Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Red Onions
and balsamic-roasted brussels sprouts
Caramelized onions offer just enough tart-sweet flavor to balance the richness of the cheese in this meal that was last featured in 2019.
Smarts: Preparing the caramelized onions is the only time-consuming step in this recipe, so be sure to do that ahead of time if you want to save yourself some time right before dinner.
- Onions, medium red - 1, sliced
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, balsamic - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 2 tsp
- Bread, sandwich - 8 slices
- Butter - 4 Tbsp
- Jam or jelly - 8 Tbsp (like strawberry)
- Cheese, fontina - 4 slices (sub provolone or swiss)
- Brussels sprouts - 1 lb, trimmed and halved
- Foil - for cooking
- Oil, cooking - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Vinegar, balsamic - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp
- Salt - 1/4 tsp
- Onions / Brussels sprouts - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Prep as directed. Larger brussels sprouts should be quartered. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Caramelize onions - Heat up a frying pan over medium heat. Add oil (portion for sandwiches) and then add onions to heated oil. Saute for ~10 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. If it looks like the onions or pan will burn at any point, just add a splash of water. Stir in vinegar and brown sugar (portions for sandwiches). Cook for another 2 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Heat oven to 500F / 260C.
- Spread brussels sprouts out onto a sheet pan. Cover tightly with foil and then bake for ~6 minutes.
- Remove foil and toss Brussels sprouts with oil, vinegar (portions for Brussels sprouts), and mustard. Roast for another 8 to 10 minutes until crispy. Toss with brown sugar (portion for Brussels sprouts) and salt, seasoning with more to taste.
- While Brussels sprouts roast, butter one side of each piece of bread. Lay out bread, buttered-side down. Layer 1/2 of slices with with jam, onions, cheese and top with remaining bread, buttered-side up. Continue until all sandwiches are assembled.
- Heat up a griddle or a skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches onto heated surface (as many as can fit) and press down throughout the grilling process with a spatula. Flip once the first side is golden, ~ 3 to 4 minutes.
- Enjoy sandwiches with Brussels sprouts on the side.
I think this is the first CookSmarts recipe I made that I ended up really not liking for finishing. 😩0 Helpful
I think this was the first CS recipe I made 7 years ago and it’s always a favorite!0 Helpful
Sandwich was too sweet (would omit the jam, use extra butter to toast, and add extra cheese). Brussel sprouts weren't our favorite either.0 Helpful
This recipe is too sweet. I would omit the jam from the sandwich and make the Brussels sprouts savory. Would be better with sourdough!0 Helpful
I remember this being too sweet last time it was on the menu. This time I left the brown sugar out of both the onions and Brussels sprouts, and that worked great - the jam added a nice pop of flavor and sweetness that way, but wasn’t overpowering, and Balsamic was the predominant flavor instead of overwhelming sweetness. I’d definitely make it again this way!0 Helpful
Brussel sprouts were too sweet despite my attempt to make them more savory with double the mustard + salt, crushed red pepper & black pepper. I ended up doing a savory version of the grilled cheese (prosciutto + fontina + savory caramelized onions cooked for 40 min or so) and used mayo instead of butter to help with browning. Those turned out awesome but is basically a different recipe ha0 Helpful