The Grilled Cheese Pageant!

36 food bloggers and grilled cheese aficionados display their best grilled cheese sandwiches in The Grilled Cheese Pageant

[The 2nd Annual Grilled Cheese Pageant is live (4/20/10)!]

Welcome, everyone, to The Grilled Cheese Pageant!

Grand Supreme tiaraIn celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month, thirty-six food bloggers and other grilled cheese aficionados are showing off a dazzling array of deliciously inventive sandwiches for your viewing enjoyment. From “Best Evening Gown” to “Country & Western Wear”, we’ve got a bunch of fun pageant categories – keep scrolling, you’re not going to want to miss any of them. And, of course, we’ll be crowning the (randomly selected) Grand Supreme winner of ‘wichcraft: Craft a sandwich into a meal–and a meal into a sandwich, by Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio, at the end of the procession.

Since this is a celebration, not a competition, every contestant will be “going home” with a sash and title (cut me some slack on these, I did my best!).

On with the show!

Best Evening Gown

This is the portion of the pageant where the contestants grace the stage in their fanciest attire. These two contestants brought some truly fancy grilled cheese.

The Fanciest Grilled Cheese Ever by Mel at Bitchin' Camero The Adult Grilled Cheese by Lori at The Recipe Girl

Best Swimsuit

It’s debatable whether adding healthy vegetables into a grilled cheese sandwich will help us to look good in our swimsuits but it’s a nice thought to have as you digest these next four tasty vegetable-laden contestants.

Roasted Asparagus & Onion Panini by Lori at Burp! Where Food Happens Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Balsamic Onions and Mushrooms by Katie at goodLife {eats}

Spinach Artichoke Melt by Deryn at Something Sublime Roasted Butternut Squash and Jarlsberg Panini by Mallory at A Sofa in the Kitchen

Best Talent

Each of these contestant whipped up their own condiment spreads to complement their grilled cheese sandwiches. Now that’s talent!

Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich by Dragon at Dragon's KitchenDate, Aged Manchego and Prosciutto Grilled Cheese by Chris at Pantry Raid

Smoked Turkey & Artichoke Panini by Sara at Our Best Bites Tomato Soup Grilled Cheese by Maggie at Pithy and Cleaver

Classic Beauty

As you can see, there are many different interpretations when it comes to one’s notion of a “grilled cheese sandwich”. But, of course, the classic version is comprised simply of cheese and bread. The following contestants are the purists.

Grilled Gloucester Double Cheddar with Whole Grain Mustard by Greg at SippitySup The Ultimate Grilled Cheese by Kevin at Seriously Good

Red Leicester and Herb Ricotta Grilled Toas-Tite Sandwich by Christine at Kits Chow

Miss Congeniality

The title of Miss Congeniality is bestowed upon contestants who are especially congenial and charismatic. The next three sandwiches all feature bacon – and bacon sure is nice.

Grilled Smoked Mozzarella with Maple-Caramelized Bacon by Shiv at Pithy and CleaverGrilled Cheese, Bacon & Tomato by Michelle at Big Black Dog

Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Bacon by Vicki at A Work In Progress

Tiny Miss

For the very youngest pageant competitors there is a crown for “Tiny Miss”. Two of our grilled cheese contenders feature eggs – work with me here – it doesn’t get much younger than that!

Grilled Cheese with Bacon and a Fried Egg by Esi at Dishing Up Delights Croque Madame by Jude at Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté

Harvest Queen

A veritable fruit orchard is represented in these next six sandwiches, resulting in irresistible sweet and savory combinations.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mango Chutney by Kevin at Closet Cooking Grilled Cheese with Strawberries & Mangoes by Shane at imagine a different world of grilled cheese

Grilled Apple & Cheddar Cheese by Maris at In Good Taste Spectacular Jelly Doughnut Grilled Cheese Sandwiches by Do-Ho at Donut-Taste-Good

Apple Bacon Grilled Cheese by Katie at Salt and Chocolate Arugula & Pear Grilled Cheese by Lori at Fake Food Free

Italian Principessa

With their tomatoes, basil and focaccias, the flavors and colors of Italy inspired these next three contestants. Bravo!

