Build Your Own Grilled Cheese Bar

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There’s really no way to go wrong when it comes to grilled cheese. It’s cheesy, toasty, melty, and totally nostalgic–what could be better? This interactive board can be anything you want it to be, it can be a fun party appetizer, lunch of champions, or a homey dinner. Junk food it up or make it lighter with different sides, fillings, and flavors, and be sure to include both sweet and savory options! Pro tip: Set out a few small skillets or a panini press and have people grill their own, or designate someone to be the grill master.


For more creative diy-style boards, check out my Build Your Own Bagel Brunch, Build Your Own Hot Dog, Build Your Own Avocado Toast, Mexican Quesadilla Board, and Build Your Own Hot Cocoa Board.

adult grilled cheese bar

What to Put on Grilled Cheese

Cheese

  • Shredded Sharp Cheddar
  • Aged White Cheddar, flaked 

Meat

  • Bacon

Carb

  • Sourdough Bread (or bread of choice)

Spreads

  • Blueberry Jam
  • Fig Jam
  • Pesto
  • Jammy Onions (see recipe below) 
  • Apricot Jam

Produce

  • Tomatoes
  • Sautéed Mushrooms
  • Arugula
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Jalapeños, sliced
  • Pears, sliced
  • Apples, sliced 
  • Strawberries, sliced 
  • Sprouts
  • Basil

Seasonings

  • Dried rosemary
  • Red Pepper Flakes
fancy grilled cheese ideas

Build Your Board

  • Start by adding the prepared cheeses, spreads, greens, seasonings, and Jammy Onions to their own small bowls and place them in the center of a large, rectangular board.
  • Add the bacon and the rest of the produce around the edge of the board, fanning them out around the bowls where possible. I like to arrange my toppings so that one side of the board is sweet and one side is savory to help guide guests!
  • Serve the bread on the side and make sure there is a stick of salted butter around for cooking! 
  • To cook, spread a generous amount of butter on one side of each piece of bread. Place one slice, butter-side-down, on the pan or press over medium to medium-high heat, add the cheese(s), spread(s), and toppings, then add the other slice on top, butter-side-up. Allow the bottom slice to toast until golden brown and the cheese begins to melt, then flip (carefully!) and toast the other slice until brown and the cheese is gooey.

Tip: the more toppings you add, the more cheese you need to help hold it all together!

How to Make Jammy Onions

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil then 1 sliced white onion. Spread onions evenly in the pan and allow them to brown for one minute; stir again and brown for another minute. Repeat until the onions brown evenly, 5 to 10 minutes. When a caramel color has developed, turn the heat to medium and add 1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and cook until the onions appear dry, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool then serve, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

best cheese for grilled cheese

The Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese

Want to think outside the cheddar box? Add these other meltable options on your next DIY Grilled Cheese Board:

  • Provolone or Fontina for an Italian spin
  • Blue Cheese for some tang
  • Brie for pairing with sweet toppings
  • Monterey Jack for extra gooey goodness
  • Raclette for a French twist
  • Pepper Jack for some kick
  • Manchego for Spanish flare
  • American for pure nostalgia (and that’s it)

Show Me Your Boards

I hope this post inspires you to create delicious appetizers and boards. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the beautiful spreads and snacks you create from my tips. If you make something inspired by this post, please tag me at @ainttooproudtomeg so I can see and share! 

And, If you liked this recipe, please rate and review.

adult grilled cheese bar

Build Your Own Fancy Grilled Cheese Bar

Description

Check out these loaded grilled cheese recipe ideas and throw an adult grilled cheese party.

Ingredients
  

Cheese

  • Sharp Cheddar shredded
  • Aged White Cheddar flaked

Meat

  • Bacon

Carb

  • Sourdough Bread (or bread of choice)

Spreads

  • Blueberry Jam
  • Fig Jam
  • Pesto
  • Jammy Onions (find recipe in post)
  • Apricot Jam

Produce

  • Tomatoes
  • Sautéed Mushrooms
  • Arugula
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Jalapenos sliced
  • Pears sliced
  • Apples sliced
  • Strawberries sliced
  • Sprouts
  • Basil

Seasonings

  • Dried rosemary
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Start by adding the prepared cheeses, spreads, greens, seasonings, and Jammy Onions to their own small bowls and place them in the center of a large, rectangular board.
  • Add the bacon and the rest of the produce around the edge of the board, fanning them out around the bowls where possible. I like to arrange my toppings so that one side of the board is sweet and one side is savory to help guide guests!
  • Serve the bread on the side and make sure there is a stick of salted butter around for cooking.
  • To cook, spread a generous amount of butter on one side of each piece of bread. Place one slice, butter-side-down, on the pan or press over medium to medium-high heat, add the cheese(s), spread(s), and toppings, then add the other slice on top, butter-side-up. Allow the bottom slice to toast until golden brown and the cheese begins to melt, then flip (carefully!) and toast the other slice until brown and the cheese is gooey.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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