Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on September 14, 2012

While it’s difficult to say what my favorite soup is…because I love soup. All kinds of soups. But at the top of the list is French Onion Soup. With a thick-ole slice of bread and topped with Swiss cheese. Nom.

I didn’t realize this would happen when I was making this sandwich, but turns out…it tastes just like French Onion Soup. Just less drippy :)

I don’t eat a lot of cheese, or dairy for that matter. Except when I’m pregnant. I listen very closely to my body and it’s cravings…and there are certain times that I just c.r.a.v.e cheese. Any and all kinds of varieties, typically in sliced form. I’m sure it’s because baby is having a little growth spurt and my body knows it needs extra calcium. So I listen, and I oblige.

A few weeks ago, I was craving cheese and decided to step it up by adding some caramelized onions. And a little Parmesan too.

This melty, gooey, delicious-ness hit. the. craving. on the head!

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Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Yield – 4 grilled cheese sandwiches

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 40 minutes; 30 minutes to caramelize the onions & 10 minutes for the grilled cheese


  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil ($.05)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar ($.05)
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar ($.01)
  • 1 large white onion, sliced ($.30)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened ($.20)
  • about 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese ($.50)
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese ($1.25)
  • 8 slices whole wheat bread ($.75)



  • In a skillet, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Add the sliced onions and heat them on low, stirring often, for 30 minutes to caramelize them.
  • While the onions are caramelizing, stir together the softened butter and Parmesan cheese. Spread the Parmesan butter on the insides of the bread. Butter the outsides of the bread for grilling.
  • Once the onions have caramelized, place them onto a plate and gently pat them dry. (You don’t want them to be too runny and make the bread soggy before grilling.)
  • Add a slice of Swiss cheese and some of the caramelized onions onto the buttered breads. Grill on a skillet or electric griddle. Flip carefully to prevent onions from sliding out!
  • Enjoy!

Cost $3.11 for the sandwiches

See more $5 Dinners Popular Recipes here

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jocelyn Pascall September 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Oh my – this is my kind of sandwich. I might have to have this for dinner now that I’ve seen this. I think I even have all of the ingredients!


Linda September 14, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Sounds yummy-A way to jazz up my favorite sandwich. Thanks!


Linda September 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Wow, that sounds wonderful, thanks for sharing!



Alea Milham September 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

These look amazing Erin! I am making these for lunch today using GF bread.


Christi K September 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Unfortunately, I am on a diet…but I halved the recipe and my daughter reports this is the best grilled cheese EVER.


Susan September 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it!


Susan September 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Sounds delicious! Have to try this tonight!


Lisa @ A Little Slice of Life September 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Yum! I’m drooling. I guess it’s off to the store for some swiss cheese.


Chris Thomas September 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I like the addition of the Parmesan cheese. I’ll have to try that.
I usually kick these up a notch by rendering slices of fairly thick sliced bacon. I then caramelize the onions in the bacon fat, add the bacon and caramelized onions to the sandwich and throw them into the Panini press. I know, it’s evil.


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