Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

If it’s about time your grilled cheese sandwich grew up, this grown-up grilled cheese sandwich recipe is ready to take its place!

Your grilled cheese sandwich just grew up. That’s not to say you can’t occasionally enjoy the sandwiches of your youth, but sometimes, it’s nice to age well. And this recipe certainly fits that description.

A Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich sits on a white, round plate and is sliced in half. The two halves overlap and you can see the melted cheese oozing out.

What Is A Grown-Up Grilled Cheese?

Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are what we grownups want when somebody makes a grilled cheese for dinner. These do not have kid-favorite flavors, but they sure do have plenty of cheesy, melty goodness. The flavors are more refined to an adult palate.

What Cheese Melts The Best?

Fresh mozzarella is a fantastic way to go. If you need more flavor, simply add other cheeses. The mozzarella will help other cheeses melt better.

What’s The Best Cheese To Make A Grilled Cheese Sandwich?

The best cheese is one that melts well, which is why I went with mozzarella in this recipe. However, you can certainly use other cheeses if you prefer them. In fact, sometimes, a mix can be even more delicious than a single cheese. Consider cheeses such as cheddar, jack cheese, or even cream cheese.

Can I Cook This A Different Way?

Yes! You can cook this in a cast iron skillet or even a nonstick skillet. A 12-inch pan is plenty. Whatever you have on hand. But you’ll need to butter or oil the outside of the bread slices a bit heavier for cooking. If you can, use a pan with a lid. Using a lid will help the cheese melt faster. Just make sure to pick the lid straight up so that the droplets of water don’t fall back onto the bread.

What Can I Add To Grilled Cheese To Make It Better?

Most people ask this when they are having the kid’s version of a grilled cheese sandwich. Adult versions have way more flavor in them. But if you want to round out this recipe a bit, you can try adding or substituting with one of these:

  • Bacon
  • Brie cheese
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Sourdough bread
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sliced onions or caramelized onions.

About The Ingredients

Whole grain bread – Find something with no added sugar. And yes, sourdough bread will work here if you don’t mind the processed flour.

Fresh mozzarella cheese – You can slice this as thick or thin as you like.

Salt and black pepper – Add to taste. You can always sprinkle on a bit more as needed after cooking.

Fresh basil leaves – Choose smaller leaves for easier eating.

Tomato – ¼ inch thick slices. You don’t want these to be too thick.

Balsamic vinegar – To taste. You just want a drizzle of the stuff. A little goes a long way here.

How To Make A Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich

An assembled grownup grilled cheese sandwich sitting on a parchment-lined baking pan.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Assemble your sandwich on a parchment-lined baking sheet, in this order: Bread, cheese, salt & pepper, basil, tomato, bread. Position the sandwich so that the cheese melts down over everything else.

A grownup grilled cheese sandwich between parchment paper.

Spray both sides of the sandwich with a light coating of oil using an oil sprayer. You can also spread a light coat of butter on before assembling the sandwich if that works for your eating plan. Fold the sandwich into a piece of parchment, and then sandwich the entire thing between two cookie sheets. (I used two on top because my pans were tiny, and I wanted a little more weight on top.) Set the pan on a wire rack positioned in the middle of your oven.

A grownup grilled cheese sandwich between baking pans and parchment in the oven.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted. Remove from oven and remove cookie sheets and parchment. Sprinkle the top of the sandwich with a bit of balsamic vinegar to taste. Cool enough so you don’t burn yourself and enjoy.

Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich cut in half and laying on a white plate.

Note that if you want the bread to be crispier, you can remove the pan and parchment from the top of the sandwich after 15 minutes of baking and turn your broiler on. Just remember to flip the sandwich halfway through the last 5 minutes so both sides get crispy. If your tomato slices are too thick or you put too much cheese on, the bread will be much soggier. So keep it light and simple.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days.

Freezing

Freezing for this recipe is not recommended.

Reheating

This can be reheated in a microwave or in an oven. Even a skillet on a stovetop will get the job done. Just keep the heat on the lower side.

