Grilled cheese is a classic comfort food that is loved by many. Whether you prefer it with white bread and American cheese or sourdough and Gouda, grilled cheese is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed any time of day.
However, sometimes it can be difficult to decide what to serve alongside this cheesy goodness.
While tomato soup is the classic pairing for grilled cheese, there are many other sides and accompaniments that can elevate this simple sandwich. From meats to fruits to vegetables, the options are endless.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best sides to serve with grilled cheese to help you create the perfect meal.
- Tomato soup is the classic pairing for grilled cheese, but there are many other sides and accompaniments that can enhance the meal.
- Meats like bacon and ham, fruits like apples and figs, and vegetables like avocado and tomato can all be incorporated into your grilled cheese meal.
- Salads, soups, and crunchy sides like onion rings and pickles can also make great accompaniments to grilled cheese.
The Classic Pairing: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic pairing that has been enjoyed for generations. The warm, gooey sandwich and the savory, tangy soup complement each other perfectly, making for a comforting and satisfying meal.
When it comes to making the perfect grilled cheese, there are a few key ingredients that are essential. First and foremost, you need good quality bread. A sturdy white or wheat bread works well, but you can also get creative with sourdough, rye, or even a baguette.
Next, you’ll need cheese. American cheese is the classic choice, but cheddar, Swiss, or provolone are all delicious options as well. Finally, a little bit of butter or mayonnaise on the outside of the bread will help it crisp up nicely in the pan.
As for the tomato soup, there are a few different ways to make it. Some people prefer a smooth, creamy soup, while others like it chunky with bits of tomato and vegetables.
Whatever your preference, be sure to use ripe, juicy tomatoes for the best flavor. Fresh herbs like basil or thyme can add a nice touch, and a splash of cream or a dollop of sour cream can make it extra rich and velvety.
When it comes to serving, a warm bowl of tomato soup alongside a crispy grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect comfort food. The soup can be garnished with croutons, a drizzle of olive oil, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, while the sandwich can be cut into triangles or squares for easy dipping.
Overall, grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic pairing that is sure to warm you up on a chilly day. With a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can enjoy this delicious meal anytime.
Exploring Cheeses for Grilled Cheese
When it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches, the cheese is the star of the show. The right cheese can take a simple sandwich to the next level, while the wrong cheese can leave it bland and unexciting.
Here are some of the best cheeses to use for grilled cheese sandwiches:
- Cheddar: Cheddar is the classic choice for grilled cheese sandwiches. It has a sharp, tangy flavor that pairs well with bread. It also melts well, making it perfect for a gooey sandwich. Medium cheddar is a good choice if you want a balance of flavor and meltability.
- Mozzarella: Mozzarella is another popular choice for grilled cheese sandwiches. It has a mild, creamy flavor and melts easily. It’s a great choice if you want a sandwich with a stretchy, stringy texture.
- Swiss cheese: Swiss cheese has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that goes well with bread. It also melts well, making it a good choice for a grilled cheese sandwich. If you want a more intense flavor, try using a smoked Swiss cheese.
- Gouda: Gouda has a rich, buttery flavor that pairs well with bread. It also melts well, making it perfect for a grilled cheese sandwich. If you want a more intense flavor, try using an aged Gouda.
- Provolone: Provolone has a mild, slightly tangy flavor that goes well with bread. It melts well, making it a good choice for a grilled cheese sandwich. If you want a more intense flavor, try using a smoked provolone.
When choosing a cheese for your grilled cheese sandwich, it’s important to consider its flavor and meltability. You want a cheese that will complement the bread and melt easily. Experiment with different cheeses to find your perfect combination.
Breads to Compliment Your Grilled Cheese
When it comes to making a grilled cheese sandwich, the bread is just as important as the cheese. The right bread can elevate your sandwich to new heights, while the wrong bread can leave you with a soggy mess.
Here are some breads to consider when making your next grilled cheese:
Sourdough bread is a popular choice for grilled cheese sandwiches because of its tangy flavor and chewy texture.
The acidity in sourdough bread helps to balance out the richness of the cheese, making for a well-rounded sandwich. It also has a sturdy crust that can hold up to the heat of the grill without getting too crispy.
