The ultimate comfort food is today’s Crispy Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwiches! Basil-infused butter is spread on the outside of the bread and fried to a crispy golden brown taking these sandwiches to a whole new level.
There is nothing more comforting, warming, and delicious on cold days than the American classic lunch, grilled cheese sandwiches, especially when served with a steaming bowl of tomato soup. Talk about an instant throwback to childhood! But what if we stepped it up a bit and got a little more creative?
As much as I love plain grilled cheese sandwiches, I decided to add some fresh basil to the softened butter I spread on the bread before frying. The basil blends easily into the butter, making it simple to give the finished sandwiches a tantalizing perfume of fresh herbs. Voila! Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!
Cold days like today are the perfect time to put a pot of soup on the stove. Tomato soup is the classic accompaniment to the sandwiches, but add some basil and your bowl of soup becomes extra delicious. You can stir some in while it is heating and then garnish the top of each bowl with a pinch for a one-two punch of flavor.
Having the makings for grilled cheese sandwiches assembled and ready to go speeds up your time at the stove and gives you the opportunity to teach the younger folks in your family all your secrets to creating amazing meals. If you are having a party, you can also arrange the ingredients on a platter, cover it with plastic wrap, and let everyone make their own.
These sandwiches are truly a revelation and everything I was hoping they would be. Rich, gooey melting cheese, the satisfying crunch of the bread reminiscent of Italian foods with the aroma of fresh basil. Simplicity taken up a notch.
But this can also be just the beginning … Try adding caramelized onions, sliced tomatoes, use a blend of cheeses, add some sliced ham, Canadian bacon, or crumbled cooked bacon – the options are nearly endless and only limited by your imagination.
Have a lovely weekend! See you back here for Chocolate Monday!
How to make Crispy Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:
- Mix some minced basil with softened butter
- Spread the basil butter on one side of two slices of sandwich bread
- Set the bread, buttered side down on a hot griddle or large skillet
- Top with sliced cheese and another slice of bread, buttered side up
- Cook until golden brown then flip and brown second side
- Serve with tomato soup if desired
Can I use a different herb?
Yes, of course you can. Whatever you love will be perfect in this recipe. Sage, chives, cilantro, thyme, and oregano, would all work. Which would you use?
If you want an even crunchier grilled cheese sandwich, fry both sides of the bread – one side before adding cheese and the other after. You will get double the crunch and even more basil flavor because both sides of the bread will be covered with the basil butter. So good!
If you do not normally serve gluten-free foods, make sure all your kitchen surfaces, equipment, and utensils have been thoroughly washed. Do not use wooden or plastic cutting boards because gluten can hide in minute crevices. Non-permeable surfaces are the safest and most easily cleaned. If you will be cooking gluten-free often, buy a new set of cutting boards and keep them separate so you know they are safe.
Key Ingredients for this Recipe
- Fresh basil, minced
- Butter, softened
- Sandwich bread, gluten-free if needed
- Sliced cheese
Kitchen Tools I Use to Make This Recipe (affiliate links)
Use the best gluten-free bread you can find or make your own. A light toasting before making the sandwiches will dry out the bread slices and help reduce the chances of any gumminess. If you are making both regular and gluten-free sandwiches, keep the ingredients completely separated and use two different pans to cook the sandwiches. Be sure no one uses the same spreader or knife on gluten breads because even a few crumbs can make people with Celiac very sick. It doesn’t have to be scary, but preparation and awareness will guarantee the safety of your guests and make it simpler to keep everyone healthy.
- 4 to 5 tsp freshly minced basil, or to taste
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 4 slices sandwich bread, gluten-free if needed
- 2 to 4 slices Cheddar cheese, Gruyere, Swiss, Muenster or other favorite cheese
- Fresh basil sprigs, for garnishing
- In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and a couple teaspoons of minced basil or to taste. Use a fork to mix them together.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, turn to medium-low until ready to cook.
- Spread the butter on one side of each piece of bread. Lay two pieces, buttered-side down, in the hot pan or on the griddle. Top each with 1 or 2 slices of cheese (you can create your own combination of cheese if you prefer). Set another slice of bread on the cheese, buttered side up.
- Cook the sandwiches until golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat. If you get the pan too hot, the basil butter will tend to burn. Flip the sandwiches over to cook the second side, another 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cut each sandwich in half, tuck a basil sprig under one edge of the sandwich, and serve immediately. Serve with a steaming bowl of tomato soup if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 937Total Fat: 64gSaturated Fat: 36gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 1337mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 56g
If you love this recipe, be sure to follow me on social media so you never miss a post:
Create a New Tradition Today!
This post was first shared in Feb 2016. The article was updated in 2020.