Packed with a variety of Italian meats and cheeses, this Antipasta Grilled Cheese is like a delicious appetizer platter…just in a cheesy, sandwich form!
I love a good antipasta platter. Italian meats, cheeses, olives, marinated artichokes…the list goes on. Most folks politely nibble at antipasta platters with a toothpick or mini-fork. Not me. I prefer to steal the entire plate and go hide in a closet somewhere. I have no shame, folks.
In all honesty, I wouldn’t actually run off with the antipasta platter. I might think long and hard about it, but I wouldn’t actually do it. Speaking of antipasta, my mother-in-law makes an antipasta pasta salad that is hands-down one of my top 5 favorite summer recipes. You guys all know how much I love summer grilling, so for a non-grilled recipe to crack the top 5? That says a lot! (And for the record, I really would sneak off to the backyard shed with that bowl of antipasta pasta salad. See you in a bit…with an empty bowl!)
Antipasta Grilled Cheese
A good grilled cheese is hard to beat. However, the other night, I channeled those antipasta vibes and came up with this Antipasta Grilled Cheese. I’m telling you…this sammich is amazing! First, you’ve got delicious buttery bread. I’ve been on a baking kick lately, so I used some sourdough bread that I’d made. However, thick-sliced Texas toast is my usual go-to for grilled cheese sandwiches. And here’s a little secret – instead of just buttering the bread, whip up a little mixture with softened butter, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings and salt. The combination is delicious!
Ok, so we’ve got the bread buttered and ready to go. The next key to making an epic grilled cheese sandwich is picking a good melty cheese. In this case, I went with sliced provolone. Provolone is a great melting cheese, and it also goes with the antipasta platter theme that we have going on here.
Finally, we have an assortment of your favorite meats, cheeses and marinated veggies. For this Antipasta Grilled Cheese, I used both salami and pepperoni. I couldn’t decide between the two…so I used ’em both! I also pulled out all sorts of jars of marinated veggies: artichoke hearts, banana peppers, marinated red pepper strips, olives. You name it, I piled it into these sandwiches!
Speaking of piling things into sandwiches, there is an art form to making these Antipasta Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. The key is layering the cheese. If you put all of the cheese down first and then layer the fillings on top, then all of that antipasta deliciousness will fall out when you flip the sandwiches. Instead, layer the cheese and the fillings. I used 3 pieces of cheese – one at the bottom, one in the middle and one at the top – for each sandwich. That way the melted cheese helps hold all of the ingredients in place! (This is the same strategy for making epic quesadillas, too. And a quesadilla is really just a variation of a grilled cheese sandwich, right?)
If you’re looking for a delicious sandwich idea, then hit the condiment aisle at your grocery store. You’ll find jars of roasted red peppers, olives, banana peppers, marinated artichokes. Grab one of each…and then pile ’em high to make these Antipasta Grilled Cheese Sandwiches! Enjoy!
Did you make these Antipasta Grilled Cheese Sandwiches at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
Antipasta Grilled Cheese
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp Italian seasonings
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 4 slices Texas toast bread i.e. thick white bread
- 6 slices Provolone cheese
- ¼ cup banana pepper rings
- ¼ cup fresh baby spinach
- ¼ cup roasted red pepper strips
- ¼ cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
- ¼ cup sliced black olives
- 2 oz. sliced salami
- 2 oz. sliced pepperoni
- Preheat large griddle or skillet over medium-low heat.
- Using a small bowl, combine butter, Parmesan, Italian seasonings and salt. Butter one side of each of the slices of bread.
- Place two slices of bread buttered-side down. Divide remaining ingredients and layer them on top of bread. (Tip: There are 3 slices of cheese for each sandwich. Use 1 slice at bottom, 1 slice in middle and 1 slice on top. Once melted, the cheese will help hold the other ingredients in place.)
- Top with remaining two slices of bread buttered-side out.
- Place sandwiches in skillet and cook on medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, or until bottom slice of bread is golden brown.
- Flip and continue cooking until other side is golden brown and cheese has completely melted.
Looking for more tasty grilled cheese sandwich recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: