Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Don’t really know if I can call this one “healthy” unless I can count the fact that I figured out that this tasted just as delicious with ½ a tablespoon of butter as it did with a full tablespoon 🙄. But who doesn’t love a grilled cheese -especially this one with 3 types of cheese and some caramelized onions 🧀🧅🍞🧈 While I probably won’t be eating one of these every day, I’m all for mixing things up and eating what I want, when I want it. Actually half along with a big bowl of veggie bisque made a really satisfying and healthy-ish lunch (make sure you have your other-half sandwich eater lined up in advance or risk eating all of it. -Can’t say I didn’t warn you 😉)! To all the grilled cheese and tomato soup purists out there, trust me, give this a try! While they’re not 100% necessary, the caramelized onions make a delicious addition to a grilled cheese. (And there’s even a demo in my stories on instagram @bigredhousekitchen)

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

  • Author: Emily
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes-1 hour
  • Total Time: 15 minutes-1 hour
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian



Caramelized Onions

  • 3 medium onions, cut in half and then thinly sliced in ½ rounds
  • About 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • A pinch of salt

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  • 2 slices of sourdough bread
  • ½ tablespoon (7 grams) butter
  • 3 oz (85 grams) shredded or grated cheese (I used cheddar, Gruyère, and compté)
  • About ⅓ cup caramelized onions
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes or a few drops of hot sauce (optional)


Caramelized Onions (see my demo on instagram stories @bigredhousekitchen)

  • Place a pan on the stove and turn the heat to high. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and toss them in the oil. After about 5 minutes or if they’re starting to stick to the bottom of the pan, turn the heat to the lowest setting. Toss about every 5 minutes for a total of 40-45 minutes until the onions are golden and caramelized.
  • 3 medium onions will yield about 1 cup of caramelized onions. Make a batch of these and you can add them to salads, sandwiches, or grilled chicken, etc.!


  • Put a pan on the stove/hob and turn the heat to high. Once your pan has warmed up, add the butter and turn the heat down. Swirl the melted butter around the pan and then place your 2 pieces of bread firmly into the butter, pressing down and sort of mopping up the butter with the bread (please be careful 🔥doing this).
  • Place ½ half the shredded cheese on one slice of the bread and the other ½ of the cheese on the other slice. (Some of the cheese may miss the bread and get on the pan. Don’t worry, you’ll get it later!) Cover the pan with any lid. (does not have to be tight fitting). Make sure the heat is all the way down. (My stove has 3 sizes of burners. I put my pan on the medium size burner on the lowest heat.) Cook covered, for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, add the onions to either slice of bread. Flip the slice of bread you did not add the onions to on top of the slice with the onions. Cover and cook for 2 more minutes. Flip and cook covered for 2 more minutes.
  • Remove from the pan to a cutting board and cut in half. Enjoy with some dairy free veggie bisque!

Some notes and tips:

If you’re using bread that is not perfectly symmetrical, be sure to place the bread in the pan so that the like sides will line up (see pic). It’s a bummer if you get a lopsided grilled cheese sandwich.

YES! Will be symmetrical!

NO! will NOT be symmetrical!


I looked at some other recipes and some people said to use a nonstick pan. Since most of my pans are stainless steel pan (not nonstick), that’s what I used and had no issues. Of course the cheese that missed the bread stuck a bit to the pan, but most came off with my metal spatula. You can try it both ways.


You can experiment with other types of grilled cheese. Create them according to my instructions above. 1. Cheese goes on the bread, cook for 5 minutes. 2. Add other toppings, put the sandwich together (top and bottom) and cook for 2 more minutes 3. Flip and cook a final 2 minutes. Some other yummy combinations are:

  • Brie, apple or pear, and toasted chopped pecans
  • Sliced mozzarella and grated Parmesan with tomato and pesto
  • Sliced mozzarella and crumbled blue cheese with arugula, roasted red pepper and try to get a little drizzle of a sweet balsamic vinegar or glaze in there if you can


%d bloggers like this: