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Fancy Grilled Cheese – 4 Ways to Make Your Grilled Cheese Even Better

Is there anything better than a grilled cheese? Not really, am I right? That’s why, I have not one, not two, not three, but four different fancy grilled cheese recipes for you today. Alongside these awesome recipes I also want to share how to make a grilled cheese a bit healthier and how to incorporate them into well-balanced meals. So, without any further ado, let’s level up your grilled cheese!

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a stack of five fancy grilled cheese sandwiches with different fillings

Healthy and Well-Balanced

Admittedly, a grilled cheese isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a healthy and balanced diet. But, unless you’re new to my blog, you probably already know that I love incorporating comfort food dishes like a grilled cheese into a wholesome diet.

So, to make sure nobody has to give up his beloved sandwich, I have a few easy tips for you on how to enjoy a grilled cheese in a slightly healthier and more balanced way.

Whole Grains are Your Best Friends

Tip number one is to use a whole grain bread. I know, I say that all the time, but whole grain products like bread are much healthier.

You can either bake your own whole wheat bread using my simple 100% Whole Wheat No Knead Bread recipe or you buy one in the supermarket. Just make sure to check the ingredients, since the color of the bread doesn’t tell you anything about whether it’s whole grain or not.

100% whole wheat no knead bread
100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread

Use Low-Fat Cheese and Less Butter

Tip number two is to not to be afraid of using light products, like a fat-reduced cheese. It can save you quite a bit of calories and still tastes delicious. Alternatively, you can also use a kind of cheese which have fewer calories and a bit less fat such as Gouda or Mozzarella cheese.

It also helps to reduce the amount of butter or mayonnaise. Furthermore you can also fall back on one of these light mayonnaise products as they work quite as well as the classic version. But no matter which product you’ll choose, make sure to use a sparing amount as it will do its job, too.

two slices of bread with a thin layer of mayo on top

Add Veggies or a Salad on the Side

To make sure I’m eating enough veggies, I like to serve my grilled cheese with some veggie sticks or a colorful salad on the side.

You can already find a super simple recipe for a low-calorie salad dressing and my guide for perfect salads on the blog. And when it comes to veggie sticks, I’m pretty sure that I don’t have to tell you how to do that, right?

Whereby, wait a minute, I still have a tip for you here. I like to pre-cut a few vegetable sticks on weekends. Then I put them in a big glass jar and fill it up to the top with water. Next, I put the lid on and store it in the fridge. This keeps the pre-cut vegetables fresh and crisp for several days and they ready to be eaten at any time.

grilled cheese sandwich on white parchment paper

Time to Make Your Grilled Cheese Better – 4 Fancy Grilled Cheese Recipes Are Coming Your Way!

As promised, I have four different fancy grilled cheese recipes for you in today’s post. In all recipes I use a whole grain bread. This can either be my homemade 100% whole wheat no knead bread, a store-bought whole wheat bread, or just a regular (whole wheat) toast.

I also used a light mayonnaise to thinly coat the outsides of my cheese sandwich, so they don’t burn or get too dry when I fry them. Alternatively, you can use regular butter or mayonnaise and just use it sparingly.

Pesto Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

For our pesto mozzarella sandwich, we first spread both of our bread slices with a little mayo or butter. Then we flip the slices over and spread a thin layer of pesto on one of the insides.

For extra flavor, I prefer to use a homemade pesto, like my pumpkin pesto. Of course, since such a homemade pesto is super healthy and low in calories, you can use a little more of that.

But if I’m short on time or don’t have any ready-made pesto in the fridge, I often grab a regular store-bought pesto and just use it a little more sparingly.

Next come a few slices of tomato and some mozzarella cheese on top of the pesto. Again, I like to use the light mozzarella cheese, but that’s up to you. Finally, add a few fresh basil leaves, put the second bread slice on top and put it into a non-stick pan.

Now fry your sandwich over medium heath on both sides for a few minutes. Make sure to use a spatula to press down on the sandwich since it helps to melt the cheese.

Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

This fancy grilled cheese sandwich is my absolute favorite. And if you only try one of these four recipes, it absolutely has to be this one. Because the combination of spicy mustard, the salty-sweet onions, and the melted cheese is just HEAVENLY! Trust me!

To make the sandwich, first slice a shallot into thin rings and put them in a pan with half a teaspoon of oil and a pinch of salt. Once they are nicely soft and translucent, add a pinch (about a teaspoon) of brown or coconut blossom sugar. Let them caramelize for a minute or two over medium heat before removing them from the pan.

Now spread a thin layer of mayo on the outside of your bread and medium hot mustard on the inside. Place a slice of cheese on top of the mustard and top it with the onions. Optionally, sprinkle some fresh thyme leaves on top before placing the second slice of cheese and bread on top and pan frying the sandwich.

Pastrami Grilled Cheese

For the third version of our fancy grilled cheese sandwiches, we again need some medium hot mustard, two slices of pastrami, a slice of light cheese and some basil leaves.

As usual, we spread a thin layer of mayo or butter on the one side of your bread and mustard on the other. Then we add the pastrami, which by the way is a low-fat beef ham, the cheese and the basil leaves on top, put the second slice of bread on top and the sandwich goes into the pan.

Again, we fry it on both sides for a few minutes, pressing down on the sandwich with a spatula every now and then to make sure the cheese melts nicely.

Spicy Kimchi Grilled Cheese

For the last recipe I’ll have Korean infused grilled cheese for you. Therefore, we put some fermented Chinese cabbage inside our fancy grilled cheese, which adds a spicy flavor.

