Grilled cheese might be the easiest meal on the history of the planet. Goodness knows we resign ourselves to it often. But if you ever get bored with the standard “orange cheese + white bread” combo, we’ve got a few fun recipes to add to your list. Yep, here are our four updates for grilled cheese night. Meatless Monday never needs to be boring again!
First, some general grilled cheese tips.
- Butter your cooking surface, not the bread. I don’t know about you, but my butter is always cold and shreds the bread. Instead, I put a slab of butter straight in the pan and then put the bread down. When it’s time to turn, butter another section of the pan and flip there.
- Medium to low is your friend. I know guys, I don’t like slow cooking either, but this is the only way not to burn your sammie.
- We are partial to Angelic Bakehouse sandwich bread in our house. It’s the only grocery store bread we’ve found that isn’t coated in cooties, yet still tastes delicious.
- I purposely made these meatless because that’s often how we roll on “too busy to make an actual meal” nights in our house. If that’s not going to fly in yours, add a slice of turkey or ham to pretty much any option for a delicious, salty twist.
- Think skinny! Slice the cheese and fruit as thin as you can to ensure even cooking. Think the same when you put on layers of dip or onions. The thinner, the better!
Cheddar and Apple on Raisin Bread
This is like sophomore level grilled cheese. I mean, it’s pretty much just a dressed up version of the basic, but who doesn’t love yoga pants that transition to dinner with ease? For this one simply replace your bread and add a few slices of sweet apple, like Galas or Fujis and go about your normal grilled cheese making business. This one goes perfectly with a great tomato soup. I’m pretty sure your kids will love this one.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip with more Spinach on Whole Wheat
So I’ve found this spinach and artichoke dip at Costco and have been putting it on everything. It’s so good! Anyway, for this iteration, we top Angelic Bakehouse sprouted grain bread with some dip and a layer of fresh spinach. Pair with chips and raw veggies to round out the meal. If you have another dip sitting around (buffalo chicken dip, or pimento cheese) give that a whirl instead.
Brie and Honey
Okay, now we are starting to get fancy. I love, love, love a slice of French bread with brie, a drizzle of honey, and a few cracks of pepper, so I thought why not try it as a sandwich. If you’d rather go savory than sweet, skip the honey and add tomato and basil instead. Either way, we still use a baguette, so they make teeny little sandwiches, making this the perfect side to a green salad topped with lots of veggies or fruit.
Blue Cheese, Pear, and Caramelized Onions
This version of grilled cheese is more for the “momma is home alone tonight” vs. “we have 30 minutes until soccer practice”. Take some time to slowly caramelize onions and make a balsamic reduction for a rich, savory sandwich. The pears and blue cheese combo comes to mind via a delicious twist on pizza, so why not on a grilled cheese? (Not a fan of blue cheese? No worries. This works great with a simple mozzarella or parmesan, too.)
What is the perfect pairing for this one? A full-bodied red wine. #sorrynotsorry
Pear and Gorgonzola Grilled Cheese
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 slices fresh bread
- 1 pear, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbles
- Melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat in a small frying pan. Add the onions and lower heat to low. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and soft. Remove onions from heat; allow to cool on a plate lined with paper towel.
- Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until reduced by half.
- Heat the frying pan over medium-low heat. Rub butter over the pan. Add a piece of bread and top with a thin layer of pears, onions, and cheese. Carefully pour over the balsamic vinegar reduction and top with the other piece of bread. Once the bottom bread is toasted and cheese has started to melt, butter another part of the frying pan and flip the sandwich there. Toast until everything is heated through.
So those are our favorite twists on grilled cheese. What’s yours?