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Cheddar Jalapeño Gourmet Grilled Cheese sandwiches stacked on top of one another in a melted mess.

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Cheddar Jalapeño Gourmet Grilled Cheese with King Oscar Sardines

This spicy Cheddar Jalapeño Gourmet Grilled Cheese with King Oscar Sardines is melty, messy, and delicious. It's packed with veggies, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids!


  • 4 slices of bread (I used sourdough)
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 3.75 oz can of King Oscar's Brisling Sardines with Hot Jalapeño Peppers, oil drained, *See notes for adaptation
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1 TBSP freshly chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices good quality cheddar cheese (I used a smokehouse cheddar)


  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Butter one side of each bread slice and place the slices onto a baking sheet, buttered side down. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Drain the oil from the sardines, then dump the sardines and slices of jalapeños from the can to the mayo mixture. With a fork, break down the sardines and jalapeños, stirring them into the mixture.
  • Add the celery, pickled jalapeños, red onion, tomatoes, and parsley to the mixture. Stir to combine until everything is thoroughly mixed; season with salt and pepper.
  • Place one slice of cheddar on top of each bread slice (remember to make sure they're all buttered side down on the baking sheet at this point). Transfer half of the mixture onto one slice of bread, spreading it out evenly. Do the same thing with the rest of the mixture on another slice of bread. Then, close the sandwiches with the other two slices of cheese and bread.
  • Bake until the cheese is melted and bread is golden brown, about 7-10 minutes. Carefully flip the sandwiches halfway through if you need to. (This depends on how the heat distributes throughout your oven.)


If spicy isn't your thing, you can swap the Brisling Sardines with Hot Jalapeño Peppers with another variety, like King Oscar's Brisling Sardines in Olive Oil or Zesty Tomato Sauce. Then, simply replace the TBSP of finely chopped pickled jalapeños with 2 TBSP of finely chopped dill pickles.