Once you try this provolone grilled cheese, you'll never look back. With a golden brown, crisp exterior and hot, melty provolone, it's a cheese lover's dream.
Why You'll Love it
This provolone grilled cheese is mind blowingly good, with just the right balance of hot, melty cheese and crispy bread.
It's one of my favorite versions on the childhood classic and IMHO, blows the original right out of the water.
For this grilled cheese with provolone, I start with a spice mix of basil, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper.
I use two of my favorite cheeses - sliced provolone and shredded gruyere. The combo gives you just the right amount of cheese pull. It's a cheese-aholic's dream sandwich.
Sourdough bread - I used sourdough bread, but you can use any kind of bread you have on hand or like the best! That being said, sourdough was a solid choice for this provolone cheese sandwich. The slight tang balanced with the creamy cheese so well.
Unsalted butter - It should be room temp and spreadable! Don't use salted or the sandwich may be too salty.
Sliced provolone - Provolone is sweet, mild, and buttery! You will need two slices per sandwich.
Shredded gruyere - The rich nuttiness of gruyere compliments the provolone. Trust me on this one! Buy a block of gruyere and shred it yourself. Freshly shredded cheese melts better and quicker.
Spices - You need basil, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Don't skip the spice mix! It takes this sandwich over the top in terms of flavor. You don't need to use it all. Just mix it together, then sprinkle it on.
How to Make a Provolone Grilled Cheese
1. Preheat the skillet
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Medium heat is key! If the pan is too hot, the bread will burn before the cheese has a chance to melt.
The pan should be set to medium, BUT hot and up to temp when you add the bread!
2. Butter the bread
Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. You want a nice even layer, not too thin and not too thick.
The butter should be room temperature and spreadable. Don't try to spread cold butter onto the slices of bread!
3. Add the cheese
Place all four slices of bread into the hot skillet, butter side down! If your pan isn't big enough, you can do two at a time (or one sandwich at a time).
Immediately, begin to add the cheese. On two slices of bread, arrange two slices each of provolone cheese, overlapping if necessary. If your bread slices are large, you can add more.
On the remaining slices of bread, sprinkle ⅓ cup of shredded gruyere so it covers the entire slice.
Sprinkle some seasoning on each slice of bread with gruyere. You don't need to use it all.
4. Cook until melty
Let the bread cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the provolone is just starting to melt a little.
Carefully flip the bread with provolone cheese onto the bread with gruyere cheese to make two grilled cheese sandwiches.
Cook for another 2 minutes per side, or until the cheese is melted and the exterior is golden brown and crispy.
If your cheese isn't melted enough yet, keep cooking another minute or two.
Serve immediately, by itself or with tomato soup!
- Don't set the heat too high. The pan should be up to temperature, but set to medium. If the pan is too hot, you risk burning the bread before you achieve melty-cheese-pull status.
- If your bread slices are large, you can add more cheese. My slices were medium sized.
- If all four slices don't fit in the pan, cook two at a time. Again if your bread slices are too large, you can cook two slices at a time to make one sandwich, then repeat with the remaining bread/cheese.
- Continue to cook the sandwiches until the cheese is melted. If your pan is the right temperature, the sandwiches won't burn! I cooked mine until the cheese began to ooze out the sides.
- Gluten-free - You can swap the bread with gluten-free bread! Schar makes a really good gluten free sourdough. Or I really like Canyon Bakehouse brand.
- Dairy-free - I haven't tried this recipe with dairy-free cheese yet. If you do and it comes out good, let us know in the comments.
- Cheese - You can swap the gruyere cheese with shredded gouda.
- Bread - You can use any kind of bread you like - whole grain, white, sourdough, Italian, or multigrain. Lighter breads may toast faster than heartier loaves, so keep that in mind.
Provolone is a superb choice for grilled cheese! It's ideal for melting and it has a mild, creamy flavor that pairs well with any kind of cheese.
If your pan isn't up to temperature when you add the bread, the bread will absorb some of the butter and get soggy. Make sure your pan is hot when you add the buttered bread to it.
If your pan is set to medium-high or high heat, the bread will burn before the cheese can melt. The pan should be on medium heat, but hot and up to temperature when you start. If the bread is browning too quickly, turn down the heat some.
Provolone Grilled Cheese
- Large nonstick skillet
- 4 slices sourdough bread or bread of choice
- 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- ⅔ cup shredded gruyere from the block
- ⅛ teaspoon dried basil
- ⅛ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine the basil, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix with your fingers.
- While the pan heats up, spread a thin layer of butter evenly over one side of each slice of bread.
- Once the pan is hot, place all four slices of bread, butter side down, into the skillet. If your pan is not large enough, you can do two slices at a time.
- Arrange two slices of provolone cheese onto two slices of bread. On the remaining slices, spread ⅓ cup of shredded gruyere. Sprinkle some of the seasoning on each slice with gruyere. You don't need to use it all.
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the provolone is melted just a little. Carefully flip the slices with provolone onto the slices with gruyere to make two sandwiches.
- Cook for another 2 minutes per side, or until the exterior is golden brown and the insides are completely melted.
- Serve immediately!