Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Pear

Grilled cheese sandwich with French bread slices, bacon, pear, and sharp white cheddar cheese. Inspired by the Arlequin deli in San Francisco.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

A few months ago I had the pleasure of accompanying Amy of Cooking with Amy and Brett of In Praise of Sardines for a light bite to eat at the Arlequin deli in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. Amy highly recommended the grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and pear, and it was, true to Amy’s suggestion, fabulous. The sweet pear worked beautifully with the bacon and sharp cheddar. A great combination. Bartlett pears are just now finally making a show at the markets and I made these sandwiches for the family this week. We also tried them with ham, in place of the bacon. The bacon won. There is a debate here as to whether gruyere would do well in place of the cheddar. “No, no, no, it would overwhelm the pear.” We haven’t tried that combo yet, but if you do, please let us know how it goes.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Pear Recipe



  • French or Italian loaf bread, sliced
  • Bacon, cooked
  • Bartlett pear
  • Sharp white cheddar cheese (high quality)
  • Butter, softened and spreadable


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1. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Layer your sandwich - bread slice, cheese, pear slices, bacon, bread slice. Spread butter over the top of the sandwich. Place the sandwich top side down (butter side down) on the hot pan. Butter the exposed side of the sandwich. Let cook for a minute and then use a metal spatula to turn the sandwich over to its other side.

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2 While you are toasting the sandwich on the remaining side, press down on the sandwich with a spatula. Alternatively, you can mimic a panini press (albeit without the ridges) by heating a smaller cast iron pan on a separate burner. Use the weight of this pan to press down on the sandwich from above.

The sandwich is done when the sides are toasted and the cheese is melted. Cut in half and serve.

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Showing 4 of 30 Comments

  • Melissa

    This was fantastic! I lightly toasted the bread before grilling and I only had laughing cow spreadable swiss cheese wedges on hand, but this was still the perfect mix of flavor and texture. Will make again!

  • Madeline

    Oooh looks delicious! Just tonight, I did a grilled cheese with golden delicious apple, prosciutto, and smoked Swiss…it was amazing! Sweet, salty, and creamy!

  • CWagg

    I am the worst at commenting on recipes whether I like them or not, but this one clearly made an impression. Family LOVED it… :)

    Only one addition toward the end of eating – a swipe of mustard on top. Grainy Dijon was awesome! Thanks for the keeper.

  • Carol

    Oh, this sandwich is just heavenly. We had this last night alongside Elise’s gazpacho recipe. Made for a wonderful summer dinner.

  • A-Man

    The combination of bacon and pears is fabulous. Salty bacon underlined with the sweet pear…
    In case you have the ingredients at home a delicate dish…

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Pear