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This Slab Grilled Cheese Is The New Party Sub

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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.

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Slab Grilled Cheese
Slab Grilled Cheese

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.

Staub Fry Pan

Staub Fry Pan

From $99
Saltie's Focaccia

Saltie's Focaccia by Marian Bull

10 of Our Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Is It Lunchtime Yet?)

10 of Our Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Is It Lunchtime... by Ali Slagle

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Rectangular Domestic Wood Serving & Cutting Board

Rectangular Domestic Wood Serving & Cutting Board

$125

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.

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Slab Grilled Cheese

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Makes one 18 x 13-inch grilled cheese, enough for 8 to 10 sandwiches (or more, depending on size)
  • 1 large piece of focaccia, one that will fit snugly on an 18x13-inch baking sheet
  • 1 1/2 pounds Cheddar, or comparable, cheese
  • Crumbled bacon, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, or anything you'd put in a regular grilled cheese

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.