Whether you want a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, making it home allows you to customize it. Panera has been delivering daily fresh bread to its customers. They are known for their healthy and delicious bread. If you want to know how to make Panera grilled cheese, come with me.
Cover one side of each slice of bread with butter to make a Panera grilled cheese. Heat a non-stick frying pan on low heat and place the buttered side of the bread covered in the frying pan. Add cheddar, gruyere, fontina cheese, and tomatoes to one of the slices, then cover it with the other.
There is more to that perfect, crispy Panera grilled cheese; this article will help you achieve that.
How To Make Panera Grilled Cheese: Recipes
Below are recipes to make your Panera grilled cheese for two servings.
- Panera bread – 4 slices
- Sliced tomatoes – 3 ounce
- Smoked or cooked Applewood bacon – 4 pcs
- Sliced fontina cheese – 1 1/2 ounce
- Sliced or shredded gruyere cheese – 1 1/2 ounce
- Small-sized butter for spreading
Making Panera grilled cheese is easy. Here are the steps to make one.
Step 1: For each slice of Panera bread, spread one side with butter and set it aside.
Step 2: Preheat a frying pan on low or medium heat.
Step 3: Place the buttered side of the bread in the frying pan. Add cheddar, grated gruyere, and fontina cheeses to the bread layer, sliced tomatoes, and your smoked or cooked bacon. Cover the fillings with the second bread.
Step 4: The total toasting time is 6-7 minutes. Each side of the bread should stay in the pan for 3-4 minutes before you flip it. The cheese in the bread should melt, and the back of the bread should be golden brown.
Step 5: Your Panera grilled cheese is ready. Cut to your desired shape and serve.
There is no limit to what you can eat Panera grilled cheese with. You can pair your sandwich with the following:
- Tomato soup
- Ketchup and mustard
- Sweet potato fries
- Jam, marmalade, or chutney
Panera Grilled Cheese Serving Suggestions
With its crispy exterior and gooey cheese interior, it’s no wonder why it’s a favorite for so many. But have you ever wondered what the best sides and beverages are to pair it with?
1. Tomato Soup
One classic pairing for grilled cheese is tomato soup. The warm and savory soup complements the sandwich’s cheesy and slightly sweet flavors. The acidity of the tomatoes in the soup also helps cut through the richness of the cheese, making it a perfectly balanced meal.
You can make your tomato soup from scratch or choose a canned version for a quick and easy meal.
Consider a salad if you’re looking for a lighter option to pair with your Panera grilled cheese. A crisp and fresh salad can provide a nice contrast to a warm and gooey sandwich.
A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing or a Caesar salad would be perfect options. To make it a more filling meal, you can add protein to the salad, such as grilled chicken or shrimp.
3. Chips and Dip
Consider pairing your grilled cheese with some chips and dip for a more casual and fun meal. The salty and crunchy chips provide a nice textural contrast to the sandwich, while the dip can add some additional flavor.
Guacamole, salsa, and hummus are all great options for dips. You can also opt for classic potato chips or veggie chips for a healthier option.
Fries are always a great option if you’re in the mood for something more indulgent. The crispy and salty fries go well with the cheesy and savory sandwich. You can make your fries at home or opt for frozen fries for a quick and easy side.
To make it even more indulgent, add toppings to the fries, such as melted cheese, bacon bits, or garlic aioli.
5. Iced Tea or Lemonade
Regarding beverages, iced tea or lemonade is perfect for pairing with Panera grilled cheese. Both drinks are refreshing and complement the flavors of the sandwich.
Iced tea can be made in various flavors, such as peach, raspberry, or mint, to add extra depth to the meal. If you’re looking for a sweeter option, try a classic lemonade or a flavored lemonade, such as strawberry or blueberry.
What Is the best cooking technique for Panera grilled cheese?
It’s crispy exterior and melty cheese interior make it easy to see why people love it. But what is the best cooking technique for Panera grilled cheese?
1. Use Butter or Mayonnaise
One of the most important factors in making a perfect grilled cheese is the fat used to cook the sandwich. Traditionalists will always swear by butter, but mayonnaise is also great. Both butter and mayonnaise have a high smoke point, meaning they won’t burn quickly when heated.
