Smashed Shishito Pepper Grilled Cheese w/ Whiskey Aioli


I went there.

Every March I feel obliged to prepare at least one whiskey recipe, so here it is. This sandwich sounds accurately ridiculous — I mean, JUST LOOK — but it’s also surprisingly simple to make.

Less than 8 ingredients + 25 mins is all this green monster takes. And if you drown a few brews while grilling it, so be it.

You start by tossing shishito peppers in olive oil + salt & pepper, then charring in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes. When I’m eating shishitos plain I like to broil them till they’re practically black, but for this sandwich I cooked them till just crisp, not ashen. While the shishitos roast prep the whiskey aioli, which is a simple combination of mayo, whiskey (Jameson, duh), olive oil, and lemon juice. Now before you assume this aioli can get you tipsy, relax. You’ll still need a drink on the side. That’s because barely 2 tsps of whiskey is used here, but truly, that’s plenty. Not only does it add a lingering flavor that’s distinct on its own, it plays wonderfully against the shishitos without overpowering the dish. Plus, the whiskey helps grill up an even crispier, more golden sandwich!!

Aka: the aioli gets slathered on both sides of EACH! slice of bread.

Pot of gold ‘ish, I know.

Once your bread is shellacked in aioli, pile high with shredded pepper jack cheese + charred shishitos, then fry in a skillet to completion. Since the bread is amply greased I coat the skillet with just cooking spray, but if you really wanted to, a slab of butter would taste incredible. The pepper jack cheese continues the “spicy” theme appropriately, and when it’s finally time to capture that epic cheese pull?


Seriously insta-worthy action guaranteed.

Long story short, this sandwich is fittingly epic for St. Patrick’s Day. A touch of booze, a whole lot of green, and a golden finish makes this a fun, playful, crazy delicious sammie that’s begging to be slammed. Grill one up the morning after St. Patty’s — which this year, is a Sunday!! — and wash it down with a few final drinks.

It won’t kill you, but car bomb shots definitely will. Xo

Smashed Shishito Pepper Grilled Cheese w/ Whiskey Aioli


  • 6 oz shishito peppers
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a few pinches salt & pepper
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (or more if you’d like!)
  • cooking spray to grease
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tsps whiskey (I used Jameson)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 – 2 tsps lemon juice


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. In a small baking dish combine the shishito peppers, olive oil, and salt & pepper, tossing to coat. Roast on oven middle rack for 12 – 15 minutes until charred but not burnt, turning once for even cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine all aioli ingredients. Start with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, then taste test to see if you’d like to add another.
  4. Coat each slice of rye bread on both sides with the whiskey aioli. Next, layer two of the slices with an even distribution of cooked shishito peppers and shredded cheese, then top with the remaining slices of bread.
  5. Warm a skillet over a medium-high flame, then amply grease with cooking spray. One sandwich at a time, cook until browned and melty, about 2-3 minutes on either side. Eat immediately, or keep warm in the oven at 250F until needed.