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Healthy Grilled Cheese Recipes Perfect for Lunch
Just when you thought melty cheese oozing from two pieces of bread was enough, fresh vegetables and bold flavors take it to the next level—and make it healthy, too. These 25 healthy grilled cheese recipes show that classic grilled cheese can be anything but basic.
Gooey Grilled Cheese
Once fall's cool breezes come, grilled cheese cravings kick into high gear. Satisfy those cravings with an update to the classic sandwich that won't set your healthy-eating plans off track. This one's loaded with an all-fruit jam, so you score the added sweetness without added sugar.
Get the recipe: Gooey Grilled Cheese
Chile Relleno Grilled Cheese
Want to add a kick to the sandwich without extra calories? Add a charred poblano pepper. Other low-calorie substitutes—whole wheat bread and skim milk—make this version a healthy take on the classic comfort food.
Get the recipe: Chile Relleno Grilled Cheese
Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese with Basil Pesto
I am a Food Blog
Green Grilled Cheese
The Iron You
Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese
Carb conscious? Don't be so quick to put grilled cheese on the "foods to avoid" list. Just get creative with your definition of bread. Ditch the gluten-filled varieties for a cauliflower crust. With two slices, you'll more than meet your daily requirement of vitamin C.
Get the recipe: Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese
Kim's Healthy Eats
Avocado Grilled Cheese
Lipids found in avocados could help fight leukemia, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Cancer Research. So, go ahead, pile avocado slices on spinach leaves and top with slices of cheese for yet another tasty way to enjoy the superfruit.
Get the recipe: Avocado Grilled Cheese
Mushroom Grilled Cheese
Vegetarians, unite! The grilled cheese sandwich is likely already part of your veg-friendly recipe lineup. But the addition of grilled portobello mushrooms makes it easy to score vitamin D while still steering clear of meat. This recipe also takes the "grilled" part of the grilled cheese literally. It calls for tossing it on the backyard grill to create beautiful char marks and extra crispiness.
Get the recipe: Mushroom Grilled Cheese
Eggplant Ricotta Grilled Cheese
Any kind of ricotta cheese is generally low in calories compared to other cheeses, but a part-skim option will help you keep things even lighter. Eaten with bites of roasted eggplant—a major source of fiber—you'll be full until dinner. Bonus: Leave the eggplant skin on for even more nutrients.
Get the recipe: Eggplant Ricotta Grilled Cheese
The Happier Homemaker
Healthy Spinach Pesto Havarti Grilled Cheese
Not all breads are created equal. By choosing a low-calorie option like this recipe calls for, you can easily knock off a few calories. It also includes light Havarti cheese, spinach, and pesto for full flavor and fresh taste.
Get the recipe: Healthy Spinach Pesto Havarti Grilled Cheese
Cucumber Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese
Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese
When a spinach artichoke dip is in the room, you know where the center of the party will be. So, why not move that deliciousness onto your sandwich? This tasty blend of artichoke hearts, spinach, cream cheese, and mozzarella gets a protein power punch from turkey with nearly 15 grams.
Get the recipe: Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese
Grilled Cheese with Avocado and Heirloom Tomatoes
One heirloom tomato offers 40 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. Add slices of avocado for a dose of healthy fat and creamy, nutty Gruyère for a well-rounded meal that freshens up the traditional cool-weather sandwich.
Get the recipe: Grilled Cheese with Avocado and Heirloom Tomatoes
Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese
That 15 minutes of fame Brussels sprouts have been enjoying isn't over yet. And this recipe offers a totally inventive way to tap into their cancer-risk-reducing benefits. Pile the Brussels sprouts onto slices of bread with bell peppers and pepper jack cheese for a fiery, vegetable-heavy grilled cheese upgrade.
Get the recipe: Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese
Homegrown & Healthy
Garden Fresh Grilled Cheese
Shredded Havarti, chicken breast, sliced red peppers, and fresh dill join forces for one garden-fresh take on grilled cheese. Consider the Havarti an upgrade from the American cheese singles you ate as a kid. Its creamy texture means it'll assume melty perfection in no time.
Get the recipe: Garden Fresh Grilled Cheese
A Pinch of Healthy
Pesto Caprese Grilled Cheese
Summer's the season for quickly transforming the ingredients on hand—like tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella—into fresh dishes. Extend the caprese love into fall by using it to inspire your grilled cheese. This recipe shows you can hold onto summer flavors a little longer.
Get the recipe: Pesto Caprese Grilled Cheese
The Dreaming Foodie
Chipotle Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich
One boneless chicken breast packs 22 grams of protein into only 120 calories. Make it the base of your grilled cheese, then dress it up with a homemade chipotle sauce created with Greek yogurt to keep it light and even richer in protein.
Get the recipe: Chipotle Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Turkey, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Panini
The secret ingredient of this tasty grilled cheese sandwich: pomegranate molasses (concentrated pomegranate juice reduced cholesterol among people with diabetes, according to an International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research study). Whole-grain bread, arugula, and low-sodium turkey also keep things on the healthier side.
Get the recipe: Turkey, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Panini
Smothered Tempeh Sandwich
A vegetarian version of a protein-filled grilled cheese comes courtesy of tempeh. The chewy, nutty soybean product packs 31 grams of protein in each eight-ounce serving. Plus, it tastes downright delicious when paired with a red-wine mushroom sauce and slices of provolone.
Get the recipe: Smothered Tempeh Sandwich
Pip and Ebby
Grilled Provolone and Veggie Basil Sandwich
There are plenty of varieties in the cheese family. But when it comes to making a healthy choice, provolone beats out most of the others. One ounce of the cheese provides 21 percent of your daily calcium needs. Toss in a handful of antibacterial-rich basil for a guilt-free lunch.
Get the recipe: Grilled Provolone and Veggie Basil Sandwich
White Bean and Mozzarella Sandwich
Peppery arugula joins fibrous cannellini beans in this white bean and mozzarella sandwich. To keep it light, opt for part-skim mozzarella. With beans, basil, red pepper, and arugula, it won't be lacking in flavor.
Get the recipe: White Bean and Mozzarella Sandwich
The Cozy Apron
Tomato & Pesto Grilled Cheese
Those fresh summer veggies aren't quite gone yet. Make the most of the transition to fall by combining the best of both seasons: fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil and comforting grilled cheese. The pesto recipe calls for three tablespoons of toasted pine nuts, an ingredient that can make you feel full for up to four hours after eating, according to a Dutch study.
Get the recipe: Tomato & Pesto Grilled Cheese
2 Peas and Their Pod
Parmesan Crusted Pesto Grilled Cheese
By now you know the health benefits of Parmesan cheese and basil-packed pesto from the other healthy grilled cheese recipes. This recipe combines both. It packs mozzarella on the inside and a Parmesan crust on the outside for an extra dose of cheesy deliciousness.
Get the recipe: Parmesan Crusted Pesto Grilled Cheese
Olives for Dinner
Vegan Grilled Cheese
Even vegans can whip up the classic grilled cheese sandwich, thanks to a homemade vegan version of cheese made from coconut milk, tapioca flour, and nutritional yeast. This recipe also outlines how to make a killer smoky tomato soup, the perfect accompaniment to grilled cheese.
Get the recipe: Vegan Grilled Cheese