Irish Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Guinness

This sublime Irish grilled cheese sandwich recipe  begins with bacon that has been caramelized with Guinness, then spread with a paste of jam, Guinness and mustard. Add some Irish cheese and two slices of Irish soda bread and you have a grilled cheese masterpiece!
Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe
The problem with some people is that when they aren’t drunk they’re sober.–William Butler Yeats

This Irish grilled cheese sandwich recipe is perfect any time of day, but it makes a sublime breakfast sandwich and is a great way to start the day.

Or end it, for that matter. And if you’ve been swilling beer all day, this Irish grilled cheese sandwich is ideal to counteract all that liquid in your tummy!

The weird thing is  I hated toasted cheese sandwiches when I was a kid. Perhaps it was because there were only three cheeses in our home.

Mom always bought those orange plastic American slices that I never liked, however I  remember my brother peeling off the plastic and shoving them into his mouth, one slice at a time.

I remember sliced Muenster that my Dad would melt on toast for breakfast. And I remember Colby-which is a cross between Cheddar and Monterey Jack.

I never ate cheese on sandwiches. I never ate it on burgers. (Yes, I ate burgers back then.) I didn’t eat Mac n’ cheese. I didn’t even sprinkle the cheese from THE can on my spaghetti.

Irish Grilled Cheese and Guinness

Truly I do not remember when I discovered grilled cheese. Or when I discovered bacon. This however is a post on cheese. Irish grilled cheese, that is. I was so excited when I went to our newly reopened grocery store last week. They have entered the modern era with a real cheese shop! Then I discovered that Irish Soda Bread was back. You have no idea how deliriously happy that made me.

It was just last year that I bought my first loaf. I’d never eaten Irish Soda Bread before that. I then went home and made a loaf from a James Beard recipe and I couldn’t believe it, but I loved the store version more.

I admit to not liking that I couldn’t pronounce half the ingredients, but really people, this is good bread. Maybe it isn’t really Irish soda bread, but it tastes as Irish as any soda bread I’ll ever eat.


Irish Grilled Cheese in Black skillet


So the bread. Damn, the bread. The next time I go to the store I am going to buy like 5 loaves and freeze it, because I’ve only found it in March! It is dense. It is slightly sweet, And it has raisins in it. Oh. I almost forgot. It has Demerara sugar sprinkled on the outside of the loaf.

This is a very good thing and I’ll tell you why. When you make the best Irish grilled cheese sandwich ever (Hence the name!) the sugar on the outside starts to melt a bit. It starts to even burn a little bit. And it gets all caramelly on the outside. And the aroma? So enticing. And well, I’ll let you guess how good that tastes.

 But I kind of veered off track and forgot to tell you about the cheese. It is so easy to do when drinking Guinness in the middle of the day. I think one good reason to make this grilled cheese sandwich recipe is because it lets you start your day off with beer. (Well, I didn’t want to waste it!)

But back to cheese…Being close to St. Patrick’s Day, the store was featuring Irish cheese. I love cheese and honestly, I’ve not eaten a lot of Irish cheese.

Irish Grilled Cheese with Guinness

Well, I came home with three kinds. An Irish whiskey cheese that was mellow and rich. Probably tastes a lot like you’d feel after tipping a few.

I came home with a Dubliner stout, which was very fragrant with the aroma of stout. Probably like you’d smell after tipping a few; stouts, that is! And last but not least, I arrived home with a simple sweet Irish cheddar, which is probably what you’d be like after not tipping any! (But that’s not fun!)

So no, this isn’t a post about corned beef. Or potatoes. Though there’s nothing wrong with either.

This is a post about Irish cheese. And good soda bread. And bacon. I did vaguely mention that, didn’t I? Glazed baked crispy bacon with Guinness and pepper that magically becomes spicy and sweet. Well, since my original thought was to make this an Irish breakfast sandwich, I thought bacon would work. Now Irish bacon doesn’t get good and crisp, which is the only way I like my bacon by the way, but you decide; how you like your bacon, that is..

 So just make this Irish grilled cheese sandwich with bacon. It could be the best part of your day!

