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Kimchi Grilled Cheese…the slightly grown-up version of everyone’s favorite childhood sandwich. Spicy kimchi, sharp cheddar cheese, and fresh basil, all sandwiched together between two slices of sesame (garlic) buttered sourdough bread. Pan cooked and finished off with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and fresh chives. It might seem like an odd grilled cheese, but trust me, everything about this sandwich is SO GOOD. Think spicy veggies + melted cheese + buttery sourdough bread. Easy to make for lunch or dinner any day of the week.

overhead photo of Kimchi Grilled Cheese with knife on plate

Welcome back and hello to summertime, right?

Ahh, kind of, but not really…

After a long weekend with a mix of sun and clouds, but not a lot of warmth, I’m really hoping for sunnier skies. Looks like I will have to wait until at least the end of the week, as there is still snow in the forecast for today and tomorrow. Not going to lie, if the weather continues on the way it is, I may need to book an impromptu trip outta town. OMG, if it does not warm up around here I just may lose it. At least I will have some fun days back in the kitchen this week.

Fun question for you, if I high tail it out of Colorado this week, where is the BEST place to go this time year?

Kimchi in glass jar

Anyway, I’ve had this sandwich in the back of my head for months now. After hesitating for so long, I finally worked up the courage to share it. Lately I’ve been second guessing every single move I make, and over thinking absolutely everything. It’s been driving me slightly insane and making my brain hurt. So this weekend I gave up and decided to give myself a break. I’m kicking off the week with a new mindset, “go with your first thought and don’t think twice”.

We shall see how long this new mindset lasts for me. But the bottom line is that I really want to share this grilled cheese, and I felt like today is the perfect day. We’re coming off a long holiday weekend, probably feeling a little tired, and looking for an easy lunch or dinner. Am I right?

Grilled cheese is the ultimate easy meal. This kimchi grilled cheese is really just the grown-up version of the grilled cheese sandwich we ate as kids. And while I will not say it’s better, because a classic grilled cheese is also so GOOD. I will say that it’s incredibly delicious, and definitely what you need to be making today.

uncooked Kimchi Grilled Cheese before being cooking

As you can imagine, this is the easiest recipe to create. It takes maybe 15-20 minutes total, requires little to no chopping, and uses just one skillet. Hey, it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, we’re not getting too fancy here, just keeping things good.

Of course, I added some flavor, texture, and color. I mean, it’s me, I hope you would expect nothing less.

First up, let’s talk about this bread. You should use a nice crusty sourdough. No flimsy white bread here, use something good with a nice flavor. Then slather the bread with some garlicky sesame butter. Aka salty butter with a touch of garlic and raw sesame seeds. If you don’t like garlic, no worries, leave it out. But keep the sesame seeds, they toast up as the sandwich cooks in the skillet, and my gosh, they’re delicious.

Now, layer in some cheese. I like a mix of cheddar and fontina. Cheddar is sharp and has good flavor, while fontina is mellow and melts beautifully.

overhead close up photo of Kimchi Grilled Cheese

Onto the kimchi. I love Mother in Law’s Kimichi (which I get from Whole Foods). It’s the best I’ve come across, AND this is coming from someone who does not love kimichi. Wait, what? Yes, I don’t really enjoy kimichi…at least not on its own. I can find it to be a bit too intense to enjoy as is. But when sandwiched between cheese and bread…

Very much my preferred way to enjoy kimichi!

Finally, pan cook each sandwich and finish with flaky sea salt and chives. SO EASY. SO GOOD. It’s a touchy spicy, cheesy, loaded with vegetables, fresh basil, and has just the tiniest hints of garlic and salt.

overhead photo of Kimchi Grilled Cheese with sandwich broken in half to expose the cheese

I’m telling you, something about this time of year just makes me want to recreate all the foods of my childhood, but in a grown-up way. So far this year I’ve done chicken fingers, quesadillas, pizza, pasta salad, doughnuts, and peanut butter cup bars. All the foods I loved growing up, especially during the summertime.

And I realize that some of you may find this grilled cheese odd, but if you think about it, it’s just vegetables, cheese, and bread. So nothing that crazy or out of the norm, right? Yes, very normal, very good, and the best part? It’s incredibly easy. Meaning this grilled cheese should be lunch or dinner today.

It’s the obvious choice for the Tuesday following a long weekend. Grilled cheese makes life better!

overhead photo of Kimchi Grilled Cheese with half of the sandwich missing

If you make this kimchi 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!

Watch The How To Video:

Sesame Butter Kimchi Grilled Cheese

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 519 kcal

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



  • 1. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, sesame seeds, and garlic.
    2. Spread the outside of each slice of bread with sesame garlic butter. On the inside of half of the slices of bread, spread with Gochujang, then evenly layer the cheeses, kimchi, and basil. Add the top piece of bread, buttered side facing up.
    3. Place the sandwiches, one at a time, in the skillet and cook until golden on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. Serve topped with chives, honey, and sea salt. 
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  1. HEY! i was just wondering if you have a specific brand of sourdough bread you like to use! i can’t wait to try this recipe with my homemade kimchi!

    1. Hey Noeli,
      I like to use the Whole Foods sourdough bread that they make in house:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT

  2. This recipe was amazing! I love your recipes, I have made a ton of them and have not been disappointed yet! They are relatively easy to cook, but the taste is on another level!
    This sandwich is something I would have never thought to do and it was a knock out. Loved the different levels of flavors.

    1. Hey Meg,
      Happy Sunday!! I appreciate you giving this recipe a try and sharing your review, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan, I live in Australia and I don’t recall exactly how I stumbled across Halfbaked Harvest. I have tried a few recipes and when a friend gifted me some kimchi I knew where to look for inspiration. Kimchi Grilled Cheese was amazing. I will purchase your new book. I wish you and your family every happiness!

    1. Hey Tracey,
      Happy Sunday! Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback!! Love to hear that it was a winner:) Thanks for your kind message! xxT

  4. 5 stars
    do you have a recommendation for Kimchi ? I want to try this but Ive never purchased Kimchi before? I use the Korean paste all the time , any recipe with it is always a hit!

    1. Nevermind I see the brand in the above reading , mother in laws at Whole Foods, than you! will be giving this a try !