Ciabatta Roll Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese

This is the only garlic bread grilled cheese you’ll ever need. Thick halves of ciabatta rolls are turned wrong-side up and slathered with a roasted garlic butter loaded with parmesan. Follow these tried and true grilled cheese sandwich techniques and get ready to devour one of the crispiest, cheesiest grilled cheese sandwiches of your life.

Grilled garlic bread cheese sandwiches on wooden board with cheese pull.
A cast iron skillet and upside down ciabatta rolls team up for an amazing garlic bread grilled cheese.

One family vacation, we went skiing in Park City. I’m not a big skier but I do love all the hoopla around it. Especially the après-ski. I still have the taste memory of the best grilled sandwich I’ve ever eaten. And the way it was made it stuck with me forever.

Shopping at Costco to survey the cheese scene for this post, I saw the ciabatta rolls and immediately knew this garlic bread grilled cheese recipe was the perfect candidate for it.

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Wrong side up grilled cheese

The perfect chance to turn grilled cheese on its head.

Get ready —because we are going to butter the inside of the ciabatta roll and flip it so the outside of the sandwich is really the inside.

Trust me, it makes such a difference. The outside is crispy but the inside has kind of a melty crunch that is soooo. darn. good.

Other yummy sandwich recipes like this you’ll ♥️: parmesan grilled cheese, chicken ciabatta sandwich, and pancetta BLT. Or give my brie and fig jam grilled sandwich…so good!

Gather the ingredients

We’ll make from scratch, homemade garlic bread, flip it and grill it, stuffed with cheese.

Wooden board with ciabatta rolls, garlic, fresh mozzarella and butter for grilled garlic cheese sandwiches.
Parmesan, Gouda, Jarlsberg and fresh mozzarella make the best grilled cheese.

Here’s what you’ll need to do it:

  • Ciabatta rolls. I love the ones at Costco. Trader Joe’s has a good version too.
  • Roasted garlic. Start with this easy technique for foolproof roasted garlic.
  • Parmesan cheese. Fresh grated. No cans.
  • Unsalted butter. You can use salted if that’s what’s available.
  • The perfect cheese combo:
  • A blend of fresh mozzarella, Jarlsberg and gouda for the best cheese pull
  • Ground black pepper. My husband’s grilled cheese secret weapon that adds a great little bite.

Tip

Essential grilled cheese tools

Cast iron skillet. The ultimate non-stick pan, a cast iron skillet conducts heat evenly without sticking to toast the sandwich and melt the cheese perfectly.

A lid wide enough to cover the skillet.

Step by step

Yield. This recipe makes enough for two garlic bread grilled cheese sandwiches

Make the garlic bread spread

This spread for garlic bread is the same one used in my quick and easy ciabatta garlic bread recipe.

  • Timing. 1 hour before you want to eat.
  • Make ahead. Yes! You can roast the garlic and make the whole spread up to 3 days ahead.
Mixing roasted garlic into butter for garlic bread grilled cheese.
Mash roasted garlic into softened, unsalted butter.
Parmesan and pepper in garlic butter in white bowl with fork.
Pile in plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, oregano and seasoning.
  1. Trim the top of a head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and wrap in foil. Place in a small baking dish and roast for 30 minutes at 400˚. Check out my roasted garlic post for more intel.
  2. After the garlic has cooled, squeeze out the cloves into a bowl and mash into the softened butter with a fork.
  3. Mash in parmesan, oregano and salt and pepper until completely incorporated.

Assemble and grill the sandwiches

Spreading butter on ciabatta for grilled cheese.
Spread the garlic butter on the crumb side of the rolls.
Open faced ciabatta rolls topped with grated cheese and torn fresh mozzarella.
Sprinkle on a healthy amount of cheese plus torn mozzarella. Grind black pepper over top.
  1. Open the ciabatta rolls carefully or slice with a serrated knife. Spread half of the roasted garlic spread on the crumb side of each half of a ciabatta roll. Repeat with the other roll.
  2. Flip the buttered sides down on to a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle the grated cheeses on what is essentially the tops of the rolls. Push down lightly to compress the cheese a bit. Top with the other side (inside out).

Pro tip

A few twists of the pepper grinder over the cheeses before grilling the sandwich adds a little warmth and spice.


Uncooked tops of garlic bread grilled cheese sandwiches in cast iron skillet.
Spatula flattening ciabatta grilled cheese sandwiches in cast iron skillet.
Cast iron skillet with two garlic bread grilled cheese sandwiches.
You just made the best garlic bread grilled cheese sandwich.
  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the skillet side by side leaving room between. Set a timer for 2 minutes and flip once golden brown.
  2. Press down the sandwiches with a flat spatula to help achieve a crispy exterior and for the inside to melt evenly.
  3. Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat to medium low. After 2 more minutes or so, check and see if the inside of the sandwich is melted. If not, flip again and repeat.

Recipe notes

Here are a few hints for grilled sandwich success every time!

Close up of toasted grilled cheese sandwiches with a cheese pull on a wooden board.

Make sure to spread the garlic butter all the way to the edges.

If your ciabatta rolls are especially fluffy, pull out some of the insides before buttering.

To test if the skillet is hot enough, tap the top edge of the pan, If it’s warm, it’s ready!

Storage and reheat

  • Refrigerate leftovers wrapped in parchment and then plastic so the sandwich doesn’t get too soft.
  • Reheat any leftovers covered in a dry skillet over medium low heat until warmed through.

Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!


Close up of toasted grilled cheese sandwiches with a cheese pull on a wooden board.
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Ciabatta Roll Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese

This is the only garlic bread grilled cheese you'll ever need. Thick halves of ciabatta rolls are turned wrong-side up and slathered with a roasted garlic butter loaded with parmesan. Follow these tried and true grilled cheese sandwich techniques and get ready to devour one of the crispiest, cheesiest grilled cheese sandwiches of your life.
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:5 minutes
Total Time:10 minutes
Servings 2 sandwiches

Ingredients
 

For garlic bread spread

For grilled cheese

  • 1-2 slices fresh mozzarella
  • ½ cup grated Gouda cheese
  • ½ cup grated Jarlsberg or Fontina cheese
  • 2 ciabatta rolls

Instructions

  • Trim the top of a head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and wrap in foil. Place in a small baking dish and roast for 30 minutes at 400˚.
    1 head garlic, olive oil
  • After the garlic has cooled, squeeze out the cloves into a bowl and mash into the softened butter with a fork.
    ½ cup unsalted butter
  • Mash in parmesan, oregano salt and pepper until completely incorporated.
    ½ cup parmesan cheese, ½ tsp oregano, ½ tsp kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, fresh parsley
  • Open the ciabatta rolls carefully or slice with a serrated knife. Spread half of the roasted garlic spread on the inside of each halve of one ciabatta roll. Repeat with the other.
    2 ciabatta rolls
  • Flip the buttered sides down on to a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle the grated cheeses on what is essentially the tops of the rolls. Push down lightly to compress the cheese a bit. Grind some black pepper over top and top with the other side (inside out).
    1-2 slices fresh mozzarella, ½ cup grated Gouda cheese, ½ cup grated Jarlsberg or Fontina cheese
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the skillet side by side leaving room between. Set a timer for 2 minutes and flip once golden brown.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat to medium low. After 2 more minutes or so, check and see if the inside of the sandwich is melted. If not, flip again and repeat.
  • Press down the sandwiches with a flat spatula to help achieve a crispy exterior and for the inside to melt evenly.
Course: Lunch, Sandwiches
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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