Corned Beef Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled cheese too simple? Beef it up with a Filipino breakfast staple: canned corned beef cooked with white onions.
3 sandwiches
Prep Time
05 Mins
Active Time
25 Mins

Despite its cheesy excesses, an all-American grilled cheese can still feel… lacking. Like it's too much goo, and could use some heft or meaty protein.

Our pitch: Beef up your grilled cheese with your go-to canned corned beef. The variant doesn't matter—classic, spicy, garlicky, spicy AND garlicky are all good. Cook it as you would, with white onions for sweetness. Once dry and toasty, tuck it all between buttered bread with not one, but two types of cheese.

Use two cheeses for flavor AND stretch

The perfect grilled cheese has that picture-perfect cheese stretch that tastes as good as it looks. It has to score high on both flavor AND texture. Cheddar will give you passing grades, but not enough for Latin honors. Same with mozzarella—excellent stretch, but too mildly flavored.

What do you do if one cheese doesn’t cut it? Simple. Combine two cheeses: one for flavor, and the other for stretch.

Best flavorful cheese: American cheese

That melty yellow square you see in cheeseburgers? That’s American cheese. In a grilled cheese, you get a creamy, buttery mouthfeel paired with a mild yet pronounced saltiness—the nostalgic flavor you know and love from good old processed cheese.

While American cheese does melt wonderfully, it’s more of a drip than a pull—it lacks the resistance for a proper grilled cheese stretch. That’s fine. You’re here for flavor! Stretch is where your second cheese comes in.

Best stretchy cheese: Low-moisture mozzarella

For melty, gooey cheese with maximum pull, look for low-moisture mozzarella. It’s the melty cheese of choice for pizza, so you’ll also find low-moisture mozzarella labeled as pizza topping cheese.

No mozzarella? Monterey Jack and Fontina also form a good cheese pull.


  • 2 medium white onions, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 can (350g) corned beef, drained
  • 6 slices white sandwich bread
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 9 slices American cheese or sharp red cheddar
  • 1 cup low-moisture mozzarella, shredded, divided
  • more butter, for toasting

Cook corned beef: Heat a bit of neutral oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add white onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Add corned beef and continue cooking until no longer wet and excess liquid has evaporated. Season with a little salt and pepper. Transfer to a wire mesh strainer over a bowl to drain any excess liquid. Set aside and let cool completely.


Assemble sandwiches: Place two slices of white bread on a chopping board. Spread 1 tbsp butter thinly across each slice, then season with salt. This buttered side will have direct contact with the pan later.

Flip one slice of bread to expose the non-buttered side. Add ⅓ of the corned beef over the bread, spreading it in a single even layer. Sprinkle ⅓ cup of mozzarella over the corned beef. Lay 3 slices of American cheese on top, overlapping as needed. Top with the second slice of bread, buttered side facing you, to finish the sandwich.

Repeat with remaining bread, butter, corned beef, and cheeses until you have 3 sandwiches total.


Toast sandwiches: Melt a pat of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add sandwich to the pan and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 4–5 minutes. While cooking, gently press down on the sandwich to ensure the full surface area of the bread hits the pan and toasts evenly. Carefully flip the sandwich to toast the other side, adding more butter if the pan looks dry, 4 minutes.

Repeat with remaining sandwiches, but don’t let the first one wait. Serve immediately while the cheese is warm and melty.

Post Contributors