the main course

Fancy Pumpkin Butter Grilled Cheese

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This recipe was featured in our Imperfect Almanac.

Lucious pumpkin butter, tart green apples, and lots of melty cheese. It’s the festive fall trio you didn’t know you needed in your life. Our recipe for Pumpkin Butter Grilled Cheese is one-part comforting, one-part autumnal, and two-parts cheesy. Enjoy with a mug of apple cider or a bowl of Spiced Carrot Soup.

Serves 2

Fancy Grilled Cheese with Imperfect Foods Pumpkin Butter


  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided (2tbsp, 1 tbsp, 1 tbsp)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 4 slices of sourdough or other rustic bread
  • 4-8 slices of high-quality cheese (mozzarella, provolone, gouda, etc.)
  • 4 tbsp Imperfect Foods Pumpkin Butter
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • Granny smith apple, 6-8 thin slices
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat until butter is melted. Add onions and a pinch of both salt and sugar and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are beginning to become translucent. 
  2. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring every few minutes and adding an occasional splash of water to prevent sticking/burning and speed up the process. 
  3. Continue cooking until onions have reached the desired level of brownness. 15-20 minutes for blonde color. 30 minutes for golden brown. 45-50 minutes for dark brown. Set caramelized onions aside to cool slightly.
  4. Layout slices of bread to assemble the sandwich. Spread 1 tbsp of pumpkin butter on each slice of bread.
  5. On the bottom slice of bread add 1-2 slices of cheese, 3-4 slices of apple, caramelized onions, and chopped rosemary, and top with an additional 1-2 slices of cheese. Top with the second slice of bread.
  6. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a medium skillet for each sandwich and grill the sandwiches on each side until brown and crispy and the cheese is melted. For crispier bread, press down on the sandwich while cooking with a spatula or sandwich press. 

Recipe Notes and Variations

  • There are a lot of folks out there who swear that to get the best grill on your grilled cheese, you should smear mayonnaise rather than butter on the outside of your sandwich. We’re butter purists but also secretly curious if anyone has tried it.
  • And because we can never get enough pumpkin this time of year, check out our Three Ways to Eat All the Pumpkin Butter and 6 Ways to Pumpkin Spice Up Your Life.


  • Shauna
    September 16, 2021 at 5:25 am

    I always use mayo spread on the outside of the bread for grilled cheese. It profuces a beautifully browned and crispy grilled cheese sandwich. I think it works better than butter; less likely to burn quickly!

    • Imperfect Foods
      September 29, 2021 at 2:20 am

      Love this tip!

  • Crystal Haag
    September 19, 2021 at 8:59 am

    Looks yummy. EVERYTHING does. Can’t wait for my first box.

    • Imperfect
      September 21, 2021 at 12:40 am

      Yay! We’re so hap-pea to have you join our wonky fam! 💚

  • Dale Hamakawa
    October 23, 2021 at 6:20 am

    Easy to make except for the time it takes to caramelize the onions. Used Smoked Gouda and gala apples but still lacked any flavor. Maybe I didn’t spread enough pumpkin butter.

    • Imperfect
      October 26, 2021 at 6:47 pm

      Caramelized onions do take a bit of time to make! And now you’ll definitely have to try that for next time! 🎃


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