Squash, Manchego and Balsamic-Onion Grilled Cheese

I have one comment on this sandwich: ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I watched a lot of TV while on maternity leave. Another series that I picked up on was Food Network Star.  The show is all about food, and allowing each contestant to compete to share why they should be the next hot star. Jeff Mauro, the "Sandwich King" won. The idea for his show surrounded sandwiches. Basically - he loves them, and he makes EVERYTHING a sandwich. Everything that he made INTO a sandwich looked amazing, but it was pretty meat heavy. You can only imagine how ELATED I was to see that his first feature in the Food Network Magazine was not only vegetarian, but also delicious. This is a must-try!

Squash, Manchego and Balsamic-Onion Grilled Cheese
Source: Adapted from Food Network Magazine, October 2011 Issue


5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the bread SS: I made this twice, and the recipe works just as well subbing the butter for the onions and squash with EVOO - 1tbs for the squash and 2 tbs for the onion for more healthy fats
½ butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced ¼ inch thick
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Maui or other sweet onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
8 slices country white bread
1 pound manchego cheese, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted SS: I didn't used sliced almonds because I always have whole almonds at home


1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter. Toss the squash with the melted butter, maple syrup, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until golden and soft, about 20 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and toss to coat. Cook, without stirring, until the onion begins to develop a deep brown color, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir and add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, until the onion mixture thickens and develops an intense sweetness, about 15 more minutes.
3. Sandwich build! Butter 1 slice of bread. On the unbuttered side, add the ingredients in this order from the ground up: manchego, squash, caramelized onion, sliced almonds and more manchego. Close with another buttered bread slice, buttered side up. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 3 more sandwiches.
4. Heat a heavy griddle or flat pan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the pan. Lightly cook each sandwich, in batches if necessary, until the cheese starts to melt, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Low and slow is the key here so you don't kill your bread before the delicious innards get gooey.

This sandwich was amazing. I made it for friends that came to visit, and they agreed...so you should go make it...NOW! :)


  1. That looks and sounds amazing! I DEF want to try that because I LOVE anything cheesy! (I had grilled cheese for lunch today - lol!)

  2. That looks so yummy! I was pretty much sold after I seen the picture on Google reader.

    A must try!

    ps. Do you have any recommendation for easy to make vegetarian meals.

  3. Yes girl, that sandwich was really getting it! OW!

  4. @FEG - let me know how you like it if you do try it!

    @Mrs. J - I have a label 'Quick & Easy' that specifically is for those types of meals. I know the linguine pasta w/ peas and spinach is one of them. It's done in under 30 minutes, requires no knives and can be served warm, room temp or cold. Good luck!

    @Lindsay - and you know it #ow