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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.

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  • 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.
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horizontal photo of French Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese in skillet

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  1. 4 stars
    Thanks for the recipe, I tried it today and think I probably put too many onions on because it was very tart/acidic. Flavors were good overall without so much apple cider vinegar taste but I think I put too many onions on, or maybe didn’t cook them down enough.

    1. Oh after reading other comments I see that the recipe says apple cider not apple cider vinegar. Wow that would make a difference. I don’t think I would like it in apple cider, but I think actually using about 1/4 apple cider vinegar and the rest water would actually give it a very good flavor, a little acid helps add some zing, it just had too much.

    2. Hey Adam,
      Wonderful!!🎄 I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review! The recipe calls for apple cider, not vinegar:) xx

  2. 5 stars
    Hands down my favorite grilled cheese ever. I hesitate to call it “light” since it’s grilled cheese, but somehow the apple made all the difference! And using shredded cheese rather than slices is so simple but really helped with the melting without over grilling the bread. I made mine without the prosciutto but I added to my husbands, we both loved them.

    I served this with a fall salad and it was a delicious and easy dinner.

    Thanks for another winner!! This will be made again many times this fall. I can hardly wait till my step son comes home from college – he is going to need two!

    1. Hey Kristen,
      I truly appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xx

  3. Delish!!!! The combo of the cheeses and the onions are made sweeter by adding the apple cider and savory by adding the thyme and sage. I’m already craving these sandwiches again. Took me longer to carmalize onions than recipe stated, but it always does for me:). I also just bought a slicer, so onions and apples were sliced very thin..will make many more times!

  4. I will refrain from four letter words here bc this is a family space but this recipe deserves them all. It was insane. I followed another comment’s suggestion and made a fall flavored squash soup for the side. Legit a bistro in my home.

  5. I made this last night for dinner as I wanted to use some apples that we had just picked that day. Oh. My. Gosh. This is the perfect fall dinner! The onions in the apple cider were to die for and cooking them with the herbs gave them all of the fall flavor. The combo of all of the flavors was insane. This recipe is a must try! Already dreaming of eating it again! Thanks Tieghan!

  6. 5 stars
    I have made this several times and I love it. I usually have all ingredients on hand, which makes it simple and easy. This is says comfort food in every bite. I like a mix of white cheddar and gruyere. I would love to see more fancy grilled cheese. This was a complete meal for me and so simple.

  7. 3 stars
    I love your recipes and I’m always excited to try them but I have to say that this one was too sour for my taste. I think that’s too much vinegar for 2 onions. I had to add some sugar to balance the flavors. I also sautéed the apple slices in a little bit of butter to soften and caramelize them and it was perfect for us.

    1. Hey Gloria,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, so sorry you didn’t enjoy. Please let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

  8. Amazing!!! This recipe is outstanding!! Never eat another grill cheese without these special ingredients ?

    1. Hey Colleen,
      Happy Friday!! I am thrilled that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it!! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    We tried this and it was super super delicious!!! Had to change the prosciutto with beef bacon because it isn’t halal here and it was simply WOW.

    1. Hey Aisha,
      I really appreciate you giving this recipe a try, I am thrilled that it was enjoyed! xxTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    Just finished devouring this and OMG is this thing delish! The perfect sweet to savory ratio between the onions and herby/buttery sourdough. We used smoked Gouda and found that to be pretty tasty!

    1. Hey Lindsey,
      Awesome! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

  11. This might be a silly question but can you tell me exactly how much cheese per sandwich? I’ll only be making one sandwich at a time. Also, any tips for how to flip these without some ingredients falling out?

    1. Hey Kimberly,
      Just add as much cheese as you would like, I use a very large spatula for flipping. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    Made this in the air fryer, about 3-4 minutes each side at about 400. Was really crispy (which I prefer), but maybe reduce a little if that’s not your thing. It was delicious and will definitely be making again!