Do you love grilled cheese sandwiches?
Grilled cheese is a classic for a reason – it’s simple, delicious, and always satisfying. But we think it’s time to take this comfort food to the next level. That’s why we’ve created a grilled mac and cheese sandwich recipe that will knock your socks off.
This yummy recipe features creamy mac and cheese sandwiched between two slices of buttery, crispy bread. And to top it all off, we’ve added gooey slices of melted cheese. You’re going to love this sandwich!
- Prep Time – 45 min
- Cook Time – 55 min
- Total Time – 1 hr 40 mins
- Makes: 8 servings
- Calories: 1041 kcal
- 8 ounces elbow, spiral, or other short pasta
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 tablespoons salted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound cheese (any combination of Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Colby, fontina, or Gouda) (shredded)
- Vegetable spray oil or salted butter (for the baking sheet)
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 16 slices square sourdough, whole-wheat, or other sandwich loaf bread
- 8 slices mild, medium, or sharp Cheddar cheese
- 8 slices Monterey Jack or Colby Jack cheese
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (at room temperature)
How to make the mac and cheese part
- In order to make this dish, start by boiling water in a medium saucepan. Then, add the pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or as directed on the package. Remember, you want the pasta to be chewy but also tender.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper while the pasta cooks.
- Drain your pasta in a colander, then set it aside for later. Take the now empty pasta pan and place it over low heat before adding in the butter. Once the butter has melted completely, begin to whisk in the flour mixture. Keep whisking frequently until the overall mixture starts to brown and gives off a nutty aroma; this should take approximately one minute. Make sure you’re watching carefully so that the bottom of your pan doesn’t get scorched during this process!
- Gently whisk the milk and cream into the flour mixture until everything is thoroughly combined. Cook until the sauce is hot and just starts to thicken, whisking constantly for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese gradually while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until it has melted into the sauce. Then stir in the drained cooked pasta.
- Place a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-centimeter) rimmed baking sheet on parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray the paper or foil with nonstick cooking spray or butter it. Warm mac and cheese should be spread on a baking sheet after being cooled. Take another piece of parchment paper and coat it with cooking spray or butter. After that, place the oiled side or buttered side down on top of the macaroni and cheese. Lastly, put it in the fridge until it becomes cool and firm; this process should take around 1 hour.
How to make the grilled cheese part
- Preheat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat (or use an indoor grill or Griddler).
- In a small mixing dish, combine the 4 tablespoons (55 grams) of butter and garlic powder until fully incorporated.
- Take the mac and cheese out of the fridge, and peel off the top layer of parchment paper. Cut it into 8 pieces so that each part makes one grilled sandwich. (You can put double layers of plastic wrap around each section and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze it for 1 month.)
- For each bread slice, spread 3/4 teaspoon garlic butter on one side. Then, take half of the slices and place them buttered-side down on a clean cutting board. For the next layer, top each slice with one piece of Cheddar cheese followed by 1 piece of mac and cheese. (Getting the mac and cheese from the baking sheet onto your sandwich? First, slide a spatula or your hand under each individual serving then flip it over so that it’s facing up.) The final element for this ring is 1 more slice of Jack cheese before topping everything off with another bread slice — this time making sure the buttered side is face UP.
- Use a wide spatula to place as many sandwiches in the pan as possible without crowding it. Cover and cook until the bottoms are brown, approximately 4 minutes. Turn and cook the second side until brown, the cheese is melted, and the macaroni & cheese heat through, another 4 minutes or so.
- Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Cut the sandwiches in half, if desired, and serve.
How long do grilled cheese sandwiches last?
A grilled cheese sandwich will last in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Are grilled cheese sandwiches healthy?
While they may not be the healthiest option, they can certainly be part of a healthy diet. Just be sure to choose whole-wheat bread and low-fat cheese to keep things on the healthier side.
Add some veggies to your sandwich for an extra boost of nutrients.
What’s the best way to reheat a grilled cheese sandwich?
Curious about the best way to reheat your grilled cheese sandwich? We recommend popping it in the oven or on a grill pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. You could also reheat it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.
Can you make grilled cheese sandwiches without butter?
Yes, you can make grilled cheese sandwiches without butter. Just substitute olive oil or another type of cooking oil in its place.
Is it better to grill or pan-fry a grilled cheese sandwich?
It really depends on your preference. Some people prefer the flavor that grilling imparts, while others find it easier to control the heat when cooking on a frying pan. Either way, you’ll end up with a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.