Smoked Salmon and Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich

SandwichGrilled Cheese SandwichSmoked Salmon

Toasty grilled Gruyere Swiss cheese sandwich with smoked salmon and Meyer lemon.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Many moons ago my friend Dennis Kercher shared with me his favorite grilled cheese sandwich – one with smoked salmon, Gruyere, and lemon confit made from preserved lemons. I finally got around to making this fabulous sandwich, but instead of using preserved lemons (most people don’t have those sitting around), I boiled Meyer lemon slices down in salted water. Very tasty, and a great way to use up any smoked salmon left over from a weekend brunch.

Smoked Salmon and Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches.


  • 1/2 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 slices French bread
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, sliced or shredded
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives
  • Butter


salmon-gruyere-sandwich-1.jpg salmon-gruyere-sandwich-2.jpg

1 In a small saucepan bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add a half teaspoon of salt. When the salt has dissolved, add the slices of lemon to the pan, layering them down flat in the pan. Let water boil away until it is almost all gone and there is just a thin syrup left in the pan. Do not stir while cooking. Remove from heat.

2 Heat a large cast iron pan on medium high heat. While the pan is heating, arrange the sandwiches (next step).

2 Lay out 4 slices of bread. On top of them layer slices of smoked salmon, cheese, and chives. Use a fork to lift the lemon slices out of the pan and add one large lemon slice to each sandwich. Top with a second layer of bread.

3 Butter the top bread slices generously with butter. Once the pan is hot, place the sandwiches in the pan, butter side down. Lower the heat to medium. Let cook for a few minutes until the bottom of the sandwiches are well toasted.

salmon-gruyere-sandwich-3.jpg salmon-gruyere-sandwich-4.jpg

4 Butter the top side of the sandwiches in the pan. Use a metal spatula to flip the sandwiches over. Press down on the sandwiches with the metal spatula. Let cook until the bottom of the sandwiches is nicely browned. If the cheese isn't melting, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and let cook for a few minutes more.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Smoked Salmon and Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!


Showing 4 of 11 Comments / Reviews

  • merd

    Man oh man!

    I did a slightly modified version… but it was delicious! I got a ‘whole clove artisan bread’ with a nice thick crust and almost sourdough-like interior and sliced it fairly thin considering this is a bread I would normallt rip a hunk off and dip in some olive oil. I also used a whipped sweet cream buttermilk butter. Last, when I saw the gruyere at the store, I was unimpressed with the selection at this particular chain, but as I got hungrier by the second decided on a nice soft Wisconsin white cheddar.

    These thinly sliced lemons in caramelized syrup are incredible and this sandwich is fantastic. I am glad I got the white cheddar because the flavors are still complex and all very mild at the same time. The garlic cloves get all toasty and blend delicately with the other flavors. I may make a second sandwich tonight… and may even try using a nice zesty pepper-jack sometime soon.

    I steamed some frozen french cut green beans and am having a double hopped microbrew IPA with this meal and can’t think of a better combination at the time. I know, I’m a geek. I don’t care. This is delicious! Muchas gracias!

  • Garrett

    Dear Lord, I still dream of that sammich. Seriously, we made this at home a month ago. It is the best grilled cheese ever. EVER.

  • Alyssa

    That sandwich looks so good! I can’t wait to try it. I don’t know if I can find Meyer lemons in my area, though. Can I substitute regular lemons?

    Try it and let us know how it works for you. ~Elise

  • Annie

    Do you take the lemon slices out of the sandwich before serving?

    No, you serve the sandwich with a slice of lemon in it. ~Elise

  • Todd

    Just curious.. What is the difference between a lemon and a ‘Meyer lemon’?

    A Meyer lemon is a cross between an orange and a regular lemon. They tend to be sweeter and their peels are mild. ~Elise

View More or Leave a Comment/Review
Smoked Salmon and Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich