{Recipe} French Toast Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Berry Compote for #FoodieExtravaganza

Welcome to the April Foodie Extravaganza!
Where we all share delicious recipes with the same main ingredient.
This month the theme is Grilled Cheese! We have an awesome variety of cheesy, melty goodness to share with you. If you would like to participate in the next Foodie Extravaganza, just go to the Facebook page to join. We would love to have you!
Shout out to Lauren of From Gate to Plate for hosting!

Grilled cheese. Oh, when I found out that this month’s challenge was grilled cheese the gears in my head started tuuuurrning. So many cheeses…so many possibilities…


Now I must admit that I’m a bit confused at the line where a grilled cheese sandwich ends and a toasted sandwich or panini begins. I mean, if you’ve got a sandwich with cheese and ham and turkey and this and that, can you really call it a grilled cheese? Or is it just a toasted sandwich? Why or why not? Deep thoughts, people. Deep thoughts.


So, in honor of my confusion, I’m keeping it simple…ish. We’re keeping the insides simple – just some cheese, maybe a little mustard (or you can be a rebel like I was and throw in a few slices of coppa. *nudgenudge*DOIT*nudgenudge). The bread, though. That part we’re kicking up a notch by using French toast. Add a tangy balsamic berry compote on the side, and you’ve got yourself the perfect savory-sweet hybrid sandwich breakfast thingie. In scientific terms, that is.


I used different cooking techniques when I was playing around with this recipe, and the hubs and I can’t agree on which technique should be the winner. His favorite cooks the French toast and “grilled cheese” parts at the same time and produces a soft sandwich that more closely resembles a cheese stuffed French Toast. My favorite method cooks the French toast and grilled cheese separately and produces the crisp outer bread that I love about grilled cheese sandwiches but still maintains the moist, soft interior of French toast. This version would be perfect for using up leftover French toast. You know, if that ever happened. Does that ever happen?


Either way you like your french-toasty bread, the insides are filled with ooey, gooey, melty cheese – brie, swiss and mozzarella, to be exact. Super creamy and just savory enough to offset the slightly sweet French toast. If you’d like a bit more salt, try it with the coppa (doitdoitdoit). Just a couple slices add’s just the right amount of salty-savoriness that makes this sandwich pair so well with the tangy-sweet compote. Oh, you thought I forgot about that part? Well, the sandwich doesn’t need it, but it’s definitely happier with it. 😉

French Toast Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Berry Compote
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 sandwiches
For the sandwiches:
  • 4 slices bread of choice*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 lb total swiss, mozzarella and triple cream brie
  • 1-2 Tbs butter for cooking
  • dijon mustard to taste
  • a few slices cured meat such as coppa (optional)
For the compote:
  • 2 cups mixed berries
  • 4 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs honey (optional, you can omit this if your berries are very sweet)
  • 2 Tbs water
For the compote:
  1. Place the berries, vinegar and honey (if using) in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook while stirring for 10-15 minutes or until berries and their juices are reduced.
For the sandwiches:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk and honey. Whisk well then transfer to a pie plate or shallow dish.
  2. Heat 1 Tbs butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Dip two slices of bread into the egg mixture, coating both sides.
Technique 1, for a softer sandwich:
  1. Place dipped bread into preheated skilled and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Flip one slice of bread over spread cooked side with a bit of mustard and pile with half the cheese (and meat, if using)
  3. Place the second slice of bread, cooked side down, on top of the cheese.
  4. Cook until the bottom slice is browned, 2-3 minutes, then flip sandwich.
  5. Cook until browned, another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, and enjoy with the fruit compote.
Technique 2, for a crisp sandwich with soft center:
  1. Place the dipped bread in the skillet and cook until browned, 2-3 minutes per side.
  2. Remove French toast from skillet and allow to cool a few minutes (you can prepare the compote at this time)
  3. Reheat the skillet and add the cooled French toast.
  4. Heat slices for 1-2 minutes on one side then flip one slice.
  5. Spread the toasted side with mustard and pile with half the cheese (and meat if using). Place the second slice, toasted side down on top of the cheese.
  6. Toast sandwich for 2-3 minutes per side or until browned and crispy.
  7. Remove from skillet and enjoy with fruit compote.
* Gluten Free bread works fine.




So, help me out here. Where do you draw the line between a grilled cheese and a toasted sandwich that also happens to have lots of cheese?

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Before you go, check out the rest of the grilled cheesy awesomeness that the bloggers of Foodie Extravaganza have for you!

Check out previous #FoodieExtravaganza posts!

