St. Louis Gerber Sandwich

LAST UPDATED: Aug 03, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Jan 26, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

Enjoy a classic St. Louis sandwich at home! This Gerber sandwich is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner, game day and more. It’s a delicious open faced sandwich topped with garlic butter, ham and provel cheese that will have you begging for more!

gerber sprinkled with paprika on a white plate

A gerber is a hot open faced sandwich made famous in St. Louis. It’s made with a crusty french bread lightly coated with garlic butter, ham and of course, provel cheese.

While Provel is not available everywhere, but it’s also great with sliced mozzarella or provolone. Finally, it’s sprinkled with a dash of red pepper.

When baked, it’s an incredible open faced sandwich that words just cannot describe! It was first made in 1973 and then duplicated by an array of restaurants throughout the city.

closeup of provel cheese on a gerber

This is one of my most loved recipes, my Mom frequently made it when I was growing up and now I make it for my kids. I’m so excited to share it with you!

This sandwich is so much more than that, it’s pure comfort food, and I can’t wait for you to try it! Along with Gooey Butter Cake and Ted Drewes Chocolate Sauce, this is one of my favorite St. Louis recipes!

We eat a lot of sandwiches around here. They are fast and easy at the lake, and we love burgers and sliders for entertaining. Check out my hot ham and cheese sliders, and don’t miss my tips for the very best juicy burgers.

A Classic and Comforting Sandwich

Gerber sandwiches are a quick and easy dinner that even the kids can help make. It warms up even the chilliest of nights. Even better, everyone enjoys them (and therefore consumes without a fuss). 

One of my favorite things about the Gerber, is how quick and easy it is to make. Although not to be enjoyed everyday, it’s a great option for an after school dinner when you have no time on your hands. It’s a real treat and you will be the favorite parent for sure! 

gerber sandwiches on baking sheet

While I don’t have the official recipe, this is how my mom always made it and I know that you will love it, too!

To Make A Gerber Sandwich, You Will Need:

garlic butter in bowl with pastry brush

  • Butter – I like to use salted butter to really add flavor to the toasted bread. 
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic is mixed with the melted butter and spread on the bread for the most delicious bite!
  • French Bread – French bread is crusty on the outside and wonderfully soft and fluffy in the middle. It’s the perfect vehicle for the rest of the ingredients.
  • Ham – Sliced thin.
  • Cheese – I love to use provel cheese, a St. Louis staple, because it’s melts beautifully, but provolone and mozzarella are also delicious options. The thinner, the better for the best melt factor.
  • Paprika – Paprika is sprinkled over the sandwich for a little heat and  an amazing flavor that compliments the smokiness of provel.

How To Make A Gerber Sandwich

  1. Prep – Preheat oven and line a baking sheet.
  2. Layer – Spread butter and garlic onto open faced french loaves, top with ham and cheese and sprinkle with paprika. french bread open faced covered in garlic butter
  3. Bake – 15 minutes until toasted and cheese is gooey. how to make a gerber sandwich
  4. Enjoy! Serve warm.
It’s so simple to make this delicious sandwich!

What is Provel Cheese

Provel cheese is St. Louis staple! It’s a processed cheese made with a combination of cheddar, Swiss and provolone and it has a buttery and slightly smokey and tangy flavor. It has a low melting point so it turns wonderfully gooey and room temperature.

It’s known as “St. Louis-Style Cheese” and for good reason! You’ll find it on just about everything in St. Louis including pizzas, salads (like this Italian Salad) and of course sandwiches like the Gerber.

It was created by Costa Grocery on the Hill, now Roma Grocery in 1947 to add gooeyness to mozzarella, without being stringy. A common misconception is that provel cheese is a blend of provolone and mozzarella and while the name might make sense, it’s truly white cheddar, Swiss and provolone.

closeup of provel cheese on sandwich

Where to Buy Provel

  • Any St. Louis grocer or in surrounding areas including but not limited to Schnucks, Dierbergs, Aldi, Walmart, Sams and Hy-Vee
  • DiGregorio on the Hill, Viviano
  • Amazon

gerber sandwich on plate with chips

Tips To Make A Gerber Sandwich

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil before adding the open faced sandwiches. The sandwiched will be easily removed from the sheet and it makes clean up a breeze.
  • Be sure to bake the sandwiches in a pre-heated oven. This will ensure that the sandwiches are warmed all the way through.
  • These sandwiches are best eaten straight out of the oven, but if you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container and keep n the fridge for 2 to 3 days. You can then gently reheat the in the oven before serving.

gerber sandwich with chips

More Easy Sandwich Recipes

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gerber sandwich with chips

Gerber Sandwich with Provel Cheese

Julie Blanner
This Gerber Sandwich is a St Louis classic. In basic terms it's a ham and cheese sandwich, but in reality it is so much more than that! This open faced sandwich is quick and easy to make with just a handful of ingredients, it's too good not to try! 
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Entree, sandwich
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 176 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder or minced garlic
  • 1 loaf of french bread halved
  • 12 slices ham sliced thin
  • 6 slices provel cheese sliced thin - can substitute mozzarella or provel
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the French bread halves on a lined baking sheet.
  • Mix butter and garlic. Spread onto french bread.
  • Top with ham and cheese.
  • Sprinkle a touch of paprika.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.

Notes

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil before adding the open faced sandwiches. The sandwiched will be easily removed from the sheet and it makes clean up a breeze.
  • These sandwiches are best eaten straight out of the oven, but if you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container and keep n the fridge for 2 to 3 days. You can then gently reheat the in the oven before serving.

Nutrition

Calories:176kcalCarbohydrates:14gProtein:8gFat:10gSaturated Fat:5gCholesterol:28mgSodium:428mgPotassium:97mgFiber:1gSugar:1gVitamin A:208IUCalcium:14mgIron:1mg
Keywords cheese and ham sandwich, gerber, gerber sandwich, gerber sandwich recipe, open faced sandwiched, provel, provel cheese
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner

As seen on MSN and Country Living. Do you have a local favorite? I’d love to know!

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