Created by:

Savita Verma — Vista, CA

This Tikka-Masala-inspired grilled cheese sandwich is a passport to mouthwatering. It’s a trip to India without ever leaving your kitchen. The Masalawich delivers bold, sweet, and spicy flavors with rotisserie chicken, buttery masala sauce, sautéed onions, and a unique duo of Wisconsin asiago and havarti cheeses.


Coat bottom of medium nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon butter and place over medium heat. Add onion, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon garam masala and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Saute onion 2-3 minutes, until softened and slightly browned. Remove onion to a plate and set aside. In same skillet, add 1 tablespoon butter; add 1/2 teaspoon garam masala and let it perfume butter for 30 seconds. Add marinara sauce, honey and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Simmer 4 minutes. Mix in heavy cream and grated Wisconsin asiago cheese. Remove from heat. Set aside.

For each sandwich: Place two slices havarti cheese over bottom half of ciabatta roll. Spread 1 tablespoon marinara sauce mixture over cheese. Arrange half rotisserie chicken pieces in an even layer over sauce. Top with half remaining marinara sauce. Top sauce with half the onion slices, arugula and lychee fruit pieces in even layers, then top with 2 slices of havarti followed by ciabatta roll top.

In a large nonstick skillet, melt 2-3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Place sandwiches in skillet and spread remaining butter over sandwich tops. Grill sandwiches until bottom bread is golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Using wide spatula, carefully flip sandwiches, pressing down gently. Continue grilling additional 3 minutes, or until both sides are golden brown and crispy, and filling is warm and melted.


  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
  • 1 white onion, sliced in half moons
  • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (or less sweet tomato-garlic sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) Wisconsin Asiago cheese, grated
  • 8 thin slices Wisconsin Havarti cheese
  • 2 ciabatta rolls, split
  • 12-13 ounces rotisserie chicken, thigh meat preferred, cut in large bite-size chunks
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 8-10 pieces canned lychee fruit, drained, halved
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