Leftover Grilled Cheese

April 7, 2009 · 6 comments


Add this to your list of things to do with leftover roasted chicken. It also helps to have a tad of arugula, a few cheeses that are almost gone, and a lone, ripe tomato. Stack all of these things between some whole wheat bread, add a little butter, a swirl of olive oil, and you have a five-star grilled cheese made from kitchen scraps.

I hate throwing things out, so when I clean out the fridge, I always try to make use of all the odds and ends that are hanging on for dear life. I actually look forward to this time of the month, because I always end up finding inventive flavor combinations I wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

For this grilled cheese – and all others actually – cook it slowly. The biggest mistake I see people committing when cooking this American staple is rushing it over high heat. If it gets too hot, the bread will burn, and the cheese will still be hard – especially if you overstuff it, of which I am definitely guilty. For all of my grilled cheeses, I add a little butter inside the sandwich, swirl some olive oil in the pan, cover it and cook on low for at least 15 minutes. Try it on your scrap night – it never fails!

Ingredients for Leftover Grilled Cheese

The beauty of the grilled cheese is that there are endless possibilities – here’s what I put in mine, but be creative!

Leftover roasted chicken breast – shredded
Small handful of arugula
1 Tomato, sliced thickly
1/4 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
2 tablesppons Dry Jack Cheese, shredded (If you have never tried Dry Jack, get it – now!)
2 slices Whole Wheat bread
About 1/2 tablespoon of butter
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Side dish:
Frozen Corn, thawed
1 Onion, sliced thin

First – Assemble the Sandwich
When putting together your grilled cheese, no matter what ingredients you use, be sure to alternate your cheeses with the other ingredients. For this sandwich, here’s the order I used: bread, cheese, a tad of butter, chicken, arugula, tomato, another tad of butter, cheese, bread.

Next – Cook the sandwich

Heat up a cast iron skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the sandwich, turn the heat to low, cover and cook for about 7 minutes. Add a little more olive oil, flip, and cook for an additional 7 minutes. If the bread isn’t as dark
as you like, continue cooking, but don’t turn up the heat.

Meanwhile, the Corn:
While the grilled cheese is cooking, heat up a second skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
When hot, add the sliced onions, and stir so they don’t brown. Cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the corn, salt and pepper, and continue to cook for an additional 7 minutes.

Finally – Eat:
Spoon the corn and onions into a plate, and place the grilled cheese on top, cut on the diagonal. Serve with salsa, or
your favorite hot sauce.


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September 21, 2009 at 9:26 am

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda Pirrung April 8, 2009 at 5:05 am

Oh my goodness. I’m a grilled cheese fanatic and this is such a great idea! I have no idea why it’s never occurred to me to cover my grilled cheese while cooking it. Now I know….thanks! :)


GrilledShane April 10, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I am not one for meat on my grilled cheeses but this sounds good! Olive oil probably adds a great taste to the sandwich.
Eventually I will have to make a leftover grilled cheese as well, considering I have tons of leftovers every Monday!


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Chad K. November 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Great recipe. Actually used some pulled pork instead of chicken. But came out delicious. Thanks for the helpful tips. :)


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