Early on in life, the grilled cheese sandwich becomes a staple in every cheese lover’s diet. In many ways, it’s the cheese lover’s first introduction to cheese. It’s packed in school lunches (or served in the cafeteria), it’s a go-to comfort food for sick days, and it a sneaky way for parents to get their children to eat tomatoes.
Fortunately, a great grilled cheese isn’t just for kids. As adults we still get to enjoy melty cheese sandwiched between slices of toasted bread in as a comforting reminder of home in college dorms, as a quick but satisfying work lunch, and as a crowd-pleasing dinner at home. And not only do we get to keep enjoying grilled cheese sandwiches, but as our palates grow more sophisticated we can move beyond American cheese and white bread to combinations limited only by our imaginations and the ingredients available to us.
This leads to many fascinating grilled cheese recipes. With so many great ideas on how to spice up this old favorite, it can be hard to narrow options down to the ones you really want to try. We have tried our best to do that here, and have come up with what we consider to be the top 10 grilled cheese recipes.
10. The Original Grilled Cheese
9. Mozzarella Panini with Apricot & Pickled Red Onion
8. Lobster Grilled Cheese
Lobster is a delicacy, especially if you’re from New England. The addition of lobster can improve almost any dish: salad, mac ‘n’ cheese, ravioli, …and of course grilled cheese. Use a blend of cheeses, add a little bit of mayonnaise (which is the perfect pairing with any lobster dish), and some lemon juice, and you’ve turned a childhood favorite into a classy meal fit for the most refined palates. We’re fans of this grilled cheese by BS in the Kitchen.
7. The Comté and Kimchi Grilled Cheese
Two cultures (pun intended!) come together in this sophisticated sandwich. The savory notes of France’s favorite cheese are the perfect foil for the zingy crunch of kimchi. Any variety of kimchi will work in this bold sandwich, but we especially like a seaweed kimchi, such as this one from Atlantic Sea Farms. Go ahead, be bold.
6. Broiled Gruyère Sandwiches with Maple-Caramelized Apples
5. Loaded Nacho Grilled Cheese
Considered the perfect “game day” grilled cheese recipe, this sandwich takes the classic elements of your favorite nacho platter with jalapeños, avocados, and black beans and puts them in grilled cheese form. We’re pretty sure this is the earthly equivalent of nectar and ambrosia. It’s quite spicy, salty, gooey, melty, and topped with sour cream and salsa. Don’t shy away from the mess – be bold, check out the recipe, and enjoy this bad boy the next time your favorite team is playing.
4. Barbecue Mac and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
This grilly combines three favorite foods: barbeque, mac ‘n’ cheese, and grilled cheese. How can you go wrong?! The barbecued beef adds a tangy sweetness that puts this recipe head and shoulders above other grilled cheese sandwiches that use mac ‘n’ cheese in them. Get in touch with your inner Nebraskan and try it.
3. Strawberry & Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese with Balsamic & Basil
This recipe is the food equivalent of power clashing. It combines sweet berries, salty cheese, tart balsamic, and aromatic basil. And you know why it works? Because this grilled cheese is confident. It knows it doesn’t match, and it’s proud. I’d be thrilled to look as glamorous as it does, but I’ll settle for basking in its reflected glory as I nosh on it.
2. Ice Cream and Cheddar Grilled Cheese
1. The 100% Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Created by Nick Chapman of Dude Foods, our #1 grilled cheese sandwich uses cheese, cheese, and more cheese. Carr Valley Cheese’s Bread Cheese takes the place of traditional bread, while good ol’ American cheese is sandwiched into the middle. Bread cheese softens but doesn’t melt, meaning you can grill this sandwich up just as you would a regular grilled cheese. For a fun twist, try this with one of Carr Valley’s flavored bread cheeses, such as garlic or jalapeño. No matter what flavor you use, it’s hard to beat the over-the-top awesomeness of a 100% cheese grilled cheese sandwich.