Grilled Cheese with Bacon & Tomato

What is an American food? I guess most people would think of apple pie, right? I think that what you define as an American food is dependent upon your American life.
In my little American life, my siblings and I grew up coming home from kindergarten to grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, or macaroni and cheese. We also sat down to dinner every single weeknight. My dad insisted on having a salad at every meal.
As our lives got filled with after school activities in high school, our daily meals always ranged from a home cooked meal to fast food after whatever sporting event we were jetting home from. It is hard to define an American food.
Being of Polish and German/Irish/Swedish descent, we were exposed to a lot of different foods ranging from pickled herring to sauerkraut and pierogis to golabki (pronounced gah-wump-kee and is basically stuffed cabbage).
So many people have come here from all over the world to start a better life. They bring with them the food they love and share it with their future generations. Even though America in an election season can be a little frustrating, it is still a blessed life we lead in this country. And it’s all thanks to our Grandparents/Great Grandparents that brought our families here.
So now, why all this America talk you ask? Well a fellow food blogger and chef/writer/extraordinaire Phoebe for Feed Me Phoebe is taking part in Jamie Oliver’s new cooking show. The show is called Chef Race: UK vs US and it is premiering tonight on BBC America.
In order to root all her other chef-testants on, Phoebe is hosting a virtual potluck on her blog along with an amazing giveaway. I was so happy to contribute with one of the first dishes I ever learned to cook for myself, grilled cheese. Clearly, I adultified it with a really sharp cheddar, bacon, and slices of fresh tomatoes.
I know I probably don’t have to tell all you Americans how to make a grilled cheese, but just in case….
Grilled Cheese with Bacon & Tomato
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 2

  • 4 Slices of Cooked Bacon
  • 2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Slices of Tomato
  • 4 Slices of Thick-Cut Bread
  • Butter

  1. Cook bacon until crispy. My favorite way to cook bacon is on a baking sheet lined with tin foil, baked in the oven at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  2. Slice a tomato.
  3. Shred the sharp cheddar using a box grater.
  4. Butter one side of each slice of the bread.
  5. Layer a little bit of cheese, bacon, and more cheese on one unbuttered side of the bread slice. On the other slices unbuttered side, layer a little bit of cheese, two tomato slices, and more cheese.
  6. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Add the slices, buttered side down. Cover with a lid or tinfoil tent and cook for five minutes. Then carefully, place the two sides together for a sandwich and cook for another two minutes on each side.

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  1. says

    I grew up with European parents so I was also exposed to a lot of different foods. But somehow grilled cheese works for all cultures. I love very, very sharp cheddar and bacon in mine as well. In fact, maybe that’s what I’m having for dinner… :)

  2. says

    Hi Stefanie, sorry I’ve been so out of the loop lately but I have a good excuse: I moved! Only a couple of miles away but it has consumed a lot of time and I’ve been in take-out hell in the last few weeks. Grilled cheese sandwiches are great All-American food! I like the addition of bacon and tomato! Have a great week!

  3. says

    Oh, Stefanie…our backgrounds are so similar! My Dad’s family is basic English/Scots/Irish – those ancestors have been in America forever. And sadly, they weren’t very good cooks. Now my Mom’s family is Slovak – my Mom and her sibs were first generation Americans, although a couple of my aunts were born in “the old country.” Thankfully, they were all GREAT cooks, so I grew up eating stuffed cabbage with sauerkraut and kielbasa (“pigs in a blanket” or just “pigs”), pirohi, halushki, kolachi at Christmas, sour soup at Christmas, etc. I haven’t tried to make pirohi, halushki or kolachi (but my sister and sister-in-law make kolach). I DO make wonderful “pigs,” though, and I’ve done sour soup a few times. Pirohi? My aunts abandoned it years ago, saying Mrs. T’s are as good as anything they made. While I’m a huge fan of grilled cheese (and your variation is right up my alley), I do love the Slovak food I grew up with…and so does my very English husband.

    • Stefanie says

      Yum! Even though the spelling may be different for Kolaczki/Kolachi, they are still my favorite Christmas cookie!!!! I am so glad you share my love for “old country” food!

  4. says

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe, Stefanie!! I could eat one of those right now for an all-american breakfast. Do I see that you’ve adultified it with a beer as well? Well done. Thank you so much for helping cheer me on – thrilled to have you as part of the potluck table! xo Phoebe


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