Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Strawberry Hot Sauce and Arugula

It is time to celebrate all things cheesy. This Gluten Free Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese Sandwich with a Strawberry Hot Sauce and Arugula is my new favorite craving!

Gluten Free Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese with Strawberry Hot Sauce and Arugula found at

(* This post was sponsored by Smart & Final. All “cheesy” opinions are my own.)

Grilled cheese sandwiches are a staple in our house. Everyone in my family loves anything based on melty cheese :-).

You may look at my ingredient list and wonder about this grilled cheese recipe. You have to understand that I love food chemistry and flavor combinations, and I promise I would never steer you wrong.

You will have to trust me on this grilled cheese recipe.

It is so worth making.

The sweetness of the strawberry jam just “works” with the peppery finish of the hot sauce and arugula. The cream cheese adds the creaminess mouth feel and the flavors create a party in your mouth!

Gluten Free Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese with Strawberry Hot Sauce and Arugula found at

I am not only celebrating this special “foodie” day, but I wanted to talk a little bit about giving back. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I used to work in the non-profit realm as an events and fundraising person. Even now that I am no longer working for a non-profit, our family is still very active in volunteering.

It is so important to give back

Smart & Final Graphic

Smart & Final stores also believe in giving back. Now, when you buy Smart & Finalโ€™s First Streetยฎ brands, youโ€™ll help support your local community. The funds generated from First Street First Percent will be donated to the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation which gives back to local nonprofits, e.g., food pantries, Little Leagues,
Boys & Girls Clubs, the American Heart Association, Special Olympics, Olive Crest, local schools, and many more.

The Smart & Final Charitable Foundation supports four important areas โ€“ health and wellness, education, hunger relief, and team sports and youth development. The Foundation gives to nonprofits in California, Arizona and Nevada where the company has stores.

And what better way to support this cause then to shop and get these tasty First Street ingredients to make this pepper jack grilled cheese sandwich! As always, Smart & Final guarantees all of their First Street products with a “try it and you’ll like it” or your money back guarantee.

First Street Shopping

For my recipe, I found all sorts of great First Street products to use. Not only does Smart & Final carry over 2,000 First Street products, but they also have a lot of gluten free brands, fresh organic produce, and even cleaning products.

To create these delicious sandwiches is so easy!

First we want to create the strawberry hot sauce.

Strawberry Hot Sauce

Just combine the strawberry jam and cayenne pepper sauce in a microwave safe dish. Cover and heat. Heating the two together help mesh the flavors together. Do this first so it has time to cool off.

Grilled Cheese 1

Heat a pan and coat one side of the bread with butter. Spread on cream cheese and add pepper jack to one slice, then spread the special strawberry hot sauce on the other.

Grilled Cheese 2

Add another slice of pepper jack then top the one side with fresh arugula. Finish heating then blend the two halves together.

Gluten Free Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese with Strawberry Hot Sauce and Arugula found at

This grilled cheese is super cheesy and delicious! Another thing I love about Smart & Final are the prices. Warehouse prices so I save money. It is so easy to get all of the ingredients I need for this perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese with Strawberry Hot Sauce and Arugula
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
  • 8 slices gluten free bread for 4 sandwiches
  • 8 Pepper Jack cheese slices
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese per sandwich
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne hot sauce depends how spicy you like it!
  • 1/4 cup fresh arugula
  • butter for the outsides of the bread
  1. In a microwave safe dish, combine strawberry jam and hot sauce.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Microwave for 40 seconds.
  4. Remove and stir again.
  5. Heat a skillet on medium heat.
  6. Butter one side of each piece of bread.
  7. When the pan is hot, put the butter side bread down on the pan.
  8. Spread cream cheese on one side and the jam on the other.
  9. Cover each with a slice of Pepper Jack cheese.
  10. When the cheese gets a little melted, add arugula.
  11. Remove sandwich halves from the heat and put together.
  12. Serve warm while the cheese is melty.

What do you like to put on your favorite grilled cheese sandwich?

Gluten Free Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese with Strawberry Hot Sauce and Arugula found at

Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese with Strawberry Hot Sauce and Arugula so full of melty cheese goodness! Found at

Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese with Strawberry Hot Sauce and Arugula tons of melty cheese goodness! Found at





  1. Wow! An amazing looking sandwich AND giving back to the community?! Talk about a win-win ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This sandwich sounds amazing! I love the sweet and spicy flavors and ooey gooey cheese is always yummy!

  3. Wow. I’m a total grilled cheese nerd and all those flavors sound amazing together!

  4. That strawberry hot sauce looks amazing! What a perfect blend of heat and sweet!

  5. I thought I had tried the best grilled cheese already!

  6. Oh wow, that looks so amazingly cheesy!! One amazing grilled cheese!

  7. Oh-so tasty! Great sandwich! Good to know about Smart & Final — I wasn’t aware. I used to work for nonprofits, too, also in fundraising ;).

  8. This grilled cheese looks delicious. I had no idea it was National Grilled Cheese Day, thanks for letting me know.

  9. It doesn’t get better than a delicious melty grilled cheese! I love those flavors!

  10. Oh wow, I am drooling here! That Strawberry hot sauce, I think I’m in love! Sweet and spicy is my fave combo, add cheese and I’m SO THERE!

  11. Pepper jack is my favorite for grilled cheese! LOVE the strawberry hot sauce idea!

  12. I can’t wait to try this with dairy-free cheese options and fresh homemade GF bread. I’m sure it will be scrumptious!

  13. Strawberry hot sauce!? I’m intrigued. And drooling a little. Mostly drooling, though. This sandwich looks amazing!

  14. Oh my goodness, yes please!!! These look amazing! Love the strawberry hot sauce.

  15. Strawberry hot sauce? I am so intrigued with this flavor combo!!

  16. What an amazing combo! I want to try that glorious cheesy sammie ASAP!! Nettie

  17. What a wonderful combination! I have never thought of a sweet and spicy combination unless it was an Asian inspired dish! This looks just so good!

  18. I’m going to run over to the refrigerator right now and make strawberry hot sauce – what an amazing combination. Hope my husband doesn’t mistake it for his strawberry jam tomorrow morning:)

  19. Fantastic. I’ve tried a wonderful salad with strawberries and mozzarella before, so I have no doubt on your flavour pairing working brilliantly. I love the hit of heat from the cayenne sauce though – perfect to go in a warm and toastie…. cheese toastie as we call them in my house

  20. This sandwich is simply genius! The combo of spicy and sweet… I HEART it!

  21. This is one crazy delicious looking grilled cheese! Love that addition of sweet and heat…yum!

  22. Love that you made a strawberry hot sauce! That sweet/spicy/cheesy combo has my mouth watering!

  23. Joe Deutsch says:

    I already can anticipate the taste! It reminds me of a dish that I already make and love…fried Camembert with jalapeรฑo jelly. Yum! Can’t wait to try this!

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