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Honey Butter Grilled Cheese with Jalapeno Relish

Hey there, fellow foodies! Are you looking for a delicious way to celebrate the best of the wacky food holidays, National Grilled Cheese Day (IMHO)? Look no further than Honey Butter Grilled Cheese with Jalapeno Relish! This sandwich combines the creamy goodness of white cheddar and Havarti with the sweet and spicy flavors of honey butter and jalapeno relish.

This grilled cheese sandwich is on repeat at our house. Every time I open the fridge and see that jar of jalapeno relish, there is an overwhelming need to grab my cast iron skillet and cook one up!

It’s also one of those recipes that you can customize to suit your taste. Make it sweeter, and spicier, use a different variety of cheeses, or throw in your favorite add-ins to make your best grilled cheese!

Gather Your Ingredients

  • Fresh jalapenos – you’ll need six large jalapenos, seeded and diced.
  • Fresh garlic – roughly chopped. Start with one clove and add more to taste.
  • Apple cider vinegar – for its fruity, mild tartness.
  • Honey – I like wildflower honey and if you can get local honey, even better! It’s used in the relish and honey butter.
  • Unsalted butter – room temperature butter is easier to blend with honey.
  • Sharp white cheddar cheese – I love the tangy bite that sharp cheddar provides.
  • Creamy Havarti cheese – an excellent melting cheese! 
  • Sourdough bread – is wonderful for grilled cheese, but feel free to use any crusty white bread…or crusty multigrain.

Make the Jalapeno Relish

You can make this no-cook relish just before using or make it in advance to allow the flavors to really meld together. It makes about 3/4 cup which is more than enough for several grilled cheese sandwiches. You can also use it on tacos, eggs, burgers, and more!

  1. Pulse chopped jalapenos and garlic in a food processor just until it’s minced, and before it becomes watery.
  2. Transfer to a bowl or jar and stir in the apple cider vinegar, honey and some kosher salt.
  3. Adjust the ratios of vinegar, honey and salt to your liking.

Make the Honey Butter

Simply combine the softened butter with honey and salt in a medium bowl with a fork, whisk or handheld electric mixer. You can also make this just before using or in advance.

Creating the Perfect Grilled Cheese

For this recipe, I prefer to assemble the sandwich in the pan.

  1. Butter two slices of bread with the soft butter, on one side only.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat until it’s hot.
  3. Place the bread in the skillet buttered side up! I like to toast the ‘inside’ of the bread first so it’s already warm when it makes contact with the cheese. Once lightly toasted, flip the slices over.
  4. Add a layer of shredded cheese to one slice. Spoon jalapeno relish over the cheese, then add another layer of shredded cheese before flipping the other slice of bread on top.
  5. Cook until the bottom slice is golden brown, then flip to cook the other side until the cheese melts.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy that gooey, cheesy goodness!

Helpful Recipe Tips

Spreadable honey butter – if you make the honey butter ahead of time and store it in the fridge, be sure to bring it back to room temperature or soften it in the microwave to make it easier to spread.

Hand shredded cheese – pre-shredded packaged cheese typically contains cellulose as an anti-caking agent which can mess with your cheese’s melt-ability. For the best results, buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself!

Make it more or less spicy – remove all of the seeds & pith (the white part inside the pepper) for a less spicy relish. To give it an extra kick, include some of the pith when you process it. Capsaicin, the compound that makes chilis spicy, is contained in the pith. Only a residual amount is on the surface of the seeds.

Storing extra jalapeno relish – this recipe makes more than you’ll need for a few sandwiches. Store any extra in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

Seeding jalapenos – to remove the seeds and pith, trim the stem off, then halve the jalapeno lengthwise. 1) Use a paring knife to cut away the pith or 2) use a spoon to scoop out the pith & seeds. If you are sensitive to capsaicin, wear gloves to protect your hands while handling the peppers.

Amp Up This Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe…Even More

I love this combination as-is, but if you want a bigger over-the-top grilled cheese experience, consider these add-ons:

  • Crispy bacon
  • Roasted, sliced bell pepper
  • Tomato slices
  • A fried egg
  • Avocado slices

The Perfect Sip for the Perfect Bite

Now, no meal is complete without a delicious beverage to wash it down with. I recommend pairing this sandwich with a cold glass of sweet tea or a refreshing IPA beer. The sweetness of the tea complements the honey butter, while the bitterness of the IPA balances out the richness of the cheese.

I hope you enjoy this Honey Butter Grilled Cheese with Jalapeno Relish recipe as much as we do. Happy National Grilled Cheese Day, and happy eating!

Linda Feller has been a Plan to Eat superfan since 2013 and will whip out the app to share with anyone who expresses the least bit of interest. She is a recipe developer, food photographer and the gal behind Sip + Sanity, recipes for entertaining and celebrating.
FB & Instagram: @sipandsanity
Twitter: @SanitySip

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Honey Butter Grilled Cheese with Jalapeño Relish

This is less of a recipe and more of a guide for making the most delicious sweet, piquant, cheesy grilled sandwich. <br> <br>Depending on the size of your bread slices, the number of sandwiches you can make will vary. Likewise, you may have some honey butter leftover. (Slather it on toast with a pinch of cinnamon!) There's definitely more than enough relish, but you can use it for tacos, eggs, burgers, and more!

Source: Sip + Sanity | Linda Feller for Plan to Eat

Course: Snacks and Sandwiches

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 5 min

Total Time: 20 min

Yield: or more



  • Honey Jalapeno Relish (makes about 3/4 cup)
  • 6 large fresh jalapeños seeded & diced
  • 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 14 tsp kosher salt
  • Honey Butter
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • pinch kosher salt to taste
  • Sandwiches
  • 8 oz block of sharp white cheddar shredded
  • 6 oz block creamy havarti shredded
  • 10 slices sourdough bread


  1. (Cook time given is for cooking one sandwich at a time.)
  2. Place chopped jalapeños and garlic in a food processor and pulse until it's minced, but not so long that is becomes watery. Transfer to a bowl and stir in apple cider vinegar, honey and salt. Taste and adjust any of the components to your liking. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine softened butter with honey and salt using a fork, whisk or electric hand mixer.
  4. Toss the shredded cheeses together to create a blend.
  5. Butter one side of each bread slice with the honey butter. Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot. Place the bread slices in the skillet, buttered side up to first toast the insides. Flip the bread over. Spread a layer of shredded cheese on one slice, spoon jalapeno relish over the cheese (let excess liquid drip back into the bowl first), then add another layer of shredded cheese. Place the other slice of bread on top, buttered side out. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook the other side.
  6. Store extra jalapeno relish is an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

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