The foods of fall are enticing: apples from the orchard, varieties of winter squash, colorful root vegetables, and the comforting tastes of Thanksgiving. We often think of including them on the dinner menu, but these autumn ingredients can also contribute unexpected flavors, interesting textures, and beautiful hues to your favorite sandwich, especially grilled cheese.
01 of 12
This biscuit sandwich is stacked high with a crispy boneless fried pork chop, melted sharp cheddar cheese, and sweet spiced apples. Creole seasoning gives the pork a bit of Southern flavor while cinnamon adds a nice touch of warmth to the sauteed apples. The toasted buttermilk biscuit and gooey cheese bring the sandwich together in warm, melted goodness.
02 of 12
Grab the Thanksgiving leftovers and make this turkey, cranberry, and brie sandwich with thick slices of roasted turkey breast, sweet and tart cranberry jam, fresh spinach, and rich and creamy brie between two beautiful pieces of white bread. Of course, you can substitute leftover cranberry sauce for the jam.
03 of 12
This ham and brie grilled cheese with caramelized onion and apple spread is perfect to pack for a weekend leaf-peeping trip or to simply enjoy while watching Sunday football at home. The recipe calls for store-bought onion/apple spread, but you can make your own by adding chopped apple to an onion jam recipe. Once assembled, the sandwich can be grilled in a pan or panini press.
04 of 12
There's nothing quite like bacon jam, and it is what makes this sandwich so special. The jam's sweet and salty goodness comes from slowly rendering bacon and then cooking it down with brown sugar, caramelized onions, and red wine vinegar until a thick and chunky jam develops. Rosemary focaccia bread is spread with the bacon jam and layered with seared Brussels sprouts and ricotta cheese before being toasted on the stove until golden brown.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
05 of 12
This satisfying vegetarian sandwich provides tons of flavor, color, and wonderful meaty texture due to the sauteed mushrooms and roasted beets. Goat cheese pairs beautifully with the vegetables, offering a tangy taste and creamy finish. Assemble the sandwich and toast in a panini press.
06 of 12
Apple picking is fun, but sometimes we're left with more apples than we know what to do with. Making apple butter is a great way to use up some of the bounty, and is not only delicious on toast but also a flavorful spread for sandwiches. This sandwich combines the sweet apple butter with spicy pepper jack cheese in a buttery croissant. The whole thing becomes gooey and crisp in a panini press. It’s an excellent little treat that pairs nicely with a glass of acidic sauvignon blanc.
07 of 12
Bright orange butternut squash just says fall, and when added to this veggie sandwich it makes for a colorful and filling meatless lunch. Toasted multigrain bread is filled with creamy avocado, pickled beets, sprouts, and a homemade tangy cilantro and chive yogurt spread. The recipe calls for roasting the squash, but this sandwich is ideal if you have leftover butternut squash from last night's dinner.
08 of 12
Change up the traditional Cubano by replacing the roasted pork with leftover roasted turkey and swapping out the mayo for cranberry jam. These Thanksgiving staples are layered with Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and honey baked ham on Cuban bread. The high-piled creation is then wrapped in foil, weighted down, and baked until warm and toasted.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
09 of 12
Ricotta, stewed sweet potatoes, a hot honey grilled cheese is packed with flavor. Sweet potatoes are cooked along with onion into a stew-like consistency and then layered on multigrain bread with spicy honey and smoked ricotta cheese. The sandwich is buttered and grilled until crispy and golden brown.
10 of 12
This hearty grilled cheese sandwich with sausage and kale is a satisfying meal by itself. The spicy sausage is a perfect counterpoint to the citrusy kale and sweet caramelized onions. A slightly tart Wisconsin kasseri cheese melts beautifully between the pieces of buttered hearty white bread when grilled.
11 of 12
Make delicious use of many of your Thanksgiving leftovers—including remnants of the cheese platter and unbaked dinner rolls—with this fun appetizer, snack, or light lunch. Parkerhouse yeast rolls are spread with sweet hot mustard and whole berry cranberry jelly, layered with smoked gouda cheese, and baked until puffy, melted, and golden.
12 of 12
This simple, yet decadent bacon and butternut squash grilled cheese is a sweet and savory sandwich that highlights the beautiful flavors of autumn. The rich taste comes from the fact that the onions and squash are cooked in the bacon fat, along with some brown sugar, creating a savory and caramelized finish. This mixture is layered along with shredded gouda and crispy bacon on sourdough bread and then grilled in a cast-iron skillet or panini press.