End of summer comfort is what this sandwich is all about! Get this eggplant parmesan grilled cheese with chili tomato jam into your dinner rotation while you still can.
eggplant parmesan grilled cheese with chili tomato jam

After this week, my updated list of summer goals includes:

Fill a tub with chili tomato jam.

Bathe in it.

Eat my way out (with the help of some eggplant parmesan grilled cheese sandwich scoops).

Rinse, refill, repeat.


On the bright side, imagine how good I would smell!

Seriously, though. Dove Cucumber & Green Tea Deodorant – you’ve got competition.


On the downside…..THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE.

Just love, light, and tomato chili jam. Everything is up!!


I actually have no idea where I’m getting all of this optimism from because I am STRESSED STRESSED STRESSED. My thesis defense is in a little less than a month and the actual written portion has to be sent to my committee members in just under two weeks. TWO WEEKS.

Hold me.

Buuuuuttt there are eggplant parm grilled cheese sandwiches in this world!! With chili tomato jam on them!!

So everything will be a-okay.

(And if you try to tell me otherwise, I may bite you. Consider yourself warned.)


The real key to these sandwiches is to make the chili tomato jam ahead of time. It really doesn’t take SO long to simmer away on the stove, but when I’m craving grilled cheese, I want it yesterday. There is no time to wait for tomatoes to heat up and break down and thicken.

After that, it’s all easy peasy all the way. The eggplant fries take exactly 20 minutes to throw together and cook. And they are marvelous. Truly. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and without even a drop of oil! Magic. You could eat them on their own, but everything is better when stuffed between two layers of melty cheese, the butteriest brioche you can get your hands on, and sweet spicy tomato-y jam.

That’s what I call science.

If only I could write a whole thesis chapter just on these. If. Only.


Eggplant Parmesan Grilled Cheese with Chili Tomato Jam
End of summer comfort is what this sandwich is all about! Get this eggplant parmesan grilled cheese with chili tomato jam into your dinner rotation while you still can.
Yield: 6 sandwiches
For the chili tomato jam
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 1 lb plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp paprika
For the eggplant parmesan
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into ¼ inch thick 'fries'
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
For the sandwiches
  • 12 slices of bread
  • 12 slices mozzarella cheese
  • butter, for greasing the pan
  1. For the jam place the cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes, and paprika in a large pot. Simmer for 30 minuets, or until the tomatoes are broken down and mixture is jammy. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. For the eggplant, heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the flour and eggs in separate, shallow bowls. In a third bowl, stir together the panko, parmesan cheese, and oregano. Season breadcrumbs with salt and black pepper, to taste. Dip the eggplant sticks in the flour, then coat with the egg, and finally dredge in the breadcrumbs. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes.
  5. To make the grilled cheese, slather each slice of bread with tomato jam and top with a slice of mozzarella. Divide the eggplant parm fries among half of the bread slices and top with remaining bread, cheese and jam side down.
  6. Lightly grease a nonstick skillet with butter. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the sandwiches to the pan, as many as can fit. Place a heavy pan on top of the sandwiches to weigh them down. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until bread is toasty and cheese is melted. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sandwich

Grilled cheese every day!

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44 Responses to Eggplant Parmesan Grilled Cheese with Chili Tomato Jam

  1. Beth says:

    That is one awesome sandwich. I want it yesterday too!

  2. woah, that looks like one seriously delicious grilled cheese! Eggplant parm has a big spot in my heart, but grilled cheese has an even bigger one. Definitely in love with this combo.

  3. Girl, you are going to ACE everything about that thesis. It is going to be the grilled chili jam version of a thesis – absolutely perfect.

  4. We have gotten ALL the eggplant in the world in our CSA this year, haha. I’ve been at a loss with what to do with it. This looks like a fantastic way to use it! Delish.

  5. I’ve died and gone to chili-tomato-jam heaven. This looks fabulous! Last year around this time, we made Closet Cooking’s bacon jam. . damn, this is good stuff. Cannot wait to try this, Joanne!

  6. Okay, YOU are totally fabulous and I KNOW you will get your thesis defense done in time AND you will blow them all away with your ingeniousness! Breath… and don’t bite me please! 🙂 NEWays, This grilled cheese is rocking my world! I LOVE eggplant parmesan! But jam packed into a cheesy delicious grilled sammy AND smothered with chili tomato jam??! SAY WHAAA? Gimme!!!!! This is soooo going to happen for lunch! And I am definitely making a double batch of that spectacular chili tomato jam, because I NEED TO lather myself up with that! 🙂 LOVE this, Joanne! Pinned!

  7. Heather says:

    You will rock your thesis! Also? This grilled cheese is brilliant… hearty and cozy and perfect.

  8. Everything IS better when stuffed between two layers of melty cheese indeed – but – WOA – that chili tomato jam could easily upstage chocolate as the big stress reliever!
    Good luck with your thesis Joanne!

  9. Christina says:

    Chili Tomato Jam, yes! Why am I stuck in a cube and not making this right now? And you will rock that thesis!

  10. Girl, that jam! I’ve got to have it!! And an eggplant parmesan grilled cheese?! I don’t think I can look at grilled cheese sandwiches the same anymore. This one is fantastic!!!

