Put a different (and delicious!) spin on a grilled cheese sandwich with this easy Caprese inspired blackberry grilled cheese. We're working with goat cheese, mozzarella, plenty of basil, and fresh blackberries for this gourmet twist on a classic melt!
I'm a sucker for these blackberry + goat cheese grilled cheese sandwiches (oof, say that five times fast).
This is the best grilled cheese recipe for spring and summer. It's inspired by a classic Caprese combo of tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella, and it's the perfect way to use those fresh, gorgeous blackberries (or any berries!) while they're in season.
Also: it feels fancy AF.
All you need for this blackberry grilled cheese
- A few slices of good sourdough or homemade crusty bread
- Unsalted butter - Let this come to room temperature so it's soft and easy to work with!
- Fresh blackberries - We recommend slicing them into halves or quarters so they lay flatter in the sandwich, but you can skip that step if you're in a hurry!
- Shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese - Making grilled cheese with mozzarella is the best, because it gets ultra melty and gooey (perfect for a gorgeous cheese pull!)
- Goat cheese - Gives this sandwich a nice tang and a bit of brightness!
- Fresh basil - Slice this into small pieces so you get all of the flavor without accidentally pulling the whole leaf out of the sandwich as you take a bite.
How to make this sandwich
Here's our basic order of operations:
- Butter one side of each piece of bread, then put the slices butter-side down in a big skillet on the stove top.
- Spread a thin layer of goat cheese across each bread slice, then top with blackberries, basil, and mozzarella.
- Top sandwiches with the remaining bread, turn the skillet to medium heat, and cook until the bread is golden brown. Flip, repeat, and enjoy!
Pro tip: Skillets often have "hot spots" in the center or towards one side that can cause grilled cheese to brown more on one side than the other. Check the sandwiches as they cook, and rotate them towards or away from your hot spots if needed so they cook evenly.
What to serve with grilled cheese
We know that grilled cheese is great on its own, but what else is it good with? A few of our favorite sides for these easy, cheesy sandwiches:
- 5 Minute Lemon Arugula Salad - perfect if you're in a hurry!
- Easy Roasted Tomato Soup - trust me, this flavor combo totally works.
- Spinach Prosciutto Salad - with a quick basil vinaigrette!
- Pear, Walnut, and Arugula Salad - so good.
Riffs and Substitutions
This grilled cheese recipe is very forgiving. Some of our favorite swaps:
- Add some protein. Add crispy bacon or prosciutto to these sandwiches to make them a bit heartier.
- Swap the blackberries for raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, pears, or sliced tomato.
- Add some greens. Layer a bit of spinach or arugula between the cheeses for a pop of color. This sandwich is also good with a bit of sliced avocado in the mix!
- No fresh basil? Add a layer of basil pesto or our favorite arugula pesto.
- Mix up the cheeses. We love the tart + creamy combo of goat cheese and mozzarella here, but use what you have! We like swapping brie, white cheddar, whipped feta, or havarti for some or all of the cheeses in this recipe.
- Make it mini! Use baguette slices instead of larger bread slices for bite-sized grilled cheeses.
A few FAQs
Yes! Grilled cheese is easy to make in the oven - it's our favorite way to prep these sandwiches for a crowd! Butter your bread slices, assemble each sandwich as directed, then lay sandwiches on a large sheet pan and bake at 400° F for 5-7 minutes (or until the tops are lightly toasted), then flip the sandwiches over and bake another 5-7 minutes or so until browned.
Yes! Mayonnaise is a popular (and delicious) swap for the butter in this recipe. You can also brush olive oil over each bread slice if you prefer that to mayo.
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Video: How to make blackberry grilled cheese
This easy blackberry grilled cheese is the perfect gourmet twist on a classic sandwich!
- 8 slices crusty bread (we like using our crusty artisan bread or a nice sourdough!)
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces (about ½ cup) goat cheese, softened
- 4 ounces fresh blackberries (about ½ cup), cut into quarters
- ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced
- 2 ounces (about ½ cup) fresh mozzarella , torn into small pieces
- Generously butter one side of each bread slice, then place half of the bread slices butter-side down in a large skillet (reserve the other half of your bread slices for the top of your sandwiches!) You may have to work in batches depending on the size of your skillet.
- Spread a thin layer of goat cheese on the non-butter sides of bread in the skillet.
- Place cut blackberries on top of the goat cheese. Place basil on top of blackberries.
- Divide the mozzarella cheese between the sandwiches and place on top of the basil.
- Place remaining bread on top of sandwiches, butter side up. Turn the skillet to medium heat. I like to start with a cold skillet because it gives the cheese more time to melt as the skillet heats up, and the butter will still help the bread get crispy. This method ensures a crispy sandwich with super oozy, melty cheese! (YUM).
- Cook sandwiches 2-3 minutes on each side (once skillet is hot) or until bread has lightly browned and cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
Additions and Substitutions. Add crispy bacon or prosciutto for some extra protein. Swap the blackberries for blueberries, strawberries, peaches, or pears. Use pesto in place of the fresh basil if you like. Replace some or all of the cheeses with brie, white cheddar, whipped feta, or havarti.
How should I soften the butter and goat cheese? We recommend taking them out and letting them come to room temperature for 15-30 minutes before you assemble your sandwiches! The goat cheese will soften more quickly than the butter; if your butter is still too cold, check out this tutorial to soften butter quickly.
Keywords: melt, sandwich, fruit
This recipe was originally published in 2013. It was updated in 2022 with new photos, notes, and more streamlined instructions.
The photos for this recipe were taken by Casey at The Mindful Hapa!