Grilled Cheese on Rosemary Onion Focaccia by Melissa at From Laptop to Stovetop Italian Grilled Cheese by Tiffany at A Toast to Tiffany

Brenda's Italian-ish Panini by Brenda at Meal Planning Magic

Country & Western Wear

This category – especially popular among the rodeo pageants – celebrates the spirit of the great southwest. And you know what else is popular in the southwest? Chile peppers! You get a little pepper kick in each of the next three sandwiches.

Gooey Grilled Pimento Cheese by Kate at Savour Fare Pepperjack Grilled Cheese with Bacon by Margie at More Please

California Turkey Panini by Cyndi at Cookin' With Cyndi

Most Athletic

Mozzarella cheese is prized not only for its creamy saltiness but also for its ability to stretch to great lengths. You might say it’s the most athletic of all cheeses. At least that’s what we’re saying in this pageant (a stretch indeed). Bring on the mozz!

Grilled mozzarella with baby spinach and red onion by Rahel of San Diego, CA Grilled Mozzarella & Smoked Salmon Panini by Janice & Liz at Meal Makeover Moms' Kitchen

Grilled Cheese English Muffins by Cookie at Workout Then Cook

Miss Versatility

These next contestants exemplify the versatility of grilled cheese sandwiches as excellent vehicles for leftovers. Just add cheese and bread and you’ve got a darn good meal.

Left-over Gruyère and Cider Fondue Sandwich by Nicole at Art and Aioli Leftover Grilled Cheese by Allison at Local Lemons

Prince Charming

Last, but most certainly not least, I’d like to recognize our Prince Charming sandwich of the pageant – Marbled Jack and Ham Grilled Cheese submitted by Recipe Boy, the 7-year-old son of Lori at The Recipe Girl. The future of grilled cheese is a bright one!

Marbled Jack and Ham Grilled Cheese by Recipe Boy (via The Recipe Girl)

Grand Supreme

A tiara for the Grand Supreme winner!

And now for the highest honor of the evening…the (randomly selected) winner of the Grand Supreme tiara and a copy of Tom Colicchio’s brand-new ‘wichcraft cookbook goes to:

Kevin and his Ultimate Grilled Cheese from Seriously Good!

Congratulations to Kevin and all of the pageant participants! I hope you had as much fun with this event as I did and maybe even picked up a few new grilled cheese ideas along the way. Thank you so much for making Panini Happy’s first-ever blog event a fun success. Happy grilling!


KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. HoneyB wrote:

    What a great line up of grilled cheese!

    HoneyB’s last blog post..Black and White and another giveaway

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  2. What a wonderfully cute post. I love your creativity with the categories. My favorite is Miss Congeniality because bacon really is that nice.

    Culinary Cory’s last blog post..Coconut Raspberry Angel Food Cake

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  3. RecipeGirl wrote:

    OH MY GOODNESS… Kathy- you outdid yourself. This is the cutest post I’ve seen in ages, and a terrific roundup of delicious grilled cheese selections! I love it.

    Thank you for including RecipeBoy. He will be absolutely *thrilled*!

    RecipeGirl’s last blog post..Weight Loss/Biggest Loser Update – 2 months later…

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      So glad to have you both participate!

      Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  4. Andrea wrote:

    Very creative and fun roundup! All the sandwiches look delish!

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  5. Oh! I’m so excited to be able to wear a GCP sash…and from the swimsuit competition, no less! Who would have guessed? Well, I’d just like to say thank you…I will wear my sash with honor and do my best to bring about world peace!

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  6. Arlene wrote:

    What a great post! I’d try any one of the “contestants.” In fact, I have to wipe my computer screen off–I’ve been salivating as I’ve been reading. Yummy!!!

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  7. Kevin wrote:

    Woo hoo!
    I want to thank all the little people…

    Kevin’s last blog post..Wild Produce

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  8. This has got to be one of the best posts I’ve seen in a long time. What beautiful grilled cheese sandwiches. Love it! Have a great day!!

    Jenny Flake’s last blog post..Double Chocolate Cheesecake Layered Cake…

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  9. maris wrote:

    Look at these beauties! This is such a nice round-up, Kathy, thanks for organizing!

    Now, I’m going to go make myself a grilled cheese for lunch ;o)

    maris’s last blog post..Make This Cake, Then I’ll Tell You Its Name

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  10. brilynn wrote:

    Great post! That must have taken forever to put together!

    brilynn’s last blog post..Chef Challenge: Battle Cream Cheese

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Umm, yes – yes it did 🙂

      Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  11. I want to congratulate you on your contest, you did a GREAT job!

