You know when you just want to eat like a 10 year old? No vegetables, no fruits, nothing too healthy – just kinda plain and really delicious. It’s all about balance and sometimes a meal just needs to be on the kids menu for me to crave it. I’ll make up for it later with a smoothie or salad, and of course also dessert!
Grilled cheese was one of the first recipes I learned how to make myself. And really, there was no recipe. It was more knowledge of how the stove worked, the right temperature to melt the butter, but not burn the bread before the cheese melted. And then knowing exactly how I liked it best, and perfecting the timing so I could get perfectly golden bread every single time along with perfectly melted cheese. That’s it – just cheese and bread, no vegetables, no side dish – well maybe a piece of fruit or something from the fridge. But, this was truly the first meal I learned how to make.
And I was completely obsessed with it, to say the least. Being the oldest of the family, I would constantly ask my brother or sister if they wanted a grilled cheese. Don’t worry, I’ll make it for you, of course – I would say! It was like an art form to me. Learning all the moving parts – the timing, the bread, the cheese slices, the butter… they were all variables that could easily change. Yet, if you got it just right – you had pure perfection. Perfectly golden brown bread that was completely coated in butter – no exceptions there. My mom taught me that you had to coat the entire pan with butter, and then when you flipped it, do it that again. None of that spreading butter onto the bread and then just frying it up. No, no, that’s not how I make grilled cheese. And when I met Delaney, it was a heated debate. Now, he just lets me handle the grilled cheese, no questions asked.
So, I’ve eaten a lot of grilled cheese in my life and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. Now, I just like to make different variations of it. I’ve put all kinds of stuff inside the classic grilled cheese sandwich. From veggies and fruits to meats, you can basically put anything in a grilled cheese and it’s always good. And it’s always nostalgic and just makes you feel good, like you’re a kid again.
So today I was feeling like that, children food – yes please! I was starving and had been working all morning and skipped lunch. On top of that, Delaney was at the grocery store getting food so we didn’t have much in the fridge. I was craving pizza, but didn’t have any frozen ones, and my options were limited. I’m sure you’ve been here before. I had bread, string cheese, and my absolute favorite Organic Valley Uncured Beef Summer Sausage. I recently tried this when I was working with them a few months ago and they sent me some. No one carries it in town, so I now order cases of it online! It’s that good. But, because there is no real options for organic pepperoni I actually use this when I make pizza all the time and it’s amazing!
So, I made a Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese. I used sourdough sliced bread, mozzarella cheese (mine was in the form of string cheese, but any mozzarella will do), parmesan, fresh basil leaves off my plant, oregano, and summer sausage. I heated up some Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce (just an organic one from a jar that was in the fridge). And then I dipped my grilled cheese into the sauce. This seriously tastes exactly like a pizza grilled cheese. You could serve this with a side salad or even make this recipe for pizza night. Get the recipe below for my Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese.
Tips for making the best Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese
• Use a sourdough or white bread. This is most similar to pizza crust, so stay away from whole wheat as the flavor profile won’t be the same.
• If you’re using slices of mozzarella, make sure they are thin so they melt easily. If you’re using shredded cheese or string cheese, then make an even layer so it melts evenly.
• If you’re using a frying pan or skillet and you have to cook one at a time or flip it, be sure to use butter each time! This is serious people, butter helps get that golden brown color and gives it flavor.
• Make sure you are using a low heat. The inside cheeses need to melt and so using a low and slow heat is better than cooking it on high. If you like your sandwich on the golden brown to darker side, you can turn up the heat at the end once the inside is fully melted and get a little more of a char.
• Heat your marinara sauce as your sandwich is almost done, this will allow your dipping sauce to be ready when your sandwich is.
Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese
Makes 2 sandwiches
4 slices organic sourdough bread
4 slices organic Mozzarella cheese
6 to 8 slices Organic Valley Uncured Beef Summer Sausage
1 tablespoon organic grated parmesan
6 organic fresh basil leaves
pinch of organic dried oregano
4 tablespoons organic salted butter
1/2 cup organic marinara sauce
Prep the sandwiches by placing each piece of bread side by side on a cutting board. Place a piece of Mozzarella cheese on each side (make sure your slices cover each bread slice entirely).
Add the 3 to 4 slices of sausage onto one side. Sprinkle the top of the sausages with grated parmesan, fresh basil leaves, and the pinch of oregano.
On a griddle, add the butter and put over low heat, allow butter to melt. Place each slice of bread onto the griddle topping side up. Cook over low heat until cheese starts to melt. Carefully place the bread slice with cheese only on top of the one with sausage, and continue to cook until golden brown on each side.
Add the marinara sauce to a pot and put over medium heat until warm.
Serve with marinara sauce on the side for dipping.
Gluten Free – Use gluten free bread.
High Altitude – Follow the recipe as noted.
Did you make this recipe? Make sure to tag @mimibakescookies on Instagram!