Open Jars: Fancy Grilled Cheese from Diandra of Oh Sweetie

January 13, 2011(updated on October 18, 2023)

This week’s installment in the Open Jars series is a guest post from Diandra of Oh Sweetie. She waxes poetic about her favorite grilled cheese sandwich, which contains two (that’s right, two) different preserves. Let’s see what she has to say, shall we?

Ever since I was born I’ve been a slave to the grilled cheese sandwich. I remember when I was a kid going down to the industrial district with my grandparents to a tiny little cafe with clovers on the sign to have a processed grilled cheese with deep fryer fries. Of course, since I’ve lived in cities and been following food blogs (and discovered “real” cheese..aka become a food snob) I’ve kind of become obsessed with what you can put inside a grilled cheese. And this one takes the prize!

It’s inspired by a grilled cheese sandwich from REbar, a modern vegetarian restaurant in Victoria BC. While I’ve never ordered the sandwich in the restaurant, I’ve made a variation of it for a while. And then this summer I canned some Gingered Zucchini Marmalade and paired it with an adaptation of the original sandwich’s chutney and voila! Best Grilled Cheese I’ve Ever Had.

Ingredients (makes two sandwiches):
1 recipe Spicy Onion Chutney (after the jump)
Gingered Zucchini Marmalade to taste
Enough slices of your favourite white cheese to create one layer in each sandwich (Edam, Monteray Jack, Mozza, Old Cheddar)
Good quality brown bread (I like Silverhills or the whole wheat from an local in-home bakery)
Earth Balance, Butter, Margarine, Hemp Butter…whatever floats your boat

How To:

Put a skillet or frying pan on a burner set to medium-low. Assemble the sandwiches by slathering buttery-substance on one side of each piece of bread. Put buttered side down on cutting board/counter. On one slice slather Marmalade and on the other side pile up about 1/4 cup of the chutney. Put down a layer of cheese on either side and close the sandwich, buttered side out.

Cook in the skillet until you reach desired grilled cheese crust, then flip. Place a lid over top of the sandwiches, reduce the heat, and let the sandwiches simmer (this’ll heat up the chutney/marmalade). Once melty, eat it. Share the other sandwich if you can!

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Spicy Onion Chutney


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions sliced into thin-ish rings
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried garlic flakes
  • 1 tbsp liquid honey
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • pepper to taste


  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onions. Saute until translucent. Add salt, chili flakes, cumin, and garlic flakes and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Add honey, vinegar, and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and creamy (about another 15 minutes). Note: if it starts to stick try not to add more water or oil, just reduce the heat!


*In case you’re curious, this chutney does not include enough acid to make it safe for water bath canning. Make sure to keep any leftover chutney in the refrigerator. Judging from the looks of the recipe, it should last a week or two in a sealed container in cold storage.
Recipe adapted from “REbar Cookbook”, page 109

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13 thoughts on "Open Jars: Fancy Grilled Cheese from Diandra of Oh Sweetie"

  • @Marisa: I’m glad you put the disclaimer on the chutney, as the first thing I did was skip that part of the recipe and say “that’s not enough acid for safe canning.” I love this blog and appreciate the attention to proper food safety.

    1. thanks mike! i never thought to even can this as i never lasts long…it would be good to freeze, though! in ice cube trays even, just enough for one grilled cheese! yum!

  • I am lazy and hate cleaning up butter, so I have 2 tricks when making grilled cheese. 1) butter the bread, and put the butter sides together, then set the slices down and build your sandwich. Then no butter gets on the counter/plate. When ready to grill, take the bottom slice off and put it on top in the proper butter-side-out orientation. 2) Forgo the butter and just spritz the bread with olive oil.

  • I love grilled cheese too – one of my favorite food groups and I love how you made them so gourmet here!

  • There’s something screwy about this recipe. It says, “Add remaining ingredients and cook until the onions are very soft and creamy (about another 15 minutes).” At that point, though, you’ve added all the ingredients and already cooked it for 15 minutes. So does this just mean add the honey, pepper & vinegar and cook for 30 minutes? Or are there ingredients missing from the list that you are supposed to add after the honey, etc.?

    1. Kristin, you’re completely right. I don’t know how I missed that when I read it through before. I’ve made a couple of changes, in the hopes of making it more clear.

  • I’ve had the Rebar book for many years and this recipe is still one of my most used. That and the yam-pepita quesadillas!