Ina Garten’s Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich Has 1 ‘Unusual’ Ingredient

Ina Garten makes some really elegant flavors for serving dinner party guests, but it has its own refreshing spins on classic comfort food. Note, for example, how it takes the usual grilled sandwich to the next level by adding one “unusual” ingredient.

Ina Garten will attend the Food Network’s top anniversary party hosted by Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and Ina Gart at Pier 92 on 13 October 2018
Ina Garten | Noam Galai / Getty Photos for NYCWFF

Ina Garten’s adult version of a grilled cheese sandwich will take some time

Grilled cheese sandwiches of the past required a hot pan, a slice of bread, butter and cheese. The Garten version has extra steps for a tastier sandwich, but pulling together in a hurry isn’t a quick comfort meal.

The Ultimate Barefoot Contessa Grilled Cheese recipe includes a mix of cheeses, as well as a spread that she mixes for each sandwich… as well as bacon.

The recipe requires cooking the bacon, which is an extra step that is not usually part of a typical grilled cheese sandwich, but has a great strategy for that: bake it on a rack placed over a sheet pan in an oven 400-degree for 20 to 30 minutes.

There is something special about a Barefoot Contessa grilled cheese sandwich

When Garten showed the steps for making her grilled cheese sandwich on a program of Contessa barefooted, she noted the “unusual” ingredient she adds to her sandwich: parmesan cheese.

The parmesan cheese is part of a spread containing mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, which she spreads generously on each slice of bread.

She also uses a mix of cheeses, cheddar and gruyere, which she puts in a food processor before adding to the sandwiches.

Once everything is in order, she grinds the sandwich in a panini press.

Barefoot roasted cheese recipe

The Barefoot Contessa recipe for her grilled cheese sandwich it is on her website and lists the following products:

  • 12 slices of thickly cut bacon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 loaf white bread or sourdough bread, 1 inch thick slice (12 slices)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces Gruyère age or Comté cheese, grated
  • 6 ounces Cheddar extra sharp, grated

Garten starts with a 400 degree preheated oven for the bacon, which she arranges in a single fold on a rack placed over a sheet pan. The bacon cooks for 20 to 30 minutes and, once drained and cooled, she cuts it into small pieces.

The mayonnaise, mustard, and parmesan cheese are combined with the salt and pepper in a small bowl. She starts by warming each slice of bread and then tossing them over, butter side down so she can gather the sandwiches with the spread, bacon, and grated cheese.

The sandwiches are cooked in a preheated panini pan and grilled for 3 to 5 minutes. If you don’t have a panini press, you can use a hot skillet, grill for 3 to 5 minutes on one side and when roasted, flip and grill the other side.

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