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. Feed me pierogis. And this. And stuffed cabbage. And….

  2. Yummmm! Who woulda thought shredded cheese would look so delightful! Put me in coach!

  3. That is the most amazing grilled cheese I’ve ever seen!!! Mmmmmm

  4. Love this version of a grilled cheese! Bacon and melted cheese are always a good combo! :)

  5. 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… :)

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

    • 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!

  8. 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


  1. […] oh, remember that amazing grilled cheese sandwich I made a few weeks ago? I ate it again, except I slathered each bite in this tomato […]

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