Gourmet Grilled Cheese

This grown-up grilled cheese sandwich will ruin you for anything else trying to pass itself off as a gourmet grilled cheese. It has a combination of flavors that will make you swoon. Melty fontina, salty pancetta, spicy jalapenos and sweet guava jam. This is not yo’ Momma’s grilled cheese.

An Open Apology To My Readers:  I know that we are less than two weeks into the New Year and many of you have resolved to eat healthier and lose weight, which is what makes today’s post a blasphemy.  A Trojan horse in your carefully cultivated healthy-foods kitchen.  This Crispy Pancetta Guava Grilled Cheese is not your friend, but it is your new guilty pleasure.

Ingredients for a gourmet grilled cheese.

It is neither designed to improve your health nor trim your waistline.

 I could opine about Fontina being a good source of calcium or that pancetta is low in carbs, guava jam isn’t overly caloric, jalapeños are loaded with Vitamin A, and a hearty sourdough has 12% of your daily iron requirements.  

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But come on… you know that’s not what this is about.  Crispy Pancetta Guava Grilled Cheese is pure comfort food.

a jar of guava jam with a spoon to scoop it up.

And the reason I’m posting this today — is that on Monday — Scott and I are going ALL IN on our diets.  

No more carbs, no more sweets — not even fruit — and sadly — miserably no more wine.  So today we celebrate our hedonism in all its gustatory glory.

Assembling the guava and pancetta gourmet grilled cheese in a fry pan.

This grilled cheese isn’t your standard Velveeta on white bread.  No.

 It addresses all the spots on your tongue — Sweet, Salty, Spicy (and bitter — if you burn the crust). It gives you a double punch of crunch with pan-toasted sourdough and crisped slices of pancetta (cured Italian bacon, for the uninitiated).  

Those crunchy components combined with the oozy, sweet guava jam and melty, rich Fontina — well, that is nirvana, folks.  

And let’s not forget the sliced jalapeño, which is like an unexpected backhanded thwap upside your head, adding a delightful tingle to the sandwich.  

BTW — the guava jam in this recipe is one I made last month — and I used the last of it in this beast of a sammie!

A gourmet grilled cheese sandwich.

Warning: Only eat this sandwich if you are in a place where napping is an approved past time!

Sliced and stacked grilled cheese.

More Indulgent Sandwiches: 

Serving the grilled cheese sandwich.

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Gourmet grilled cheese on parchment paper.
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5 from 2 votes

Crispy Pancetta Guava Grilled Cheese

This recipe makes the best, most decadent, gourmet Grilled Cheese! It’s oozy, melty, sweet, salty and spicy.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword sandwich
Dietary Restrictions Egg Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1


for each sandwich

  • vegetable spray
  • 4-5 very thin slices pancetta
  • ½ cup fontina or any mild, melty cheese such as gruyere or mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 rounded tablespoons guava jam
  • 1 jalapeno pepper very thinly sliced
  • 2 slices rustic sourdough bread
  • olive oil or softened butter for brushing the outside of the bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  • Set a skillet over medium high heat for a minute to warm up. Spray the pan with vegetable spray and add the pancetta in a single layer to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flipping occasionally until browned and crisp. Transfer pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Clean and dry the pan and set aside.
  • Brush one side of the bread lightly with olive oil or butter. Turn the bread over and spread one slice with the guava jam. Mound the other slice with the gruyere cheese. Scatter the cheese with sliced jalapeños and top with crisped pancetta. Place the slice of guava coated bread (guava side down – duh!!!) on top of the pancetta.
  • Heat the stove to medium-medium high and add the butter to melt. When it’s bubbly and hot place the sandwich, cheese side down onto the pan and cook until the cheese begins to melt and the bread is browned and crisp. Flip the sandwich and cook until the bread is toasted on the other side and the inside is gooey. Keep watch over the sandwich so it doesn’t burn, regulating your heat and flipping the sammie again, if necessary.
  • Inhale!


Best enjoyed the second it’s done! Leftovers are for wimps.


Calories: 752kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1312mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1105IU | Vitamin C: 16.6mg | Calcium: 419mg | Iron: 4.6mg

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  1. This post is so tempting! Thanks for apologizing haha love this!!

    1. It’s true – this is a complete sabotage sandwich for anyone on a diet!

  2. Natalia Lilly says:

    Pancetta and cheese ae 2 of my favorite things!!! I cannot wait to make this!

    1. Thanks, Nikolina! My husband went to town on this sandwich!

  3. Lisa, this sandwich looks unbelievable. Like seriously, I’m drooling over here hehe Love sweet and savory combo you used here. It’s a keeper 😉 Pinning and sharing! Have a lovely weekend Lisa!

    1. Thank you, Natalie! I appreciate that — enjoy your weekend too!

  4. Oh my goodness, how delicious does this look?! I absolutely adore pancetta, and the salty-sweet combo with the guava jam… I can’t. YUM.

    1. It seems I’ve found like-minded souls with this grilled cheese…

  5. 5 stars
    Ugh Lisa.. you’re KILLING ME! My diet started this past Monday. I’m on day 5 with no wine (.. *she sobbed silently”)…
    In 25 more days, I’m gonna fire up a grill and make this though. I’ve got guava jam sitting in my cabinet that I had absolutely ZERO idea what to do with. LOVE

    1. Oh no – Day 5… My penance begins shortly!

  6. Lindsay Cotter says:

    This is ultimate comfort food!! Everything looks so amazingly delicious – the melted cheese, that crispy pancetta, the jalapeno and jam!! Pure guilty pleasure for the win!

    1. Perfect way to describe it — a guilty pleasure!

  7. Veena Azmanov says:

    I love grilled cheese sandwiches and these are calling my name. I love Pancetta!

  8. fabfood4all says:

    What a luscious meltingly, oozingly splendid sandwich, plus guava jam sounds awesome, never come across that before!

  9. All those sweet and savory combinations! I would love, love, love a bite or two of this right now!

    1. Let’s be honest — pancetta is essentially BACON. Not smoked, but definitely cured and absolutely delicious!

  10. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. This might be the best looking grilled cheese ever! What an amazing flavor combo, you blew me away with the guava jam! Swoon!

  11. WillCookForFriends says:

    Somebody get me a napkin, I think I just drooled on myself. This sandwich is blowing my mind. Guava jam on a grilled cheese? Whaaaa?! I have a new New Year’s resolution: try this sandwich. Pinning this for later!