Slow cooked, peanut butter based beef stew inspired by the Filipino dish Kare Kare. Simple BBQ sauce that uses cherries for a sweet and slightly tart BBQ kick. Vegan, sugar free, Paleo friendly. A simple and festive holiday treat. Can be served warm or cold.Savory, lemon ginger oat porridge replaces the rice in traditional lugaw (Filipino rice porridge) with steel cut oats for a satisfying chew. These no-bake cookies are deliciously buttery and sandy. Grain free, gluten free and refined sugar free, they'd make an awesome protein-filled snack!

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  1. For me a toasted sandwich or toastie as it is known elsewhere in the world, is made in a sandwich press. Ditto the panini. A grilled cheese sandwich is made on a griddle or frying pan. But, hey, I don’t care about the provenance; it’s the quality of the bread and cheese that counts and your French toast version is nothing short of genius! As for the coppa, I WILL do it!
    Stacy recently posted…Muffuletta Grilled Cheese #FoodieExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • Oh, that helps! There are restaurants around here that sell grilled cheese sandwiches with lots of other stuff inside, and it made me wonder. This makes sense!

  2. What a wonderful idea! I love the berry compote. I don’t think we have every had leftover french toast, but maybe we will have to strive for that as an excuse to make these!
    Carlee @cookingwithcarlee recently posted…Ham, Apple and Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese #foodieextravaganzaMy Profile

    • I really do wonder if leftover French toast ever happens. I like to make the French toast before the sandwich, so I thought I’d throw that suggestion out there in case, in some twilight zone, someone out there has leftover French toast. 😛

  3. I had that discussion with my husband – what makes a grilled cheese versus a Panini? I don’t care – I love them all!! Grill me something with cheese in the middle and I’m a happy camper. 😀 This version looks stunning, and completely delicious. And your little tiny helper hand with the berries is adorable. 😀
    Rebekah @ Making Miracles recently posted…#FoodieExtravaganza ~ Caramelized Onion BBQ Bacon Grilled CheeseMy Profile

    • Glad it’s not just me! True though, I’ll eat it no matter what you call it. 😉 And thanks! She kept going at the berries while I was trying to take a photo, so I just let her snag a couple. 😛

  4. What a glorious brunch dish…..Beautiful!
    Wendy, A Day in the Life on the Farm recently posted…Crusty Griddle-Baked Quesadillas for Foodie ExtravaganzaMy Profile

  5. Love this! I think the perfect grilled cheese is made in a frying pan, while a toasted sandwich is toasted in a panini or sandwich maker. Of course, tomato, tomato. The age old question! lol I’ll take either one, and especially yours, which sounds so amazing! Love the compote!
    Teri@The Freshman Cook recently posted…Celebrate It! Link Party!My Profile

    • I love hearing all these explanations for which sandwich is which. I didn’t grow up eating much of either, so I’ve been confused! 🙂

  6. I call anything that has cheese on toasted sandwich a grilled cheese. That balsamic compote sounds absolutely delicious!

  7. Oh my gosh, JOY! This is totally my kind of grilled cheese. Absolutely and unconditionally–berries and cheese are just about the best combo, ever. Saving this idea for our next finger food gathering!! <3
    Ala recently posted…The Very Best Kimchi Fried Rice for #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • It’s such a yummy flavor combo! Then again, I think anything with cheese is awesome. Cheese + berries…cheese + bacon…cheese + cheese…cheese + fingers… 😉

  8. Looks wonderful! I love all the different cheeses. Great flavor I’m sure. To me, grilled cheese is made with butter and on a pan or griddle. Toasty cheese is made with a toaster and doesn’t have near the same flavor.
    Kathleen recently posted…He Is RisenMy Profile

    • I love the flavor of these cheeses together! Plus, they get all gooey and melty. 🙂 Toasty Cheese is a new term for me. Based on what you and some others have said, I think my confusion is rooted mostly in the fact that where I live, they use these other terms.

  9. I contemplated doing a French Toast Grilled Cheese. So glad someone did! Looks great.
    Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook recently posted…#SundaySupper: Easter/Passover LeftoversMy Profile

  10. Welppp! Helpppp! These grilled cheese are to die for! I love grilled cheese, but my most fave is the one with balsamic berry compote, of course. I can’t wait to try this! Yummm
    Linda | Brunch with Joy recently posted…Rissole #SundaySupperMy Profile

  11. Um, french toast is my favorite ever. But like grilled cheese at the same time?? Going on my to-do list!
    Jacklyn recently posted…Pretzel Buns + March Life UpdatesMy Profile

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