Havarti Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Caramelized Onion

Havarti Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Caramelized Onion

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Last Updated on April 7, 2021 by Chenée Lewis

Grilled cheese sandwiches are a classic easy comfort food snack. When you want something simple, but totally delicious, grilled cheese is definitely the way to go. But there are some times when you just want more. Something that is satisfying, but also sophisticated and flavorful. That’s when you need this Havarti grilled cheese sandwich. It’s got two types of cheese, seeded rye bread, and it’s also filled to the brim with crispy bacon, caramelized onions, and whole grain dijon mustard.

So let’s get started making this amazing Havarti grilled cheese sandwich. And what’s the most important part of a fancy grilled cheese sandwich? Fancy cheese, of course!

What are the best cheeses for grilled cheese?

For this grilled cheese sandwich we’re using not one, but two of my favorite cheeses for grilled cheese! Our first cheese is one of my favorites for sandwiches: Havarti! Havarti is a Danish semisoft cow’s milk cheese that has a smooth yet tangy flavor. It also melts well, so it’s perfect for this fancy grilled cheese!

Next, we’ll use Emmental, a Swiss cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk that has a nutty, creamy flavor. Emmental is a major ingredient in fondue, so it melts very well and provides lots of flavor. Together, these two cheese impart the perfect flavor and texture to make a grilled cheese sandwich that is downright elegant.

What can I add to my grilled cheese?

Whatever you like! In our Havarti grilled cheese sandwich, we’re grabbing some crispy bacon, caramelized onions, and our two cheeses for some amazing sweet and savory flavors.

But that’s not all! To make this fancy grilled cheese even fancier we’re using one of my favorite ingredients, whole grain dijon mustard! It adds that tangy dijon flavor with a bit of texture from the mustard seeds. I love using whole grain mustard in my cooking. If you can’t find whole grain mustard, regular dijon works just as well, and complements the cheeses marvelously.

Is mayo or butter better for grilled cheese?

The age-old debate! I personally prefer the flavor of butter, but I recognize that mayo is a better choice for browning and crispness. So for this Havarti grilled cheese, we’re going with mayo to get the perfect toasty browned outer crust!

You can also use softened butter, or clarified butter to coat the outside of your bread slices. Either way, you’re on your way to an amazing grilled cheese sandwich!


  • rye bread – The best sandwiches start with a good bread. I love the flavor of seeded rye, especially with the Havarti and dijon mustard flavors. But you can also use a seedless rye, or sliced sourdough to fit the flavor-packed goodness of this fancy grilled cheese sandwich!
  • whole-grain dijon mustard – I love the combination of dijon mustard and cheese flavor, especially with the caramelized onion. It makes me feel like I’m in a French café somewhere enjoying a quick ham sandwich on a baguette. I like this one, but you can use any whole grain or dijon mustard you like!
  • crispy cooked bacon – For this recipe, you can use leftover bacon, or your favorite recipe for cooking bacon in the oven or the stovetop.
  • Havarti and Emmental cheese – you can’t have a Havarti grilled cheese sandwich without Havarti! Along with the nutty Emmental, it brings lots of flavor and creamy texture, which is perfect for grilled cheese!
  • mayonnaise – As I mentioned above, mayo gives you the best toasty brown exterior for a grilled cheese sandwich. I’m from the midwest, where Hellmann’s is king, but you can use your favorite mayo for this recipe.
  • caramelized onions – These are truly the stars of this Havarti grilled cheese sandwich! You can buy prepackaged caramelized onions, but it’s actually super easy to make them yourself! I like this method from The Kitchn.


All you’ll need for this recipe is a skillet, griddle, or nonstick pan to fry up your fancy grilled cheese. If you use a cast iron skillet to caramelize your onions, then you’re already one step ahead!

Tips and F.A.Q.

Is Havarti a good melting cheese?

Definitely! Havarti is a semi-hard cheese that is super versatile and creamy! It also adds a mild nutty flavor to this havarti grilled cheese sandwich that you’ll love!

What is a good cheese to use for grilled cheese?

Other than the Havarti and Emmental we’re using in this Havarti grilled cheese, some other great cheese options are mild cheddar, provolone, Monterey Jack, and Muenster. These are all flavorful cheeses that melt well and aren’t overly greasy, and they’ll all perform well in a grilled cheese sandwich!

What is Havarti cheese best used for?

In addition to this Havarti grilled cheese, you can use your Havarti on burgers, in casseroles and pasta bakes, or in an omelet!

What is Havarti cheese comparable to?

If you can’t find Havarti, you can look for other mild semi-hard cheeses like Gouda, Colby, Edam, or mild cheddar.

Related Recipes

This Havarti grilled cheese sandwich is just the beginning! Check out my rotisserie chicken salad recipe for another quick and flavorful savory meal!

Or if you want more cheesy bacon goodness, you’ve got to try my bacon, leek, and asparagus quiche! It’s packed with bacon, veggies, and gruyère cheese, and it’s perfect for brunch, lunch, or any meal!

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipe with Bacon, Havarti, and Caramelized Onions | Chenée Today

Havarti Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

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Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine :American, Dutch, French, Swiss
Servings: 1 sandwich
Recipe Source: Chenée Lewis


  • 2 slices seeded rye bread
  • 1 tbsp whole-grain dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup caramelized onions - (see note)
  • ¼ cup crisp bacon - crumbled
  • 2 slices Havarti cheese
  • 1 slice Emmental cheese - or Swiss cheese, or Gruyère
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise - or butter


  • Spread mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread.
  • Place one of the slices, mayo side down, on a clean plate or work surface. Spread mustard onto slice and top with one slice of Havarti and one slice of Emmental.
  • Top with caramelized onions evenly spread over cheese, then bacon, then one more slice of Havarti.
  • Place second slice of bread on top with mayo facing up.
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Place sandwich in skillet to cook for 3-4 minutes each side, or until deep golden brown and cheese is melted.


Caramelized onions: I like this method for making caramelized onions by The Kitchn, and they can be used as toppings and ingredients for so many dishes! You can also buy prepackaged caramelized onions.
Cheese Alternatives: If you can’t find Havarti, some alternatives are Gouda, or Monterey Jack. If you can’t find Emmental, try Jarlsberg, Gruyère, or Swiss.
Nutrition Disclaimer
Tags: caramelized onion grilled cheese, fancy grilled cheese, gourmet grilled cheese, grilled cheese bacon, grilled cheese mayo, havarti grilled cheese
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Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipe with Bacon, Havarti, and Caramelized Onions | Chenée Today

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