Pimento Grilled Cheese Recipe with Fried Green Tomatoes
Southern Pimento Grilled Cheese Recipe with Fried Green Tomatoes. The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches you’ve ever tasted!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Sara Lee Artesano Bread. All opinions are my own
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches… An American Treasure
Grilled cheese sandwiches have got to be one of the most-loved foods here in the USA.
Think about it… With other popular American dishes, there are always a few who will turn their noses up. Yet with grilled cheese, it’s so simple, no one can resist!
We love the crispy buttered surface flanking both slices of pillowy sandwich bread.
We love the hot molten cheese oozing over the edges of the sandwich.
We even love the little bits of fried crunchy cheese around the edges of the bread, or the little gifts left in the skillet when the sandwich is done cooking.
A Local Grilled Cheese Recipe For Fall
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy our favorite cozy dishes…
So today we’re celebrating the brilliant combination of butter, bread, and cheese, also known as the ultimate comfort food, Grilled Cheese.
We’re partnering with Sara Lee® Artesano™ Brioche Bread to share a southern spin on classic grilled cheese sandwiches, made with local flavors!
I live in the mountains of North Carolina. Here in the south, we take our southern staples very seriously.
In fact, foods like pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes are so popular they are used in excess, all over local menus.
From fried green tomato pizza to pimento cheese stuffed pork chops, southerners like to get creative with their favorite revered foods!
Our Favorite Southern Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe
To be fair, you could just add a shmear of pimento cheese to a classic grilled cheese sandwich and it would be AMAZING.
However, in this Pimento Grilled Cheese Recipe with Fried Green Tomatoes we are doing that, and so much more!
We’re adding all sorts of goodies to balance salty with sweet, richness with tang, and soft and silky with crunchy textures.
The key elements in this grilled cheese recipe are:
- Fluffy Buttery Bread – I love to use Sara Lee Artesano Brioche Bread.
- 2 Types of Sliced Cheese – American and Smoked Gouda to maximize flavor and melting texture.
- Pimento Cheese – For southern sweetness and tang.
- Spicy Whole Grain Mustard – For a little kick!
- Dill Pickles – Sharp and salty to balance the sweetness.
- Fried Green Tomatoes – To offer a fresh acidic note, a ton of crunch, and massive southern appeal!
Best Bread For Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
You can use any kind of bread to make a grilled cheese sandwich.
However, if you want the best, you have to pick a sandwich loaf that is thick and soft so that is doesn’t flatten too much when slathered with butter and placed on the griddle.
I love using Sara Lee Artesano Bread for grilled cheese sandwiches, because the loaves are large and soft, with thick decadent slices.
Made with real ingredients like butter and milk, and no artificial color, flavors, or high fructose corn syrup, Sara Lee Artesano Bread tastes like fresh-made bread from your neighborhood bakery.
For this particular recipe, I selected Sara Lee Artesan Brioche Bread because it offers an ultra-rich buttery flavor with a hint of sweetness. So it’s the perfect bread for a southern-style grilled cheese!
Because Sara Lee Artesano bread is generously sliced, you can grill up a gorgeous golden crusty surface yet have plenty of soft pillowy bread between the outer crust and the layers of cheese.
This bread creates sheer grilled cheese perfection!
Best Cheese For Grilled Cheese
It’s hard to select a best cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches, because there are so many good options.
As long as the cheese melts well, and has a bold nutty flavor, it’s a good choice.
However, I think it should be stated, it’s best if you use more than one kind of cheese to increase flavor complexity… And American cheese slices should be one of the layers.
Although American cheese is not always considered high-quality cheese, it does have its place in the world, particularly in the grilled cheese arena.
Nothing melts better and holds its soft texture better than American cheese.
However, here we’ve elevated simple American cheese with deep smoky notes from smoked gouda, and of course, sweet and tangy notes from southern pimento cheese.
These three cheeses together create a symphony of flavor and texture.
How To Make Grilled Cheese
- Start with room-temperature ingredients. If your bread and cheeses are cold when they go into the skillet, it can be tricky to melt the cheeses before the bread toasts past the point of perfection.
- Butter the bread or the skillet. There’s no right or wrong here. You can butter the bread, or you can melt butter in the skillet. Either way, add enough to get a crisp buttery golden surface on the bread.
- Pile it on. Stack all the ingredients on the sandwich before you start grilling, so the bread doesn’t burn before the ingredients are warm.
- Grill and Steam. There’s a theme going on here… You don’t want the bread to burn before the cheese has melted. That’s the worst! So be sure to place a lid over the skillet so that the cheeses are steaming as the bread toasts.
- Eat Immediately. Grilled Cheese is best while hot! Don’t let is sit around while you wash your skillet. Dive in while the cheese is melty!
Get the Full (Printable) Pimento Grilled Cheese Recipe with Fried Green Tomatoes Below
Fried Green Tomato Recipe
We’ve included an easy baked fried green tomatoes recipe in the grilled cheese recipe, so you can pop the tomatoes in the oven while you are prepping and stacking your grilled cheese sandwiches.
How To Make Fried Green Tomatoes In The Oven
- Triple Dunk. In order to get a fabulous crunchy crust on the green tomato slices, you need to dredge them in flour, dunk them in buttermilk, then dunk them in breadcrumbs.
- Oil On. We’re making these as a grilled cheese sandwich filling… There’s no need to try to cut calories at this point. Skip the cooking spray and brush the tomato slices down with oil, so they get extra crispy.
- Don’t Forget to Flip! Bake for 10 minutes, then flip, and bake another 10 minutes.
Best Grilled Cheese Add-Ons
Want to keep piling on the bold southern flavors? Try adding…
- Pulled Pork
- Creole Grilled Shrimp
- Country Ham
- Chow Chow
- Barbecue Sauce
- Pickled Onions
- Comeback Sauce
- Fried Okra or Roasted Okra
- Hot Sauce
Pimento Grilled Cheese Recipe with Fried Green Tomatoes
For the Fried Green Tomatoes
- For the Fried Green Tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set out a baking sheet. Slice the green tomato into 1/4 inch rounds. Place the buttermilk on one small (cereal) bowl, the flour in a second bowl, and the breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Stir the creole seasoning into the buttermilk.
- One at a time, dunk the green tomato slices into the flour. Then dunk them in the buttermilk. And finally, dunk them in the bread crumbs. Lay the tomato slices on the baking sheet. Brush the tops generously with oil. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once in the middle.
- Set out all the grilled cheese ingredients, so the cheeses can soften at room temperature.
- For the Pimento Grilled Cheese: Once the "fried" green tomatoes are out of the oven, set a large skillet on the stovetop. Preheat on medium-low.
- Lay four slices of Sara Lee Artesano Brioche Bread out on a cutting board. Top two slices with two slices each of gouda cheese, 1/4 cup pimento cheese, and 1-2 fried green tomato slices.
- Spread mustard over the other two slices. Then top with a slice of America cheese and dill pickles.
- Place the butter in the hot skillet. Once melted, place all four slices of bread in the skillet, with the toppings facing upward. Put a lid in the skillet so the cheeses will steam and melt faster. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the bread is crisp and golden on the bottom. Then flip the two slices with pickles onto the slices with fried green tomatoes. Move the sandwiches to plates and serve immediately.