This gourmet grilled cheese sandwich combines salty ham with sweet pears and a creamy havarti. It’s the perfect combination to kick your lunch game up a few notches.
I know some of you are thinking this barely qualifies as a recipe because it’s so simple, but sometimes we need those simple ideas to push us to try something new. And this is something you are going to want to try!
It’s so easy to customize but it starts with the basic concept of cheese, ham, fruit and mustard. The perfect combination of creamy, salty, sweet and tangy.
Since I was a little kid, I’ve found it hard to pass up a grilled cheese sandwich. But as an adult, I’ve tried to make them a little more gourmet by adding avocado slices, raspberry jam, bacon, spinach and more depending on what I have in the fridge that day.
But this combo of pears and ham is one I come back to time and again, year after year. It’s just so good together!
How to Make a Ham and Pear Grilled Cheese Sandwich
I’m going to break this down for you step and by step to show you all the options you have when it comes to this sandwich. But trust me that you can mix and match based on what you have and if you keep all the essential components (salty, sweet, creamy, tangy), it will come out great!
Cheese: Of course we have to start here because cheese is the most essential part of any grilled cheese sandwich just by virtue of it’s name! For this sandwich, I used sliced Havarti. I love how creamy it is without being an overpowering taste. You can also use brie, Swiss, cheddar or any of your other favorite cheeses.
Ham: For the salty ingredient, I will pretty much always choose a honey ham. I love it chipped rather than slice, but that’s just a personal preference. You can use smoked turkey breast or bacon, though, if you’d prefer that over ham.
Pears: I find that the best pears for cooking are Bosc. They are tender and juicy but they hold their shape really well at the same time. You can also use Anjou pears for cooking. I always peel my pears first, but there’s no issue if you want to leave the skin on. And you’ll save time as well! Make sure to slice your pears really thin so they blend in with the other ingredients rather than being a giant piece of fruit that you have to crunch through every time you take a bite. You can double up the layer of pears as long as you slice then thinly enough.
Mustard: I love a creamy dijon mustard, but my husband prefers a stoneground mustard. Whichever you choose to use, you don’t need a lot to still get the tangy flavor. A little goes a long way and you don’t want to overpower the other ingredients.
Bread: I like a thick, substantial bread for this so it doesn’t get flimsy. It can be a little hard to flip the sandwich halfway through cooking if you use a spongy, white bread. I prefer a sourdough or thick white bread.
Cooking Method: I have a Nordicware grill pan that I use right on my stovetop. It’s cast iron so it distributes the heat evenly and gives you those gorgeous grill lines. You can easily make this in a regular skillet, though. It would also be great in a panini press.
To Make Your Sandwich
Preheat your griddle over medium heat while you assemble your sandwich.
Lay two slices of bread on the work surface and top with sliced cheese, add thinly sliced pears on top of cheese and then top with ham.
Spread a thin layer of mustard on your top piece of bread and place on top of ham.
I like to butter my griddle, but you can also butter your bread if you prefer.
Grill until golden brown and then flip over and grill the other side of your sandwich.
Grilled Ham, Pear and Cheese Sandwich
- 4 slices Bread
- 4 slices Havarti Cheese
- 4 oz Ham chipped
- 1 Pear sliced thinly
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- Preheat pan to medium heat.
- Butter outside of bread slices.
- With butter side down, layer sliced cheese, sliced pears and ham on top of two slices of bread.
- Spread dijon mustard over top pieces of bread and put mustard side down on top of the ham.
- Grill until golden brown and then flip and repeat on other side. Enjoy immediately!
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