SuperFrico Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Recipe

The SuperFrico - a grilled cheese sandwich with a built-in cheese crisp
The SuperFrico – a grilled cheese sandwich with a built-in cheese crisp

Every knows the best part of a grilled cheese sandwich (lasagna, gratin, mac & cheese, …) are the bits where the cheese gets brown and crispy. So one night I says to myself, why can't there be more crispy? What happens if I just make a frico (cheese crisp) right there in the skillet and weld it to my already delicious grilled cheese? Would this not be a fine extension of an already superb late supper?

The answer was a resounding yes. My wife and I have been enjoying these SuperFricos (tm 🙂 occasionally for months now, and I figured it was time to share. Just as I was planning to make this sandwich again and actually photograph them so I could write a post, I get this press release:


SEATTLE – March 10, 2010 – The Seattle Cheese Festival is conducting a recipe search for the best grilled cheese sandwich. The contest is open to home cooks and professional chefs. The winner will be invited to demonstrate the recipe during a cooking demo at the Seattle Cheese Festival, which takes place at Pike Place Market on May 15 and 16, 2010. The winning sandwich will be featured online at and on the menu at the café at DeLaurenti Food & Wine.


Are you kidding me? Clearly the dairy gods have spoken. So I'll give you the recipe here, and enter it in the contest too.

By the way, folks often ask me about how to know whether cheese uses animal, vegetable, or microbial rennet. The best way to find out is to ask the manufacturer. Sargento, for example, has a FAQ about their all natural cheese.

SuperFrico Grilled Cheese
Vegetarian; not vegan nor gluten-free (although feel free to try substitutions and comment if they are good)
Makes one sandwich

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 thin slices of artisan sourdough bread (Baker Street Sourdough from Tall Grass is a personal favorite)
  • 1/2 cup grated aged provolone cheese or oak-smoked cheddar
  • 3 tablespoons Beecher's Flagship Cheddar mixed with 2 teaspoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over a medium or slightly hotter flame.
  2. Add the slices of bread. I like to lightly moisten them with the butter on one side, then flip them over.
  3. Top one slice of bread with the provolone or oak-smoked cheddar and cover with the other slice of bread. Press down firmly. I use another, smaller skillet for that. Cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping a couple of times and pressing occasionally.
  4. When the basic grilled cheese is done, remove it from the pan. Lower the heat to medium. If the pan seems very dry, melt a touch more butter in it. Sprinkle the mixed Flagship and Parmigiano Reggiano in the still-hot skillet, in a shape roughly the same as the sandwich but a little larger.
  5. Now watch closely, as the cheese melts. You'll see the fat start to cook out and the cheese begin to brown and crisp. Before this process is complete, put the sandwich back on top and press down to weld the frico to the bread.
  6. Let cook for one more minute, then using a thin spatula, lift out the sandwich, flip, cut in half, and serve. If there are more crispy bits left in the skillet, retrieve them and place on top of the sandwich.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Thursday, March 11th, 2010 in Main Courses, Recipes, Seattle.

15 Responses to “SuperFrico Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    March 11, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    mmmmm…that looks superfrico’ing delicious!!

  2. Reply
    March 11, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    should not read food blogs when hungry. yum!

  3. Reply
    March 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Looks fantastic! I bet the same method would make a great quesadilla, too. Yum.

  4. Reply
    March 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm #


  5. Reply
    March 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    i always mix parmesan into the butter on my grilled cheese sandwiches. a similar effect, but i never though about taking it to the next level! i bet you’ll win this contest! awesome.

  6. Reply
    Rowan Watson
    March 12, 2010 at 1:02 am #

    yum. can i say it again? frakkin YUM! you are my culinary idol, right up there with julia child, who taught me how to cook with booze (among other things) ha ha ha

  7. Reply
    March 12, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    This is genius! I want to run to the kitchen and try this now.

  8. Reply
    March 12, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    That is awesome. I am kind of a purist when it comes to my grilled cheese sandwiches, but I can definitely get on board some cheesy crunchiness added to it.

  9. Reply
    March 12, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    You’ve done it again, Michael. Awesome way to kick up the classic grilled cheese, I must say. There are some local cheeses I’m anxious to try this with.

  10. Reply
    March 13, 2010 at 3:27 am #

    SuperFrico…what a fun name! 🙂

  11. Reply
    March 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Michael – you are either an evil genius or a brilliant angel. Whatever, as long as you keep churning out ideas like this one.

  12. Reply
    April 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Yum! Have you submitted this to the Grilled Cheese Academy yet? link to

  13. Reply
    Lisa Murray
    August 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm #


  14. Reply
    January 7, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    I discovered frico in ‘Biba’s Italian Kitchen’ cookbook when my kids were little. Her recipe is a 1 to 1 mixture of grated potato and grated cheese with a dash of salt. Cook them in a small skillet, one at a time. Don’t bother putting plates out … they’ll disappear off the stove as each one comes out of the pan! I’ve never tried keeping them warm … they’ve never lasted long enough to bother!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2013 at 7:14 am #

      Potato frico, fascinating!

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