Recipe courtesy of Carlsbad Cravings

Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Pickled Beets

Gourmet Grilled Cheese

Sandwich Ingredients

  • 8 large slices of sourdough sliced 1/2 -inch thick
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese/chevre, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 jar Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets (about 8 beets per sandwich)
  • 2 cups baby arugula (may sub spinach)
  • 2 tablespoons butter for pan frying, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for pan frying, divided

Caramelized Onions

  • 3 large yellow onions, halved, sliced 1/4 -inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • optional add-in idea: bacon, thinly sliced turkey, ham or chicken, sliced avocado


Sandwich Directions

  1. Spread out 8 slices of bread on a flat surface. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread (the mayo will be on the outside of the sandwiches).
  2. Turn 4 slices of bread over and spread a generous layer of goat cheese on the plain side. Top the goat cheese with Gruyere, an even layer of beets, caramelized onions and arugula. Top with remaining bread, mayo side out. Secure with toothpicks if desired (makes them easier to flip).
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add 2 sandwiches, cover, and grill until the bottom of the bread is toasted, about 5-7 minutes  and the cheese starts to melt, checking often to see that the bread is cooking nicely and doesn’t burn. Flip and continue to cook, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the bread is toasted.
  4. Repeat to remaining sandwiches. Dig in!

Caramelized Onions

  1. Assemble the sandwiches while the onions are caramelizing.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes then reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Continue to cook until the onions are caramelized and a rich, deeply golden brown, about 25 minutes. Toward the end of the cooking time, watch the onion carefully and stir more often so they don’t burn. Be prepared to turn down the heat to medium-low and/or add 1-2 tablespoons of water at a time if the onions are dry or starting to scorch before they are done caramelizing.
  4. Add sugar, balsamic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 additional minute. The onions should be very jammy and darkly caramelized when done. Remove to a plate to cool.