Best grilled cheese with bacon

More to Try:

 Irish Corned Beef, Potato and Cabbage Pie

Irish corned Beef, Potato and Cabbage Pie

Irish Buttermilk and Leek Pie with Bacon

This bacon, leek, and buttermilk Irish pie

Irish Nachos

Irish Nachos with Cheese sauce and potato chips

I love it when you share and pin the food!

Irish Grilled Cheese

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Irish Grilled Cheese

Irish Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Guinness

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 Minutes
  • Yield: 2 Sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Sandwich
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


This sublime Irish grilled cheese sandwich begins with bacon that has been caramelized with Guinness, then spread with a paste of jam, Guinness and mustard. Add some Irish cheese and two slices of Irish soda bread and you have a grilled cheese masterpiece!



Guinness Glazed Bacon:

6 slices thick bacon

1/2 T coarsely ground black pepper

2 T brown sugar

1 T Guinness


4 slices Irish Soda Bread (with raisins)

1/2 T brown mustard

1 T apricot jam

1 T Guinness

1 c shredded Irish cheese

2 T butter


(I used a convection oven to bake my bacon. It will take longer in a regular oven. But it may not. Because I like my bacon crisp and you may not. Got that?)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking pan with foil. Place rack on top of that. Place bacon slices on the rack.

Make a paste of the pepper, sugar and Guinness. Smear it on the bacon.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until bacon is as crisp as you want it. It will crisp up a bit after removing it from oven. Now have a swig of Guinness while you grate your cheese.

In a small bowl mix the cheese with mustard, jam and Guinness.

Get out your favorite cast iron pan. Melt 1 T of butter in the pan over medium heat. Have another swig, and remove pan from heat because your bacon probably isn’t ready.

Now take the 4 slices of bread and put 1/4 c of cheese mixture on each slice. When bacon is ready, put 2-3 slices on two slices of the bread. (If you are nice give the one extra slice to the dog and eat the other.) Now carefully place the cheese topped bread slice without the bacon, on top of the slice with the bacon and cheese. Got that?

Now get that pan hot again and place both sandwiches in skillet. Take a piece of foil and place it over the top of the bread and using your hands smush the bread towards the bottom of the pan. Not too hard, as you don’t want the cheese all over the bottom. A little won’t hurt though, because that part tastes so good!

Cook about 2-3 minutes and then add 1T of butter to pan and flip your sandwiches. Replace your foil and smush again. I always keep my pan covered as the heat retained in the skillet helps the cheese melt. Now take another swig of that Guinness. Open another. And flip that grilled cheese onto a plate.

This is the best way to start St. Paddie’s Day!

Keywords: Irish grilled cheese, toasted cheese, grilled cheese with bacon, sandwiches with bacon, best grilled cheese




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  • Sharon D
    March 23, 2015 at 4:33 am

    Omigosh, that is like the yummiest sandwich I have ever seen, Abbe. You are really good at making all of us drool! ^.^

  • dedy oktavianus
    March 22, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Damn delicious, i wish i had that on my lunch menu….
    [email protected] Chef

  • Sue/the view from great island
    March 22, 2015 at 3:26 am

    OMG that caramelized crust — this is calling my name!!

  • shannon weber
    March 20, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Abbe, i have been scrolling past this picture for DAYS now in my feed, and it's literally all i can think about now. It looks so delicious! we did a similar deal for st. patty's this year with corned beef and irish cheddar and it was incredible, just as comfort food should be. Love this!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:49 am

      Every now and then I get a good picture. I admit it makes me want to make it again! Thanks Shannon!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:50 am

      Every now and then I get a good picture. I admit it makes me want to make it again! Thanks Shannon!

  • La Table De Nana
    March 18, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Have no idea why your posts are not getting to me….I have signed up ..and everything..

    In French we have a very slang expression..about food.." c'est cochon"..
    It is in fact a compliment..for decadence;)
    This is "cochon"
    And I would eat it.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:48 am

      I'll see what I can do. This happens all the time to me! Some I got forever just stopped coming! Mysteries of the universe, I guess! Did you verify?

