With creamy cheese, egg and bacon on buttery crisp sourdough bread, this breakfast grilled cheese will rock your morning. Special efficiency options included.
Before I begin, I have a confession to make—I don’t love breakfast sandwiches. So when my blogging friends decided to cover “Breakfast Sammies” (see below), I figured I’d pass.
But then I thought of grilled cheese. After all, grilled cheese can’t help but be good, especially with some added bacon and egg.
And happily when I pulled my breakfast grilled cheese out of the pan, they were amazing. With buttery crisp sourdough and loads of flavor, everyone wanted more. Even me.
Sandwich 1, Diet 0.
Guess that makes it a winner!
Why You’ll Love This!
Tasty. How do you beat crunchy bread with a hint of butter, and a rich filling of cheese, egg and bacon? It’s like breakfast comfort food!
Quick & Easy. With just a few ingredients and a streamlined process (details below), this is just about as easy as a breakfast can get without being pre-packaged.
On the Go Friendly. You don’t eat breakfast on the run once in a while, do you?
What You’ll Need
- Bread. This holds the sandwich together with a beautiful crunch. I like an artisan sourdough but any bread will work. See my Bread discussion below for more detail.
- Eggs. These provide extra nutrition and make this Breakfast Grilled Cheese breakfast-y
- Bacon. Provides flavor, flavor, flavor. You can cook your own bacon or use pre-cooked bacon crumbles (this is what I did since it’s sooo easy–see Tips below for details). You can even go with a bacon substitute.
- Cheese. Wouldn’t be grilled cheese without it and it provides a lot of calcium. Go with your favorite meltable cheese.
- Butter. This helps the bread get beautifully browned and adds flavor.
- No special tools are needed but see my note on using a Cast Iron Skillet.
Step by Step Directions
Place a skillet on medium heat and heat until hot. Spray with non-stick spray. Crack two eggs in the pan, then break the yolks and stir in slightly. Top with crumbled bacon. Flip when firm on bottom side.
Butter the outside of two slices of bread.
Top one piece of bread with cheese on the non-buttered side. Set the bread butter side down in the skillet and place the cooked egg on top of the cheese. Top with the second piece of bread, butter side up. Lower heat to medium low.
Grill until the bottom slice of bread is golden then flip the sandwich. Continue grilling until both sides are golden and the cheese is melted, adjusting the heat as needed.
Cut in half if desired and serve immediately.
What Makes a Good Bread for Grilled Cheese
In a pinch, just about any bread will work for a grilled cheese.
But if you’ve got the opportunity to plan ahead, consider a nice artisan sourdough. These breads are solid enough to hold up for a sandwich and pale enough to show the beautiful golden grilled color. And when grilled, they hold a nice butter flavor (even lightly buttered) while developing an appealing crunch. Finally, they add a hint of flavor to complement, but not overpower the sandwich filling. Yum!
And while one of the nice things about regular sliced bread is the evenly sized slices, sometimes I prefer slices of varying sizes. That way, a hearty eater can get giant-ass slices from the middle while daintier eaters can use the smaller end slices!
What Makes a Good Cheese for Grilled Cheese?
One absolute requirement for a Breakfast Grilled Cheese to use a cheese that melts well. That way it will become warm, soft and gooey–you may even get those decadent long cheese sting pulls!
Cheeses that melt well include Swiss, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Gouda, Gruyere, Provolone—and so many more. I’d also go with a cheese that has real flavor, so a cheese that has aged some can be a plus!
Beyond that, go with what you like. If you look closely at my pictures, you’ll notice I used two different cheeses. An aged cheddar is my choice, Swiss for my husband.
How to Serve
Perhaps obviously, Breakfast Grilled Cheese is great for breakfast! It can even be served all by itself–well, okay, with a giant mug of coffee. Or you can serve it with any of the traditional breakfast accompaniments like sausage or hash browns if you are looking for a really hardy meal.
But to go a little lighter or healthier, consider a side of sliced fruit, or even a light salad like my Carrot Raisin Salad. Raw vegetables with dip or hummus are other nutritious options.
And of course, I’m always a fan of Breakfast for Dinner (or Lunch). In that case a cup of soup like this Easy Ginger Carrot Soup or a green salad like this Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad would be perfect.
I decided to use a solid fried egg with a broken yolk rather than the scrambled egg many other breakfast sandwiches use. This was for two reasons. First, I could ignore it more while it cooked (no constant stirring) and I wanted this easy to the max! And second, I figured it would make the sandwich neater to eat. Yes, I couldn’t shake the unfortunate visions of myself covered in bits of scrambled egg as I ate. But if you prefer scrambled, go ahead!
I used pre-cooked, shelf stable (until opened), bacon bits in these because they are so easy (are you catching a theme?). But if you need to use up extra bacon fry that up and crumble or leave in slices. Or if you prefer, use sausage or even a vegetarian substitute.
Tips & FAQs
Do you know about packaged real bacon crumbles? Well, they’ve changed my world. Pre-cooked and pre-crumbled, they are shelf stable until opened and then I pop the package in the freezer. Now I can add bacon to salads and more without ever heating up a frying pan They even come in nitrate free versions!
If you are struggling to get your cheese melted before your bread burns, consider turning down the heat. I’ll even add a cover for a bit then take it off at the end to make sure the bread is properly crisp. Works every time!
Using Cast Iron Skillets
Breakfast Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are easy to make in a cast iron skillet. If you are using Teflon or a pan with other PFAS type coatings, be aware that per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this toxic substance has rendered the water of more than one Wisconsin community undrinkable. And there really are great alternatives.
I was afraid of cast iron for years (I used and still use stainless steel a lot), but I’m so glad I got past that because they work great! Even better, pans today come pre-seasoned and are inexpensive (Lodge is a well-rated value brand and often even more discounted at TJ Maxx). Though I re-seasoned my parent’s old camping skillet for sentimental reasons, I might simply buy a new one if I had problems with a modern pan. Donating the old one to avoid waste of course!
- Breakfast Grilled Cheese from Art of Natural Living
- Chick-fil-a Biscuit Sandwich from That Recipe
- Easy Freezer Breakfast Burritos from Jen Around the World
- Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Grilled Apple Butter Breakfast Sandwich from Palatable Pastime
- Make-Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Simple Breakfast Sliders from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Breakfast Grilled Cheese
- 2 slices of bread
- 2 eggs see note
- 2 Tablespoons of bacon crumbles or two slices of cooked bacon
- 1 ounce cheese sliced (or a bit more--enough to cover bread)
- 2 teaspoons butter
- Place a skillet on medium heat and heat until hot. Spray with non-stick spray. Crack two eggs in the pan, then break the yolks and stir in slightly. Top with crumbled bacon. Flip when firm on bottom side.
- Butter the outside of two slices of bread. Top one piece of bread with cheese on the non-buttered side. Set the bread butter side down in the skillet and place the cooked egg on top of the cheese. Top with the second piece of bread, butter side up. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Grill until the bottom slice of bread is golden then flip the sandwich. Continue grilling until both sides are golden and the cheese is melted, adjusting the heat as needed.
- Cut in half if desired and serve immediately.
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