Need an appetizer that everyone will love? These Mini Grilled Cheese Appetizers with Balsamic Dipping Sauce are pure comfort food with a simple but upscale twist. Fun finger food for all!
Hosting a house-full of guests this holiday? It can be tricky to plan snacks that a diverse group of people can agree on. Fortunately with these Mini Grilled Cheese Appetizers with Balsamic Dipping Sauce, you have the perfect solution for your array of friends and family.
After all, who can resist warm, melty bites of grilled cheese?
A bit of Balsamic Dipping Sauce adds just enough fancy to these Mini Grilled Cheese Appetizers to impress adults but still keep it familiar enough to have the kids clamoring for more. Check out our tips below for suggestions (and a few shortcuts) to make these irresistible grilled cheese bites.
What type of bread do I use to make these Mini Grilled Cheese Appetizers?
Firm bread is important here. Don’t try to substitute thicker slices or softer sandwich bread. I like to use Pepperidge Farm Original White Bread. Its thin slices are still hearty and won’t tear apart when you brush them with melted butter. Plus they are the perfect size for creamy slices of Kerrygold® Savory Cheddar Cheese.
I’ve dipped my grilled cheese in tomato soup but never in a balsamic dipping sauce. Is it good?
YES! So, so good! Plus it’s super easy to make and you only need two ingredients to make this irresistible sauce: balsamic vinegar and butter.
Boil the vinegar until it is reduced to a tangy syrup and then round out the sauce with a few tablespoons of rich, creamy butter. Pop it in the fridge and reheat when ready to serve.
A word of advice: Buy the best balsamic vinegar you can afford for this recipe. I’ve cheaped out before and used a less expensive bottle. The result was a bitter sauce.
I’m not suggesting you break the bank on a $30 bottle of imported vinegar, but don’t go the grocery store brand, either. You’ll definitely notice the smoother, richer taste difference that comes with using a better quality vinegar.
How do I keep grilled cheese appetizers warm? I don’t want to be a slave to the stove.
It’s tricky to keep your mini grilled cheese bites warm when you’re making a batch for a crowd. The solution? Set your oven to as low of heat as it will go (mine is about 175 degrees). Or if your oven has a Warm setting (or a warming drawer), feel free to use either of those.
Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven. As each sandwich is cooked, place it on the cooling rack in the preheated oven. The low oven heat will keep your grilled cheese nice and toasty warm while the air circulating around the cooling rack ensures there are no soggy bottoms on your sandwiches.
Remove the sandwiches from the oven and slice into bites or sticks when you are ready to serve everyone.
I wouldn’t plan to let the sandwiches hang out in the oven for longer than 25-30 minutes (or they might start to dry out), but it buys you just enough time to get the sandwiches cooked and the pan cleaned before the doorbell rings and guests arrive.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kerrygold®. We only share products with you that we personally use and love. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Garnish with Lemon possible.
Cheesy appetizers are my love language. Here are a few more fresh from the oven!
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Crispy Italian Ranch Cups – Garnish with Lemon®
Easy Feta Cheese Ball Appetizer – Reluctant Entertainer
Cheesy Chipotle Roll Ups – Garnish with Lemon®
Balsamic Dipping Sauce:
- 1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Kerrygold® Unsalted Butter
- 18 slices firm, thinly sliced white bread, crusts removed (I used Pepperidge Farm White Bread)
- 9 slices Kerrygold® Savory Cheddar Cheese
- 6 tablespoons Kerrygold® Unsalted Butter, melted
To make the sauce:
- Heat vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat for 5-8 minutes. It should reduce by half. Remove from heat, add butter and stir until melted.
To make the sandwiches:
- Preheat oven to a low temperature (around 175 degrees). Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan. Set aside.
- Lay out 9 slices of bread on work surface. Top each slice with one piece of cheese. Top with remaining bread slices. Brush top of each sandwich with melted butter.
- Preheat griddle or pan over medium heat. Working in stages if necessary, place sandwiches buttered side down on hot griddle. Brush tops of sandwiches with remaining butter. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until golden and cheese is melted. Place cooked sandwiches on rack on sheet pan and put in oven while you finish cooking remaining sandwiches.
- Once all sandwiches are cooked, remove sheet pan from oven and allow sandwiches to cool enough to handle. Slice each sandwich into four pieces and serve with warm balsamic dipping sauce.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 23mg Sodium: 37mg Carbohydrates: 6g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 3g Protein: 1g