Rye bread is a hearty and flavorful option for grilled cheese sandwiches. Its slightly sweet and nutty flavor pairs well with sharp cheeses like cheddar or Swiss.
Rye bread also has a dense texture that can stand up to the weight of the cheese without getting too soggy.
Whole wheat bread is a healthier option for grilled cheese sandwiches, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Look for a whole wheat bread that has a nutty flavor and a hearty texture, like a multigrain or seed bread.
These breads can add some extra crunch and flavor to your sandwich without adding extra calories.
White bread may not be the healthiest option, but it is a classic choice for grilled cheese sandwiches. Look for a high-quality white bread that is soft and fluffy, with a slightly sweet flavor. This type of bread works well with mild cheeses like American or mozzarella.
For a unique twist on the classic grilled cheese sandwich, try using a sourdough rye bread. This bread has the tanginess of sourdough and the nuttiness of rye, making for a complex and flavorful sandwich. It pairs well with strong cheeses like Gouda or blue cheese.
No matter what bread you choose, make sure to butter it generously before grilling. This will help to create a crispy and golden-brown crust on your sandwich. Happy grilling!
Meats That Go Well with Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a classic comfort food, and it’s easy to see why. The combination of bread and melted cheese is simple but delicious. However, if you want to take your grilled cheese to the next level, consider adding some meat to the mix.
Here are a few meats that go well with grilled cheese:
Bacon is a popular choice for adding to grilled cheese sandwiches. The salty, smoky flavor of the bacon pairs well with the creamy cheese. You can cook the bacon separately and add it to the sandwich, or you can cook the sandwich with the bacon inside. Either way, it’s a delicious addition.
Ham is another meat that goes well with grilled cheese. The salty flavor of the ham complements the cheese, and it adds a bit of texture to the sandwich. You can use deli ham or leftover ham from a holiday meal. Cut the ham into thin slices and add it to the sandwich before cooking.
If you’re looking for a lighter option, consider adding turkey to your grilled cheese sandwich. Turkey has a mild flavor that won’t overpower the cheese, but it still adds some protein to the sandwich. You can use deli turkey or leftover turkey from a holiday meal. Cut the turkey into thin slices and add it to the sandwich before cooking.
Roast beef is a meat that’s often paired with cheese in other dishes, like Philly cheesesteaks. It’s a natural fit for grilled cheese sandwiches, too. The beef adds a savory flavor and some chewiness to the sandwich. You can use deli roast beef or leftover roast beef from a holiday meal. Cut the beef into thin slices and add it to the sandwich before cooking.
Overall, there are many meats that go well with grilled cheese sandwiches. Bacon, ham, turkey, and roast beef are just a few options to consider. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite.
Incorporating Fruits into Your Grilled Cheese Meal
When it comes to grilled cheese, many people may not think about incorporating fruits into their meal. However, adding fruit to your grilled cheese can provide an extra layer of flavor and texture that can take your sandwich to the next level.
One fruit that pairs particularly well with grilled cheese is apples. The sweet and slightly tart flavor of apples can complement the savory taste of cheese, creating a delicious balance of flavors.
Sliced apples can be added to your grilled cheese sandwich before cooking, or you can try making a Honey, Apple, Cheddar, and Bacon Panini for a more complex flavor profile.
But apples aren’t the only fruit that can be added to your grilled cheese meal. Other favorite fruits such as pears, figs, and grapes can also be incorporated into your sandwich. These fruits can add sweetness and texture to your grilled cheese, making for a more interesting and dynamic meal.
For those who want to keep it simple, serving your grilled cheese sandwich alongside a fruit salad or a plate of sliced fruit can also be a great option. This can provide a refreshing and healthy contrast to the richness of the sandwich.
Overall, incorporating fruits into your grilled cheese meal can be a fun and tasty way to mix up your usual sandwich routine. So next time you’re making grilled cheese, consider adding your favorite fruit for a delicious twist.
Vegetable Sides for Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is a classic comfort food that pairs well with a variety of vegetable sides. Whether you’re looking for something light and refreshing or hearty and filling, there are plenty of options to choose from.
