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Bagel Grilled Cheese with Bacon

This grilled cheese bagel with bacon is a fun and delicious twist on a grilled cheese sandwich.  Filled with melted cheese and crispy bacon, this bagel sandwich is quick and easy.  Serve it with a bowl of soup for dipping, and you will have a perfect comfort meal in about fifteen minutes. 

Close up of a grilled cheese sandwich made on a bagel with bacon.

Nothing is more comforting on a cold day than a big bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

We love it with instant pot tomato gnocchi soup or tomato tortellini soup.

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Why you’ll love this recipe:


  • Quick – These sandwiches are quick and easy. From start to finish they take about fifteen minutes.
  • Versatile – Grilled cheese sandwiches are as versatile as they are easy. With endless choices of cheese and fillings, there is something for everyone in the family.
  • Inexpensive – With just a few ingredients this is an inexpensive meal, perfect for feeding the family on a budget.

When I think of comfort food from my childhood, one thing comes to mind: grilled cheese sandwiches.  There is just something about that golden brown, toasty bread and melted cheese.  

While there is nothing wrong with a regular grilled cheese on white bread, they are even better on delicious bagels.  

The great thing about bagels is there are so many flavor varieties to choose from.  You can use plain bagels, or bagels with poppy seeds, everything seasoning, or sesame bagels.  

The trick to a good grilled cheese bagel is grilling them inside out. By grilling them inside out, the outside of the bread can absorb the melted butter more easily, creating a delicious, crispy and golden brown sandwich.

You can fill your sandwich with cheese and bacon or add other fillings such as tomatoes or caramelized onions. The options are truly endless.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are versatile because they can also be cooked on a panini press, skillet or griddle, such as a Blackstone griddle. So, no matter what appliance you may have, you can make one of these tasty bagel melts.

Ingredients & Substitutions

For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

When it comes to making grilled cheese there are only three ingredients that you must have; bread, cheese and butter.

Any other ingredient is optional, and there is no limit to what you can add to your sandwich. Get creative and have fun.

Bagels – You can use any kind of bagel you like to make your sandwich.  Because you will be cooking the bagels inside out there is no fear of burning the toppings, so you may want to use a sesame bagel, or other type of bagel such as cheese, poppy seed or everything.

Cooked Bacon – I always have some cooked bacon in the fridge for recipes like this, but you can cook the bacon before you start or buy some pre-cooked bacon if you like. Bacon in the air fryer is a quick way to cook a large batch of bacon without much mess. If you don’t like pork bacon, turkey bacon is another good choice.

Cheese – When making grilled cheese sandwiches, you want to choose a cheese that melts well.  Cheddar cheese, Swiss, Monterey Jack, and mozzarella cheese are good choices.  Or you can be more adventurous and choose cheese such as gouda, brie or Jarlsberg.  We use shredded cheese in our sandwiches as it melts more evenly and allows us to blend more than one cheese.

Butter – You can use regular butter or choose something more flavorful like roasted garlic butter or herb butter.

Optional fillings – There is no limit to the filling you can add to your grilled cheese sandwich.  We often keep things simple with just the bacon and cheese, but you can’t go wrong with some fresh tomato slices, green onions, caramelized onions, or sundried tomatoes.  Feel free to add sauces such as garlic mayo, pesto, or honey mustard mayo, too.

Step by Step Instructions

Slice the bagel in half, then butter the insides of each bagel in half.  

Flip the bagels so the buttered side is on the cutting board, then add a handful of shredded cheese to each bagel half, followed by the cooked bacon, then the remainder of the cheese.  

Top with the other half of the bagel so the buttered side faces out.

Two buttered bagels on a cutting board facing inside out filled with shredded cheese and cooked bacon.

Making Bagel Grilled Cheese on a Press

Place the sandwiches on a preheated sandwich or panini press and close the lid. If your press has a temperature setting, start with medium heat.

Cook for 5-7 minutes until the bagel is toasted and golden brown and the cheese is melted.

2 grilled cheese bagels on a panini press.

Cooking Grilled Cheese on a Skillet

If you don’t have a panini press, you can make these bagels on a skillet.

Preheat the skillet to medium heat, then add the sandwich.  

Cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes until the bottom is golden brown, then flip and cover; cook 2-3 minutes longer until the cheese melts, then remove the lid for the last minute until the bagel is toasted.

Covering the skillet traps the heat and helps the cheese melt throughout without keeping the sandwich on the heat as long and burning the bread.

Blackstone Griddle Grilled Cheese

If you have a Blackstone griddle, it is an excellent way to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

Preheat the griddle to medium heat, then add the buttered sandwich. If your Blackstone grill has a lid, close the lid. If not, you can use a dome to cover the sandwich.

Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook the other side until the sandwich is toasted and the cheese is melted.

Grilled cheese bagel on a cutting board with ripple potato chips.

Serving Suggestions

While grilled cheese sandwiches are just fine on their own, the one thing they always go well with is soup.

Grilled cheese is especially good with creamy soups. Tomato is the most common soup associated with grilled cheese sandwiches, and a can of condensed tomato soup will work just fine. However, there are so many more options to choose from.

Instant pot tomato soup is a quick and easy choice, made with fire-roasted tomatoes and gnocchi, but if the tomato isn’t for you, then a creamy cauliflower soup is also an excellent choice for dipping.

These bagel sandwiches are also great with a side of potato chips or a simple garden salad.

Top Tips & Tricks

  • Using shredded cheese when making grilled cheese allows for more even heating. This helps the cheese melt faster without burning the bread and makes it easier to blend a variety of cheese.
  • If making grilled cheese in a skillet, covering it with a lid helps trap the steam, cooking the sandwich more evenly and allowing the cheese to melt throughout.

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Printable Recipe

Bagel Grilled Cheese

This grilled cheese bagel with bacon is a fun and delicious twist on a grilled cheese sandwich.  Filled with melted cheese and crispy bacon, this bagel sandwich is quick and easy.
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Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 632kcal
Author: Deanna

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 bagels
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • 2 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  • Preheat a sandwich press to medium heat. (or according to the instructions on your appliance)
  • Slice the bagel in half, then butter the insides of each bagel in half.  
  • Flip the bagels so the buttered side is on the cutting board, then add a handful of shredded cheese to each bagel half, followed by the cooked bacon, then the remainder of the cheese.  
    Top with the other half of the bagel so the buttered side faces out
  • Place the sandwiches on a preheated sandwich or panini press and close the lid.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes until the bagel is toasted and golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Cooking Grilled Cheese on a Skillet

  • Preheat the skillet to medium heat, then add the sandwich.  
  • Cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes until the bottom is golden brown, then flip and cover; cook 2-3 minutes longer until the cheese melts, then remove the lid for the last minute until the bagel is toasted.

Nutrition

Estimated Nutrition Facts
Bagel Grilled Cheese
Amount per Serving
Calories
632
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
31
g
48
%
Saturated Fat
 
17
g
106
%
Trans Fat
 
0.5
g
Sodium
 
1271
mg
55
%
Carbohydrates
 
58
g
19
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
29
g
58
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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