How to Make the Best Ham & Cheese Sandwich
We just don’t eat enough grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. In part, that’s because they’re so easy to make — six steps! — that we forget just how amazing they can be. Don’t think a ham and cheese sandwich will blow your mind? We dare you to try this recipe.
We slather a very soft sourdough bread with butter and a tangy Dijon-mayonnaise, and then put it in a hot skillet. While it’s toasting, we pile on the nutty Gruyère, thin ribbons of ham, and fresh tomatoes. The result is sublime: Crispy, golden brown bread, gooey cheese, and wonderfully salty ham. Our favorite part might be the way the melty cheese, tomato, and Dijon-mayo combine so that they’re almost saucy. It makes the whole thing feel elevated — shades of croque monsieur.
It’s rich, it’s indulgent, and it’s worth it! This is the kind of sandwich you can serve as a meal — it’s quite filling. And yet, for that very reason, it also makes a terrific snack. You could grill up a double recipe, cut the sandwiches into quarters, and serve them as a game day bite — your crowd will go wild. In the test kitchen, our too-small stack of sandwiches disappeared in seconds.
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
4 Tbsp softened unsalted butter, plus 2 tsp for frying
8 slices sourdough bread
8 oz Gruyère cheese, sliced, divided
10 oz shaved ham, divided
8 tomato slices, divided
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread about ½ tablespoon of the softened butter on each slice of bread.
In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, melt a teaspoon of butter and place 2 slices of bread in the pan, butter side down. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the mayonnaise mixture on the top of each slice of bread.
Lay 1 ounce of the Gruyère cheese, 2 ½ ounces of the ham, two tomato slices, and then another ounce of the cheese on one of the slices of bread.
Spread a little more of the mayo mixture on the other slice of bread and place it on top of the sandwich, butter side up.
Repeat steps 3 to 5 to make a second sandwich.
Fry the sandwiches for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted, gently pressing down to flatten the sandwich as you go.
Repeat steps 2 to 6 to make 4 sandwiches total. Serve hot.