Ina Garten’s Ultimate Grilled Cheese is like grilled cheese on steroids. Add a bowl of creamy roasted tomato basil soup and be prepared to be blown away.

ultimate grilled cheese

Does grilled cheese ever get old?  Not in this house!

And evidently, not for the Barefoot Contessa either since the Ultimate Grilled Cheese is one of the recipes from her upcoming new book, How Easy Is That?

I’m still swooning over this simple sandwich on steroids. It’s Bread + Cheese + Butter x 10. Plus some bacon and mayo. Oy!

No joke, this was a fabulous sandwich.  How could it not be with a line-up like that one?

Though I suppose it isn’t a sandwich for lightweights. You have to be all or nothing. Do this sandwich justice.

And if your conscience nags you about eating this, you can always eat two meals of fruit for the day. Like I did. ‘Cause lots of fruit totally negates the butter, cheese, and bacon. Totally.

Ina's ultimate grilled cheese

When you make this…and you will want to…head over to Ezra Pound Cake and thank Rebecca for choosing this recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers to make this month. She didn’t have much to go off of because she doesn’t have a copy of the book yet but went on a hunch after seeing the recipe mentioned on the write-up of How Easy Is That? I love her hunches.

And if you need some tomato soup inspiration to go along with the ultimate grilled cheese, let me point you in the direction of either this creamless creamy tomato soup or this roasted tomato basil soup.

Otherwise and unconventionally, I think Ina’s split pea soup would also be an excellent soup to make for dipping this grilled cheese. Either way, make Ina’s ultimate grilled cheese and make yourself happy.

Ina Garten's Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Ina Garten's Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Yield: 6 sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Not any old grilled cheese includes 3 types of cheese but this one does! Add some crispy bacon - or skip for a meatless version - and you're on your way to eating the ultimate grilled cheese!


  • 12 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread, sliced ½-inch thick (12 slices)
  • 6 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 oz gruyere or swiss cheese
  • 6 oz extra-sharp cheddar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Arrange the bacon on a baking rack set over a sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and cut in 1-inch pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Lay 12 slices of bread on a board and spread each one lightly with butter. Flip the slices and spread each one generously with the mayonnaise mixture. Don’t neglect the corners!
  3. Grate the cheeses in a food processor fitted with the largest grating disk and combine. Distribute the bacon evenly on half the slices of bread. Pile ⅓ cup grated cheese evenly on top of the bacon and top with the remaining bread slices, sauce side down.
  4. Heat an electric panini press or griddle. When the press/griddle is hot, cook the sandwiches for 3 to 5 minutes in batches until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Allow to cool for 2 minutes. Cut in half and serve warm.


adapted from How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten

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