Grilled Cheese Bar: Fast and Easy Family Lunch
Last weekend, the Mom It Forward team and our families enjoyed a weekend at Zions National Park in Southern Utah. The women were in charge of setting the meal plan and purchasing the food. We also took on creating the perfect gourmet grilled cheese bar complete with bowls of tomato soup. But when we arrived, we learned of an activity we'd be participating in over that particular lunch, so we left the guys in charge of the cooking and cleaning.
Our original plans included a gourmet grilled cheese bar with fancy schmancy ingredients like artichoke hearts, sourdough rye bread, and European cheeses. But, the guys took things their own direction when they learned they'd be responsible for feeding 16 kids and instead, created a simple grilled cheese bar with just the basics. After our activity, we came home to a clean kitchen, happy children, and all the men watching football together. Score!
How to Create a Grilled Cheese Bar
Whether you are looking to pull together a basic or a gourmet grilled cheese bar, here are ingredients you can consider including.
Grilled Cheese Bar Ingredients
The basics include:
- Butter (or a butter or oil spray)
- Bread (us gals preferred three different varieties, including white, wheat, and sourdough rye, but the guys just used the white bread)
- Kraft natural cheese slices in a variety of flavors (we preferred the Kraft Big Slice brand in colby jack, pepper jack, and aged swiss)
The gourmet variety could include:
- Artichoke hearts
- Asparagus (grilled)
- Brussels Sprouts (roasted)
- Mushrooms (grilled)
- Onions (marinated or pickled)
- Peppers (sweet or spicy, depending on your preference)
- Tomatoes (grilled or sun dried)
- Zucchini (grilled)
Grilled Cheese Bar Instructions
To create your grilled cheese bar, follow these directions:
- Get out a griddle, spatula, and plate for the grilled cheese sandwiches.
- (Optional) Get out a pot and a large spoon for the tomato soup.
- Get out and/or cut up and place in bowls or on plates the ingredients you want to feature in your grilled cheese bar.
- Have each person select their two slices of bread, the variety of Kraft natural cheese they'd like, and place the cheese on top of the bread along with the ingredients they'd like included. For me, I'd be all over a grilled cheese sandwich with American cheese and grilled mushrooms. Mmmm!
- Instruct each person in line to give his or her plate to the cook.
- Butter or spray the preheated griddle.
- As each person approaches the cooking area, place the precooked sandwich on the griddle.
- When one side of bread is toasted, flip the sandwich carefully, ensuring all contents stay inside, and toast the other side.
- When the cheese is sufficiently melted and the other ingredients are grilled, remove the sandwich with a spatula and place it on a plate or give it to the person who it belongs to.
- (Optional) Serve up tomato soup in bowls for those who would like a soup/sandwich combination.
If you're looking for even a more gourmet option to really take things up a notch in the kitchen, click over to view this amazing Jalapeno Popper Melt topped with crushed pretzels, laying it on thick with two slices of Kraft Big Slices, and spicing it up with Jalapeno peppers. Mmmm! Lunchtime, especially for a large group or family, doesn't have to be complex. Even a gourmet grilled cheese bar is a fast and easy, not to mention a delicious, option to calm lots of little growling tummies.
What is your favorite ingredient (besides bread and cheese) to include on a grilled cheese sandwich? What ingredients would you include on your ideal grilled cheese bar?