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Irish Grilled Cheese

Irish Grilled Cheese- This flavor bomb sandwich is loaded with two cheeses, fried onions, and a tangy schmear then grilled in Irish butter until perfection.

March 10, 2024 by Nicole Collins


Today, we’re making an Irish Grilled Cheese!


Guys, today’s recipe has been brewing in my brain for years. But, it was one of those things that just kept getting pushed off and pushed off and next thing I knew, the moment had passed for the year. You know what though? I think this sandwich idea needed some extra time to marinate in my brain, because the end result is way more delicious than I ever imagined it could be.


Let me set the scene: We’re taking two types of cheeses, stuffing it in between two slices of bread, adding some sweet and crispy fried onions as well as a tangy schmear, then grilling the whole thing in some rich Irish butter. Does that sound absolutely heavenly, or what?


You can’t have a grilled cheese without loads of ooey gooey cheese, so let’s talk about it. To start, we’ll use some freshly shredded Dubliner cheese. Dubliner cheese is an Irish cheese that has the sharpness of a cheddar, the nuttiness of a parmesan, and the mild sweetness of a hint of swiss. It’s a little crumbly on the outside but actually shreds nicely as it’s a little smoother on the inside. It’s absolutely delish. If you can’t find Dubliner cheese (which I was able to find it in my very basic, non exotic grocery store), an Irish cheddar would be a fine substitute. They are both very similar in flavor and texture.


Our second cheese is a nice smoked gouda. If you follow me on Tiktok, you know I’m going through a real smoked gouda phase right now. I’m putting it on EVERYTHING. The mild smoke flavor that it adds just creates the best depth of flavor. Again, this is a cheese that we’ll buy in a block and shred ourselves at home, but that’s honestly for the better. Freshly shredded cheese not only tastes better, but it melts sooooo much better. If the ultimate cheesepull is the goal, that’s the way to achieve it.


In the middle of our two cheeses, we’re going to add a nice layer of fried onions. If I’m being completely transparent, I don’t typically have the patience to properly caramelize onions. So while the vibes are still the same, these onions are technically fried. We’re going to take a sliced yellow onion, add it to a heavy bottomed skillet with some butter, a little salt, a pinch of pepper, and brown sugar, and let that onion cook for about a half hour until it’s deep golden brown in color. Now, since we’re hurrying this process along instead of letting the onions go low and slow, we’ll get some nice crispy edges on some of the onion slices. It’s actually quite lovely! But, the end result is still a nice, sweet, slightly jammy, onion situation.


To break up the richness of the cheese and onion, we’re going to make a simple mustard aioli to schmear on the inside of our sandwich. We need a little mayo, a little stone ground mustard, a little shake of garlic powder, and a pinch of black pepper. That’s it! Give it a good mix, and our aioli is ready to fulfill its destiny.


We’re going to build this sandwich on a couple slices of rye pumpernickel swirl bread. I love the earthiness that this adds to the sandwich. So on one piece of bread, we’ll layer our Dubliner cheese, some onions, and our smoked gouda. On the other slice of bread, we’ll give it a good schmear crust to crust of our aioli. Close up the sandwich mustard side in. Then, we’ll butter the outside of the sandwich with some rich Irish butter, toss the sammie in the skillet for a few minutes until it’s beautifully golden, and we’re ready to dig in.


It’s INSANE how much flavor is coming out of these two pieces of bread. It’s earthy, it’s nutty, it’s sweet, it’s tangy…it’s like bang BANG bAnG! And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese. It’s the ultimate comfort food delight.


Ok, everyone. Tell me how you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year. I sure hope it includes heaps of these sammies!


I hope you guys enjoy. And, let’s eat!


Irish Grilled Cheese

Serves: 2          Print


For the Fried Onions:

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • Pepper, to taste

  • ¼ tsp brown sugar

For the Mustard Aioli:

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tsp stone ground mustard

  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

  • Pepper, to taste

For the Sandwich:

  • 4 slices rye pumpernickel swirl bread

  • ½ cup Dubliner or Irish cheddar cheese, shredded

  • ¼ cup smoked gouda, shredded

  • 2-3 tbsp Irish butter, softened


  1. Fry the onions: Add butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, salt, brown sugar, and a pinch of pepper. Cook for 25-30 mins, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden in color.

  2. Meanwhile, make the mustard aioli: To a small bowl, add mayo, mustard, garlic powder, and a pinch of black pepper. Stir well to combine. Allow to chill in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the sandwich.

  3. Make the sandwich: Top one slice of bread with ¼ cup Dubliner cheese, half the fried onions, and ¼ cup smoked gouda. On another slice of bread, schmear a heaping tablespoon of aioli crust to crust. Close the sandwich aioli side in. Repeat with remaining bread, cheese, onions, and aioli. You will have some aioli leftover.

  4. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Spread Irish butter crust to crust over the top side of each sandwich. Place sandwiches butter side down in the skillet, and butter the other side of the sandwiches. Cook for 3-4 mins per side until the bread is golden and crisp. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Recipe notes:

*Dubliner cheese is similar to if cheddar and parmesan had a baby. It’s sharp and nutty and a smidge crumbly but oh so delish.

*You’ll have a little aioli leftover, but it’s great on everything. Don’t ditch it! My top two favorite ways to use it are as a dip for my bbq brussels sprouts or as a schmear for an egg sammie. Mmmm…


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