20 Grilled Cheese Makeovers

Don't miss all the new ways to enjoy this comfort classic.

Our Favorite Grilled Cheese Makeovers

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Our Favorite Grilled Cheese Makeovers

We can't knock the classic grilled cheese sandwich that we all grew up with, but sometimes a rainy (or sunny—we won't discriminate) day calls for something more. We've mixed it up and kicked it up to bring you 20 new ways to enjoy a comfort classic.

Our first recipe is a new take on a familiar favorite. We paired grilled cheese with a BLT for a luscious veggie-packed sandwich that feels like an indulgence. Serve with zesty dill pickle spears.

View Recipe: Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey Makeover

Photo: Randy Mayor

Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey

These are equally as good for breakfast or dinner. Mixing honey with the goat cheese makes it easier to spread over the cinnamon-raisin bread.

View Recipe: Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey

Grilled Portobello, Bell Pepper, and Goat Cheese Sandwiches Makeover

Photo: Randy Mayor

Grilled Portobello, Bell Pepper, and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

The combination of melted cheese and crisp bread makes grilled sandwiches an appealing entrée. You can grill sandwiches either on an outdoor grill or inside on a grill pan.

View Recipe: Grilled Portobello, Bell Pepper, and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled Gruyère and Olive Tapenade Makeover

Photo: John Autry

Grilled Gruyère and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches

You can easily shave thin slices of cheese in a snap using an inexpensive kitchen tool: a vegetable peeler. This is a perfect technique for many hard cheeses like Gruyère.

View Recipe: Grilled Gruyère and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches

Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches Makeover

Photo: Levi Brown

Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches

The classic Caprese salad of juicy tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and fragrant basil makes for a fantastic vegetarian sandwich. We've added grilled zucchini to up the game. Gooey mozza puts it over the top. Crunch is key with the bread, but you can sub in a crusty baguette.

View Recipe: Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches

Grilled Tomato and Brie Sandwiches Makeover

Photo: Randy Mayor

Grilled Tomato and Brie Sandwiches

These sandwiches make the most of juicy, flavorful summer tomatoes. Serve them with grapes or carrot sticks.

View Recipe: Grilled Tomato and Brie Sandwiches

Croque Monsieur Makeover

Photo: Randy Mayor

Croque Monsieur 

Similar to a Monte Cristo, a croque monsieur is a French-style grilled ham and cheese sandwich that is dipped in egg batter then cooked in a skillet. This version is like a savory stuffed French toast. Keep the finished ones warm in a 200° oven while cooking the others.

View Recipe: Croque Monsieur

Prosciutto, Fontina, and Fig Panini Makeover

Photo: Oxmoor House

Prosciutto, Fontina, and Fig Panini

Sweet and salty are a great pair in sandwiches, and this recipe has intensely flavored salty prosciutto paired with candylike fig preserves. Three minutes of grilling and pressing makes the fontina nice and gooey and the whole sandwich crispy and warm.

View Recipe: Prosciutto, Fontina, and Fig Panini

Grilled Ham, Muenster, and Spinach Sandwiches Makeover

Photo: Oxmoor House

Grilled Ham, Muenster, and Spinach Sandwiches

Mild Muenster cheese is too often overlooked; it’s great for sandwiches, burgers, omelets, or just plain snacking. It matches well with thinly sliced ham, fresh spinach, and sweet-and-tangy chowchow in these crusty-breaded sandwiches.

View Recipe: Grilled Ham, Muenster, and Spinach Sandwiches

Mushroom and Manchego Panini Makeover

Photo: Johnny Autry

Mushroom and Manchego Panini

Warm, melty cheese and earthy mushrooms pair beautifully in this delicious panini. Serve with sweet potato chips for a delicious lunch or light dinner.

View Recipe: Mushroom and Manchego Panini

Summer Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini with Balsamic Syrup Makeover

Photo: John Autry

Summer Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini with Balsamic Syrup

Crusty Cuban bread is perfectly complemented with creamy mozzarella and a slice of juicy tomato. Serve with sweet potato chips or a simple green salad.

