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5 Ways to Upgrade Your Grilled Cheese

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Grilled Cheese

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Grilled CheeseSponsored PostPhotos by Rikki Snyder

Grilled cheese sandwiches are a vegetarian staple, but slices of American cheese on white bread can get a little stale after a while. (Get it? Stale?) We’ve teamed up with Mouth, the leading online source for indie food, sprits, and wine, to come up with five grilled cheese ideas that are anything but boring.

The Classic

The Classic Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup
Start with a good sharp cheddar and make sure you use plenty of it to get that perfect melty, messy center. The classic grilled cheese is best served with a bowl of homemade tomato soup. Don’t have time to make a batch from scratch? No problem! Use a good quality tomato sauce and thin it out with a little vegetable broth. Cube your sandwich into grilled cheese croutons and have your whole lunch in one convenient bowl!

We used: Nonna’s Sweet Sauce

The Sweet and Smoky

Sweet & Smoky Grilled Cheese
A lot of people love bacon in a grilled cheese, but when you don’t eat meat, smoked cheese is a great way to get that smoky flavor in your sandwich. We’ve used smoked gouda and paired it with a sweet Apple Caramelized Onion Spread.

We used: The Gracious Gourmet Apple Caramelized Onion Spread

The Fancypants

Brie & Jam Grilled Cheese
If you’ve never had a grilled cheese with brie, give it a try! Just be careful not to overdo it on the cheese—it has a tendency to spill over the edges of the bread if you use too much. Brie and jam is a classic combination, but other soft cheeses are perfect for this sandwich too.

We used: Lemon Bird Handmade Jams Satsuma Plum and Sichuan Pepper Jam

The Heartbreaker

Grilled Cheese with Barbecue Sauce & Sweet Pickled Onions
Barbecue sauce is one of our favorite additions to grilled cheese. To add another layer of flavor, we’ve added sweet pickled onions to this sandwich. Amp up the heat by using pepper jack cheese, or keep things mild with a high quality aged cheddar.

We used: Hak’s Chipotle Bourbon Barbecue Sauce + Green Hollow Preserves Sweet Pickled Onions

The Italian Dipper

The Italian Dipper Grilled Cheese
This is the sandwich version of deep-fried mozzarella sticks. Spread tapenade on both sides of crusty bread slices and sandwich a layer of provolone or mozzarella cheese between them. Grill your sandwich to crispy perfection, then cut it into slices and dip them in marinara.

We used: Sutter Buttes Sun-Dried Tomato Olive Tapenade + Jar Goods Classic Red Sauce

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  • Reply
    September 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I am now drooling. These look sooo good. I need to rethink my meal plan for the week and swap in some grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      We had a lot of grilled cheese sandwich dinners when I was working on this post and I have no regrets. 🙂 And they’re so easy to throw together too!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I am going to try the brie one for sure. I also highly recommend good ‘ol pesto with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      I love pesto on grilled cheese! Sometimes I add roasted veggies too. So tasty. 🙂

  • Reply
    Baby June
    September 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Woah woah woah! Those are some AMAZING ideas you’ve got going on there. Now you’ve given me an express desire for ciabatta with fresh mozzarella and marinara and tapenade and a painfully acute lack of those ingredients nor any means to get them…such a tragedy. Oh well. Your pictures are amazing. Will be content to drool for now. 😀

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      I hate when that happens! Crusty bread is something I frequently crave and it’s one of the few things I rarely have on hand (because when we have bakery bread, we totally eat it right away).

  • Reply
    September 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Gorgeous–and now I am hungry.
    My go to=apricot jam and arugula with cheddar.
    Also, while summer is still here: basil and tomato!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Apricot and arugula!!! I’m going to have to make that. I love pairing arugula with sweet flavors.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Had grilled cheese & tomatoe soup for lunch yesterday! Used Edam cheese & spread it with home made cranberry sauce….give it a try! My soupnwas not home made but still good ‘ I use half milk/half water !! I like your idea of cutting the sandwich in cubes & adding to soup. TKY for all your recipes

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      I love grilled cheese with cranberry sauce! We always have leftovers after Thanksgiving and grilled cheese sandwiches are my favorite way to use it up.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    It’s official. I now have to try all of these. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Katie (The Muffin Myth)
    September 16, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Yummmm! Grilled cheese is one of my favourite things ever! So many good combos to choose from here. And the props in these photos are just stunning – those wooden cutting boards? Dreamy!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      Rikki has the best props! I wish I knew where to find things like that.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    September 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Absolutely love “the fancypants” but I wouldn’t turn down any of these :).

  • Reply
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen
    September 16, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Oh boy. I can never had enough grilled cheese! Thanks for all these great ideas!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure there was a full year where I had grilled cheese for lunch daily!

  • Reply
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
    September 17, 2014 at 7:25 am

    you had me at cheese! Love all of the options!

  • Reply
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen
    September 17, 2014 at 10:30 am

    This is pure genius! I want to eat every single one of those!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    You know I love using my preserves on grilled cheese. So many great flavor combo ideas here! Also, I highly recommend making one of these grilled cheese sandwiches in the waffle iron – so fun, and adds all these toasted nooks and crannies!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      I need to get a new waffle iron so I can try this! I have no idea what happened to mine, but everything sticks to it now. Boo.

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