a unique grilled cheese recipe with you that you've maybe never tried before.
The Low Down on Sage Butter
You've probably had all kinds of infused butters in your life. Sage butter happens to be one of my personal favorites. My mom has made this INCREDIBLE appetizer for years with sage butter on crostini with mozzarella and pancetta (she makes it for me without meat). To this day, it's one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations. This recipe is inspired in part by that. Thanks, Mom!
To make sage-infused butter, you just need to melt some butter, add some sage, and let it all cook and meld together to bring out the wonderful sage flavor. In this recipe, you'll roughly chop the sage ahead of time so it's easy to break into little pieces. You'll dip the bread into the sage butter directly. This saves you from having to empty the butter out of the saucepan and brush it onto the bread. Little bits of the crispy sage will stick right to the bread. But don't worry if there's still some left in the pan! The butter will have a great sage flavor all on its own.
The Best Grilled Cheese Ingredients
For this particular recipe, here's what you'll need:
- A really good quality, thick, crusty, white bread (I recommend a loaf of sourdough or Italian that you cut yourself!)
- Sage leaves (about 6 medium or 8 large — use more if you want an even stronger sage flavor)
- Old/sharp white cheddar (shred it yourself - do not use pre-shredded. More on that below)
- Saputo Mozzarellissima (or another stretchy, pizza mozzarella, even fresh mozzarella works great!)
- Good quality, grass-fed butter
- Minced garlic
- It's optional, but I LOVE adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the butter for an extra kick
Pre-Shredded Cheese vs. Block Cheese
Okay — I know I harp on the important differences between pre-shredded cheese vs. block cheese in ALL of my mac and cheese recipes, but it's important if you're using shredded cheese in grilled cheese sandwiches too!
Pre-shredded cheese has additives that make it grainy and not as smooth and melty. It will taste good, but not AS good. And when it comes to the perfect grilled cheese sandwich, we need it to be as DELICIOUS as you can get!
It only takes a few minutes to shred your own cheese, and it's actually cheaper to buy block cheese rather than pre-shredded cheese!
Feel like doing a deep dive on pre-shredded cheese vs. block cheese? I broke it all down in its own blog post here.
What to Serve With Sage Butter Grilled Cheese
If you ask me what to serve with grilled cheese, I'll tell you you don't NEED anything. That being said, it also goes so well with lots of other dishes that you've got lots of tasty options.
My personal favorite is eating grilled cheese with soup. My celery potato soup recipe or my creamy carrot coconut tomato soup recipe are a few of my favorite options. They're both really easy soup recipes and nice and thick for dipping.
I also like eating grilled cheese with a nice big serving of pickles! I also dip plain grilled cheese in ketchup or even ranch dressing.
Some other great options:
- A side of roasted veggies
- Potato wedges/fries
- Veggies and dip
Let's dig in!
Garlic Sage Butter Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 4 tablespoon butter* ½ a stick
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 6-8 leaves sage roughly chopped, (6 medium or 8 large)
- 4 slices thick, crusty white bread
- 3 oz old/sharp white cheddar shredded
- 2 oz melty mozzarella*** shredded, see notes
- pinch red pepper flakes optional, for a bit of a kick
- Shred your cheese and set aside. Set out four slices of bread.**
- Add the butter and minced garlic to a medium saucepan or skillet. Melt the butter on medium heat. Once melted melted, add the chopped sage and lower the heat to low. If using red pepper flakes, add them now. Gently swirl the pan while the sage cooks for about 3-5 minutes — careful not to let the leaves burn. The sage will turn brighter green, then get darker, almost greenish-brown when it starts to crisp up.
- Dip one side of each slice of bread into the garlic sage butter, letting bits of the crispy sage stick to the bread (it doesn't all need to attach to the bread). Or, use a butter brush to apply the butter/sage/garlic to the bread.
- Place two slices of bread, buttered-side down, into the pan, and turn the heat to medium.While the bread cooks, top each piece with half the shredded cheese. Top with the remaining two pieces of bread, buttered side on top. Cook until one side begins to get crispy and golden and the cheese starts to get ooey gooey. Once one side is cooked to your liking, flip and repeat on the other side. Once done, remove from the pan and cut each sandwich in half.If there's still sage butter left in the pan, brush it on the sandwiches.Serve HOT and enjoy.
I'm so excited for what this year of unique grilled cheese recipes has in store for us. Thanks for following along!
XO - C