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Spicing Up the Simple Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Updated on February 11, 2013
Grill Cheese is one of the most classic of comfort foods.
Grill Cheese is one of the most classic of comfort foods. | Source

By Joan Whetzel

Grilled Cheese is one of the tastiest comfort foods around. And what could be more simple? Slap some cheese between two slices of bread, spread a little butter on the outside, and toast it on a griddle until the cheese is all melty-gooey. Yum! What if you could kick it up a few notches? Here's a few tips for turning that simple sandwich into a gourmet treat. Whatever additional items you add to your grilled cheese sandwich, should be added before the sandwich goes on the griddle to toast the bread and melt the cheese in order to meld all the flavors together.

Change Your Cheese Choices

The basic grilled cheese sandwich always tastes good with Velveeta® or cheddar. But try another cheese or a combination of 2 or 3 different cheeses. Other cheese choices might include:

  • · Swiss
  • · edam
  • · Monterrey jack
  • · pepper jack
  • · muenster
  • · mozzarella
  • · parmesan
  • · butterkase (a German style Butter Cheese that is really creamy and buttery)
  • · smoked cheddar, mozzarella, or butterkase

Croque Monsieur and Madame

The French have two variations on the grilled cheese which are absolutely scrumptious - the Croque Monsieur and the and the Croque Madame. The Croque Monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese. Simply slip a slice of ham in there with a slice or two of your favorite cheese. Ham and Swiss is a classic combo. The Croque Madame takes it one step further by adding a fried egg to the grilled ham and cheese. Over easy or over medium is best, because it leaves the yolk a bit runny. The runny yolk adds to the creaminess of the sandwich.

The Florentine

The Florentine grilled cheese, as you might guess, adds chopped spinach to the classic sandwich. Either used frozen chopped spinach (thawed out of course), or chop some fresh and either blanch it or sauté it briefly in some butter before adding it to the grilled cheese sandwich. Again, pick your favorite cheese. Though, if you want to keep it Italian in flavor, try it with mozzarella or parmesan - or both.

The Veggie Grilled Cheese

Adding veggies is a great way to work those vegetables into your diet, and making that grilled cheese at least marginally healthier. Pick one or more veggies, in any combination. Sauté the veggies in a little butter or margarine (regular or lite) before putting them between the slices of cheese. It's a bit like putting together a veggie omelets. Try any of these veggie choices:

  • · onions
  • · tomatoes
  • · bell peppers
  • · jalapenos
  • · sliced olives
  • · chopped broccoli
  • · zucchini
  • · eggplant
  • · chopped spinach
  • · shredded carrots
  • · avocado slices
  • · Pico de Gallo

The Pig Out

The pig out turns out something like pizza with all pork toppings. In this case, the pork products are added between the layers of cheese - as many layers as you can manage and still melt the cheese. The pig out additions include ham (chopped or sliced), 2 to 3 slices of crisp bacon, and sausage. The sausage could be something like an Elkridge link sausage, sliced breakfast sausage patty, or any sausage that can be ground up and browned in a skillet, like the sausage used as a pizza topping.

The Burger or Taco Grilled Cheese

This is kind of like the reverse of a cheese burger. Instead of adding cheese to your burger, you're adding a bit of burger to your grilled cheese. If you have a leftover hamburger from your last grill out, crumble it and heat it up in a skillet or in the microwave before adding it to the grilled cheese sandwich. If you have no burgers left over, then brown some ground beef in a skillet with some smoky flavored seasoning and sprinkle of steak sauce for a great hamburger flavor or add taco seasoning for a taco grilled cheese. Either add some lettuce, tomatoes, and onions before grilling or make it a double-decker, club-style sandwich by adding a layer of cold lettuce tomato, pickles and onions and a third slice of bread toasted in the toaster. Of course, if you're going for the taco grilled cheese, you could always add a little sour cream on the inside before grilling the sandwich.

The Saucy Cheese

If you're the type that hates a dry sandwich, then you might consider adding one of these sauces or dressings to your grilled cheese.

  • · mustard (yellow, brown, specialty mustards)
  • · mayo
  • · barbecue sauce
  • · horseradish
  • · ranch dressing
  • · honey mustard
  • · sour cream
  • · pizza sauce
  • · picante sauce
  • · guacamole
  • · chile con queso

Shake up one of your favorite comfort foods with any additional ingredients you like. However slice it or dice, you can always spice up a simple grilled cheese sandwich to suit what your taste buds are craving.


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    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

      Wow! So many great ideas for a grilled cheese! They sound yummy. Wonderful hub!

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      This is a wonderful twist to the old Grillcheese! I have to try these out..... Thanks for sharing :)

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      As a grilled cheese lover I always felt that I was a gastronomical bore. Thank you for spicing up an old standby. I feel more interesting already! Voted up and useful.

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 5 years ago from Katy, Texas

      I've done a few variations of the veggie grille cheese. Love it.

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 5 years ago from Katy, Texas

      I'm craving a grilled cheese now too. I have been for a couple days now. Guess I'll have to cave and make one for supper tonight.

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 5 years ago from Katy, Texas

      Don;t worry. I won't squeal. I made myself hungry writing this.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      This is definitely food for thought. What a healthy way to dress up a grilled cheese with tons of veggies. I love all the ideas. Voting up and sharing on Facebook and Pinterest.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I usually make grilled cheese with onion slices and sometimes I'll add a slice of bologna or bacon to it. Now you have me craving a grilled cheese. Great options here and I'll try some of them as they sound good!

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 5 years ago from USA

      Howdy Neighbor Joan (joanwz) -

      Well now, you have made me hungry all over again, so it is going to be a nice grilled cheese sandwich. Gotta decide which kind - one with hamburger, one with pickles and horseradish, or ???. We'll just have to see what happens out there in Esther's kitchen. (Don't squeal on me - I am supposed to be going easy on "good" food - like cheese and the rest of them.) :-)

      Gus :-)))