Few meals top the combination of mounds of melted cheese and perfectly toasted bread that makes up the beloved grilled cheese. Add avocado, bacon, caramelized onions, or extra Brie, and you’ve got what we like to call a mouthgasm.
Before running to the nearest sandwich shop in hopes of finding your taste buds’ cheesy soul mate, consider this: Grilled cheese is one of the easiest (and cheapest!) sandwiches you can make at home. And odds are you have the ingredients on hand. It’s also easy to transform the bread-and-cheese confection from simple to gourmet—meaning it’s ideal to entertain both kids and foodies.
These nine grilled cheese recipes will make you look like a Top Chef while leaving your savings account in tact. Say cheese.
1. Balsamic Blueberry Grilled Cheese
Full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, blueberries are one super superfood. And while they might not seem like a natural fit for grilled cheese, this recipe indicates otherwise. With your white cheese of choice (we suggest goat), a handful of greens, and plenty of berries, this sandwich just may be your new favorite.
2. Smashed Avocado and Roasted Tomato Grilled Cheese
Sure, avocados are delicious. But they’re even better when mashed with salt and pepper and spread over whole-grain bread. Loaded with vitamin-rich arugula, tomatoes, and crumbled blue cheese, this sandwich will leave both your heart and stomach happy.
3. Bacon, Brie, and Apricot Grilled Cheese
Talk about a trifecta of taste! This sandwich includes all our favorite textures and flavors: crunchy bacon, gooey cheese, and sweet apricot. Though it looks like something out of a gourmet food magazine, the recipe is surprisingly simple. Set that bacon to sizzle, spread the apricot preserves, add sliced Brie, and realize that yes, this is what heaven is like.
4. Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups
Though this recipe may not qualify as gourmet, it’s certainly creative. And who doesn’t love a fresh (literal) twist on a classic? With only cheddar cheese, bread, and butter, these roll-ups are great for dipping into almost any soup or just eating on their own.
5. Roasted Vegetable Grilled Cheese
There’s going green, then there’s eating green. While we’re fans of both, this grilled cheese found its way to our hearts with, well… cheese. But it’s also chock-full of nutrients: With Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and spinach, there’s plenty of green to go around. Feel free to mix and match whatever veggies you have on hand—just don’t forget the goat cheese to tie it all together.
6. Grilled Cheese with Gouda, Roasted Mushrooms, and Onions
To anyone who says grilled cheese sandwiches aren’t healthy, simply respond, “I see your claim and raise you roasted veggies!” Made with more onions and mushrooms than cheese, this sandwich is pretty darn close to a health nut’s dream. It even tastes great with added greens like kale or Brussels sprouts.
7. Hawaiian Grilled Cheese
When a Hawaiian getaway isn’t a realistic option, bring tropical flavors to your mouth instead. Stuffed with fresh pineapple, Canadian bacon, and a hefty handful of cheese, this sandwich is the new and improved Hawaiian pizza. Eating while hula dancing is optional.
8. Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese
No, we’re not talking about the awesome 90s movie (though it’s absolutely worth watching). This recipe is full of actual fried green tomatoes. And pimento cheese. Just combine the ingredients between two slices of bread, and you’re ready to rock.
9. Garlic Bread Spaghetti Grilled Cheese
Some hybrid foods are hard to get behind (ramen burger, anyone?). But the combination of two delicious comfort foods? Now that we support. Filled with mozzarella, provolone, mushroom sauce, and spaghetti, this sandwich makes you nostalgic for a home-cooked Italian feast (even if that feast only happened in a dream).
Originally posted August 2014. Updated August 2016.