Game Day

This Slab Grilled Cheese Is The New Party Sub

February  4, 2016

We paired up with Cabot Creamery to share a large-format grilled cheese recipe that you and yours (and maybe 10 others) can snag a piece from.

Grilled cheese is a sufficient meal for one, yes—more than satisfying even, straight off the pan, all crisp-crunchy from a little butter (or mayo!) and pull-apart gooey. It pangs right in the nostalgia-gut when you want to trade the very adult, decently thought-out meal for the quick, the handheld, and the make-it-with-your-eyes-closed. The next best thing to making one for yourself? No, no, other than slapping together a second one for yourself. There it is: Making one, in a snap, for everyone at your house for a cozy Saturday night in, or a Sunday afternoon game-watching party.

But what, you don't want to make individual grilled cheeses for 20 people? Even when you know it will tickle them cheesy? Well, at least we're on the same page. Because when you've got a crowd to feed and only a smattering of small pans, or a limited supply of butter, it's time to turn to the oven for backup. During one recent recipe brainstorm or another, Amanda realized the possibilities of thinking of grilled cheese in relationship to slab pie, and after we picked our mouths up off the floor, you can guess what happened next. Our sheet pans were at the ready.

Instead of putting together a puzzle of bread slices on the bottom of a pan, bypass the chance of leaking cheese by laying down a plump, rectangular loaf of focaccia, slicing it in half, and sprinkling on a thick layer of cheese (we used white Cheddar for ours). Take a final pass at the innards with some crumbled bacon, or sundried tomatoes, or your favorite pesto. And if you're worried about the whole thing getting an even bake, don't: Just set a pan down on it. Or two. Cast iron is a good option.

And one of the best things about this serves-all grilled cheese is that you don't even need butter or oil to get it going—the olive oil in the focaccia provides everything it needs for the sandwich to get a good crunch on the outside.

And here's a visual step-by-step to save for later:

Photo by James Ransom

We paired up with Cabot Creamery—the Vermont-based, farmer-owned cooperative that's been making cheddar for 97 years—to share a slab grilled cheese that'll pep up any get together. Get more of their recipes here.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I love oysters and unfussy sandwiches.


Kathleen T. February 1, 2017
Would you put another same size pan on top? So it still browns on top with a weighted pan? If Ibused a cast iron skillet seems very heavy and would not cover entire top so uneven browning on top? Help please.
Susan J. February 14, 2016
I'm a caterer and can see the possibilities! Thank you!
[email protected] February 6, 2016
Oh yeah I love Cabot! And the dairy at the top Baldwin Hill in North Egremont, MA. is part of the coop. Love seeing a Cabot farmer on my neighborhood walk every day. Grilled Cheese...Gonzo Style...Food 52...Love you!
CampCook February 6, 2016
Guys don't say "yummy". If someone exclaims one of my camp meals to be "yummy", they do the dishes.....alone......for the rest of camp......every year. Most of us hate the word but here's the thing. When we eat something that is totally incredible, we normally make some undiscernable grunt and perhaps utter somthing totally incomprehensible. After eating this grilled slab of heaven....."ohmifgawldisthsincreedilbfel!"
kumalavula February 4, 2016
the simplicity of this is g-e-n-i-u-s!
CentralCoastContessa February 4, 2016
Can you reheat if you take it to a party?
Samantha W. February 5, 2016
Since this takes less than 10 minutes to bake, I'd recommend just bringing the ingredients along and making wherever you're headed to. If you are definitely reheating, you could pop it back in the oven at a lower temperature for a longer time to get things crispy again.
Connor B. February 4, 2016
Changed my life tbh.
Liz D. February 4, 2016
Ooh! Sounds perfect for the Superbowl party. :D
laurenlocally February 4, 2016
I just not-so-discreetly sent this to my superbowl party host.
Riddley G. February 4, 2016
All I can say is, "whoa."
MattArmendariz February 4, 2016
Samantha W. February 5, 2016
There may or may not have been grilled cheese cheers after this came out of the oven in the test kitchen.