Grilled Cheese with Gruyere, Prosciutto, Caramelized Onions, Honey and Hot Pepper Spread


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I can never resist a grilled cheese. My son is the same way and when I first started making them for him (pre a full set of teeth!) I would cut off the crust. One full year and a pirana-like bite later I still cut off those crusts “just in case” but secretly so I can have myself a perfect little grilled cheese snack. A true parenting perk.

But this grilled cheese is not for the babes. This a real deal grown-up grilled cheese. It’s got funky gruyere, decadent prosciutto, spicy bomba sauce and some quick caramelized onions. Eating the entire sandwich is a feat I would like you all to know I’ve accomplished. Several times. I had to test this until it was just perfect, okay?!

As any grilled cheese connoisseur knows, the key to the golden brown exterior is a little bit of mayo. Truth be told I can only tolerate mayo in very small doses and I think grilled cheese is truly the best use for it on the planet (unless we are talking chocolate cake!).  As for the bread, I’m sourdough all the way. This is one hearty sandwich that deserves a bread with some substance, both literally and figuratively.

If you can’t find bomba sauce in your grocery store, two things: 1) I am so so sorry because you are truly missing out. Please check amazon prime. 2) If amazon fails you, you could use any hot pepper sandwich spread, but bomba is the bomb.

Now what are you waiting for? Grab that cast iron skillet and get to grillin’!


Recipe and Headnote Molly Adams

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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 15mins
Cook time 20mins
Serves or Makes: 2

Recipe Card


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus for for grilling
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced into half moons
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons “Bomba del Calabrese” Hot Spread, or hot pepper spread of choice
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 6 slices prosciutto, or ham of choice
  • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese
  • Honey, to taste


  • Step 1

    In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and toss to coat. Add ¼ cup water to skillet and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until water has evaporated. Add sugar and baking soda and stir to incorporate. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add ¼ cup water.

  • Step 2

    Cook uncovered, stirring constantly, for about 5 more minutes. Add another ¼ cup of water, and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until very soft. The mixture should look like a spreadable paste. Set aside and let cool.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, spread one side of each slice of bread with mayonnaise, then divide the bomba sauce and onions on the other side of two slices of bread and the mustard on the remaining two. Top the bread with bomba sauce and onions with 3 slices of prosciutto and ½ the gruyere. Drizzle with honey, then top with the bread with mustard. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

  • Step 4

    Working with one sandwich as a time, heat a pat of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the sandwich and cover the skillet. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Flip the sandwich over and cook on the other side for about 2-3 minutes. Repeat with remaining sandwich.