Without a doubt, one of the most popular, kid-friendly comfort foods is a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s no surprise that whether it’s your favorite diner, a casual restaurant, or your kitchen, grilled cheese is a staple on the menu.
April 12 is Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, so now is the perfect time appreciate grilled cheese and the nutrition it provides. Grilled cheese is traditionally made with white, refined grain bread, butter, and American processed cheese slices; while it may be calorie-dense, it is not necessarily nutrient-dense.
Thankfully, it’s not hard to create a healthier and delicious grilled cheese!
Choose Nutrient-Rich Ingredients for a Better Grilled Cheese
Our stores are filled with healthy ingredients that can boost your grilled cheese’s flavor and nutritional benefit. Follow our suggestions to make a grilled cheese that contains both nutrient-dense ingredients and the taste you love.
Whole Grain Bread
The traditional grilled cheese sandwich is made with white, refined grain bread. Substituting whole-grain bread is a great choice since it contains more fiber and supports heart and gut health. Plus, whole grain bread can make your grilled cheese more interesting with its robust flavor and hearty texture.
If you’re slathering your grilled cheese with butter or mayonnaise, you’re adding unneeded fat. Instead, use non-stick cooking spray—or reduce the amount of butter you use.
Most of us grew up on grilled cheese sandwiches made with processed American cheese. While nostalgia is a beautiful thing, that processed cheese has a lot less protein and calcium than 100% real cheese. We like our grilled cheese with Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, and mozzarella.
Make a Better Grilled Cheese with Healthy Additions
While our childhood grilled cheese was simply bread, butter, and cheese, your palate is a lot more complex these days. This Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, experiment with fruits and veggies! Plus, these additions will boost the nutrition of any grilled cheese by adding fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients such as antioxidants.
Consider boosting your grilled cheese’s flavors with:
- Chopped broccoli
- Fresh or wilted greens
Of course, veggies and cheese pair well together, so you can’t go wrong! And yes, you did read that right – fruit! Fruit adds flavor and nutrition to grilled cheese. For example, apples pair well with Cheddar, pears with Brie cheese, blueberries with feta, and figs with Gouda.
Fruits and veggies add nutrients, texture, and make for an appetizing-looking sandwich. One thing to keep in mind, be sure to add fruits and vegetables with low water content. If you add a fruit or veggie with high water content, such as watermelon, your grilled cheese may turn out soggy.
Try Our Caprese Grilled Cheese
Check out our recipe for this Caprese Grilled Cheese with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil - a fun twist on the original.
Caprese Grilled Cheese
Source: Our Family Foods
- Whole grain bread
- Basil, chopped or chiffonade
- Mozzarella cheese
- Tomato, sliced
- Preheat skillet over medium heat. Lightly butter one side of a slice of bread. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom and top with fresh chopped basil followed by mozzarella cheese, tomato slices and a little more mozzarella cheese on the bread.
- While the first slice of bread is grilling, lightly butter a second slice of bread on one side and place butter-side-up on top of the sandwich. Grill until lightly browned and flip over; continue grilling until cheese is melted.
On Sale This Week: Our Family Cheese
This week, Our Family cheese (8-ounce blocks) is on sale for $1.88. Just slice the cheese and use on any sandwich. With a variety of options, Cheddar, jack, mozzarella, and many others, you can choose from almost endless options and combinations for making delicious and nutritious grilled cheese. We hope to see you in store soon!
This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Stephanie Edson - Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.