August is National Sandwich Month…which to me is another excuse to come up with a fun grilled cheese sandwich!
I do love grilled cheese, because it is fast and easy and a guaranteed kid-pleaser. As we get closer to the new school year, it is just a matter of time before the flurry of evening activities kicks into high gear again (some people have already started, I know!) and I will need to incorporate more of the easiest, quickest meals. In fact, during the school year, I include a grilled cheese dinner into my meal plan almost every week. So I have started playing with different combinations of fillings to change things up a bit!
This sandwich was an evolution. The first few attempts were good, but not stellar. I loved the idea of crusting the sandwich with parmesan cheese for a little extra oomph. The first time, I combined the parmesan cheese with the buttery spread and then slathered it on the bread. That was good, but not great. The second time, I buttered the bread and then sprinkled the parmesan cheese on it, patting it to make it stick, and that created more crusty parmesan texture on the surface of the bread. Yum!
The filling also evolved. I wanted to keep it fairly simple and something I could whip up on the spur of the moment, so I didn’t want to go too crazy with add-ins. The first few attempts involved chicken and cheese and different combinations of spices. Again, they were good, but nothing special. Eventually, I decided to add green olives into the filling and voila!! That was it! They added so much flavor, it really didn’t need anything else.
I was actually surprised that Thing 2 did not care for the olives. He would have been happy with plain chicken and cheese. But, he did enjoy the crusty parmesan-sprinkled bread, so it all worked out. Thing 1 and DH were impressed and asked for me to make this again sometime soon!
Thing 2 rating = (3 out of 5 biscuits.) He docked me two whole biscuits even though he picked out the olives, because apparently he could still taste them. That kid is a tough one to please! I responded by making him eat his cauliflower…ha!
- 1 cup diced cooked chicken
- 1 and ½ cups shredded reduced-fat cheese, Mexican blend (or your favorite)
- ¾ cup roughly chopped green olives
- 8 slices sourdough bread (or your favorite)
- Butter or buttery spread (I used Brummel and Brown)
- 2-4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, divided (more or less depending on how much you sprinkle on each sandwich)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Combine chicken, shredded cheese, and olives in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Butter one side of each of the 8 slices of bread with the buttery spread.
- Sprinkle 4 of the bread slices on the buttered side with some parmesan cheese, and place them butter side down on a baking sheet.
- Distribute filling across the 4 slices.
- Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese on the buttered side of the last 4 slices of bread, and place them on top of the filling, buttered side up.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, then flip the sandwiches and bake about 6 minutes more, until the sandwiches are golden brown and crispy. (Alternatively, you can grill them on the stove top on a griddle or in a skillet).
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