These gourmet grilled cheese sandwich ideas are perfect for lunch OR dinner. I mean, who could resist perfectly melted cheese, toasty bread, and epic fillings?
Today, I’m sharing all of the best grilled sandwich ideas, like taco grilled cheese, Hawaiian and even a grilled cheesesteak. Oh yeah, these sandwiches are heavenly.
How to Make Grilled Cheese
Who doesn’t love gooey, melty, cheesy goodness with toasted buttery bread? Below I share how to make the perfect grilled cheese in 4 easy steps:
- Generously butter both sides of your bread.
- Assemble the sandwich, cheese, fillings, and all.
- In a non-stick pan or pancake griddle, grill the sandwich(es) over medium heat for 3 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. If using a skillet or non-stick pan, you can cook them 1 to 2 at a time. With a pancake griddle, you can fit about 4 to 6.
- Flip the sandwich(es) and cook for an additional minute or two until the cheese is melted and the bread is perfectly toasted.
It’s that simple and yields such amazing results that you can eat! In this video, you’ll find how I make 5 fancy grilled cheese sandwiches using the steps above.
Give it a watch, then decide which one you want to make first!
Related: More Epic Sandwich Fillings Here
Grilled Cheese Recipe Ideas
Now, onto the reason we are here: gourmet grilled cheese recipes you’ll want to make again and again! While some are made with leftover lunch and dinner ingredients, they taste like anything but an afterthought.
Hawaiian Grilled Cheese
- Canadian bacon or honey ham
Print this recipe below
The Grilled Hawaiian is a sweet and savory combination with smoked ham, pineapple, and white Cheddar cheese. You can use fresh or canned pineapple, but make sure to layer the cheese on both sides, so the pineapple juices don’t make the bread soggy.
- grilled onion and peppers
- leftover steak or deli roast beef
Made with leftover steak and a pack of frozen peppers and onions, everything gets cooked down in a skillet then sandwiched between cheese and bread. This homemade Philly grilled cheese is easy to whip up in a skillet and has become a favorite of my husband’s.
- taco meat
- sour cream
- black olives
This sandwich is my personal favorite because it’s made with leftover taco meat, avocado, and sour cream taste so good between golden, crispy bread. You could say it’s the perfect use for taco night leftovers.
- diced onion
- garlic powder
I had never heard of tuna melts until I met my husband; who, in his bachelor years, would make a large bowl of tuna salad for days and sometimes turn it into a delicious tuna melt. Good thing, because the melted cheese with the creamy tuna salad and buttery toasted bread is divine!
- Cheddar cheese
- Thinly sliced apples
The flavor of tart green apples with savory melted cheese is something everyone should taste at least once, and why not try it in a grilled cheese. Cheeses like gouda and Swiss are perfect for this, and you can even add deli ham.
- Sliced tomato
With buttery, toasted bread, sliced pepperoni, and melted cheese, this pepperoni sandwich is all the best of a grilled cheese and pepperoni pizza in one epic sandwich recipe that both kids and adults will love.
While grilled sandwiches are not what make up the majority of my family dinners, every now and then going back to simple recipes helps me pull off homemade dinners even on the busiest weeknight. Plus, they are the perfect way to use up leftover odds and ends from other dinners.
Check out my family meal plans if you would like to see how I would implement ideas like this into a weekly menu. Every week you’ll get a new menu with a done-for-you shopping list and prep guide to help you stay one step ahead.
More Grilled Sandwich Ideas
You can literally turn just about any sandwich into a grilled cheese. Below are a few ideas inspired by recipes I already have on this site like the Buffalo Chicken Sliders and New Orleans Muffuletta, plus a few that are results of years of making grilled cheese:
- Italian: prosciutto, Provolone, pepperocinis, and roasted red peppers.
- Greek: Mozzarella, halved grape tomatoes, chopped Kalamata olives, and Feta cheese.
- Garden: sliced red onion, sliced tomato, arugula, avocado, and Provolone cheese.
- Breakfast: crispy bacon, sliced tomato, fried egg, and sharp Cheddar cheese.
- Buffalo chicken: slow cooker shredded Buffalo chicken, cheese, sliced red onion, sliced avocado, Provolone, and Bleu cheese crumbles.
- Caprese: Mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, sliced tomato, and balsamic reduction sauce.
- Muffuletta: sliced Mortadella, salami, Provolone or Mozzarella, and olive salad.
Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese
A perfectly gooey grilled cheese sandwich can be made with several types of cheese. What you are looking for in the best grilling cheese, is melting quality. Here are the ideal cheeses for melting on sandwiches.
- mild Cheddar
- Pepper Jack
- good ole American singles
Tips for the Best Grilled Cheese
Let’s talk a minute about all the tips and tricks to make the best-ever grilled cheese sandwiches:
Use Thick Bread
While you can make grilled cheese sandwiches with any sliced bread, heartier and thick varieties such as Texas toast, sourdough, and Italian bread hold up better with more ingredients.
Don’t Skip the Butter
Butter is what gives the butter that golden glow and crispy texture. Don’t be afraid, slather it on. Make sure it’s room temp or softened before you try to spread ice-cold butter onto soft bread. We all know how that goes.
How to Keep it From Getting Soggy
Trapping a hot grilled cheese in a tight place produces steam and will make the bread soggy. I have a post on how to pack a grilled cheese for lunch so it stays crisp, but essentially you want to let it cool down to room temperature before placing it in a container.
How to Perfectly Flip Grilled Cheese
Insert a large spatula under the sandwich, then carefully place your fingertips to stabilize the sandwich and flip. This is why I recommend grilling them 1 or 2 at a time in a non-stick pan or on a large griddle.
Keep the Heat on Medium
So these cheese melts and the bread toasts at the same time, otherwise, the bread will burn before the cheese gets to heat through.
What Goes with Grilled Cheese
No joke, a delicious grilled cheese sandwich with a side of fresh fruit or salad is something everyone looks forward to and it takes you less than 10 minutes to assemble.
Best Grilled Sandwiches
All the best grilled sandwich recipes you can pack for lunch, starting with this Hawaiian Grilled Cheese
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 6 minutes
- Total Time: 8 minutes
- Yield: 1 Sandwich 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 2 slices thick bread
- Butter, room temperature, for spreading
- 2 slices white Cheddar or Swiss cheese
- 2–3 pineapple slices, fresh or canned
- 3–4 slices Canadian bacon or honey ham
- Butter both sides of the bread and top one slice with cheese, pineapple, and Canadian bacon or ham. Top with the remaining slice of cheese and bread.
- Heat a non-stick pan or griddle over medium heat and grill the sandwich for 3 minutes or until the bread is golden and the cheese has begun to melt. Flip and grill for an additional minute or two or until the bread is crisp and the cheese melted.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately or if packing for lunch, allow the sandwich to cool down to room temperature before slicing and packing in a lunchbox.
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich
- Calories: 733
- Sugar: 21.4 g
- Sodium: 1711.3 mg
- Fat: 37.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 19.4 g
- Trans Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 69.3 g
- Fiber: 3.8 g
- Protein: 25.5 g
- Cholesterol: 115.2 mg
Keywords: grilled sandwiches, grilled cheese ideas