Parmigiano & Fig Grilled Cheese

parmigiano & fig grilled cheese /

A few weeks ago Whole Foods set out to break the Guinness World Record of number of Parmigiano Reggiano wheels cracked simultaneously. Jack and I were the “official” witnesses of Parmageddon at our Austin store. I know what you might be thinking… how does the lactose intolerant girl get herself into these things?

Well, first of all, Jack will not ever turn down an opportunity for free cheese. And second, in recent years I’ve learned that hard cheeses don’t have very much lactose, and that I don’t have as much of a problem with really high quality cheese. (ie. just say no to the processed Kraft green canister).

parmesan fig grilled cheese /

But what’s really special about this freshly cracked parm is that it’s so soft, light and buttery you could eat slivers of it all by itself. Or make fancy grilled cheese out of it like I did. I paired mine with sweet fig jam, a drizzle of balsamic, and some peppery arugula.

parmigiano & fig grilled cheese /

600 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano聽were cracked that day throughout stores in the US, Canada and the UK, so you still have some time to go try it out yourself.

Special thanks to Whole Foods for partnering on this post.

parmesan & fig grilled cheese

  • sourdough bread slices
  • grated fresh parmesan cheese (or blend of parmesan & white cheddar)
  • fig jam
  • a few sprigs of arugula, per sandwich
  • butter or olive oil, for the pan
  • optional: drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  1. Assemble sandwiches with cheese fig spread and (optional) a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
  2. Heat butter or oil in a pan or grill pan. Grill for a few minutes per side, pressing sandwiches down with the back side of a spatula. Or for a panini press effect (without the press), weigh them down by placing a heavier pan on top.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. This must be absolutely delicious!! The blend of flavors must be delicious! =)

  2. Elaine K. from

    I am lactose intolerant too but somehow cannot entirely give up the fancy cheeses so I was happy to see this post! Plus figs + arugula is always a winning combination, yum.

  3. Gabriela from

    I love to keep coming back to your site, everything looks so fresh and appetizing. This sanwhich I HAVE to try it, I love cheese in all its form and this coulnd’t be more right for me!

  4. I enjoy the flavor of figs, but rarely know what to do with them. Problem solved! Thanks for this delicious-looking combination. And for the record, I’m with Jack. Never pass up free cheese.

    • jeanine

      ha, yes, he eats more than enough cheese regularly for the both of us 馃檪

    • jeanine

      ha, yep, he eats more than enough cheese for the both of us 馃檪

    • jeanine

      aw, thanks! (btw, I love your tahini avocado poached egg toast!)

  5. I just love the combination of fig and Parmesan. What a simple and beautiful sandwich!
    -Emily K.

    • jeanine

      thanks! yep, fancy but way too easy 馃檪

  6. Yohann from

    This looks so mediterranean! Fig + parmesan is a great combination. Wouldn’t have thought to pair it in a grilled cheese!

  7. It’s look amazing. I love figs with some cheese so I need to try your combination of these ingredients.

  8. I think hard cheeses are higher in fat, and dairy fat doesn’t contain lactose so maybe that’s why you can tolerate them. A truly yummy looking sandwich.

  9. PERFECT inspiration for dinner! I have all these ingredients on hand (cheese, fig spread, bread, and arugula are all major staples in our house), although I will likely swap out the parmesan for the cave-aged gruyere I also purchased at Whole Foods. 馃檪 And the bread for the German whole grain farmer’s bread I usually prefer. Can’t wait!

    • jeanine

      sounds delicious! Glad we keep similar items on hand 馃檪

  10. Sarah from

    Something salty, something sweet and BREAD! How can it go wrong?

  11. Oh goodness, now you’ve whetted my grilled cheese loving appetite! I think I’ll make an apple butter and sharp cheddar sandwich for dinner tonight. Thanks for the inspiration!


    • jeanine

      yum, I just love a salty & sweet combo!

  12. Yes, please! I could never turn down anything with Parmigiano!

  13. i s a from

    This sounds amazingly delicious!! 馃槢 I can’t wait to try it out!

  14. this looks SO good! Love the sharp cheese, peppery arugula, and sweet fig spread – genius.

  15. This looks delicious.
    As for the whole foods excursion, I wish they were doing that at the whole foods here in NYC (Chelsea). Maybe they did have it but I just didn’t know. Either way sounds fun and who wouldn’t want some high quality parm for free.
    xo Quinn
    Quinn Cooper Style

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.