One popular vegetable side for grilled cheese is roasted Brussels sprouts. Simply toss the sprouts in olive oil and season with salt and pepper before roasting in the oven until crispy and golden brown. For added flavor, try sprinkling with Parmesan cheese or drizzling with balsamic vinegar.
Another great option is broccoli salad. This crunchy and flavorful salad is made with fresh broccoli, red onion, bacon, and a creamy dressing. It’s the perfect complement to a warm and gooey grilled cheese sandwich.
Cabbage is another vegetable that pairs well with grilled cheese. Try sautéing shredded cabbage with garlic and onions for a quick and easy side dish. For a spicy kick, add sliced jalapenos or red pepper flakes.
For a lighter option, consider serving your grilled cheese with a simple arugula salad. Toss arugula with lemon juice, olive oil, and shaved Parmesan cheese for a refreshing and tangy accompaniment to your sandwich.
Finally, marinated tomatoes are a delicious and easy side dish that can be made ahead of time. Simply slice fresh tomatoes and marinate in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and herbs. Serve alongside your grilled cheese for a burst of fresh flavor.
With these vegetable side options, you can elevate your grilled cheese game and enjoy a delicious and balanced meal.
Choosing the Right Condiments
When it comes to grilled cheese, the right condiment can elevate the sandwich to a whole new level. Here are some options to consider:
Mustard is a classic condiment that pairs well with grilled cheese. Whole grain, spicy brown, and Dijon are all good options. The tanginess of the mustard cuts through the richness of the cheese and adds a nice kick of flavor.
While some may consider ketchup a condiment reserved for burgers and hot dogs, it can actually be a tasty addition to grilled cheese. The sweetness of the ketchup complements the saltiness of the cheese and can add a nice contrast of flavors.
Jam or Marmalade
For those who prefer a sweeter grilled cheese, jam or marmalade can be a great option. Raspberry, apricot, and orange marmalade are all good choices. The sweetness of the jam or marmalade can balance out the saltiness of the cheese and add a subtle fruit flavor.
Chutney is a condiment that originated in India and is made from a mixture of fruits, spices, and vinegar. Mango chutney is a popular choice to pair with grilled cheese. The sweetness of the mango and the spices in the chutney can add a unique and complex flavor to the sandwich.
Everything Bagel Seasoning
Everything bagel seasoning is a blend of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, onion, and salt. It may seem like an unconventional choice to put on a grilled cheese, but it can add a nice crunch and depth of flavor. Sprinkle some on top of the cheese before grilling for a tasty twist on a classic sandwich.
Ultimately, the choice of condiment comes down to personal taste. Experiment with different options to find the perfect pairing for your grilled cheese.
Salads as a Side Dish
Salads can be a great complement to grilled cheese sandwiches, providing a refreshing and healthy contrast to the rich, cheesy flavor of the sandwich. There are many types of salads that can be served as a side dish with grilled cheese, from simple green salads to more complex fruit or pasta salads.
A simple side salad can be made with a mix of greens, such as lettuce, spinach, or arugula, and topped with a light dressing, such as vinaigrette or lemon juice. This can help balance out the heaviness of the grilled cheese and provide some much-needed freshness.
Another classic salad that pairs well with grilled cheese is the Caesar salad, which features romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan cheese, and a creamy dressing. The salty, tangy flavors of the Caesar salad can complement the rich, savory flavors of the grilled cheese.
For those who prefer a fruitier side dish, a fruit salad can be a great option. This can be made with a variety of fruits, such as berries, melons, and citrus, and can be dressed with a simple honey or citrus dressing.
The sweetness of the fruit can provide a nice contrast to the savory flavors of the sandwich.
A Caprese salad, made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, can also be a great choice. The creamy cheese and juicy tomatoes can complement the gooey cheese in the grilled cheese, while the basil adds a fresh, herbaceous note.
For a heartier option, an orzo salad can be a great choice. This can be made with cooked orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, and a lemony vinaigrette. The tangy, salty flavors of the salad can complement the rich, cheesy flavors of the sandwich.
