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Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Ricotta, Chicken + Fig

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A grilled cheese sandwich with ricotta, chicken + fig does not just stop there. Oh no. Add mozzarella, bacon, fresh thyme and arugula and you’ve got a show-stopping grilled cheese!

grilled cheese sandwich next to a jar of jam

Ricotta, Chicken + Fig Grilled Cheese

There are sandwiches for every season, but I find myself gravitating to them in summer. We are constantly on the go…road trips, the pool, wineries…and sandwiches are such an easy meal to prepare and pack for such occasions. They can hold all of your food groups in one hand-held, take with you anywhere, self-contained package.

Since we often meet up with friends at the neighborhood pool around dinnertime, I can pack oven-baked or grilled sandwiches that will stay warm long enough for us to enjoy. These sandwiches are cheesy, savory, + bacony and then all of sudden you get this pop of sweet fig jam. It’s heavenly. This one will definitely be coming with us, and I suspect I’ll have to make extras for friends!

grilled cheese sandwich, a glass of beer and a skillet with sandwiches

Ingredients for this Sandwich

I spent at least 10 minutes in the bakery section of our grocery looking at all the fresh baked loaves. I’m sure they thought I was nuts ping-ponging across the aisle trying to make a decision. 

I finally settled on a pre-sliced pain de campagne, or French “sourdough”. If you can’t find it at your store, you can make your own or grab a fresh loaf of your favorite sourdough. I selected slices from the center of the loaf — the biggest ones!

Other ingredients for your shopping list:

  • unsalted butter
  • part-skim ricotta cheese
  • part-skim mozzarella cheese 
  • oven-roasted chicken breast deli meat
  • fresh thyme
  • baby arugula
  • fig jam or preserves
two halves of a grilled cheese sandwich next to a jar of fig jam

How to Make This Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ricotta + Mix-Ins

Grab yourself a medium sized bowl and measure the ricotta into it. To that, you’re going to add crumbled bacon, chopped fresh thyme, a healthy amount of cracked pepper and a little salt. Oh…and some roughly chopped arugula.

To me, there’s nothing worse than having all your yummy additions slide right out of your sandwich as you bite into it. Chopping all these flavorful ingredients and mixing them into the ricotta ensures you don’t have slippage and get a little of everything in each bite.

Prepare the Bread + Assemble

Begin by buttering one side of each slice of bread with soft, unsalted butter. Lay them butter side down, in pairs, on a work surface.

On one side, spread the ricotta mixture (dividing the mixture evenly between all the sandwich pairs). Top the ricotta with slices of chicken breast deli meat, then with shredded mozzarella. 

On the other slice of the pair, spread some fig jam then plop that on top of the mozzarella — buttered side facing up.

Get Cooking

I love using cast iron for grilled sandwiches. A non-stick pan is good, too. Either way, heat your skillet over medium heat. If using cast iron, keep an eye on how hot the pan gets. Because cast iron retains heat so well, I often turn the heat down after cooking begins. 

Working in batches if necessary, carefully place a sandwich in the skillet. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes then (very carefully) flip it over. I find a fish spatula works really well for this task! Cook it for another 3 to 4 minutes on the second side. 

If you’re making them one at at time, remove sandwiches to a sheet pan and keep them warm in a 170° oven.

two sandwiches in a cast iron skillet

Serving Suggestions

Well…it’s a sandwich. The possibilities are endless! But, how about…

  • An arugula salad with a warm bacon + fig vinaigrette (talk about making use of extra ingredients!)
  • Olive oil + thyme sweet potato oven fries
  • Make your own flavor kettle chips

More Sandwich Recipes to Try

two half sandwiches stacked next to a jar of jam
grilled cheese sandwiches with ricotta, chicken and fig jam

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Ricotta, Chicken + Fig

Sip + Sanity | Linda Feller
A grilled cheese sandwich with ricotta, chicken + fig does not just stop there. Oh no. Add mozzarella, bacon, fresh thyme and arugula and you’ve got a show-stopping grilled cheese!
Prep time.12 minutes
Cook time.8 minutes
Total time.20 minutes
Course.Sandwich
Cuisine.American, Italian
Number of servings.6 sandwiches
Calories per serving.520 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 6 ounce center cut, uncured bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 cup baby arugula (about 1 oz), packed, roughly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 slices pain de campagne, or sourdough
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 ounce oven roasted chicken breast deli slices
  • 5 to 6 ounce part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 3 tablespoon fig jam, or preserves

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, crumbled bacon, thyme, arugula, pepper + salt.
  • Butter one side of each slice of bread. Lay the slices, butter side down, in pairs on your work surface.
  • Dividing ingredients equally between the 3 sandwiches, spread the ricotta mixture on 1 side of each pair. Layer chicken on top of the ricotta. Top the chicken with shredded mozzarella.
  • On the other slice of each pair, spread 1 tbsp of fig jam. Place that on top of the sandwich, buttered side up.
  • Preheat a cast iron, or nonstick, skillet over medium heat. Working in batches if necessary, transfer a sandwich to the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, flipping carefully.
  • To keep sandwiches warm, set them on a sheet pan in a 170° oven. Cut in half when ready to serve.½

Notes

This recipe makes 6 smaller sandwiches or 3 large. Calorie count is for 1 smaller sandwich.

Nutrition

Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 1099mg | Potassium: 342mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 562IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 340mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords.cheese, chicken, stove top
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15 Comments

  1. Now that my kids are home for the summer and we’re always on the go, I need to make more sandwiches. I love a good ginormous grilled sandwich! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. This is much fancier than our typical grilled cheese, but it looks simple enough! Saving this for the next time we make grilled cheese. 😊

  3. 5 stars
    I read the title of this post and already knew those ingredients would be a fantastic combo. Your pictures are stunning! The saltiness of the cheese combined with the sweetness of the figs sounds so inviting and scrumptious! I would absolutely make this, and it’s perfect for summertime!