Every season needs a new grilled cheese sandwich, and I couldn’t think of a better combo for fall than this caramelized apple & bacon grilled cheese! Sweet apples sauteed with shallots, maple and herbs, crispy bacon, white cheddar & gruyere cheese…all mounded between two slices of sourdough bread. Cooked in hot butter until golden and melted. It’s the ultimate fall comfort food that everyone is going to LOVE.
I don’t think classic comfort food gets much better than a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s comforting and nostalgic, and usually pretty much always delicious.
For the spring and summer months, I turned to this herbed fontina grilled cheese. It was full of bright, herby flavor and felt really fresh (as fresh as a grilled cheese sandwich can get) for the warmer seasons.
But now, it’s time to fully embrace the fall with this decadent caramelized apple & bacon grilled cheese.
caramelized apple & bacon grilled cheese – the details
This grilled cheese starts off by rendering some bacon in a cast-iron skillet. You’ll roast it slowly until crisp and sizzled. The bacon gets removed from the pan so that the shallots and apples can caramelize in the hot bacon fat. They become nice and soft, with golden edges. A little maple syrup adds sweetness and thyme & rosemary add a woodsy warmth.
Once the apples are cooked, it’s really all about assembling. Some sourdough bread, a mix of white cheddar cheese and gruyere cheese for lots of flavor, the apples, and then the crispy bacon gets placed right over top. You’ll close the sandwiches and cook them right back in the same skillet in hot bubbling butter.
The bread crisps, the cheese melts, and all of the cozy fall flavors meld together. It’s such an amazing sweet and savory grilled cheese sandwich!
Perfect for eating alongside this roasted pumpkin soup for the complete fall experience.Print
Caramelized Apple & Bacon Grilled Cheese
a decadent fall grilled cheese with caramelized apples and shallots, crispy bacon, maple syrup, woodsy herbs, melted cheddar & gruyere cheese on sourdough bread
- 6 oz raw bacon
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 large apples, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 oz shredded white cheddar cheese
- 4 oz shredded gruyere cheese
- 8 slices sourdough bread (about ¼” thick)
- 4 tbsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lay the bacon in an even layer in a 12” cast-iron skillet. Roast in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a plate line with paper towels and let drain.
- To the bacon fat, add the shallots over medium heat on the stovetop. Saute for 2-3 minutes until beginning to caramelize. Add the sliced apples. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until tender.
- Add the maple syrup, thyme, rosemary, a good pinch of salt, and a few cracks of black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes until the syrup has reduced and the apples have caramelized. Transfer the apples to a plate and wipe out the skillet.
- Combine the shredded cheddar and gruyere in a small bowl. Toss to combine. Assemble the sandwiches by laying out the slices of bread. Distribute the cheese between four of the slices. Top with the apples (reserve about ¼ cup). Cut the bacon strips in half and lay over the apples. Close with the remaining bread and press down firmly.
- Heat the skillet back over medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Place two of the sandwiches in the hot butter. Cook until golden brown and the cheese has melted, carefully flipping halfway through, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Transfer the sandwiches out of the skillet and repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches. Cut each sandwich in half. Season with a pinch of salt. Top with the remaining apples and any extra thyme leaves.