This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

French Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese…with crispy prosciutto and gouda cheese too. Giving the classic french onion grilled cheese an autumn twist and it is SO GOOD. Apple cider caramelized onions, layered between two slices of sourdough bread with crispy prosciutto, thinly sliced apples, creamy fontina, and sharp gouda cheese. This sandwich is pan-fried until the cheese is melty and the bread is crisp. It’s savory, sweet, a touch salty and the most perfect fall grilled cheese for just about any day of the week.

overhead photo of French Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese with 2 gilled cheese cut in half to expose the cheese

If there was ever a sandwich that screams fall, this is it.

I mean? Apples and gouda? Caramelized onions and crispy prosciutto? Fresh thyme and sage? It’s all of the best fall ingredients in a cheesy sandwich. I always hesitate to share sandwich recipes, solely because I have a very hard time photographing them. I don’t know what the deal is, but I really struggle to make sandwiches look delicious.

So when I set out to make this, I was a little nervous. And my first attempt at photos ended in remaking it a grand total of six times. Yes, six grilled cheese sandwiches in ONE day, it was a lot. By the end of the day, I was ready to give up on the recipe entirely. Even though this grilled cheese was delicious, I simply could not attempt to photograph it one more time.

But then, I got up the next morning and I knew I should give this one last try. And finally, I landed on some photos I felt looked “good enough” to share with you all. I can’t say these are my favorite set of photos, but this sandwich is way too good not share.

Sometimes all you need is a little sleep and a fresh set of eyes. Suddenly you have a whole new take on things.

overhead photo of caramelized onions in skillet

Thankfully all of my family is here for my brother’s wedding this weekend, so all the extra sandwiches were welcome.

And you can rest well tonight knowing that this grilled cheese recipe has been very well tested. You are welcome.

overhead prep photo of French onions being added to grilled cheese

Oddly, the inspiration behind this recipe came from two places. The first place would be my brain. I’ve been wanting to make a french onion grilled cheese for ages now. But I felt that waiting until fall to share such a hearty recipe would be best. The second source? My brother Red. As mentioned, all of my siblings are in town and Red was over at the studio the other day looking for lunch. Of course, I can never say the word no to him (even though I was in the middle of photographing). So I made him a grilled cheese sandwich. His request was simple, “can you put crispy prosciutto and red peppers in it”?.

Um, prosciutto in the grilled cheese? And crispy too? Well, yes, I can do that, and dang, that sounds gooood. I mean, right?

I made him his grilled cheese, then I made this grilled cheese, adding crispy prosciutto and apples to my original idea. Delicious. I knew I had to share…assuming I could get the photos to look just right.

overhead photo of French Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese before cooking

Let me get right to the details so you can go make this for lunch or dinner. Or maybe even a midnight snack while working late, or better yet, binging on your favorite Netflix show. This is that sandwich you can make at any time of day. It’s great with a side salad for dinner and best enjoyed hot, right off the stove.

As you might guess this recipe is pretty easy, though it’s a bit more time-intensive than your average grilled cheese. You do need to caramelize the onions, but it is so worth the effort.

So, let’s start with the onions. These are not your typical caramelized onion. Instead of caramelizing the onions in the traditional manner, with sugar, I like to use apple cider. The sweetness from the cider helps the onions take on a really deep golden color while also adding a nice spiced cider flavor. It’s kind of sweet, kind of savory, and kind of really good.

Hear me out. I know it may sound odd, but something about the savory onions and the sweet cider, together with fresh thyme and sage really works.

overhead photo of French Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese in skillet

While the onions are caramelizing, crisp up some thinly sliced prosciutto and start prepping the remaining ingredients. You will need honeycrisp apples (or your favorite variety), melty fontina cheese, and sharp and nutty gouda cheese. Of course, you can use any combo of cheese you love, but I find the sweetness and nuttiness of the gouda cheese pairs so well with the apples and onions.

Once the onions are done and the prosciutto is crisp, layer everything together between two slices of sourdough bread. Then simply pan fry with just a pat of butter and fresh sage leaves.

Five minutes later you’ll have the best adult grilled cheese. This french onion and apple grilled cheese is a touch sweet, salty, savory, nice and cheesy, and beyond words good. If you’re in need of a really good lunch or a simple dinner, make this. It’s a great way to use autumn apples in a savory way. Trust me, there’s nothing not to love about this grilled cheese.

overhead photo of French Onion and Apple Grilled Cheeses in cast iron skillet with 1 grilled cheese cut in half | #grilledcheese #frenchonion #easyrecipes #fall #autumn

PS. if you’re looking for an onion free option, try this equally delicious 3 Cheese Everything Spice Grilled Cheese.

If you make this french onion and apple grilled cheese be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

French Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 833 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and cook 3 minutes, until softened. Add half the apple cider, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking another 5 minutes, until the cider has mostly evaporated. Add the remaining cider and cook another 5 minutes or until the onions are golden and caramelized. Add the thyme, sage, and crushed red pepper, cook another minute. Remove from the heat.
    2. In a large skillet set over medium heat, cook the prosciutto until crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet.
    3. Brush the outside of each slice of bread with olive oil. On the inside of half of the slices of bread, evenly layer the cheeses, onion, apples, and prosciutto. Add the top piece of bread, olive oil side facing up.
    4. Place the sandwiches, 1-2 at a time, in the skillet and cook until golden on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. During the last minute of cooking, add 1/2 tablespoon butter and 2 sage leaves. Repeat with the remaining 2 sandwiches. Serve immediately, topping with the crispy sage. EAT and ENJOY.
View Recipe Comments
horizontal photo of French Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese in skillet

Add a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Hi Tieghan, I’m VERY much interested in making this grilled cheese recipe, but have a question for you. I am a vegetarian & don’t eat plant based processed meats. I’m wondering about a substitution for the prosciutto?

    Look forward to your response. Your recipe overall sounds wonderful. All the best, Anna Marie

    1. Hi there! Hmmm maybe some toasted nuts would be yummy? Or you could just omit it all together, I think it would be so yummy with the onions and apples! xT

  2. 4 stars
    These are delicious sandwiches, would also be good with pears.
    A word of caution, it will take WAY longer than the 13 minutes stated in the recipe to boil off the apple cider and caramelize the onions. Anticipate at least 45-60 min to appropriately make caramelized French onions and at least 60 min start to finish for this recipe.
    It is good and definitely with the effort.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Hi 😀 great recipe for our Meatless Monday dinner. I amp’d ‘er up with pumpkin/cranberry sourdough, cranberry port chutney, hint of cayenne pepper in the onions and voila…. delish (next time I will put a layer of cheese on the outside as well to increase the crunch factor.