Evergreen Recipes, recipes, Salads, Summer, vegetarian

Easy Grilled Cheese Salad

This grilled cheese salad is perfect for warm summer days. It’s nourishing, it’s easy, it’s quick to make and tastes delicious! And while salads can be pretty boring somethings, this recipe is anything else but that. While the base of dark spinach leaves still seems quite unspectacular, dates, fresh cherry tomatoes, crunchy pistachios and radish add some serious pizzazz. 

But the real star of this salad is truly the grilled cheese on top. It adds so much flavor, another kind of texture and of course some healthy proteins. And since no salad tastes good on its own, we need a good dressing. And if you ask me, there’s nothing better than a balsamic honey mustard dressing.   

So without any further ado, let me show you how to make this recipe, what do you need for it and all these different kind of variations based on this basic recipe.

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Grilled cheese salad on a stone background with a bowl of nuts, fresh radishes, micro greens and a small cutting knife.
This salad is perfect for hot summer days!

Healthy & Nutritious

As I’m writing this post for you right now, it’s thirty degrees in my apartment, the blinds are down and I’m sitting at my desk in bathing suits. And the thought of this grilled cheese salad immediately makes my mouth water, despite the bone-dry heat out there.

And thanks to its high vegetable, and therefore high water content, it’s perfect for hot days like this. Furthermore, the base of dark green lettuce leaves, such as spinach, arugula, lamb’s lettuce, or romaine lettuce, provides us with plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber. The same goes for the cherry tomatoes, of course!

The dates and pistachio pieces, on the other hand, provide not only interesting flavors and textures, but also a few carbs and healthy fatty acids. And the grilled cheese on top provides some protein. 

However, since I’m a fan of low-fat cheese products I love the low-fat grilled cheese from Grillido (advertisement). Unfortunately, it’s a German brand and I’m pretty sure that it’s not available outside of the country. But maybe there’s another low-fat grill cheese available where you live, or you simply use a regular one.

Finally, every salad needs a good dressing, of course. And since summer and an Italian balsamic dressing go hand in hand, I have a calorie-friendly balsamic honey mustard dressing for you today.

Salad bowl with cherry tomatoes, dates, radishes, nuts and grilled cheese.
All these different textures add so much flavor to this easy summer salad!

Ingredients and Substitutions

The amounts given in the recipe are for two servings. Feel free to double or halve the amounts, depending on how many people you want to make this recipe for. 

You can also prepare several portions of the balsamic honey mustard dressing and store the leftovers in the refrigerator. That way, you’ll always have a tasty dressing on hand.

BTW – I always base portion sizes on my personal dietary needs (presumably those of the average woman). However, you or perhaps one of your fellow eaters may need more or less than I do. So, feel free to adjust.

Here’s what you’ll need…

As mentioned earlier, the base of our grilled cheese salad is unsurprisingly lettuce leaves. Since especially the darker varieties contain more vitamins and minerals, I prefer to go for varieties like leaf spinach, arugula or similar.

For a more flavorful and different textures, we also need a few more ingredients for our bowl.

  • Cherry tomatoes and radish – for a summery fresh kick
  • Medjool dates – for a sweet, soft component 
  • Crunchy nuts, such as pistachios or walnuts
  • Fresh herbs, like basil or mint – for even more flavor
  • And other salad highlights of your choice, depending on availability and preferences. For instance, I’m thinking of chickpeas, croutons, cooked green beans and more. 

We also need some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a tiny bit of honey and medium hot mustard for our dressing. 

Finally, we are now left with the topping. As already mentioned, I love to use a (lower fat) grilled cheese. It not only provides some protein, but also a salty, creamy note.

Ingredients for the grilled cheese salad bowl.
These ingredients are only my suggestion, feel free to adjust them to your personal preferences.

Substitutions

There are really no limits to your creativity and personal taste and preferences with this salad bowl. Instead of grilled cheese, you can serve tofu, seafood, salmon, chicken, or steak strips on top of your salad.

And of course, any of your favorite salad ingredients will fit in here too. So be sure to let your creativity run wild. To make the dressing vegan, you can easily replace the honey with maple syrup.

How to Make this Recipe

As promised, this recipe is quick and easy to prepare. The only thing that needs to be prepared on the stove or in the oven is the grilled cheese. Therefore, heat some oil in a small pan and fry the grilled cheese on both sides over medium heat for about four minutes or follow the package instructions on how to make the cheese in the oven.

Meanwhile, there is enough time to prepare the salad bowl. First, wash the lettuce, herbs, radishes, and tomatoes thoroughly and spin or shake them dry. Next, you can halve or quarter the tomatoes, roughly chop the herbs and thinly slice the radish. You can also pit the dates and cut them into thin strips and roughly chop the nuts.

For the dressing, just put all the ingredients in a small, sealable container. I prefer to use a small jar for this. Alternatively, you can use a dressing shaker or something similar. 

Once the dressing ingredients are in the jar, seal it with the lid and shake it thoroughly for a few seconds. Just as you would do for a cocktail. 