  11. i’ve slowly been letting eggplant back into my life after a weird stomach ache i had after eating it one time… and this grilled cheese looks like the perfect sandwich to start with!!! mmmm

  12. Oh wow! My husband is going to just die when I make these for him. We are both BIG eggplant and grilled cheese lovers. Good luck with your thesis Joanne!

  13. You’re going to kill it! Good luck girl 🙂 This looks delicious- pinning!

  14. Debra Jean says:

    The sandwich looks delicious. But wondering what kind of substitute can be used in place of the balsamic vinegar which is loaded with sugar.

    • joanne says:

      I only tried this with balsamic vinegar, so I can’t say for sure, but you could try red wine vinegar. The taste really won’t be the same, but it might still be good!

  15. THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE << truer words have never been spoken. I pretty much just want all of this immediately. Re: your thesis. Deep breaths, Joanne. You got this!

  16. Never having written a thesis before I can’t imagine what your going through but i’m sure plenty of these grilled cheese sandwiches will help ease the strain.

  17. asha Shiv says:

    This is the best combo and that jam is a winner. Your sandwiches are the best.
    Take care and all the best with thesis.

  18. Girl, you are going to rock that thesis defense. Don’t be surprised if it’s a bit of an anti climactic experience. You spend years working to reach that point and they you get there, do your thang, and are like “wait, that was it?”. You wouldn’t be defending if you weren’t ready =)

    ALSO this grilled cheese looks baller. Any chance this can be mailed to me?

  19. Kate says:

    I would put this jam on everything!

  20. This is SUCH a great idea. What a hearty meatless Monday meal! Also, I envision that tomato jam along with a lovely bread/charcuterie/cheese plate…

  21. Pam says:

    The sandwich has me drooling! I have a feeling that the tomato jam would be amazing on a lot of things!!!

  22. Erica says:

    This looks insane!!! And amazing!!! The spicy sweet combo you got going in that tomato jam makes me swoon.

  23. I loooove the deep red color of this jam! Beautiful!

  24. I don’t even like eggplant and this looks amazing!

  25. Oh, I so know what I am making once it is the tomato season – I reckon I will be eating this jam straight from the container:-)

  26. Kelly says:

    Love this eggplant grilled cheese – so wish it would magically appear in front of me. That chili tomato jam is everything! Good luck with your thesis!

  27. The chilli tomato jam sounds delicious. Hope your writing goes well!

  28. easypeasy says:

    Oh yum! Gotta try this!!! 🙂

  29. Wow, wow, wow! This sandwich looks awesomely delicious. Eggplant + grilled cheese + chili tomato jam? I am in! 🙂

  30. I NEED this in my life!! The sandwich looks beyond delicious, Joanne.
    All the BEST with your thesis!

  31. Zainab says:

    So how are you still blogging?? I will be in coo-coo land when my thesis is due in two weeks. I envy your skills lady!!

  32. grace says:

    your jam is a fine way to make awesome tomatoes last a little longer, and your sandwich is the perfect place to put it…second only to a tub, of course. 🙂

  33. Oh heck yes! And I cannot believe you are 2 weeks away from turning in your science-baby to then be judged in a month. No pressure right? Just everything you’ve done for the past decade on display for all to see and try to find things wrong with it. Yea I’m not helping… but seriously I am sure you will be well prepared and your adviser wouldn’t be letting you defend if they didn’t think you would ROCK it!

  34. Julia says:

    I don’t know how you manage to do it all – write a thesis, work, AND blog?! Teach me your magical ways, teeeeeeach meeeee! I can’t even tell you how much I want this grilled cheese right now. That cheese…the tomato jam…the eggplant parmesan..I die.

  35. Eileen says:

    Yes to eggplant and cheese! It’s almost like a classic eggplant parmesan in sandwich form. That chili tomato jam sounds like the perfect accent!

  36. Susan says:

    Oh my, that chili jam sounds wonderful! I have to try making some before tomato season is over (sob). So perfect on the eggplant parm grilled cheese.

  37. Sarah says:

    Oh wow this post is making me so conflicted… because normally I demand a meat in my sandwich but this looks soo fantastic that I might have to turn vegetarian for a day. Love this!!

  38. Marissa says:

    Chili tomato jam bathing – it might just catch on. 🙂 This sandwich looks like end of summer perfection.

  39. Kendel says:

    Okay, I NEED that. Now. I’ve been craving that exact sort of thing haha. Chilli jam sounds like my sort of jam!

  40. Because grilled cheese goes far beyond cheese and bread! Love the spice in that jam. Perfect sweet & spicy element paired with mozzarella.

  41. Now this is THE way to make a grilled cheese! Can’t wait to make this chili tomato jam . . . I’d swim in that stuff too! Best wishes on your defense; I have no doubt that you’ll ace it beyond your committee’s expectations!

  42. The Noshery says:

    The Jam!! be still my heart! and that grilled cheese list is killer, love it.

  43. YM says:

    I need some help regarding the jam but only when you have time…like post post defense when you have finished and recovered!!
    Q – How did you get a jammy texture with this? I tried it last night, and it ended up being a big pot of tomato sauce, I assume all the liquid from the tomatoes. I reduced it still not really jammy. Don’t get me wrong, it was still delicious and I slathered it on my burger but just wondering what I may have done wrong!

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