Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese

Growing up, my family’s grilled cheese sandwiches we’re not like the neighbors.  In fact, nothing in my home was.

Not Your mamas Grilled Cheese

  As a child, I was always a little bit embarrassed when a friend came over to my house.  For several reasons, we were louder than the neighbors, we didn’t have the same family rules (I was not allowed to spend the night at friends homes…and a few other rules that I didn’t understand at the time) and we certainly didn’t eat like the neighbors ( I would have left over eggplant and manicotti in my school lunches).  Nothing came from a box, can, or the freezer.  Everything was fresh and my mom went to the grocery store daily.  At the time, I didn’t realize just how lucky I was.

One of my favorite Autumn lunches when I was a child was my moms grilled cheese sandwich and tomato basil soup.  If she didn’t bake the bread herself that day,  my mom would make a drive to La Prima’s Italian Market, their fresh bread and rolls were delicious.  She always bought one extra roll when they were warm for my brother and I to share in the car. There is nothing better than a warm piece of bread fresh out of the oven.

My mom would go to a different Italian market to buy cheeses.  Every cheese had a purpose. There were the cheeses to eat after dinner with fruit, the cheese to grate over pasta, and the cheeses to go in grilled cheese sandwiches.

And here is how she made that delicious Grilled Cheese Sandwich…or Panini as she would say!  I am happy to say I am carrying on my moms way of making the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich!

Grilled cheese with cream cheeseAdd the cream cheese to the inside of each piece of bread.

Grilled Cheese cheesesAdd the cheeses, I have found if you cut the slices of cheese on the thinner side they will melt quicker.

Grilled Cheese with basilAdd the basil on top of the cheeses and close up the sandwich.

Grilled Cheese with butterAdd the butter and you are ready to grill!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Not Your Mama's Grilled Cheese
This recipe is for 1 sandwich.
  • 1 loaf of Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise and then into individual sandwiches.
  • 1 tablespoons cream cheese, per sandwich half
  • 3 slices of Gouda cheese
  • 3 slices of Gruyere cheese
  • 1 slice Peper Jack cheese
  • 3 fresh basil leaves per sandwich
  • Butter
  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Spread the cream cheese to both halves of the bread.
  3. Layer the cheese on the sandwich and top with the basil.
  4. Close sandwich and add a few pats of butter to the top of one side sandwich.
  5. Place sandwich butter side down on the hot grill pan.
  6. Place a heavy pan on top of the sandwich. Pressing the sandwich down.
  7. Grill for about 2 to 3 minutes until the bread is toasted.
  8. Add butter to the non-grilled side.
  9. Turn sandwich over and continue cooking until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

Grilled Cheese Panini

Grilled Cheese Panini with basil



  1. Linda says:

    This recipe sounds so yummy! I love your blog and all your recipes but this one really made me smile! Yours and my family sound exactly the same!! Love my Italian heritage for sure!!

  2. Donna says:

    Love this, and since I do I am thinking I would love your mother’s tomato basil soup. Any chance you can get that recipe? I will invite you for lunch, you will get along so well with my husband..

  3. Anna says:

    This looks aMAZing!
    Gouda is by far my most favorite cheese in the whole world…plus basil?!
    I’m over the moon! Pinning!
    🙂 Anna

  4. Ines Roe says:

    That looks amazing. I also appreciate your reflection on how we may view things from a different filter as adults. As you said you didn’t recognize how lucky you were to have your mom get all the fresh items. I also have things in my life that I had to view from a different vantage point to fully appreciate.

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