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Sauerkraut grilled cheese with dijon is a tangled hot mess of happiness and balanced flavor. It feels a little elevated but is super low-maintenance and easy to make. Don’t miss it.

sauerkraut grilled cheese with dijon on a plate
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Why we love this recipe

Sauerkraut grilled cheese with dijon strikes the perfect balance. One hundred percent creamy, tangy, crispy, gooey, gently elevated flavors and textures, with virtually zero fuss. Made exclusively from ingredients that are easy to keep on hand, it sports:

  • A gorgeous tangle of tangy fermented cabbage
  • The bold flavor of aged cheddar
  • Creamy, gooey American cheese
  • Crisp grilled rye or sourdough
  • A total timeline of about 10 minutes, from idea to first bite

I first published this recipe here back in 2015. I’ve since updated the post for clarity, but the recipe remains the same.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Extra-sharp cheddar melts well but still packs a super-savory, creamy punch. You can slice it thinly or shred it on the large holes of a box grater.
  • American cheese is an underrated element of higher-end grilled cheeses. I use a fancy organic version, but you don’t have to. It melts like a dream and really ties the other elements together.
  • Any good Jewish-style rye bread or sourdough bread will work well.
  • Sauerkraut is finely cut raw cabbage that’s been fermented. It’s worth seeking out a good-quality brand in the refrigerator section of the supermarket, or even at the farmers’ market or specialty pickle shop.
  • Here and virtually everywhere, I start with a cultured, salted butter from grass-fed cows. This sounds fancy but doesn’t have to be. Kerrygold, for example, is sold in most supermarkets at a reasonable price.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a gorgeous sauerkraut grilled cheese. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Spread dijon over the inside face of each slice of bread.
  2. Layer the cheeses evenly onto the bread, followed by a layer of sauerkraut in the middle.
  3. Butter both slices of bread and cook, controlling the heat, until underside is golden and cheese is beginning to melt.
  4. Flip once and continue cooking until golden and melty. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I substitute different cheeses?

Sure thing. Any cheese or combination of cheeses that melts well and has an interesting flavor profile will work just fine.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

I really try to say yes to this question — but no. Grilled cheese is quick and easy to make, and is very much at its best right after cooking.

More favorite hot sandwiches

sauerkraut grilled cheese with dijon in a hand

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sauerkraut grilled cheese with dijon in a hand
4.58 from 38 votes

Sauerkraut Grilled Cheese with and Dijon

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This is my current favorite grilled cheese, with a high satisfaction to effort ratio. Some extra-special grilled cheeses make kind of a pain in the butt out of what's supposed to be an easy meal (and hey, I cook those sometimes too). But this one has all the panache and minimal fuss. Here's how to make it.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 2 slices good seeded rye or sourdough bread
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) dijon mustard, give or take
  • 2 slices (40 grams) organic American cheese
  • 1 ounce (28 grams) extra-sharp cheddar cheese, sliced thin
  • cup (37 grams) sauerkraut, drained very well
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (21 grams) salted butter, softened

Instructions 

  • Spread half mustard on the inside of each slice of bread.
  • Arrange one slice of American and half the cheddar in a single layer on each slice of bread, making sure to distribute the cheddar like a cheese boss who gets what she wants out of every bite.
  • Lay the sauerkraut on the bottom slice and top with the top slice.
  • Spread half the butter over the outside of the top slice of bread.
  • Place the sandwich buttered side down in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Spread the outside of the top slice with the remaining butter.
  • Cook, adjusting heat as necessary, until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, flipping once halfway through.
  • Cut and serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Any cheese or combination of cheeses that melts well and has an interesting flavor profile will work just fine.
  2. Grilled cheese is quick and easy to make, and is very much at its best right after cooking. I don’t recommend making this recipe in advance.

Nutrition

Calories: 513kcal, Carbohydrates: 39.1g, Protein: 17.5g, Fat: 29.7g, Fiber: 5.9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sandwiches
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.58 from 38 votes (38 ratings without comment)

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12 Comments

  1. I’ve made these several times and they are always delicious. My latest tweak is to add a spread of refried beans to the bread which ups the protein and fiber a bit and gives it the sandwich a nice texture. Pair this sammie with some hommade tomato soup and you will not be sorry…

  2. OMG. I had way too much sauerkraut lying around that I was desperate to use in a more creative way. Made this with homemade fermented carrot wholegrain sourdough bread (what a mouthful) and Jarlsberg. Amazing! Thank you for the idea.

  3. Love doing it with Emmental, with a little caramelized ooze in the skillet. Using the heavily seeded, chewy-crusted rye from the Jewish bakeries where I grew up are just pure heaven!

  4. Sauerkraut + cheese, kimchi + cheese…these things are total winners in my book. Love the addition of mustard on this. Your photos are awesome!