Grilled Cheese Casserole

A few weeks back, my grandma went to a cooking seminar and came back raving about this baked grilled cheese that was made. As she explained it to me, I was like “well that sounds good in theory, but doesn’t the bread get soggy and gross?”

She assured me that it didn’t, but rather it absorbed the soup and then sort of turned crispy. It sounded far too good to be true, and I knew I had to figure it out.

She gave me the recipe which was very in depth, and included making your own tomato mixture- it was hardly even a soup. This is not at all practical for 90% of people who enjoy grilled cheese, so I felt like it was my job to simplify it. Thankfully, it turned out to be a crowd-pleaser! Mind you, my “crowd” is aged 8, 2, and 1. But there was no complaining, OR leftovers, so it must be good, right?

The base for this is a pretty standard grilled cheese, but you want to make sure that you’re using a hearty bread that is going to stand up to the tomato soup.

I use Rustic Wheat bread from the Whole Foods bakery, but any kind of fresh bread with a thick crust should work. you also want to make sure it’s sliced relatively thick (think Texas Toast).

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Treat this the same way you would any old grilled cheese, starting with buttering what will be your outer sides. Line your casserole dish with the bottom pieces and get ready to add the cheese!

I use sliced Muenster because I like how gooey and stringy it gets, but you can use your preferred cheese. One piece is not enough, and two pieces is TOO much, so layer like so:

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One piece should be turned so it can melt over the edges, and the half piece goes right in the middle. Just put your other piece of bread right on top of there, butter side up.

Right over top of your sandwiches, pour your tomato soup making sure the bottom of the pan is covered, too. If the soup you have is pretty thick I would cook it first, but I was way too eager so I poured it right out of the box! There is no room for judgments here.

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I use this tomato bisque because it’s the kind that I would normally buy. Again, you can adjust the recipe to use your favorites.

Now, to give this “casserole” a little more pizzazz, you want to add more cheese right on top. I wanted to keep the flavor consistent, so I just cut up some of the leftover Muenster slices.

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If you prefer to buy shredded cheese or have some on hand, that’s fine. You just want it able to be sprinkled over top.

I also add some fresh basil to give it another layer of flavor and make it pretty.

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And there you have it, you’re ready to get baking!!

By the time it’s done, the soup is thick and bubbly, the tops of the grilled cheese have developed a slight buttery, tomato crust and the cheese is melted to perfection!

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And the inside?!

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So good.

The best part about this, is you honestly don’t even need a fork. I ate mine as if it were a regular sandwich because the soup bakes right into the bread.

The point of this is pretty much so that you don’t HAVE to dip it in soup, but the thick mixture in the bottom of the pan is too good not to!

Recipe

8 slices of bread

6 slices of Muenster cheese

2 cups tomato soup

1/4 cup shredded cheese

1/4 cup (roughly) of fresh basil

2 tbsp butter (for spreading on bread)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter the end sides of your bread, and place half of the slices in the bottom of your baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 slices of your cheese.

Put the rest of the bread on top of the other slices, butter side up. Pour your soup right over top of the sandwiches, making sure to coat the bottom of the pan.

Top with shredded cheese and basil. Bake for 20 minutes.

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