18 Grilled Cheese Recipes That Make an Easy Gourmet Meal

Grilled cheese has grown to become a gooey comfort food classic over the past century. During the Great Depression, an open-faced variation on the sandwich called a “cheese dream” rose in popularity due to the affordability of processed cheese and pre-sliced bread. The Huffington Post reports that the 1960s ushered in a boon in the closed-faced variety, resulting in today’s gooey, classic comfort food.

Today, this food remains an American favorite: Crispy on the outside and melty on the inside, there are countless ways to dress up this standard. Adding meats, switching up your breads and cheeses, or adding fruits and spices give you endless ways to enjoy the classic.

Try whipping together any of these 18 variations on grilled cheeses for a deliciously simple sandwich adventure.

1. White Pizza Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese

Grilled cheese | iStock.com

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like pizza or grilled cheeses, so why not combine these two delicious dishes with this White Pizza Grilled Cheese from How Sweet Eats? Using grated cheeses will allow for quicker and more even melting in your sandwich, as a garlic-infused mascarpone lends it a creamy, flavorful touch.

2. Kimchi Ramen Grilled Cheese

kimchi

Kimchi | iStock.com

The Kimchi Ramen Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Tastespotting is a noodley, cheesy delight. Drawing from Korean fare, the dish also incorporates a zesty kimchi that will play nicely off a subtle, melted cheese.

3. BLT Grilled Cheese

BLT grilled cheese

BLT grilled cheese | Christine Skopec/The Cheat Sheet

Never fear, meat-lovers: Bacon is here! BLTs have been a mealtime favorite since as early as 1903, when a recipe for the sandwich appeared in an early edition of Good Housekeeping. Foodie Crush’s BLT Grilled Cheese is a hot and crispy take on yet another comfort food classic.

Leek and Mushroom Grilled Cheese

mushroom bruschettas decorated with leaves

Sauteed mushrooms | iStock.com/xalanx

Leeks have a mildly onion-like flavor, while mushrooms give this sandwich the hearty chew it needs to become a new family favorite. Try mixing them with a gooey, earthy gouda cheese as per the Stay At Home Chef’s advice.

5. Sweet Potato and Cheddar Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese

Cheddar grilled cheese | iStock.com

Wisconsin Cheese Talk offers a subtle sweet potato and cheddar grilled cheese on sourdough bread for lovers of all things sweet and savory. Sprinkling a bit of cinnamon and sugar on the crust prior to cooking will add an extra hint of sweet and crusty goodness.

6. Gouda Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese

Gouda grilled cheese | iStock.com

Did you know that gouda cheese has been prepared since as early as 1184 AD? Your grilled cheese will rise to new levels of sophistication with a gouda, roasted mushroom, and onion variation from She Wears Many Hats.

7. Lemon Blackberry Grilled Cheese

blackberries

Blackberries | SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Get a little adventurous with this Lemon Blackberry Grilled Cheese from Nosh and Nourish. Mild and creamy muenster cheese will delicately balance the tart lemon and blackberry flavors.

8. Chicken Enchilada Grilled Cheese

shredded chicken

Shredded chicken | iStock.com

Give your grilled cheese a zesty, Mexican-inspired kick with shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, and Monterey Jack cheese in a Chicken Enchilada Grilled Cheese dish. Try using a sourdough French bread for a crispy exterior, recommends Kirbie Cravings.

9. Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joe filling on bread | iStock.com

Pick up a few extra napkins before downing Cake’n’Knife’s Sloppy Joe-Grilled Cheese hybrid stuffed with cole slaw. Sauced beef is a meaty, protein-fueled add-on that adults and children alike will love.

10. Lasagna Grilled Cheese

Vegetarian panini cut into four pieces

Grilled cheese | iStock.com

Tomatoes, marinara sauce, and ricotta join forces in this Italian-inspired Lasagna Grilled Cheese from A Latte Food. It’s a pizza slice, a calzone, and a grilled cheese wrapped up into one delightfully gooey snack. 

11. Grilled Figs and Cheese Sandwich

Figs

Figs | iStock.com

80 Breakfasts shares an inspired recipe for this sweet and savory Grilled Figs and Cheese Sandwich. In it, figs, walnuts, honey, and creamy brie come together in a sandwich worthy of Mount Olympus.

12. Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese

A bacon sandwich.

Bacon sandwich | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Crispy, salted bacon and luscious guacamole complement each other wonderfully in Closet Cooking’s Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese. Crumbling tortilla chips into this sandwich is its textural pièce de résistance.

13. Peking Duck Grilled Cheese

Peking duck

Peking duck | GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

Talk about gourmet grilled cheese: The Woks of Life’s Peking Duck Grilled Cheese presents a balancing act of ravishing flavors, from Gruyere cheese and five spice powder to Hoisin-tinged Peking duck meat.

14. Pear Brie Grilled Cheese

Baked Brie with Honey

Brie | iStock.com

A Pear Brie Grilled Cheese could be calling your name with its airy and crisp flavors. Thyme is the secret ingredient that truly sets apart the distinctive dish, shared by Chef John on All Recipes.

15. Grilled Paneer Corn Sandwich

Steamed Corn in a bowl

Corn | iStock.com

Paneer is a cheese used in Indian cooking, prepared by exposing warmed whole milk to citrus then letting curds and whey separate, reports Food Network. The Grilled Paneer Corn Sandwich combines paneer with corn, onion, chili powder, and fenugreek leaves for a simple foray into authentic Indian flavors.

16. Artichoke and Pancetta Grilled Cheese

pancetta

Frying pancetta | iStock.com

If you’d prefer to stick with a Western-style grilled cheese, an Italian-inspired Artichoke and Pancetta Grilled Cheese from Zestuous might be the right choice for you.

17. Broccolini, Sautéed Red Onions, and Red Pepper Flakes Grilled Cheese

Sandwiches, paninis, grilled

Sandwiches | iStock.com

Make it a truly filling veggie-lover’s grilled cheese experience with Blogging Over Thyme’s Broccolini, Sautéed Red Onions, and Red Pepper Flakes Grilled Cheese! Don’t underestimate the health benefits of a sandwich like this one: SFGate observes that broccolini boasts high levels of both vitamins A and C.

18. Roast Beef, Caramelized Onion, and Cheddar Grilled Cheese

roast beef sandwiches

Roast beef sandwiches | iStock.com

Bold and beefy, this Roast Beef, Caramelized Onion, and Cheddar Grilled Cheese from On Sugar Mountain makes for a comforting favorite. A hearty sourdough is the ideal complement to this piquant dish.