View Recipe: Summer Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini with Balsamic Syrup

Mozzarella, Ham, and Basil Panini Makeover

Photo: John Autry

Mozzarella, Ham, and Basil Panini

A few special ingredients—like freshly baked ciabatta bread or imported Dijon mustard—make a quick, simple sandwich seem like a restaurant treat for a midday meal.

View Recipe: Mozzarella, Ham, and Basil Panini

Turkey Reuben Sandwiches Makeover

Photo: Randy Mayor

Turkey Reuben Sandwiches

Swapping turkey for fatty corned beef makes these sandwiches healthier, but since the assertive flavors of the dressing and Swiss cheese take center stage anyway, you'll hardly notice. And each sandwich has just 255 calories. We use Thousand Island, which is popular on Reubens, but the true traditional Reuben dressing is the slightly harder-to-find Russian. Good thing Real Simple has an easy recipe you can use.

View Recipe: Turkey Reuben Sandwiches

Turkey Panini with Watercress and Citrus Aioli Makeover

Photo: John Autry

Turkey Panini with Watercress and Citrus Aioli

Gooey provolone, white bread with a crunch, and refreshing citrus aioli—all in a turkey and watercress panini—make a mouth-watering combination. This hearty sandwich will not leave you with hunger pains, but it might just leave you wishing for one more bite.

View Recipe: Turkey Panini with Watercress and Citrus Aioli

Grilled Turkey and Ham Sandwiches Makeover

Photo: Randy Mayor

Grilled Turkey and Ham Sandwiches

Simplicity is the key to these easy sandwiches: Bread, mayo and mustard, deli meats, cheese, and tomato are all you need for a quick meal anytime. But toasting them in a skillet turns them into a gooey, melty, comforting classic. And of course, they need to be paired with tomato soup for full effect.

View Recipe: Grilled Turkey and Ham Sandwiches

Dijon Croque Monsieur Makeover

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Dijon Croque Monsieur

Instead of your usual grilled ham and cheese, try this French-style sandwich that's enhanced by the zip of whole-grain mustard.

View Recipe: Dijon Croque Monsieur

Grilled Tomato, Smoked Turkey, and Muenster Sandwich Makeover

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Grilled Tomato, Smoked Turkey, and Muenster Sandwich 

This grilled sandwich is chock-full of yumminess. Creamy muenster may be the star, but a slice of juicy tomato plays a delicious supporting role. 

View Recipe: Grilled Tomato, Smoked Turkey, and Muenster Sandwich

Grilled Portobello-Goat Cheese Pitas Makeover

Photo: Randy Mayor

Grilled Portobello-Goat Cheese Pitas

Each element of this dish contributes unique elements. Crispy and chewy texture come from the grilled pita; tanginess and cooling creaminess from the goat cheese; sweet, juicy freshness from the tomato; and earthy smoky flavors and meaty texture from the portobellos. It's a great summer combination with a simple fruit salad made from whatever you have on hand.

View Recipe: Grilled Portobello-Goat Cheese Pitas

Grilled Sourdough Cheddar Melt Makeover

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Grilled Sourdough Cheddar Melt

This is also called a patty melt: ground meat and cheese nestled between slices of bread (any kind will do) and grilled. Prewrapped slices of processed cheddar cheese are the only way to go, as they melt better. We do it here far lighter than you're likely to find it on the road.

View Recipe: Grilled Sourdough Cheddar Melt

Grilled Vegetable and Mozzarella Sandwiches Makeover

Photo: Karry Hosford

Grilled Vegetable and Mozzarella Sandwiches

You can use a grilling basket to make it easier to handle the vegetables as they cook. If you can't find a loaf of ciabatta, use focaccia.

View Recipe: Grilled Vegetable and Mozzarella Sandwiches

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