Raclette grilled cheese is an easy way to take your grilled cheese sandwich up a level with this bougie, melty cheese from Switzerland.
You can make a plain Raclette grilled cheese with just the raclette cheese and some high-quality white bread. Or you can take your grilled cheese up even one more level by adding delicious caramelized onions.
What is Raclette Cheese?
Raclette cheese is a full-fat cow’s milk cheese that is commonly used with a raclette grill. It is semi-hard and finely melting. Traditionally, a raclette grill keeps the cheese perfectly melted and you simply scrape it off to enjoy it. (The raclette grill acts sort of like a grill for a Gyro, keeping it warm until you’re ready to use it.)
The consistency of raclette cheese is similar to the consistency of Swiss cheese. Only once it’s warm, this cheese is perfectly soft and gooey. In fact, what is special about Raclette is how it melts well. When it’s cooled again, it will firm up again.
Raclette is a bit smelly at first, but that smell quickly goes away when you melt it or grill it. So, try not to be put off by its pungency.
Traditional raclette is often served as melted cheese over small steamed or boiled potatoes. And a full traditional raclette dinner will include a spread of dishes like ham and vegetables that you top with the melted Raclette cheese.
But you don’t need a raclette cheese grill or a large spread with potatoes to enjoy this tasty cheese. Here’s how to make the perfect raclette grilled cheese sandwich with just a skillet and spatula … and some carmelized onions!
How to Make Raclette Grilled Cheese
A grilled cheese sandwich is one of the best recipes you can make using raclette without a grill.
Raclette cheese makes an excellent grilled cheese, but there are some tricks to getting this sandwich right. For example, you want to cook the sandwich on the slow low heat to help the cheese melt better.
Pro Tip: Raclette cheese is a high-end cheese that can be hard to find. Now, Trader Joe’s sells raclette in small packages of pre sliced cheese. Trader Joe’s Raclette cheese is actually perfect for a grilled cheese sandwich.
Start this raclette recipe by preparing caramelized onions. Add butter to a skillet on medium low. Meanwhile, chop 1/2 of an onion, either a red onion or a white onion. You can chop the onion into slivers or small pieces if you’d like. Add the onions to the melted butter in the skillet.
Let the onions cook on medium low for about 20 minutes until they caramelize. First they will become translucent and then they will turn a golden brown. Keep your eye on them because they can go from caramelized golden brown to burned very quickly.
Once your onions have caramelized, set them aside. Assemble two sandwiches with your bread and cheese. Add a thin layer of caramelized onions. The trick here is to add only a thin layer of softened onions because you want to let the cheese be the focus of your Raclette grilled cheese sandwich.
Pro tip: If carmelized onions have cooled significantly, you can reheat them quickly before adding them to the sandwich to help the raclette cheese melt better.
Butter the outsides of the sandwiches with the softened butter, spreading evenly.
Place the sandwiches in the skillet on medium low and cook until the bottom is golden brown. (Or you can cook them one at a time.) That usually takes about 4 to 5 minutes. Then use a spatula and flip the sandwiches to cook the other side to a golden brown.
If your sandwiches have turned golden brown before your raclette cheese has fully melted, you can use yet another trick. Put the sandwiches in the oven at 350° for another five minutes or so until the cheese has fully melted to get the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
Once the Raclette grilled cheeses are done, transfer them to a cutting board and slice on a diagonal. Serve immediately while they are warm and gooey!
Looking for a great way to make grilled cheese? Try:
Raclette Grilled Cheese
- ½ onion (white or red)
- 3 tablespoons softened salted butter
- salt and pepper
- 2 slices Country loaf or white bread
- 4 slices Raclette cheese
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a skillet and heat to medium low. Cut onions into dices or slices, then add to the skillet when butter is melted. Allow the onions to caramelize for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When onions have caramelized, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Assemble two sandwiches by placing one to two slices of raclette cheese and a layer of caramelized onions between two pieces of bread.
- Butter the outsides of the sandwiches using a knife to coat each side thoroughly.
- Heat a skillet to medium low heat and add the raclette sandwiches. When the bottom side is golden brown, after about 4 to 5 minutes, use a spatula to flip the sandwiches to the other side. Cook until the second side is golden brown.
- Transfer raclette grilled cheese to a cutting board and slice on a diagonal. Serve immediately.
What Does Raclette Cheese Taste Like?
Raclette cheese has been described as having a nutty flavor similar to Gouda. It has a creamy taste with a salty sweetness. It can also be described as slightly floral and mildly pungent. However, once the cheese is grilled or melted, it is no longer pungent.
Does Raclette Cheese Melt Well?
Raclette cheese melts really well. The way that raclette melts is what is so special about this cheese. It makes the perfect gooey topping for, say, potatoes or vegetables, and it can work really well in a grilled cheese.
Why Is Raclette so Expensive?
Raclette cheese from Switzerland is often more expensive than other cheeses because it uses high quality milk, such as from grass-fed cows. But you can find this cheese at Trader Joe’s, where you’ll likely pay less than you would at other grocery stores.