Bacon, Pear, and Fig Grilled Cheese

This Bacon, Pear and, Fig Grilled Cheese recipe is a mouthwatering combination of savory and sweet. Ready in just 10 minutes, it is perfect for a quick dinner or weekend lunch.

close up with text overlay of grilled cheese sandwich


 

What is a Grilled Cheese?

Check out my newest creation and my latest obsession. I’ve literally had a Bacon, Pear and Fig Grilled Cheese sandwich three times this week. They are that good!

But the real question is… is it really a grilled cheese sandwich? Because my readers seem to fall into two camps: grilled cheese purists and modern grilled cheese eaters.

Grilled Cheese Purists beleive that a grilled cheese sandwich should be nothing but bread and cheese. The only other thing that comes into question is mayo or butter on the bread. Some even go as far as saying that cheddar cheese or American are the only acceptable cheese options.

While some have realized that adding complementing flavors like tomato, bacon and in this case, fig jam, bacon and pears, make for a gourmet grilled cheese that is hands down AMAZING. And they can be made in other ways, like air fryer grilled cheese.

overhead of grilled cheese sandwich on cutting board

Flavor Combo

How did this flavor combo come about? Every Christmas we receive bountiful and absolutely beautiful baskets and tins of goodies from friends and family.

Some boast cookies, others an assortment of fresh fruits, there are some with smoked salmon, and of course, there are those packed with cheese and jam. It all depends.

overhead of grilled cheese sandwich on cutting board

The main problem I run into is that these towering displays of deliciousness contain many perishable items and we are typically traveling during the holidays. Limited time at home means limited time to enjoy these seasonal items.

There are only so many fresh pears you can enjoy in the week before they go bad so I slapped mine between two pieces of bread with some other goodies and this gem was created.

close up of gooey grilled cheese

What You’ll Need

I know you might be thinking that it is a bit of an odd combination, but when you break the sandwich down into its components, it makes perfect sense.

What would you normally serve on a cheese board? Crackers or crusty bread – check. Cheese – a given. Dried fruit – a must. A meat of some sort – not always in play, but hey, why not!

  • Mayonnaise- It might sound odd since so many people use butter (still a viable option!) but mayo is made from eggs and oil. It gives a superior, buttery, golden brown crust to the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Sourdough bread– Since the other ingredients are salty and sweet, a nice earthy, tangy balance. Other types of bread are fine, but make sure they are thick cut and hearty to hold the stuffing!
  • White cheddar cheese– Since this usually comes in the towers, it was a no brainer. Other options would be Swiss, gouda or even brie. I wouldn’t swap this one with yellow cheddar, not the right flavor profile. My best grilled cheese tip: use shredded cheese for better, even melting!
  • Bacon – Cooked and cut into thirds or quarter so it fits snuggly onto the bread.
  • Pear – We used a Royal Riviera Pear because those are the ones in the tower, but a regular green pear is fine. Bartlett also works. Make sure it is a little hard- too soft, like a golden pear, might be a little too mushy for this sandwich. It needs to have body and structure. More recipes with pears, like pear salad, pear crostinis or apricot crostinis.
  • Fig jam or thinly sliced dried figs– I’ve used both and both are delicious! Fig jam does get metly and sticky, making a finger-licking good meal, which dried figs are a tad chewy. Cut them into strips to make it easier to eat. Fresh figs are always welcome too!
stacked cut gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches

Make It!

Mash these things together in a nice warm sandwich and you have heaven on a plate. These are great for lunch, an easy dinner, or if you have an adventurous crowd, you could try them as an afternoon or after school snack.

  1. Slather one side of each piece of bread with mayonnaise. Set plain side up (slathered side down)- this will be the side that hits the hot pan.
  2. Assemble sandwiches with a piece of cheese, dollop of jam, slices of pear and another piece of cheese and top piece of bread, mayo side facing out. The cheese slices should be touching the bread on both sides- they are the glue that holds it all together, so they need to be touching breading and then melt down between other ingredients.
  1. Heat a griddle or skillet (this is a great task for your cast iron) to medium heat (325°F for griddle) and add the sandwiches, pressing down to get maximum surface space in contact with the pan and cheese to melt and stick. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until bread it lightly browned. Flip and repeat on the other side. Feel free to use a panini press too! side view making a grilled cheese sandwich
  2. Remove to a cutting board and cut in half with one smooth hack. This is when I have fun and get my cleaver out and give a smack!
close up of browned bread on a grilled cheese sandwich

Make Ahead, Storage & Freezing

Make Ahead: Feel free to assemble these delicious sandwiches ahead of time, but wait until you are ready to eat to grill them.

Storage: Grilled cheese can be stored wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil or in an airtight container. They are best reheated in a hot skillet on the stove. Microwaving can make the bread rubbery and dry.

Freezing: I do not recommend freezing these sandwiches.

collage of pear, bacon and fig grilled cheese

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angle view of pear, bacon and fig grilled cheese sandwich
close up of grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and pears

Bacon, Pear and Fig Grilled Cheese

4.81 from 47 votes
This Bacon, Pear and Fig Grilled Cheese combines sweet, savory and gooey. The ultimate grilled cheese! 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 large slices sourdough bread
  • 3-4 ounces white cheddar cheese ,thinly sliced into 4-8 slices or shredded
  • 3-4 strips bacon , cooked and cook into quarters
  • 1 pear , thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fig jam or thinly sliced dried figs

Instructions

  • Slather one side of each piece of bread with mayonnaise. Set plain side up (slathered side down).
  • Assemble sandwiches with a piece of cheese, dollop of jam, slices of pear and another piece of cheese and top piece of bread, mayo side facing out. The cheese slices should be touching the bread on both sides.
  • Heat a griddle or skillet to medium heat (325°F for griddle) and add the sandwiches, pressing down to get maximum surface space in contact with the pan and cheese to melt and stick. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until bread it lightly browned. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  • Remove to a cutting board and cut in half with one smooth hack. Serve hot!
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

Nutrition

Calories: 718 kcal, Carbohydrates: 83 g, Protein: 30 g, Fat: 29 g, Saturated Fat: 15 g, Cholesterol: 74 mg, Sodium: 1080 mg, Potassium: 401 mg, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 15 g, Vitamin A: 590 IU, Vitamin C: 4 mg, Calcium: 480 mg, Iron: 4.9 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 718
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled cheese sandwiches, panini recipes
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Questions and Reviews

  1. I have not seen dried figs here. Are they in a pkg? Do i need to buy fresh figs and slice them up? We find those at Christmas usually.

    1. Hi! You can totally use fresh figs- dried figs are often in the same aisle as raisins or near pears and such in the produce section. Now I’m craving this sandwich- I might make one today!

  2. DELICIOUS!!!! love all the flavors, the bacon, pear and fig panini is a delicious game day sandwich.