This delicious grilled cheese sandwich features pear, Gouda cheese and balsamic onion. It is a delicious Fall comfort food indulgence and a delicious way to enjoy Fall pears.
I love to bake with pears, but beautiful Fall pears are equally at home in savoury dishes. Pears combine perfectly with any number of cheeses, such as Gouda. And of course, with lovely balsamic caramelized onions. In a sandwich. Perfectly grilled.
This Pear, Gouda and Balsamic Onion Grilled Cheese starts with a lovely seedy bread. It’s spread with mayonnaise, then grilled in butter, then cooked low and slow to allow the cheese to melt. The sandwich is also weighted down as it cooks, to achieve a perfect and consistent grill. It may seem like a lot or work, but when it comes to sandwiches like this, if you’re in, make it perfect!
And when you sit down to this one, you will be richly rewarded – with the nutty, creamy gouda and the sweet pears and the lovely onions that are just the perfect savoury foil. Certainly not everyday food, but a worthy splurge this time of year.
As mentioned above, if you’re aiming for the perfect grilled cheese, it will require patience. Low and slow is the way to go, so resist the urge to crank the heat up.
Use any pear you like to eat, as long as it is ripe, but still firm. You don’t want mushy pear in this one.
Get the Recipe: Pear, Gouda and Balsamic Onion Grilled Cheese
For 1 Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Double as necessary.
- 1/2 small onion, sliced in to rings
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Pinch salt
For the Sandwich:
- 2 slices multigrain bread
- 1 Tbsp butter, cut in half
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
- 1/2 pear, ripe but still firm, halved cored and thinly sliced
- Freshly ground pepper
- Balsamic Onions, from above
- Make the balsamic onions: Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a skillet. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until syrupy, about 2 minutes more. Set aside.
- Prepare cheese and pears and set aside.
- In a skillet, melt 1/2 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Spread one slice of the bread with 1/2 of the mayonnaise. Place mayonnaise side down on top of the butter. Quickly top bread with 1/2 the cheese, a single layer of the pear slices (you may not need all), a grind of pepper, the balsamic onions, then the rest of the cheese. Top with second bread slice. Reduce heat to medium-low. Place a plate on top of the sandwich, concave side down, to act as a weight (a dinner plate works well here). Allow to cook a few minutes, checking the underside of the sandwich regularly. When golden, remove plate from top. Spread the top of the sandwich with the remaining mayonnaise. Lift sandwich with a spatula. Add the remaining 1/2 Tbsp butter to the pan and allow to melt. Return sandwich to skillet, mayonnaise spread side down and cook as before with a plate over-top, until golden on the underside. Remove to a cutting board. Cut in half and enjoy!
One of our new favourite sandwiches! Fantasic flavour and texture. I was fortunate to have pear infused balsamic vinegar on hand. We love your recipes.
Thanks so much, Elizabeth and so glad you enjoyed this! One of my favourites. I’m loving the sound of pear infused balsamic!
This is such a perfect grilled cheese for fall! I love pears with gouda :)
Thanks so much, Laura :)
Can the pear be removed and still be enjoyable? I don’t care for pears and also being diabetic I can’t switch to apples only allowed berries. Thank you
Hi Jann and yes, it absolutely can. The fruit in this one is a nice foil for the richness of the cheese and onions, but it would still be a great grilled cheese without it. If you wanted to, I think you could sneak some raspberries or blueberries in there :)
There is a danish place on the way to the Sierras that makes the best Gouda cheese ever. I always buy the one that has cumin in it. It would be fantastic on your sandwich.
That cumin Gouda would be perfect in this sandwich, for sure!
This was so, so delicious! I caramelized the onion (we used a large one, used the whole thing for two sandwiches and would again) for 45ish minutes and used a splash of cherry balsamic at the end. I also included thin poached chicken breast slices; the lean protein worked well with all of that richness. Otherwise, made the recipe as given and thank you so much, Jennifer, for a go-to dinner treat for the upcoming Minnesota winter!
I’m like Cheyenne – definitely a picky sandwich eater. This is going to go on my list of weekend indulgences. I love pears and cheese too, Jennifer, and love a brie and pear crostini. I could cozy up with this sandwich and a good book in front of the fire and I’d be in heaven.
Thanks Robyn and yes, this is great weekend food :)
This is like something I’d find on the menu of a fabulous restaurant ~ wish I had one in front of me right now!
Thanks Sue :)
There isn’t anything about this that I don’t love! This would be my fall sandwich choice, any day, and twice on Sunday!! Pinned!
Lol! Thanks Annie :)
I so agree with you about pears lending themselves nicely to savory dishes. I am quite confident that the combination of pears and Gouda can only be made better by the addition of balsamic coated onions and you have already done that:)
Thanks so much, Milena :)
I love pears too – and this cheesy sandwich looks like the BEST way to enjoy them! My husband has been begging me to make caramelized onions, so I think I need to surprise him with this perfectly grilled sandwich. I could eat this for any meal of the day.
Thanks Tricia and yes, this is a delicious way to enjoy caramelized onions! :)
Gouda and pears sound like a match made in heaven! And caramelized onions sound like a wonderful addition! Definitely fall comfort food at it’s finest!
Thanks Chris and yes, I had forgotten how much I love Gouda cheese! It was perfect with the pears :)
This is totally my kind of fall grilled cheese Jennifer! Love the combo of ingredients!
Thanks so much, Mary Ann :)
Oh wow, serious sandwich goals up in here!!! I’m a picky sandwich person, like if if I’m going to eat a sandwich, it needs to be stellar, and this, my friend, is STELLAR!!! That melty gouda cheese! Those balsamic onions! That crisp pear! GAH! Drooling! I need this in my life! Cheers!
Thanks so much, Cheyanne :) And yes, when it comes to sandwiches, I have to be all in, too!