Additionally, they both contain fats that help create that signature crispy exterior. When using butter, use room temperature butter to ensure it spreads evenly on the bread. When using mayonnaise, spread it thinly to avoid the sandwich tasting like mayo.
2. Choose the Right Bread
Choosing the right bread is also critical to achieving the perfect grilled cheese. The bread should be sturdy enough to withstand the pan’s heat and the cheese’s weight and soft enough to create that gooey interior.
A sourdough or a hearty white bread are great options. Be sure to cut the bread into thick slices for added stability and to ensure it can hold the cheese without falling apart.
3. Grate the Cheese
Grating the cheese is essential to creating a smooth, even melt. Shredded cheese melts more quickly and evenly than sliced cheese, so it’s easier to control the texture and ensure it melts through.
Also, grating the cheese instead of pre-sliced cheese allows you to use a larger variety of cheese types, such as sharp cheddar, pepper jack, or fontina.
4. Use Low Heat
While it may be tempting to crank up the heat and cook your sandwich quickly, this can lead to unevenly melted cheese and burnt bread. A low-and-slow approach is the key to achieving the perfect grilled cheese.
Keep the heat on medium-low and cook the sandwich slowly, for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. This allows the cheese to melt evenly throughout and ensures a crispy exterior.
5. Add a Lid
Another tip for achieving a perfectly melted cheese is to add a lid to the pan. Adding a lid creates steam, which helps the cheese to melt faster and more evenly. Keep the heat low when using a lid, and check the sandwich frequently to avoid burning.
6. Experiment with Cooking Methods
While the stovetop is the most common method for grilled cheese, other methods can be just as effective. A panini press or a sandwich maker can produce a perfectly crispy grilled cheese without fuss.
If you prefer a more hands-off approach, you can also try cooking your grilled cheese in the oven. Place the sandwich on a baking sheet and cook it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Is Grill Cheese Better With Butter Or Oil?
The answer ultimately depends on your personal preferences. Butter is a great choice if you prefer a rich buttery flavor and don’t mind the extra calories. However, oil might be the way to go if you prefer a lighter and crispier texture or if you’re looking for a dairy-free option.
It’s also worth noting that the type of bread you use can affect the outcome of your sandwich. Sourdough and white bread are great options for grilled cheese, but sourdough can provide a tangy flavor that complements the cheese, while white bread can provide a classic and neutral flavor.
Is mozzarella or cheddar better for grilled cheese?
Both mozzarella and cheddar cheese are excellent choices for grilled cheese sandwiches. The decision ultimately comes down to personal preference and what you want to achieve with your sandwich.
If you prefer a mild, stretchy texture, mozzarella is the way to go, while cheddar is a better choice if you want a sharp, creamy flavor. Whichever cheese you choose, use high-quality ingredients to make the best grilled cheese sandwich possible.
Homemade Panera Grilled Cheese Recipe
- 4 slices of sourdough bread
- 4 slices of cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- Start by preheating a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.
- While the skillet is heating up, spread mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread. This will give the bread a golden, crispy texture when it's cooked.
- Place one slice of cheddar cheese on the un-mayoed side of two slices of bread. Then, place the remaining two slices of bread, mayoed side down, on top of the cheese slices to make two sandwiches.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the skillet or griddle. Once melted, add the sandwiches to the skillet or griddle.
- Cook the sandwiches for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
- Once the sandwiches are cooked, remove them from the skillet or griddle and let them cool for a minute or two before serving.
- Cut the sandwiches in half and serve hot.
- Use a good quality sourdough bread for the best flavor and texture.
- Use unsalted butter to avoid making the sandwich too salty.
- You can use any type of cheese you prefer, but cheddar cheese is a classic choice for grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Experiment with different spreads, such as pesto or mustard, to add extra flavor to your sandwich.
Now you know how to make Panera grilled cheese. With this article’s recipes and step-by-step instructions, you can give your family or friends a nice Panera sandwich experience.