Italian Grilled Cheese

Italian Grilled Cheese

It’s the breakfast of champions! Well maybe not, but it’s what I had for breakfast this morning after craving it for weeks. What I call the Italian Grilled Cheese, others would probably call a Panini. To me that’s just a super fancy grilled cheese. Call it what it is people, a grilled cheese!

I have started having a love of tomatoes when I was given tomatoes from a friend’s garden. They taste nothing like the tomatoes from the store, but more flavorful and sweeter. It’s sometimes hard now to buy tomatoes from the store, but sometimes you just have to buy them and make your favorite dish.

I first started making these using fresh garden tomatoes, along with some super fresh artisan bread. I first used fresh basil, but found that unless it’s chopped very small, it tends to get pulled out of the sandwich when you bite into it so I ended up using dried basil instead.

I love how the cheese melts, and you get the kick of spice from the basil, garlic and pepper. I know there probably should be a proper recipe for this one, but it’s more of a “soul food” type of dish. A little of this, a pinch of that. I don’t follow a recipe but more of a method and I know what I like. Much of this is just to taste, and I can be very heavy handed on the garlic and basil, but its personal preference.

Makes 2 sandwiches

  • 4 slices rustic bread or home made bread
  • 2 tomatoes (or one if it’s large)
  • Fresh grated parmesan
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried basil
  • Butter/Margarine


  1. Preheat a pan over medium heat.
  2. Lightly butter one side of each piece of bread, this will be the outside. On the non-buttered side of 2 slices spread a little parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper. Slice the tomatoes and layer tomato slices on the parmesan, covering as much of the bread as possible. Add another layer of parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Sprinkle with dried basil and top with the other slice of bread (butter side out).
  3. Add the sandwiches to the preheated pan. Optional: cover with a piece of foil and press down with a heavy skillet or pot to make it like a Panini. Check the bottoms of the bread often, when they become golden brown, flip the sandwiches to cook the other side.
  4. Remove from heat when both sides are golden brown. Let the sandwiches sit for 1-2 minutes to cool before slicing.
  5. Enjoy!


  • Hi Michelle,
    I make a version of these sandwiches but I use cheddar for the cheese. I have to try your version though because I love anything Italian and I love my garlic.

  • Definitely try this one then, I love the garlic and also the basil. I am a HUGE fan of basil.