    Keep up the great work!!!!

    Look forward to more to come 🙂

    ThatsSoYummy’s last blog post..Do You Know the Secret to Keeping Fruit Luscious?

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply

    Applause for all the contestants.

    You did a great job with this. I wish I had gotten around to submitting. Life has just been a bit too crazy.

    Donna@WayMoreHomemade’s last blog post..Mama Braggin’ Monday – Trio

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  13. Maria wrote:

    Fabulous roundup Kathy! Loved it! So many tasty sandwiches. I better get grilling:)

    Maria’s last blog post..Recipe for Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  14. Jenni wrote:

    Wow! An amazing array of cheesy, wonderful goodness–lots of creative folks out there! And big kudos to you for hosting The Event!

    Jenni’s last blog post..A Techniques Primer: Custards and Puddings

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  15. Michelle wrote:

    You did a beauiful job formatting the Roundup. Best one I’ve seen in years!

    Michelle’s last blog post..It’s Pink Saturday!

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  16. grace wrote:

    the awesomeness of this round-up knows no end. i’m seriously, seriously craving a grilled cheese–ANY grilled cheese–right now.
    and for the record, i laughed out loud at your tiny miss/egg validation. too funny. 🙂

    grace’s last blog post..birthdays and broiled bliss

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  17. lo wrote:

    Love the presentation, Kathy! I think it was TOTALLY worth the effort!

    And OH! the lovely sammiches! I think I’m in heaven! Lots of great reading ahead of me…

    lo’s last blog post..It’s NOT a Morel Dilemma: Vote for US!

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  18. Lori wrote:

    Oh my goodness! Look at all these great sandwiches! Congrats to Kevin! I have so many new sandwiches to try now. Wow!

    Lori’s last blog post..Links to a Healthy Weekend

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  19. Dragon wrote:

    This is an amazing round up! You are a rockstar, my friend.

    Dragon’s last blog post..Greek Lemon & Herb Roasted Potatoes

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  20. Esi wrote:

    I want to try ALL of these, lol. Thanks for hosting this fun event 🙂

    Esi’s last blog post..Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Egg Tart

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  21. Aggie wrote:

    What a fantastic round up!!! WoW! My mouth is watering for all of these sandwiches…

    Great post! What a fun way to present your entries!!

    Aggie’s last blog post..Ellie Krieger’s White Chili

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  22. I wish I had known about this roundup. I have a great grilled cheese recipe that my family loves and it is very unique. Not Your Normal Grilled Cheese Sandwich

    Maybe next time, and congrats to the winners! and what a great looking roundup, I am sure I could find something that my family would love out of these.

    Brenda Campbell’s last blog post..Choco-Berry Trifle Parfait

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Oh, that would have been a great entry! There is something so delicious about cheese and sweet things. Maybe we can make this an annual event (although I’m not sure I could conjure up any more categories!).

      Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  23. Genie wrote:

    Am so hungry right now. WOW.

    Genie’s last blog post..Green Thumb Sunday: Flowers out the front door

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  24. LOL! This is awesome 🙂

    Thanks for including me!!

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  25. Kate wrote:

    This is making me hungry!

    Kate’s last blog post..Tsumami – Sautéed Mushrooms

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  26. Vicki wrote:

    What an awesome pageant, Kathy! The contestants aren’t the only ones who deserve a round of applause, you rock!

    Vicki’s last blog post..Slow Cooked Beef Shanks

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  27. Kevin wrote:

    Great roundup! There are a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches there that I want to try. I like the photo collage on the top.

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  28. Jordan wrote:

    I am SO bummed I missed out on this! Last week was pretty hectic… but I am so pleased, everything looks SCRUMPTIOUS! Awesome job orchestrating this, Kathy! 🙂

    Jordan’s last blog post..Big Red ice cream

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  29. Jude wrote:

    Thanks for hosting such an original and fun event!. If only I could try each and every entry here.

    Jude’s last blog post..Sautéed Morel Mushrooms and Fava Beans

    Posted 4.20.09 Reply
  30. Kristen wrote:

    I love this!! What a tasty looking roundup of a very yummy looking event. Congrats, Kevin!

