National Grilled Cheese Day may have passed but, let’s be honest, one day isn’t enough. So, once again, we’re celebrating National Grilled Cheese Month. Grilled cheese is such a simple, humble dish and yet humanity, in all of our wisdom, keeps coming up with more and more mouthwatering variations. I mean, just look at these grilled cheese recipes!
I’m not sure what it is about grilled cheese that keeps us so inspired—for me, the question ranks among the eternal food questions, such as, why can’t Nutella be a meal? And how do we have three open containers of hummus in the fridge?—I’m just happy it does.
I love a good banh mi with its sweet, tangy sauce, tender pork, and pickled vegetables. So when I saw that Kevin at Closet Cooking turned the Vietnamese classic into a grilled cheese, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it first. And if you’re new to the banh mi completely, this is a great jumping off point, especially when sharing with kids (grilled cheese makes everything else in there okay). Know that the Banh Mi Grilled Cheese (above) does require a bit of prep, but it’s an extra few minutes you will not regret.
As a native Southerner, sweet potatoes and pecans have always been two of my favorite foods. Well, so have bubbly cheese and fried bread, come to think of it. So throw them all together, and you cannot go wrong. The New York Times food section dreamed up the Sweet Potato and Toasted Pecan Grilled Cheese as a way of using Thanksgiving leftovers, but I think it will hit the spot any time comfort food is on order.
We’re all used to eating pickles and potato chips with our sandwiches, but put them inside? Game changer. The crunchy novelty of the Grilled Ham, Cheese, Pickle, and Potato Chip Sandwich at Joy the Baker is sure to make your kids crack a smile at the dinner table (because potato chips!). I have a feeling you might crack a smile, too.
Ham and mustard are already a winning combination. Add Swiss cheese, pear, and a toasty English muffin and you can say goodbye to fast food breakfast sandwiches (or chicken biscuits, if you live in Nashville like me) forever. Try the Ham and Alpine Cheese Melt from Three Beans on a String when you want a breakfast that will seriously fuel your day, or when you need to pair something easy with soup for a quick dinner.
Lindsay at Cotter Crunch created this recipe for gluten-free folks and hardcore athletes looking to rebuild their muscles. I have been hitting Zumba pretty hard lately and kids, well, they never stop moving! That all counts, right? Eh, even if not, I think you’ll love her Cherry, Basil, and Provolone Gluten-Free Grilled Cheese, which can easily be made with regular bread. With cherry season coming up, this is a fun way to show kids how fruit and savory go together.
I love this recipe for the way it cleverly introduces nutrient-rich greens into cheesy goodness. And the Green Goddess Grilled Cheese uses some of my favorite (often underrated) green veggies: spinach, sprouts, avocado, and tomatillos. Taylor at The Girl on the Bloor also recommends throwing in some extra herbs like cilantro or basil for even more flavor. Sounds delicious if it isn’t pushing it with the kids!
If you want a grilled cheese that’s a little more hearty, but still vegetarian, try this Portobello and Gouda Grilled Cheese at One Broad’s Journey, which satisfies while still feeling light (okay, lighter). And if you don’t have time to make kale pesto, store bought basil pesto will work beautifully, too.
Of course, I can’t say goodbye without at least one dessert grilled cheese sandwich. With a slew of sweet options out there, it was a tough decision, but this Raspberry, Nutella, & Mascarpone Toasted Sandwich won me over with its simplicity and the combination of some of my all-time favorite ingredients. Make it for your kids as a special after-school snack or for anyone (including you!) in need of some TLC.
If you’re still hungry for more cheese (can we blame you?), check our our amazing round up of quesadilla recipes, too, which are basically just south-of-the-border versions of the sandwich you already love.