Jalapeno Ham Grilled Cheese is made with an oven-roasted jalapeno cream cheese filling, ham, and Swiss cheese sandwiched between two slices of sourdough bread. Then, the assembled sandwich is cooked in a skillet over melted butter and cheddar cheese for a golden, buttery, and slightly cheesy crust. It is a rich and flavorful upgrade to a classic grilled cheese sandwich that is sure to impress the taste buds! I also have a Roasted Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese that you will love!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Jalapeno Peppers: The jalapeno peppers are roasted in the oven before being added to the cream cheese filling. Roasting the peppers intensifies their flavor and actually mellows the spiciness a bit. I also included air fryer instructions for roasting the peppers.
Cream Cheese: Softened cream cheese is mixed with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and chopped roasted jalapeno peppers.
Ham: I added deli ham to each grilled cheese. But, this would be a perfect recipe to use up any leftover ham from your Thanksgiving or Christmas feasts! The amount of ham you will need is based on the size of the slices of bread you are using.
Cheeses: Slices of Swiss cheese are added to the sandwiches and shredded cheddar cheese is the cheesy coating. If you don’t want to use Swiss cheese in the sandwich, experiment with your favorite kinds of cheese! Try the grilled cheese with cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack, just to name a few! You could leave off the cheesy exterior, but it really elevates the flavor of the grilled cheese and gives each bite a little extra crunch.
Bread: I love sourdough bread and thought it was delicious for this grilled cheese recipe. Of course, you could use the bread you have on hand.
Can I Make The Filling Without Roasting The Jalapeno Peppers?
Yes, you could make the cream cheese filling without roasting the jalapeno peppers; just seed and dice them before adding. However, we did test the filling both with and without roasting the peppers. The overwhelming response from the taste testers was that the filling with oven-roasted peppers was the favorite! Plus, roasting does take some of the heat off of the jalapenos, so it is even delicious for those who don’t like a whole lot of spiciness!
Can I Make The Filling Ahead Of Time?
Absolutely, you can get the oven-roasted jalapeno cream cheese filling made in advance so it’s ready to go when you are ready to make the sandwiches. Once you have the peppers roasted and added to the cream cheese, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 3-5 days. When ready to assemble the jalapeno ham grilled cheese, first, let the mixture come to room temperature.
What To Serve With Jalapeno Ham Grilled Cheese
To make this sandwich part of a complete meal, there are some delicious options to pair with it. Here are a few ideas:
- Roasted Tomato Soup or Meatless Chili
- Wedge Salad
- Air Fryer French Fries or Sweet Potato Fries
- Homemade Potato Chips
- Fruit Platter
- Crispy Onion Rings
- Roasted Vegetables (green beans, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts)
Jalapeno Ham Grilled Cheese
- 4 large jalapeño peppers, stems removed, sliced in half, seeded
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 16 slices deli ham, divided
- 8 slices Swiss cheese, divided
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- ¼ cup (½ stick / 57 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 1 cup (113 g) mild cheddar, finely shredded, divided
- Preheat oven to 425°F*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Brush the jalapeños with the oil on all sides and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Roast the peppers in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the skin of the jalapeños begins to char slightly.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- To a medium mixing bowl, add cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Mix well.
- Once the jalapenos are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them and fold them into to the cream cheese mixture.
- Top one slice of bread with ¼ of the cream cheese mixture, 4 slices of ham, and 2 slices of Swiss cheese. Top with a second slice of bread.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add ½ tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons (or enough for a thin layer of cheese to cover the entire piece of bread) shredded cheese. Place the assembled sandwich in the skillet, on top of the butter and cheese.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes. Then, using a spatula, lift the sandwich. Before placing it back into the pan, add another ½ tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons shredded cheese to the skillet.
- Cook the other side in the butter and cheese for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese inside is melted and the outside is golden brown.
- Using a spatula, remove the sandwich from the skillet. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately.
- Brush jalapeno peppers with extra virgin olive oil on all sides.
- Place into the basket of your air fryer in a single layer. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to work in batches.)
- Air fry for 7 minutes at 425°F.
Did you make this recipe?
You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.
What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
We tested this with roasted jalapenos and fresh jalapenos and, while I liked it both ways, roasting is really worth the extra effort. So delicious!
Wow, this grilled cheese sandwich was rich, indulgent, and delicious! What a unique take on a grilled cheese! It's like a grilled ham and cheese with a jalapeno popper-like twist.
What a fantastic sandwich! I have never had the jalapeño popper combination with ham and now I don't know why I haven't! The roasted jalapeños give it an extra flavor boost but mellows out the sharp heat of it. Truly a delicious sandwich!
This sandwich has so much flavor! The jalapeños are very flavorful with only a little heat, and the combo with the ham is delicious!
This grilled cheese is delicious. Each bite is rich, cheesy, and savory. I am used to jalapeño poppers with bacon, but ham works just as well with these flavors!
I wouldn't have thought to use ham instead of bacon and it's so delicious! I love the roasted jalapenos as well in this super special sandwich. The cheese toasted on the outside is just the cherry on top!