    Kristen’s last blog post..The Fall of a Brownie Purist (Recipe: Black & White Cheesecake Squares)

    Posted 4.21.09 Reply
  31. Dani wrote:

    oh what a great roundup!
    i think i need grilled cheese for lunch 🙂

    Dani’s last blog post..#55) No-Fat Banana Muffins

    Posted 4.21.09 Reply
  32. This contest was so much fun. When is the next one? And can we all come over to your house so we can try each others’ sandwiches??!

    I know everyone said this already, but this was a really great post.

    Who is Do-Ho?’s last blog post..Donut Excursion: Dunkin’ Donuts

    Posted 4.21.09 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed it! It would be fun to do another sandwich roundup sometime…will have to think of a good theme. I’m taking suggestions! 🙂

      Posted 4.21.09 Reply
  33. Nicole wrote:

    You are so creative and clever, Kathy! I love this. All the sandwiches look soooooo good too. The categories are so imaginative and fun. I created a post with permalink if you want it:

    Thank you for the award!

    Nicole’s last blog post..Left-over Gruyère and Cider Fondue Sandwich

    Posted 4.21.09 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Thanks so much, Nicole! I just went in and updated the link to your new post.

      Posted 4.21.09 Reply
  34. Melissa wrote:

    I am absolutely flabbergasted. What a fantastic presentation Kathy. You did an amazing job with this. So appreciated.

    And congratulations to Kevin!

    Posted 4.21.09 Reply
  35. Margie wrote:

    So fun and deliciously cheesy! Hope you saved a sash and title for yourself — like Panini Queen! Thanks for going above and beyond at the awards ceremony.

    Margie’s last blog post..Pepperjack Grilled Cheese with Bacon & Jalapenos

    Posted 4.21.09 Reply
  36. Cyndi wrote:

    What a creative roundup! Congratulations to Kevin! I’m so grateful for all these new ideas to try!

    Cyndi’s last blog post..Sunday Cooking

    Posted 4.21.09 Reply
  37. RobinSue wrote:

    This is a beautiful post and great reference when I want a good sandwich. I couldn’t think of anything unique to join you all, maybe next time!

    RobinSue’s last blog post..Victory Garden for School

    Posted 4.22.09 Reply
  38. Mary wrote:

    I am in heaven!

    Mary’s last blog post..Spicy Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry

    Posted 4.22.09 Reply
  39. Christine wrote:

    I loved the Pageant, your categories are wonderful. Thanks for hosting this great event. Can’t wait for the next one.

    My cheesy flying saucer thanks you for the award!

    Christine’s last blog post..289. Kheer – Recipe

    Posted 4.23.09 Reply
  40. You’re hilarious, lol. I love all of the categories, how creative! I feel honored to be labeled as “talented” haha.

    Sara: Our Best Bites’s last blog post..Sweet Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

    Posted 4.23.09 Reply
  41. gilda wrote:

    oh wow, so many well deserved grilled cheese paninis! i love them all!

    gilda’s last blog post..Recipe: Spicy Stir-Fried Tofu with Bok Choy and Baby Broccoli

    Posted 4.23.09 Reply
  42. Great round up. they all look so good.

    The Food Hunter’s last blog post..Arthur Ave…The Bronx

    Posted 4.23.09 Reply
  43. That was the most talented, good looking group of grilled cheese sandwiches anywhere! Absolutely fabulous post. Kudos!

    justeatfood’s last blog post..Three Grain Mixed Berry Muffins

    Posted 4.23.09 Reply
  44. sharon wrote:

    You did an amazing job on this roundup! I’m so impressed….and very hungry. Congrats Kevin!

    sharon’s last blog post..Good Ol’ Tuna Noodle Casserole

    Posted 4.23.09 Reply
  45. An absolutely stunning round-up!

    Posted 4.26.09 Reply
  46. Brooke wrote:

    Call me old fashioned..but the classic beauties are making my mouth water. Yum!

    Posted 4.26.09 Reply
  47. Kim wrote:

    A wonderful roundup; cleaver, fabulous food and grilled cheese at their best! Honestly couldn’t choose just one. Thanks for all your hard work…..

    Posted 5.1.09 Reply
  48. Alta wrote:

    Wow, this is a very clever post! Love it! And now i’m really hungry!

    Alta’s last blog post..Tamales

    Posted 5.14.09 Reply