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Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry
Clean Eating Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich

If you love grilled cheese sandwiches, give this grownup version a try. The balsamic vinegar over the melted mozzarella and fresh basil make for a very satisfying meal.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 304kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 2 oz. fresh mozzarella (sliced)
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 2 slices tomato (¼ inch thick)
  • balsamic vinegar to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Assemble your sandwich on a parchment-lined baking sheet, in this order: Bread, cheese, salt & pepper, basil, tomato, bread. Position the sandwich so that the cheese melts down over everything else.
    Clean Eating Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Spray both sides of the sandwich with a light coating of oil using an oil sprayer. You can also spread a light coat of butter on before assembling the sandwich if that works for your eating plan.
    Fold the sandwich into a piece of parchment, and then sandwich the entire thing between two cookie sheets. (I used two on top because my pans were tiny, and I wanted a little more weight on top.) Set the pan on a wire rack positioned in the middle of your oven.
    Clean Eating Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted. Remove from oven and remove cookie sheets and parchment. Sprinkle the top of the sandwich with a bit of balsamic vinegar to taste. Cool enough so you don't burn yourself and enjoy.
    Clean Eating Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Note that if you want the bread to be crispier, you can remove the pan and parchment from the top of the sandwich after 15 minutes of baking and turn your broiler on. Just remember to flip the sandwich halfway through the last 5 minutes so both sides get crispy. If your tomato slices are too thick or you put too much cheese on, the bread will be much soggier. So keep it light and simple.
    Clean Eating Grownup Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 601mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 700IU | Vitamin C: 1.1mg | Calcium: 427mg | Iron: 2.2mg

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26 Comments

  1. Tiffany, what do you use for “clean” bread?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kristin – Typically, I make my own. But in this case, I bought the Alvarado Street Bakery brand. I get it at Whole Foods. Ezekiel is another good brand, but you have to check them because not all of them are clean.

  2. Tiffany: Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family! Thank you for all your clean-eating hints and recipes. This sandwich is a “keeper”.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Phyllis – Awesome!!! So glad you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy new year to you too!

  3. Mike Luque says:

    I LOVE me some grilled cheese. Making them in the oven is a great idea. It may even be a way for those who have problems with lactose to enjoy a “grilled” cheese. Aged dry cheeses have almost no lactose but those cheeses don’t melt very good when pan fried. Convection heat from an oven might help there.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mike – Interesting point! I didn’t know that.

  4. This looks so yummy! I love grilled cheese, and I was sad to have to cut it from my diet but this is a perfect healthy version to try! Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alex – My pleasure! I hope you enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I also use parchment and then put the sandwich in the panini press. Crisps and browns perfectly!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      ShoshM – Nice tip! I don’t have a press, but I do have a waffle maker. Hmmmmโ€ฆ..

  6. O my! I love the sound of that and I never thought to sammich the sammich between cookie sheets in the oven… HEAVEN! One of my is thinly sliced green apple, baby spinach, mozzarella and if you’re feeling devilish, a bit of turkey bacon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jennifer – Sounds wonderful!! Love the idea of apples!!

  7. I love your recipes, but why can’t I pinned them? Any secrets?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Chelsa – That’s odd. When you hover over an image on my site, a pin button should come up on the bottom of your screen. If not, you may need to update your browser.

  8. Meghan @ The Tasty Fork says:

    YUM!! I love the addition of basil and balsamic! I can’t wait to try this sandwich. Recipe is pinned!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Meghan – Great! I hope you enjoy it!

  9. Brilliant! I bet if your cookie sheets are big enough, this would be a good way to make “grilled” cheese for the whole gang. My husband used to work at a ‘gourmet grilled cheese’ restaurant, and this looks very similar to one of their most popular sandwiches, except for the fact that they cooked it the regular way on a griddle (with so much margarine – eep!). The balsamic is such a nice addition. I think I’d like to try one of their other staples this way – smoked gouda, sliced tomato, and fried egg!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Fal – Wow! Sounds amazing!!

  10. tina hudgins says:

    Tiffany also I was told ok to have eggs and bacon. As long as no nitrates?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tina – Not necessarily. Eggs are fine (organic is best), but bacon is very difficult. If you can find a source for local, organic, humanely raised pork, you’re chances are much higher for finding clean bacon. I believe US Wellness Meats may carry it and you can order from their web site. But I haven’t checked them out yet, so I’m not positive.

  11. This sandwich was so yummy. The sprinkle of balsamic added an awesome flavour combination. Thank you for so many great recipes!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tanya – Glad you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. This was delicious! My husband loved it too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Julie – Wonderful! ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Love Grilled Cheese! Worked at a deli that buttered the bread and then sprinkled with Parmesan from a shaker, then grilled! Yum

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Leta – Sounds wonderful!