16 of Our Best-Ever Grilled Cheese Recipes to Celebrate Grilled Cheese Day

published Apr 12, 2023
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pimento grilled cheese being pulled apart
Credit: Photo: Andrew Bui; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

The universe is packed with an overabundance of fantastic sandwiches, but when we crave comfort, one sandwich is top of mind: grilled cheese. 

With the variations you can take with different breads (crusty sourdough, focaccia, cinnamon swirl — yes, really!) and types of cheese (American, pepper Jack, cheddar), you can take grilled cheese sandwiches in so many directions. And our taste buds are all the better for it. 

In honor of Grilled Cheese Day (April 12), we wanted to really tap into all of the delightful ways to turn everyone’s favorite carby-cheesy combo on its head. The results? Well, let’s just say we completely melted over the unreal innovations on the classic slab of white bread and cheese. They brought the heat. They proved to be deliciously salty-sweet. They are stuffed to the gills with everything good.

Because they’re best served hot, we won’t keep you for any longer. Let’s split right into our long-and-gooey-like-a-cheese-pull list of grilled cheese recipes that skyrocket a classic favorite to new and delicious extremes. Dare I say they will tug at your heartstrings.

More Grilled Cheese Tips

1 / 16
Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese

Jalapeño popper meets grilled cheese in this spicy and gooey slab. It has two kinds of cheese, spicy chile heat, crispy breadcrumbs, and even bacon if you want it (of course you do). Honestly, what more does a sandwich need?

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2 / 16
Birria Grilled Cheese

Inspired by birria tacos, birria grilled cheese sandwiches have a crispy cheesy exterior, braised shredded beef, and molten cheese within.

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3 / 16
Cinnamon Toast Grilled Cheese

Shattery bacon and two kinds of melty cheese are nestled between slices of mayo-slathered cinnamon swirl bread. This sammie is over the top with sweet and salty vibes in only the best ways, and it's the ultimate mic drop by grilled cheese.

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4 / 16
Pimento Cheese Grilled Cheese

This dish is a cheesy love letter to the Southern specialty spread. It takes white sandwich bread, spreads it with the mildly spiced cheddar, and toasts it until golden and crisp. For the best experience, buy a whole cheese block and shred it yourself.

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5 / 16
Breakfast Grilled Cheese

Breakfast grilled cheese is just as egg-cellent as it sounds: melty cheese and fluffy scrambled eggs wedged between golden, buttery toasted bread.

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6 / 16
Brussels Sprout Melts

Is a patty melt a grilled cheese? Whatever it is, it's delicious. And if you think the magic of the patty melt feels out of reach for vegetarians, this riff crammed with gooey Brussels sprouts will make you reconsider.

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7 / 16
Cast Iron Pressed Pizza Sandwiches
This recipe, known in some regions as mountain pies, combines the best of a panini, grilled cheese, and pizza into one crisp sandwich.
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8 / 16
Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheeses

With sloppy Joes comes mess. Luckily this cheesy rendition uses a sturdier bread and secures the sloppy joe filling with a thick border of cheese. It's meaty, crispy, and messy enough.

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9 / 16
Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

The air fryer is the answer to always crispy, always gooey grilled cheese sandwiches when you don't want to turn on the stove.

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10 / 16
Cuban Grilled Cheese Sandwich

What happens when you take a classic Cubano and cross it with a grilled cheese? You get a sandwich that checks all the right boxes of salty, smoky, meaty, melty, and tangy.

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11 / 16
Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese

Here is the perfect ratio of melty cheese to toasty bread — laced with the primary flavors and ingredients of spinach-artichoke dip. Introducing a briny element like marinated artichokes works wonders with the melty cheese.

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12 / 16
Spinach and Feta Grilled Cheese
This Mediterranean-inspired grilled cheese is loaded with garlicky spinach, roasted red peppers, caramelized lemon, and two kinds of cheese.
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13 / 16
The Ultimate Trader Joe's Grilled Cheese
This over-the-top sandwich is made with three Trader Joe's ingredients: Focaccia with Tomato and Parmesan, Cheddar & Gruyère Mélange Cheese, and Zhoug Sauce.
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14 / 16
Cheese on Toast

The U.K.'s equivalent to grilled cheese is quick, easy, and kissed with Worcestershire sauce.

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15 / 16
Cranberry & Brie Grilled Cheese

Melty cheese, tart cranberries, and grainy mustard complement each other in this very autumnal hot sandwich.

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16 / 16
Zucchini Melts

Zucchini melts are part grilled cheese, part panini, and 100% delicious. Freshly grated zucchini gets mixed with cream cheese, shredded sharp cheddar, and whole-grain mustard, then slathered in between two pieces of marble rye bread and toasted until golden-brown and melty.

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