Fig Jam Grilled Cheese with Apples and Caramelized Onions

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Jump to RecipeFig grilled cheese sandwich with a bite out of it.

A fig jam grilled cheese sandwich is not the most common sandwich recipe, but oh is it delicious. My husband had this sandwich at a restaurant years ago, and couldn’t stop thinking about it. We finally tried to make it, and it was amazing! The sweet fig jam with the tartness from the apple and the sharpness from the cheese, it all works so well together.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are a classic comfort food that we all know and love. This version is definitely a step up from your humble grilled cheese.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Bread: I love any type of sourdough bread, white bread, or whole wheat bread for this recipe. You will want a slice of bread that will crispy up nicely. Since this sandwich has so many flavors, try to stick to a bread that goes well with everything, nothing too flavorful on its own. That means I would avoid rye bread, or any type of cheese breads.

Fig Jam: The fig jam really brings a fun flavor to this sandwich. If you don’t have fig, you can try to use another type of jam, but I haven’t tried that yet.

Apple: A green granny smith apple is the best apple for this sandwich because it is very crispy and tart. If you can’t find granny smith apples you can substitute for honeycrisp or golden delicious. Make sure to thinly slice the apples so they layer in the sandwich easily.

Blue Cheese: Blue cheese may seem like a strong choice for this sandwich, but I’m telling you, it works beautifully. It gives the sandwich a very savory flavor. If you just really don’t like blue cheese, you can go for something more mellow. I have a list of all different types of cheeses to use below.

Caramelized Onion: Making the caramelized onions is what takes the longest in making this sandwich. What is nice, is that you can make these ahead of time and store them in the fridge. There isn’t really a good substitute for caramelized onions so if you don’t have them I would just remove them and maybe add something else that is slightly sweet like a drizzle of honey.

Horseradish: I am not a huge horseradish person, so I wasn’t sure how I would like it on this sandwich. There is only a little bit, so it adds the perfect amount of spice without being too overpowering. With that being said you can easily make this sandwich without it.

Grilled cheese sandwich open with apples and cheese.

Types of Cheese to Use

This sandwich uses blue cheese, but you can substitute this out for other types of cheeses if you prefer. A few mellow cheeses that would be good are gruyere, swiss, or brie. If you still want something with a lot of flavor but you don’t like blue cheese, give goat cheese or white cheddar a try.

Where to Find Fig Jam

You should be able to find a sweet fig jam at more grocery stores next to the other jams and jellies. The one that I like to use is the Dalamatia Fig Spread. Another fun one to try is the fig butter from Trader Joes. You could even use fig preserves if you can find it. I wouldn't use fresh figs for this recipe because the fig slices would compete with the apple slices and it would make it harder to eat.

Grilled cheese sandwich cut in half.

What to Serve With Your Grilled Cheese

You can serve this grilled cheese recipe by itself, or with a side. Here are a few sides that would pair nicely with this sandwich.

Give this twist on a classic sandwich a try and let me know what you think!

Fig Jam Grilled Cheese with Apples and Caramelized Onions

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Caramelized Onions

  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter (or olive oil)


  • 4 slices of bread
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp fig jam
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 oz blue cheese
  • 1 tsp horseradish


  1. Make the caramelized onions. Heat butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Add in the red onion and cook, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes or until very softened and golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Now you are ready to make the sandwich. Butter the outsides of the bread slices. Then on the inside of the slices add a layer of fig jam on one side and the horseradish on the other. Add in the apples, blue cheese, and caramelized onions.
  3. Heat up a cast-iron skillet or a griddle over medium heat. Once hot add the sandwich, butter side down, and cook both sides until golden brown.


If you can a panini press, you can use that instead of cooking it on the store.

Some additions you can add to the sandwich are a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction and a handful of peppery arugula.

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