Grilled Cheese with Cotija, Ham & Mushrooms-SliderPhoto

Sanchez-Grilled Cheese Sandwich-MainPhoto

Editor’s Note: Ericka Sanchez
has been named one of babble’s Top 100 Mom Food Blogs of 2013. ¡Felicidades Ericka! 

There is a saying that goes: Food is essential to life; therefore, make it good! As a mom and someone who cooks almost every day, I try my hardest to live my life by that quote. I’ve come to realize that just because you love good food, it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune to enjoy it. By becoming your own foodie chef on a budget, you’ll be able to save money during your grocery trip while at the same time, learn where your food comes from.

Read Related: Frugal Foodie: Enfrijoladas

One of our favorite snacks, or quick lunch, that everyone enjoys are grilled cheese sandwiches. We love trying different types of cheeses and combining them with healthy fruits and vegetables purchased from the local farmer’s market.

Homemade fruit pastes or fresh apples give it a sweet twist but today I am sharing with you my absolute favorite grilled cheese sandwich. Filled with savory ham and earthy mushrooms, this sourdough sandwich oozes with Manchego cheese. But wait, we are not stopping there! Before this masterpiece is assembled we need to work on the Cotija cheese crust that gives this creation the finishing touch.

Pair it with your favorite homemade tomato and red pepper soup sprinkled with dried oregano flakes and a nice bottle of (budget conscious) wine and you’ve got yourself, a rich and flavorful comfort food classic meal without compromising your taste or your pocketbook. 

Serves: 1

2 thick slices of sourdough bread
2 TBSP butter, divided
2 TBSP Cotija cheese, crumbled
½ cup mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup Manchego cheese, shredded
5 thin slices of smoked ham


  1. In a medium skillet, place one tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until tender. Set aside.
  2. Heat a separate medium skillet over medium heat. Spread the 1 tablespoon of butter on one side of the bread slices and sprinkle Cotija cheese on buttered side. Place both slices, Cotija face down on the hot skillet, add shredded Manchego, ham and mushrooms and grill for approximately two minutes, the cheese has melted or or until golden.