  • Sippity Sup
    March 18, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Ohhh. You're supposed to peel the plastic off. That explains a lot. No matter I far prefer your Irish version. GREG

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:47 am

      Very funny, Greg! I remember my brother leaving his wrappers all over the table!

  • Juliana
    March 18, 2015 at 1:11 am

    These grilled cheese look so good, I absolutely like the idea of soda bread with raisin and the jam in it…
    Have a great week Abbe 🙂

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    March 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Abbe, well it does not get any more decadent than this, I love everything about it. Could very well be my last meal.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:45 am

      Thanks Cheri! It would be close to the top of my list, too!

  • Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    March 15, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Whoa baby do I hear you about cheese. We had Velveeta. So count your blessings, Woman! I thought I hated cheese unless it was melted in a casserole. And then I tasted some Kraft Cracker Barrel cheese which gave me a hint that Velveeta was NOT cheese. I was definitely in late in high school or even in college before that Happening! I love Irish cheddar. I've always been Ho Hum about grilled cheese. Often it was paired with Campbell tomato soup. GAK!!!! I love grilled cheese now because its a super quick dinner for me that I actually like. Yeah let's don't waste alcohol.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:44 am

      I forgot about Velveeta. I didn't know what it was until I had lunch at my future husband's house! Never ever waste alcohol!

  • mimi rippee
    March 13, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Very interesting! My husband only drinks Guinness, so he'd love this sandwich!!! Thanks!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:43 am

      Well, I suppose you could have the sandwich and he could have the leftover Guinness!

  • Biz
    March 13, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    OMG, that sandwich screams me!! Now I need to add soda bread to my list – probably make a panini with it for one of my lunches next week – yum!!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:43 am

      Panini? I made my mother give her press away because she had no room on her countertop! Great idea though!

  • Cathleen
    March 13, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    WHOA!! This is making me hungry! I love ANY kind of grilled cheese 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:42 am

      Thanks Cathleen! And cookies in a mug?!

  • Tricia Buice
    March 13, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    On my goodness Abbe – you and I would be in so much trouble together! This sounds like the most amazing indulgence I've seen in I can't tell you how long! I am drooling – seriously! I'll bring the Guinness, you get the bread – lots of it too!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:41 am

      We would Tricia! But we could take walks and work it off!

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 13, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Hello, Gorgeous! That is one fabulous-looking grilled cheese, Abbe. I've actually never tasted Irish Soda Bread but I think I need some just to make this 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:41 am

      It is worth trying. At least this one was. Dense, with a hint of sweetness. Perfect for sandwiches!

  • Angie Schneider
    March 13, 2015 at 4:34 am

    One of the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever seen. I wish I could get to taste one. So yum!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:40 am

      I'd mke you one any day you want to stop by, Angie! Thanks!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    March 13, 2015 at 4:13 am

    Now THAT'S a sandwich! I could eat one of these right now – even before the holiday/ 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:38 am

      Every day of the year, Maureen! Thanks.

  • Kitchen Riffs
    March 13, 2015 at 1:42 am

    I've had decent store-bought Irish Soda Bread. But Mrs KR's is better. 😀 Never even thought to make a grilled cheese sandwich with Irish soda bread — love the idea. We don't eat grilled cheese sandwiches often around here, but we do sometimes — real comfort food. Love them with bacon. You've taken comfort food up another couple of notches.Oh, and I like recipes that call for just a little bit of Guinness. The cook gets to drink the rest. 😉

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:38 am

      A wise husband you are! Try using her bread for this. So, so good!

  • Liz Berg
    March 12, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Oh, boy, I'm swooning! I think I could eat a grilled cheese every day for the rest of my life and never tire of them. Especially when they're jazzed up like your winner!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:37 am

      Once I started to eat them,I loved them. But only on splurge day!

  • adam j. holland
    March 12, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    It's a gorgeous grilled cheese, Abbe. And beans for breakfast is quite common around these parts. 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 24, 2015 at 3:36 am

      My husband reminds me of that fact every day! Thanks Adam! It tasted pretty good, too!