Overall, salads can be a great addition to any grilled cheese meal, providing a refreshing and healthy contrast to the rich, cheesy flavors of the sandwich. Whether you prefer a simple green salad or a more complex fruit or pasta salad, there are many options to choose from that can help make your grilled cheese meal even more delicious.
Comforting Soups to Pair with Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is a classic comfort food that is loved by many. It’s a simple dish that can be made in minutes and is perfect for any time of day.
However, pairing it with the right soup can take it to the next level. Here are some comforting soups that pair perfectly with grilled cheese:
Tomato soup is a classic soup that pairs perfectly with grilled cheese. It’s made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, and other seasonings simmered in a broth until the flavors meld together.
The result is a creamy, flavorful soup that can be enjoyed on its own or as an accompaniment to grilled cheese sandwiches.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is another classic soup that pairs well with grilled cheese. It’s a hearty soup that is perfect for cold winter days.
The combination of the warm soup and the crispy grilled cheese is sure to make anyone feel cozy and comfortable.
Potato soup is a creamy and delicious soup that pairs well with grilled cheese. It’s made from potatoes, onions, garlic, and other seasonings, and is usually served with bacon and cheese as toppings. The rich and creamy soup is the perfect complement to the crispy and cheesy grilled cheese.
Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash soup is a sweet and savory soup that pairs well with grilled cheese. It’s made from roasted butternut squash, onions, garlic, and other seasonings, and is usually served with a dollop of sour cream.
The sweet and savory flavors of the soup pair perfectly with the crispy and cheesy grilled cheese.
Corn chowder is a creamy and flavorful soup that pairs well with grilled cheese. It’s made from corn, potatoes, onions, garlic, and other seasonings, and is usually served with bacon and cheese as toppings.
The creamy and flavorful soup is the perfect complement to the crispy and cheesy grilled cheese.
Lentil soup is a hearty and nutritious soup that pairs well with grilled cheese. It’s made from lentils, onions, garlic, and other seasonings, and is usually served with a side of bread.
The hearty and nutritious soup is the perfect complement to the crispy and cheesy grilled cheese.
Vegetable Beef Soup
Vegetable beef soup is a hearty and flavorful soup that pairs well with grilled cheese. It’s made from beef, vegetables, onions, garlic, and other seasonings, and is usually served with a side of bread. The hearty and flavorful soup is the perfect complement to the crispy and cheesy grilled cheese.
Crunchy Sides for Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is a classic comfort food that is hard to resist. While it is delicious on its own, pairing it with a crunchy side can take it to the next level.
In this section, we will explore some of the best crunchy sides to serve with grilled cheese.
French fries are a classic side dish that pairs well with almost anything, including grilled cheese. The crispy texture of the fries complements the gooey cheese and soft bread of the sandwich. You can make your own fries at home or order them from your favorite fast-food restaurant.
Potato chips are another great option for a crunchy side with grilled cheese. They are easy to find at any grocery store and come in a variety of flavors. For a healthier option, you can also try baked potato chips or air fryer potato chips.
Sweet Potato Fries
If you want to switch things up, try serving your grilled cheese with sweet potato fries. They have a slightly sweeter taste than regular fries and are packed with vitamins and nutrients. You can make your own sweet potato fries at home or order them from a restaurant.
Potato wedges are a thicker and heartier version of French fries. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making them a perfect pairing for grilled cheese. You can season them with your favorite spices or dip them in ketchup or aioli.
Onion rings are a crunchy and savory side that can add an extra layer of flavor to your grilled cheese. They are made by dipping sliced onions in batter and frying them until crispy. You can make your own onion rings at home or order them from a restaurant.
In conclusion, there are many crunchy sides that can be served with grilled cheese. Whether you prefer French fries, potato chips, sweet potato fries, potato wedges, or onion rings, each of these sides can add a delicious crunch to your meal.
Unique Pairings for Grilled Cheese
While tomato soup is the classic pairing for grilled cheese, there are plenty of other unique and delicious options to explore.
Here are some unconventional pairings that are worth trying:
Dill pickles may seem like an odd choice to pair with grilled cheese, but the combination of tangy and salty flavors can be surprisingly delicious. Serve the pickles on the side or slice them up and add them to the sandwich for an extra crunch.
