Peter Ardito

This is the secret ingredient I use to make a surprisingly irresistible grilled cheese.

Ananda Eidelstein
Updated October 24, 2018

Back in high school, I used to sit on the kitchen island at my parents' home, convincing friends I'd just come up with the tastiest . A slice of American cheese, the kind you get sliced at the supermarket deli, slathered with and then rolled up. Of course everyone thought it was a questionable combo, but I was on to something.

Describing this childhood snack throughout the years has resulted in many raised eyebrows. deeply, and everybody loves Nutella: To me, the combination was a no-brainer. Controversial, perhaps, but definitely a good match. I told my snack story to Real Simple Food Director, , and my Nutella Cheese Roll-Ups turned into an idea for a brilliant, never-before-seen .

I’m constantly on the hunt for the best grilled cheese, but also how to make grilled cheese in the best way possible at home. I’ve experimented with a , using the broiler to maximize flavor and melt. But this time, I’m letting the skillet do all the work:

Start with 2 slices of white sourdough bread and room temperature butter. Butter one side of each slice and then slather the other (un-buttered) sides with Nutella. Top one Nutella-ed side with 2 slices of American cheese and close the sandwich. Last step: Cook the sandwich in a nonstick skillet over medium-high until golden on the outside and the cheese is melted for about 5 minutes.

I sliced it on a diagonal and gave one half to Dawn as I held the other. I swooned when I took my first bite as I was transported back to my parents' kitchen island. I watched Dawn, partly in fear that I’m trying to sell her on this low-brow combination in a professional kitchen, but also with excitement and nostalgia. As she bit into it, I could see her hesitation dissolving as her as eyes got wide and she said, “Why is this so good?”

Sweet creamy Nutella, salty melted American cheese, buttery toasted bread: What could be better than that?

RELATED: Here's the Difference Between Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan Cheese

Keep this wacky but delicious grilled cheese recipe close and file it under Nutella recipes and best . It fits the bill for both.

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