The preparation remains the same as for the other three cheese sandwiches, except that here we also spread the inside thinly and sparingly with some butter, mayo, or cream cheese. Then we put a slice of cheese on top, some of the kimchi that you can buy in grocery stores and a second slice of cheese.

Next, this sandwich is also fried on both sides in the pan until the outsides are nicely crispy-golden and the cheese has melted.

I hope you like my four fancy grilled cheese recipes and that they will make your regular grilled cheese better than ever before.

If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email at contact@julesbalancedrecipes.com or Instagram (@julesbalancedrecipes).

And in case, you’ve tried one of these fancy grilled cheese sandwiches, I’d appreciate your comment and rating. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
Jules

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a stack of five fancy grilled cheese sandwiches with different fillings

Fancy Grilled Cheese Four Ways

Julia Schmitt
Four easy grilled cheese recipes which are all incredibly delicious in their own unique way. Thanks to whole grain bread, a sparing use of butter and mayo and some healthy side dishes (check the blog post above for more information), you’ll save yourself some excess calories and make the grilled cheese part of a wholesome diet.
No ratings yet
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Main Course, sandwich
Cuisine American
Servings 1 serving (each)
Calories 407 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 non-stick frying pan

Ingredients
  

Grilled Pesto-Mozzarella Sandwich

  • 2 slices (whole wheat) bread
  • 10 g mayo (light)
  • 1 tsp pesto
  • 1 big tomato sliced
  • 30 g mozzarella (fat-reduced) cut into thin slices
  • fresh basil leaves

Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

  • 1 small shallot
  • ½ tsp oil
  • salt
  • 1 tsp coconut blossom sugar or (brown) sugar
  • 2 slices (whole wheat) bread
  • 10 g mayo (light)
  • 10 g medium hot mustard
  • 2 slices cheese of chioce (e.g. light cheese, Emmental, Cheddar, American cheese)

Grilled Pastrami Sandwich

  • 2 slices (whole wheat) bread
  • 10 g mayo (light)
  • 10 g medium hot mustard
  • 2 slices pastrami
  • 1 slice cheese of choice (e.g. light cheese, Emmental, Cheddar, American cheese)
  • fresh basil leaves

Kimchi Grilled Cheese

  • 2 slices (whole wheat) bread
  • 10 g mayo (light)
  • 15 g cream cheese or 10 grams of mayo or butter
  • 30 g kimchi
  • 2 slices cheese of choice (e.g. light cheese, Emmental, Cheddar, American cheese)

Instructions
 

Grilled Pesto Mozzarella Sandwich

  • Spread both slices of bread thinly with mayo, flip them over and spread the pesto on one of the slices. Top it with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves and place the second slice of bread on top.
    two slices of bread, on with pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil on top
  • Place the sandwich in a non-stick frying pan and fry on both sides over medium heat for about four to five minutes, occasionally pressing down on the sandwich with a spatula to help the cheese melting.
    grilled cheese sandwich in a frying pan

GrilledCheese with Caramelized Onions

  • Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Heat the oil in a pan, add the shallots and sauté with a little salt until translucent. Then add the sugar and let it caramelize over medium heat for one to two minutes.
    caramelized onions in a small frying pan
  • Spread a thin layer of mayo on both pieces of bread, turn them over and spread the mustard on the insides. Place one slice of cheese on one slice of bread, spread the onions on top, place a second slice of cheese and the second slice of bread (mayo side is facing out) on top.
    two slices of bread with cheese and caramelized onions on top
  • Place the sandwich in a non-stick frying pan and fry on both sides over medium heat for about four to five minutes, occasionally pressing down on the sandwich with a spatula to help the cheese melting.

Pastrami Grilled Cheese

  • Spread a thin layer of mayo on both slices of bread, flip them over, and spread mustard on the insides. Place the pastrami, cheese, and a few basil leaves on one of the slices, and place the other one on top as a lid (mayo side facing out).
    two slices of bread with mustard, cheese, pastrami and basil on top
  • Place the sandwich in a non-stick frying pan and fry on both sides over medium heat for about four to five minutes, occasionally pressing down on the sandwich with a spatula to help the cheese melting.

Kimchi Grilled Cheese

  • Spread a thin layer of mayo on both slices of bread, flip them over, and spread the insides with cream cheese. Layer one slice of cheese on top, spread the kimchi on top of the cheese. Then put the second slice of cheese and the second slice of bread (mayo side out) on top.
    two slices of bread with cheese and kimich on top
  • Place the sandwich in a non-stick frying pan and fry on both sides over medium heat for about four to five minutes, occasionally pressing down on the sandwich with a spatula to help the cheese melting.

Notes

nutritional values for the pesto mozzarella grilled cheese:
  • Calories: 336 kcal
  • Fat: 13,8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35,1 g
  • Protein: 13,8 g
nutritional values for the caramelized onions grilled cheese
  • – Calories: 407 kcal
  • – Fat: 18 g
  • – Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • – Protein: 19.7 g
nutritional values for the pastrami grilled cheese
  • – Calories: 344 kcal
  • – Fat: 12,8 g
  • – Carbohydrates: 24,1 g
  • – Protein: 19 g
nutritional values for the Kimchi grilled cheese
  • – Calories: 415 kcal
  • – Fat: 18,9 g
  • – Carbohydrates: 35,4 g
  • – Proteins: 21.7 g

Nutrition

Calories: 407kcal
Keyword fancy grilled cheese, kimchi grilled cheese, onion grilled cheese, pastrami grilled cheese, pesto grilled cheese
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