Onion Ring Grilled Cheese


I brought together my favorite appetizer and my favorite sandwich in this ooey, gooey Onion Ring Grilled Cheese. It was a matter of wanting something and making it happen. Who’s to tell me what is or isn’t possible, and what’s right or wrong? I dreamed of stuffing golden beer-battered onion rings into a grilled cheese, and so I did. That is the beauty of taking initiative. That is the beauty of making dreams into reality.


It’s in my blood to love onions thanks to Mother Cookie, who would put onions on everything, if she could. Consequently, I adore onion rings for adding a golden breading to the sweet onions I love so much. I’ve made grilled cheeses with caramelized onions, so why not onion rings? They made the perfect crunchy add-in for a classic grilled cheese.


I used what I consider to be my essential grilled cheese cheese duo: cheddar (for flavor) and American (for meltiness). They create a sea of cheese lava that overflows from every edge, holding together two sturdy slices of buttery sourdough bread. I loved crunching through the bread into the gooey cheese and finding the surprise layer of onion ring nestled inside. It was perfection.

This is why I don’t follow the rules. An Onion Ring Grilled Cheese might not be commonplace or expected, but it is amazing, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.


A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. I paired my grilled cheeses with marinara sauce, but they’re also great with classic tomato soup.
  2. Baking the grilled cheeses – as opposed to stove-top – allows for even baking and even melting. Plus, you avoid the mess of trying to flip them.
  3. You can use any onion rings you like, but I highly recommend the Nathan’s brand. We tried it for the first time for these grilled cheeses, and I was super impressed with the quality. Plus the beer batter was delicious.
  4. Find fresh sour dough bread in your grocery store’s bakery section.
  5. Get more grilled cheese tips here.


Onion Ring Grilled Cheeses
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield – 4-5 sandwiches


  • 15 cooked onion rings (I recommend Nathan’s, cooked according to package directions)
  • 1 loaf fresh crusty sourdough bread, sliced into 8-10 half-inch slices
  • butter spread
  • 15 slices extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 15 slices American cheese
  • optional: marinara sauce or tomato soup for dipping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Spread 1-2 teaspoons of butter onto one side of each slice of bread.
  3. Lay bread slices on tray in an even layer and bake for 8 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.
  4. Lay 3 slices of American cheese on top of the unbuttered side of a slice of bread. Top with 3 onion rings then cover with 3 slices of cheddar cheese. Cover with a second slice of bread, buttered-side up. Repeat with remaining bread.
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  5. Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and melty. Slice in half and enjoy.


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Colleen Bierstine


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