Stanley Tucci's "Desert Island Sandwich" Is the Grilled Cheese Upgrade We Didn't Know We Needed

Lunch menu, solved.

From coaching us through how to make his ultimate holiday entree to rounding out our Italian vacation dining itinerary to alerting us to whip up an Ina Garten tomato tart recipe that inspired him to declare the Food Network star "brilliant," Stanley Tucci is quickly becoming our go-to source for all things food and drink! Have you seen his impressive Instagram cocktail demos?

Since the launch of his CNN series Searching for Italy and the release of his memoir/cookbook Taste: My Life Through Food, Tucci has convinced us that he's just as incredible creating magic in the kitchen as he is on the movie screen.

And the craving-curing hits keep on coming. On a recently republished episode of the Desert Island Dishes podcast, Tucci told host Margie Nomura about his own "desert island recipes," or the recipes he'd choose to eat again if stranded on a desert island. When asked about a sandwich pick that would make the list, Tucci enthusiastically responded, "I love sandwiches!"

As a kid, one of his favorite bedtime snacks involved two slices of toasted bread slathered with peanut butter, banana slices and honey. "So delicious … I still love that, but I can't eat it every night like I used to," Tucci continues.

a photo of Stanley Tucci
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Today, his desert island sandwich is "a grilled cheese with prosciutto … maybe mozzarella, and then either a couple leaves of basil or a little bit of pesto in there. So good!"

Instead of a classic grilled cheese with American cheese slices and white bread, we love how Tucci showcases three flavorful elements that give a nod to his family's roots in Italy: easy-melting mozzarella, savory prosciutto slices and a verdant punch of pesto.

Inspired by that sentiment, Nomura took to TikTok to share her twist on Tucci's top-notch sandwich.

Here's how it's done: Slice two thick slices of artisan-style sourdough (or your favorite crusty, sturdy bread). If desired, top one slice of the bread with a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese, white Cheddar, Gouda or Gruyère. Layer on 3 slices of prosciutto, 3 (½-inch) slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and as many fresh basil leaves as you like. Finish with a spoonful of jarred or homemade pesto.

Spread butter or brush olive oil on the outside of both slices, then place that face-down in a skillet over low heat. Once the exterior of the bottom slice is golden brown and the cheese is beginning to melt, use a spatula to flip the sandwich. After the second side is toasted, remove the sandwich from the pan.

Use a sharp knife to slice in half, and revel in your glorious cheese pull. If you want, serve this delicious sandwich alongside an Italian Chopped Salad or a Tomato, Cucumber & White-Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette.

Up Next: How to Make a Delicious & Satisfying Veggie Sandwich

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