A Sacramento mom dishes on parenting, family and everything in between

Looking for a simple dinner solution that your kids will actually eat? Try this spin on grilled ham and cheese.

This recipe is adapted from one I saw on Emeril Lagasse's cooking show years ago and has been a favorite ever since. It's not much more difficult than assembling a grilled cheese, but tastes incredibly more sophisticated, while still appealing to pint-size palates.

The addition of ham adds a boost of protein, but it's just as delicious without it.

Grilled ham and cheese

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6
Notes: This variation on a classic gets an infusion of flavor from the tangy marriage of mustard and honey spread on the bread before grilling. If you can't find the specified cheeses, just substitute others your family would enjoy.


1 fresh sourdough loaf, cut into 12 slices
12 slices cheddar cheese
6 slices Muenster cheese
6 slices Jarlsberg cheese
12 to 18 slices deli ham
6 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablesoons honey
4 tablespoons butter
Nonstick cooking spray


Separate the bread into pairs with sides to be filled facing up. Spread about 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard on one piece of bread per pair. Drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of honey over the mustard. Layer one slice each of cheddar, Muenster and Jarlsberg onto the mustard-adorned bread. Follow with two to three slices of ham. Top with one slice of cheddar. Repeat for each bread pair. Once assembled, spread the outward-facing bread with butter.

Spray a grill pan or griddle with nonstick spray and turn heat to medium-high. Place sandwiches in pan and grill for about 4 minutes per side, or until the cheese begins to melt. Because the sandwiches will be a bit tall, you may want to place a heavier skillet  atop the sandwiches as they cook, or just press down with a spatula (you may also have to cook the sandwiches in batches).

Remove from pan, let rest for about a minute and then slice.

For another delicious summer sandwich idea, check out this story by my colleague, Allen Pierleoni, in today's Food & Wine section.

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