French grilled cheese sandwich

The Ultimate French Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This grilled cheese sandwich recipe is an awesome version of the classic American sandwich but made French. One of the USA’s most loved comfort foods, the grilled cheese is amazing and one of my favourite snacks. The incredible cheese pulls makes it particularly instagrammable sandwich and served with a steaming bowl of tomato soup, what could be better?

Our French version doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel and keeps to the formula that we all know and love. I’ve just Frenchified the ingredients – but fear not, they’re easy to find staples that will be found in all grocery stores. So if a cheesy, garlicky, mushroomy sandwich sounds good, read on!

Note that this isn’t a croque monsieur – find our recipe for the famous French hot cheese and ham sandwich below:

Making Grilled Cheese but French

The American grilled cheese sandwich is a thing of beauty and has become one the USA’s most iconic comfort foods. Buttery and of course incredibly cheesy, it’s easy to make and delicious.

I’ve Frenched mine by using fresh pain de campagne (a white country loaf), aged Comté cheese and grilled mushrooms topped with persillade – a garlic & parsley seasoning. The result is an earthy, nutty and superbly moreish sandwich inspired by classic French cooking.

comte grilled cheese sandwich with salad

The steps are simple as they get. Mushrooms (I use plain white button mushrooms) are sliced and seared on a high heat to get some nice brown edges. When they’re cooked, a bit of butter is added and the garlic, parsley and shallot mixture is tossed into the mushrooms.

To assemble it’s up to you – I like two medium thick slices of fresh bread from a local boulangerie as the base. I then grate a load (you can use as much as you want) of freshly grated aged Comté cheese onto the base followed by the mushroom mixture. More cheese is added before closing the sandwich with the second slice of bread.

To cook the sandwich I like to a healthy amount of salted French butter into a non-stick pan and cook the sandwich with a lid to press. It’s then flipped and another knob of butter is added until everything is melted, brown and ready to eat! I serve my sandwich with mixed salad leaves dressed in our French Vinaigrette.

What You’ll Need

To make our French Grilled Cheese Sandwich, you’ll need:

  • Bread: I use pain de campagne which is easy to find in France but you can use any bread that you want! Fresh sourdough would work really well but white or brown sandwich bread works really well too.

  • Cheese: I love young and aged Comté cheese which is normally pretty easy to find outside of France. You can of course use Gruyère cheese or even cheddar – it’s up to you!

  • Mushrooms: Again you can use any mushrooms you like. I use champignons de Paris which are just white button mushrooms. If you want to really go for it, girolle or chanterelles would work really well.

  • Persillade: Sounds complicated but persillade just means an equal amount of finely chopped garlic, parsley and shallots. It’s a classic French seasoning that’s used in many dishes. It’s incredible tossed over mushrooms and duck fat potatoes!
Persillade – a mix of finely minced garlic, parsley and shallot


Makes 2 sandwiches.

  • 4 medium thick slices of fresh white bread
  • 250g of grated Comté cheese
  • 100g of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced finely
  • 1 small handful of parsley, chopped finely
  • 1/2 shallot, minced finely
  • Salted butter, as required

How to Make French Grilled Cheese

  1. Add your sliced button mushrooms to a frying pan on a high heat with a splash of oil. Sear, undisturbed for a few minutes to brown them. Reduce the heat to medium high and flip to cook through.

  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add a knob of salted butter. Stir until the butter is melted.

  3. Add the persillade (the garlic, parsley and shallot mixture) and toss vigorously to cook it out and coat the mushrooms. Be careful not the burn the garlic. Remove the mixture from the pan and reserve.

  4. Take a slice of bread and add 1/4 of the grated Comté cheese, then add half the mushroom mixture followed by another helping of cheese. Close the sandwich with another slice of bread. Repeat for the 2nd sandwich.

  5. Clean out the pan with a kitchen paper and return to a medium heat. Add 3 tbsp (it is a French recipe) to the pan and melt, turn the heat up a little and add the sandwiches. Press them down with a pan lid and cook for a few minutes or until the bread is brown and crispy.

  6. Flip the sandwiches and add more butter if needed (you want enough to be visible in the pan at all times). Cook for a more minutes until the other side is brown, crispy and the cheese is melted.

  7. Cut in half and serve immediately with soup or a mixed leaf salad.

Is French Grilled Cheese a Croque Monsieur?

Nope, our French grilled cheese sandwich is not a croque monsieur. That’s a different sandwich which uses a creamy béchamel sauce and slices of ham.

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