This time of year I like to serve hot lunches to the kids to help warm them up a bit. After all, you need to file all of that running around in the crisp cool fall air. This year is unseasonably warm and everyone is spending much more time outside enjoying the nice weather and these grilled ham and cheese sandwiches are just plain perfect.
This sandwich is a great way to use up leftover ham for the holidays. If you are like me and cooked up more ham in the slow cooker then you likely need some ideas like this or these ham and cheese sliders.
The best ham for ham and grilled cheese sandwiches
While you can use deli ham for this and it will give you a great result I like to use leftover thin slices of leftover spiral sliced ham. This is a good bit thicker and more filling and a great way to save money because a whole ham is a lot cheaper than ham lunch meat around the holidays. I even grab a couple of extras when they are on sale to stock in the deep freezer for later.
What you need to make grilled cheese sandwiches with ham
To make your own ham and cheese sandwiches you need:
Ham (thin to medium-sliced ham works best)
Cheese (this will work with your favorite cheese. I prefer it with cheddar myself but that goes for just about everything. My kids prefer American Cheese)
How to make grilled ham and cheese sandwiches
Lay out the two slices of bread. If desired, spread a thin layer of mustard or mayonnaise on one or both slices for added flavor.
Place the slices of ham on one side of the bread, followed by the slices of cheese. You can fold the ham to fit neatly on the bread.
Place the second slice of bread on top, creating a ham and cheese sandwich.
Spread a thin layer of softened butter on the outer sides of the sandwich. This will give the bread a golden and crispy texture when grilled.
Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Make sure it’s hot before placing the sandwich on it.
Carefully place the sandwich in the hot skillet or griddle. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the bread is golden brown, and the cheese is melted.
If you have a panini press or a heavy skillet, you can press the sandwich down gently while grilling to achieve a flatter and more compact result. This step is optional.
Once the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, remove the sandwich from the pan. Allow it to cool for a moment before slicing it in half diagonally or straight across.
Serve your grilled ham and cheese sandwich warm, and enjoy it as is or with your favorite dipping sauce.
What to serve with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich
Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches pair well with a variety of sides. Here are some ideas to complement your sandwich and make a well-rounded meal:
Tomato Soup: The classic combination of grilled cheese and tomato soup is comforting and satisfying.
Chips or Fries: Serve your sandwich with a side of potato chips, French fries, or sweet potato fries for a crunchy contrast.
Pickles: Dill pickles or bread-and-butter pickles add a tangy and refreshing element to balance the richness of the sandwich.
Coleslaw: A light and crisp coleslaw can provide a refreshing crunch to accompany the savory sandwich.
Side Salad: A simple green salad with vinaigrette or your favorite dressing can add freshness to the meal.
Fresh Fruit: Sliced apples, grapes, or a fruit salad can offer a sweet and juicy contrast.
Vegetable Sticks with Dip: Carrot sticks, celery, and bell pepper strips served with hummus or ranch dressing make for a healthy and crunchy side.
Soup and Salad Combo: Pair your sandwich with a small side salad or a cup of your favorite soup for a lighter and more varied meal.
Roasted Vegetables: Seasoned and roasted vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, or bell peppers, can be a flavorful and nutritious side.
Pasta Salad: A cold pasta salad with veggies and Italian dressing can be a refreshing and satisfying side dish.
Fruit Salsa with Chips: Combine diced fruits like mango, pineapple, and strawberries with a bit of lime juice for a sweet and tangy salsa. Serve with tortilla chips.
Garlic Bread or Breadsticks: Add some extra carbs with garlic bread or breadsticks to complement the cheesy goodness of the sandwich.
Avocado or Guacamole: Sliced avocado or a side of guacamole adds a creamy and flavorful component to the meal.
Quinoa or Grain Salad: A cold quinoa or grain salad with colorful vegetables can be a nutritious and satisfying side dish.
Dipping Sauces: Serve the sandwiches with dipping sauces like ketchup, barbecue sauce, or aioli for an extra burst of flavor.
Feel free to mix and match these options based on your preferences and the occasion. Whether you’re looking for something light or more indulgent, these sides can enhance the overall dining experience with your grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.