Food Competitions / Recipes

Sara Lee® Artesano™’s Ultimate Grilled Cheese Challenge

Horsham, PA-based Bimbo Bakeries USA reached out to me to tell me about the Ultimate Grilled Cheese Challenge they are hosting featuring eight bloggers across the country (more about that below).

While I am not participating officially in this grilled cheese competition, I asked them if I could play along on my own because I LOVE making grilled cheese sandwiches. They sent me a couple of loaves of Sara Lee® Artesano™ bread so that I could feature my own regionally-inspired grilled cheese.

Sara Lee® Artesano™ bread [Photo: Marilyn Johnson]

🍂 Philly In the Fall Roast Pork Grilled Cheese 🍎

I could have done the obvious and made a cheesesteak grilled cheese, but I’m #sorrynotsorry to say, that would have been boring in my eyes. A Philly roast pork sandwich is just as good, if not better than the ubiquitous cheesesteak, and is often overlooked as a quintessential Philly sandwich.

I also could have just done roast pork, provolone, and broccoli rabe, but I wanted to take it to another level. In my Philly roast pork grilled cheese, I put a seasonal twist on it — with apples and Brussels sprouts! Before you freak out, hear me out!

Philly in the Fall Roast Pork Grilled Cheese [Photo: Marilyn Johnson]

It might sound weird, especially to Brussel sprouts haters, but this sandwich was OUTSTANDING! In fact, this is a competition-worthy sandwich and I could absolutely submit it to any cooking contest!


  • Sara Lee® Artesano™ bread
  • Roast pork tenderloin
  • Provolone cheese
  • American cheese
  • Sauteed apples
  • Air-fried Brussels sprouts (tossed in olive oil, balsamic, & smoked maple syrup)
  • Spicy brown mustard

The Sara Lee® Artesano™ bread is AWESOME for grilled cheese because it’s sturdy and really holds up to a lot of ingredients inside and toasts up nice. I felt this sandwich benefitted from two kinds of cheeses. Provolone is classic on a roast pork sandwich, but this was bolstered by the addition of American cheese. It added more richness and creaminess. You can use mild or sharp – whatever your preference. The air-fried Brussels sprouts added a nice little crunchy element and smokiness (thanks to the smoked maple syrup) while the sauteed apples added a sweet component. A little spicy brown mustard added zestiness. This sandwich hits A LOT of flavor notes. The roast pork was tender but it didn’t take away from the cheesiness! As you can see, I didn’t overstuff the sandwich because I wanted the bread and cheese to shine. And they both did!

It was fun to make this epic Philly-inspired roast pork grilled cheese. I will definitely be making this again.

Here’s how the actual grilled cheese competition is going down….

Sara Lee® Artesano™’s Grilled Cheese Challenge is a coast-to-coast battle as Sara Lee®, makers of delicious bread, buns, rolls, and breakfast products, looks to crown the ultimate grilled cheese recipe using the official bread of grilled cheese: Sara Lee® Artesano™ Bakery Bread.

Sara Lee® challenged eight grilled cheese connoisseurs from across the country to create a delectable grilled cheese recipe with unique flavors inspired by the region of their hometown. From spicy, southern pimento cheese to Chicago’s famous Italian Beef, each recipe infuses signature regional flavors into this classic American comfort food.

During the month of October, each recipe will compete head-to-head in a three-round voting series hosted on Sara Lee® Bread’s Instagram account.

Round one will take place from October 14 – October 18, 2020, the semifinals will follow from October 21 – October 22, 2020, and the contest will conclude on October 23, 2020, where one champion chef will be awarded $1,000 to be donated to a charity of their choice.

The eight recipes include:

In addition to the winning chef’s grand prize, the Grilled Cheese Challenge will give fans the chance to win their own deliciously cheesy prizes. During each round of voting, fans who cast a vote for their favorite recipe on Sara Lee® Bread’s Instagram account will be entered to win fabulous grilled cheese inspired prizes as well as a $5,000 cash prize during the final round of voting.

Have fun following along with this competition and I implore you to try making my Philly roast pork grilled cheese at home and let me know if you do!

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