Now the grilled cheese should also be ready, so you can put all your components for the grilled cheese salad in a deep plate or bowl and mix with the balsamic honey mustard dressing. Then, put the grilled cheese (or your topping of choice) on top and your delicious, summer salad is ready to serve.

This process shot shows a cutting board with tomatoes, radishes and dates.
Make sure to thinly slice the radishes since they tastes when they are super thin.

Your Common Questions Answered

If there are any further questions, I hope these FAQs will help you right along. If not, just drop your questions in the comments and I will make sure to answer them.

What kind of grilled cheese did you use?

Personally, I like to use a low-fat grilled cheese to save myself some calories. However, you can use whatever cheese you like and typically put on the grill. Halloumi also works great.

I don’t like dates in my salad, can I leave them out?

The nice thing about this grilled cheese salad is, that you can swap out or omit whatever you don’t like or what you don’t have on hand. However, the dates are really worth a try. Their sweetness and soft texture add something really special to this salad.

I don’t like grilled cheese! What can I use instead?

As an alternative to grilled cheese, you can serve your salad with mozzarella, burrata, fried tofu strips, fish, seafood, chicken or steak strips. I’ve tried all of these options myself and they all taste fantastic! 

How can I veganize the dressing?

You can easily veganize the Balsamic Honey Mustard Dressing by swapping out the honey for maple syrup.

Here’s How to Save this Recipe for Later

To meal prep the recipe for the following days, I recommend the following:

  • You can already wash the greens and then spin them dry. Then put them in an airtight container, place a damp kitchen paper on top and close the container. This will keep the salad in the refrigerator for several days to a week.
  • You can prepare the dressing already in larger quantities and store it in a canning jar or similar in the refrigerator.
  • All the other ingredients I would recommend to prepare when you actually eat the salad. But since the amount of work is now really minimal, it should be okay.
Salad bowl with cherry tomatoes, dates, radishes, nuts and grilled cheese.
Fresh herbs like basil or mint add so much flavor to every salad!

I hope you like this grilled cheese salad and that you give it a try soon. 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 this recipe, I’d appreciate your comment and rating for it. 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

Save for later

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Click on the pin button in the upper left corner to bookmark this recipe on your Pinterest account.
Bookmark this recipe to one of your Pinterest boards!

You might also like:

If you loved this recipe, I hope you will also try some of my other salad recipes! 

Salad bowl with cherry tomatoes, dates, radishes, nuts and grilled cheese.

Grilled Cheese Salad

Julia Schmitt
This quick and easy grilled cheese salad is perfect for warm summer day. It’s served with an easy balsamic vinegar dressing. For alternatives to the grilled cheese, see the recipe notes and for more ideas and variations on this versatile salad, check out the blog post.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine international
Servings 2 servings
Calories 402 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 non-stick frying pan
  • 1 jar or dressing shaker (optional)

Ingredients
  

Grilled Cheese Salad

  • 2 pieces of grilled cheese * (about 100 or 120g (3.5 to 4oz) each)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 100 g dark lettuce (e.g. spinach, arugula, …) (≈ 3.5 oz)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes
  • ≈ 6 radishes
  • 2 to 3 Medjool dates
  • 20 g pistachios (≈ 1 tbsp)

Dressing

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 10 g medium hot mustard (≈ 1 tsp)
  • 10 g honey (≈ 1 tsp)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • salt, pepper

Instructions
 

Grilled Cheese

  • In the pan: Heat a coated pan over medium to medium-low heat, spread the oil in it and fry the grilled cheese on both sides for 4 minutes each.
    In the oven: spread the oil in a small baking dish, put the grilled cheese in it and bake it for 15 minutes at 200°C or 400°F degrees in a preheated oven or follow the package instructions
    Grilled cheese in a non-stick frying pan.

Salad Bowl

  • Wash the lettuce and herbs and spin dry thoroughly, chop coarsely if necessary. Wash and halve tomatoes. Wash the radishes thoroughly and cut them into thin slices. Pit and chop the dates, coarsely chop the nuts.
    This process shot shows a cutting board with tomatoes, radishes and dates.

Dressing

  • Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a canning jar or dressing shaker, seal and shake thoroughly. 
    A jar filled with the ingredients for the dressing. Next to it a bottle of olive oil and a knife.

Serve

  • Place all ingredients for the salad in a bowl and mix them with the dressing, divide the salad between two plates and serve it with the grilled cheese on top.
    Salad bowl with cherry tomatoes, dates, radishes, nuts and grilled cheese.

Notes

*As an alternative to grilled cheese, you can serve your salad with mozzarella, burrata, fried tofu strips, fish, seafood, chicken or steak strips. I’ve tried just about all of these options myself and they all taste fantastic!
Nutritional values per serving:
  • calories: 402 kcal
  • fat: 20 g
  • carbohydrates: 27 g
  • proteins: 26 g
Nutritional values for the dressing per serving:
  • calories: 81 kcal
  • fat: 4.9 g (of which saturated fat: 0.7 g)
  • carbohydrates: 7.5 g
  • proteins: 0.4 g

Nutrition

Calories: 402kcal
Keyword grilled cheese salad, honey mustard balsamic dressing, summer salad bowl
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