If you’re a fan of tangy and sour flavors, sauerkraut is a great option to pair with grilled cheese. The fermented cabbage adds a unique texture and flavor that complements the richness of the cheese. Try adding some spicy mustard for an extra kick.
Garlic lovers rejoice! Adding roasted garlic to your grilled cheese can take it to the next level. The sweet and nutty flavor of the garlic pairs perfectly with the cheese and bread. Simply roast a few cloves of garlic and mash them up before adding them to the sandwich.
Pasta or Noodles
For a heartier meal, try adding some cooked pasta or noodles to your grilled cheese. This works especially well with mac and cheese or spaghetti. The combination of cheesy pasta and grilled bread is a match made in heaven.
If you love pizza, why not try some pizza-inspired variations of grilled cheese? Add some tomato sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese for a classic pizza flavor. Or try some pesto, roasted red peppers, and feta cheese for a Mediterranean twist.
Overall, there are plenty of unique and delicious pairings to explore when it comes to grilled cheese. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new!
Creating the Perfect Grilled Cheese Experience
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a classic comfort food that is loved by many. They are versatile, easy to prepare, and provide a toasty, gooey goodness that is hard to resist.
To create the perfect grilled cheese experience, there are a few key factors to consider.
The key to a great grilled cheese sandwich is using high-quality ingredients. Start with a good quality bread, such as sourdough or a hearty whole grain. Choose a cheese that melts well, such as cheddar, Swiss, or provolone. For added flavor, consider adding extras like bacon, tomato, or avocado.
Butter is an essential ingredient in creating the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. It provides a crispy, golden-brown crust and adds flavor to the sandwich. Use softened butter to spread on the bread evenly, or consider using mayonnaise or olive oil for a different flavor profile.
The cheese is the star of the show in a grilled cheese sandwich. To achieve the perfect melted cheese, use a low to medium heat and cover the pan with a lid. This will allow the cheese to melt evenly and prevent the bread from burning.
Grilled cheese sandwiches are the ultimate comfort food. They are perfect for a quick and easy meal, or as a nostalgic treat. Pair your grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup or a side of potato chips for the ultimate comfort food experience.
In conclusion, creating the perfect grilled cheese experience is all about using high-quality ingredients, spreading on the right amount of butter, and achieving the perfect melted cheese. Whether you are looking for a quick and easy meal or a nostalgic treat, a grilled cheese sandwich is always a good choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some tasty side dishes to serve with a grilled cheese sandwich?
Grilled cheese is a classic comfort food that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Some tasty options include tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, french fries, sweet potato fries, tater tots, coleslaw, and macaroni and cheese. These sides add texture, flavor, and nutrition to your meal.
What are some protein options to pair with grilled cheese?
If you’re looking to add some protein to your grilled cheese meal, consider pairing it with a side of bacon, ham, turkey, or roast beef. These options provide a savory and satisfying complement to the cheesy goodness of your sandwich.
What are some vegetable options to serve with grilled cheese?
Vegetables are a healthy and delicious addition to any grilled cheese meal. Some tasty options include a side salad with mixed greens and your favorite vegetables, roasted vegetables such as broccoli or asparagus, or a side of pickles or sliced tomatoes.
What are some sauces that go well with grilled cheese?
Sauces can add a burst of flavor to your grilled cheese meal. Some popular options include ketchup, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, or honey mustard. These sauces add a tangy, sweet, or spicy kick to your sandwich.
Can grilled cheese be a dinner option?
Grilled cheese is often thought of as a lunch or snack food, but it can also make a quick and easy dinner option. Pair it with a side salad or roasted vegetables for a balanced meal.
What are some alternative spreads to use on grilled cheese sandwiches?
While butter is a classic spread for grilled cheese, there are many other options to try. Some popular alternatives include mayonnaise, pesto, mustard, or avocado spread. These spreads add a unique flavor and texture to your sandwich.
Tiffany McCauley is a celebrated food and travel journalist and cookbook author known for her engaging stories on culinary adventures and cultural insights. With a background featuring collaborations with notable brands and publications, Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to Fanatically Food, where she champions taste, sustainability, and the art of cooking. Read More Here