BBQ Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

July 18, 2014

I am in a delicious food groove.  When I made Sloppy Joe Pockets on Tuesday (Recipe coming soon, I promise), Josh and I agreed they were a 10/10, so I prepared myself to be disappointed for the rest of the week.  Nothing was going to beat that, so why bother?  Then, BAM.  BBQ sauce all up in my grilled cheese paired with the magic of caramelized onions.

BBQ Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

If you know one thing about me, please know that I will use any method possible to get BBQ sauce into my body.  Some people eat whipped cream out of a can, this girl does it with BBQ sauce.  While my dream meal is BBQ sauce soup, I’ve been thinking about a BBQ sauce grilled cheese for a long time.  I normally dip my plain ole grilled cheeses in BBQ sauce, but it just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  I had to go big or go home, and seeing as I was already home, I had no choice but to go big.

BBQ Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

And can we talk about caramelized onions? Ugh, like a dream! I know they take a while, but if you don’t take the time to get those onions nice and beautifully brown, I’m not sure we can be friends. They’re just so good, especially mixed in with the BBQ sauce.  I can safely say this is the best sandwich I’ve ever made or eaten, and you should get it in your mouth ASAP!

BBQ Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

BBQ Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6

  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • 8 oz low fat cream cheese (vegan cream cheese works, too)
  • 1 c reduced fat sharp cheddar, shredded (Daiya would be just as delicious)
  • ½ – ¾ c BBQ sauce, like this homemade one
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 12 slices of bread
  • butter or olive oil for grilling and caramelizing the onion

  1. Chop the onion into approximately 1 cm squares. In a large pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onions and stir to coat in the oil. Let cook, stirring every 5 – 10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan. Once your onions are a nice brown color, add a splash of water to help scrape off all the good bits from the bottom of the pan. If you’ve never caramelized onions, try reading this first.
  2. Set the onions aside a bowl to cool slightly and wipe the pan clean. Return to the stove over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, let the cream cheese sit out so it softens at room temp. stir the cream cheese, cheddar, garlic powder, and onions with ½ c of BBQ sauce. Taste and increase BBQ sauce as necessary. You want it to taste just slightly not BBQy enough, as the flavor will build as you cook it and it will get overpowering by the end of your sandwich.
  4. Spread a little butter on each slice of bread or brush on olive oil. Add approximately ⅙ of the mixture to the unbuttered side of the bread and top with another piece (butter side up).
  5. Place the sandwich on the hot pan and grill for 2 – 3 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and cook an additional 2 – 3 minutes, until the bottom is golden.
  6. Repeat to build and cook each sandwich.
  7. The filling can be refrigerated and used later if you don’t want to eat 6 sandwiches in one sitting.

Nutritional information will vary based on the bread and BBQ sauce used, so I didn’t calculate it.
This tastes even better the next day, if you can wait that long to use the filling (I never can, but the left overs are great!)
Use GF bread for a GF sandwich; use vegan cream cheese and Daiya for a vegan grilled cheese.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sandwich


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    PassTheKnife Jul 18, 2014

    Yummy!! What a great idea! For non-vegetarians some pulled chicken would be amazing in the sandwich!

      Kelly Jul 18, 2014

      lol if you wear a bib! The sandwich was already super melty, gooey delicious, that I think that might make it a fork and knife kind of sandwich.

    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl Jul 18, 2014

    You KNOW I love anything with BBQ!! This sounds delicious!! I am also super excitd about the sloppy joe pockets… those sound amazing!

    Joanne Jul 18, 2014

    TWO 10/10 recipes in a week?! Girl, you are on a roll! I love the idea of getting bbq flavors all up in my grilled cheese!