There’s no bad time to eat a grilled cheese sandwich. Grilled cheese is the perfect thing for a chilly winter afternoon, a bad day, or a moment of celebration. It’s great on its own or with a bowl of tomato soup. Somehow, it manages to be both nostalgic—taking you back to childhood memories—while also remaining the perfect bite no matter the time or place.  A mouthful of toasted bread and melted cheese is pretty fantastic on its own, but it also never hurts to put a new spin on an old classic. You can shake up your grilled cheese recipes with different varieties of cheese or a fancy loaf of bread, but there’s no need to stop there! There are so many ways to get creative with this comfort food. 

Keep reading for 11 grilled cheese sandwich recipes that are sure to inspire your next craving for something ooey, gooey, and cheesy. Grilled cheese never has to be the same twice, and with a little help from these recipes, you’ll find that it never will be.  

Quick Links

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes 

A word to the wise: if you’re a big grilled cheese fan and your stomach is currently empty, you might want to stop scrolling now. You’ve been warned! This list of grilled cheese recipes promises to make your stomach growl. 

1. Grilled Ham and Cheese

grilled cheese
Source: jeffreyw via Flickr Creative Commons
Is your mouth watering yet?

A cold ham and cheese sandwich is a staple in many homes and delis, and there’s no reason that flavor combo shouldn’t translate to something a little toastier. Next time you’re preparing a grilled cheese sandwich, add a slice or two of ham on top of the cheese and let them both get nice and melty. Swiss cheese goes particularly well with ham and also melts nicely. 

You can use deli ham, but this recipe is also a great one to whip up if you’ve prepared a baked ham for a holiday meal or other special occasion. Slice up the leftovers and enjoy. 

2. Bacon Grilled Cheese

grileld cheese
Source: instagram
With braised mushrooms and grilled onions, this bacon grilled cheese really goes to the next level. (Via @kingston_brew_pub)

Just like ham, bacon is the perfect addition to an already delicious grilled cheese sandwich, plus it adds an extra crunch! Prepare your favorite type of bacon to your liking—extra crispy if that’s your preference!—and add it to the bread and cheese before you grill it. Pepperjack, gouda, cheddar and American cheese all pair beautifully with a few strips of bacon. 

3. Pizza Grilled Cheese 

pizza grilled cheese
Source: instagram
Pizza and grilled cheese… it’s a match made in heaven. (Via @inspirationalmomma)

On their own, pizza and grilled cheese are each beloved comfort foods. But what happens when you put them together? It can only be magic. 

To make a pizza grilled cheese, use pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder on white bread. For an extra touch of savory, use sliced pepperoni, olives, or your other go-to pizza toppings. You can even try making it in your air fryer

Next time you can’t decide between enjoying a slice of pizza or a grilled cheese sandwich, you can have the best of both worlds. 

Master the Grilled Cheese Basics

The Perfect Grilled Cheese: A Mini Class to Master the Sandwich

4. Avocado Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese
Source: Powerplantop via Flickr Creative Commons
Avocado and other greens add some additional nutritional value to this sandwich.

Looking for something a little lighter? And vegetarian? Try an avocado grilled cheese! The best way to prepare this sandwich is to mash up a fresh avocado in a bowl with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. As the pan for your grilled cheese heats up, spread butter on one slice of bread and your avocado mash on the other. Put cheese between the slices and add the whole thing to the pan. 

Pepper jack cheese might be your best bet here, though many cheese varieties will work. 

5. Tomato Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese
Source: unsplash
A perfectly melted tomato grilled cheese will make you feel like a kid again.

If you love the flavor combo of a grilled cheese sandwich dipped in tomato soup, try a tomato grilled cheese. This is exactly what it sounds like—a grilled cheese with slices of tomato toasted inside the bread. Cheddar, American, Monterey Jack, Swiss, or mozzarella are excellent choices.

6. Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese
Source: instagram
A buffalo chicken grilled cheese should not be enjoyed without plenty of napkins nearby. (Via @bigsmeatwagon)

This recipe from The Spruce Eats walks you through the process of leveling up your next grilled cheese with buffalo chicken. First, you’ll prepare buffalo sauce on the stove or in a slow cooker using hot sauce, butter, white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and a mix of seasonings. Once the sauce is finished, you’ll pour in over a slice of bread with sharp cheddar cheese and chopped chicken fingers. This sandwich is even better served with a side of ranch and sprinkled with chives! 

If you have a go-to recipe for shredded buffalo chicken, you can also incorporate that into a buffalo chicken grilled cheese, rather than using chicken fingers. 

7. Italian Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese
Source: instagram
It’s everything you love about grilled cheese and Italian subs. (Via @stellastablewhitelake)

Ideal for fans of Italian hoagies, this sandwich can be made with any combination of Italian meats—pepperoni, salami, prosciutto, or soppressata—along with provolone cheese and fresh basil leaves. Add sliced tomato or a spread of pesto for a little extra freshness. 

8. Mexican Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese
Source: instagram
Mexican grilled cheese, served with a slice of salsa. Yum! (Via @candycloudblr)

Spice up your next grilled cheese sandwich with a Mexican flair! This recipe from Taste of Home calls for sweet peppers, green peppers, fresh salsa, and a shredded Mexican cheese blend. If your palette can tolerate a lot of spice, consider adding some extra hot sauce and hot peppers as well. 

9. Grilled Pimento Cheese 

grilled cheese
Source: instagram
Pimento cheese lovers, you’ve found your new favorite treat. (Via @thetoastykitchen)

Pimento cheese is a combination of cheddar cheese, pimento peppers, and mayonnaise. You can buy it at the store or prepare a homemade version, using a recipe like this one from Cookie and Kate. Like other types of cheese, pimento only gets better once it’s melted on top of bread. 

10. Spinach Grilled Cheese 

spimach grilled cheese
Source: instagram
Spinach adds color and nutrition to a grilled cheese. (Via @eat_healthy_eat_real)

Grilled cheese isn’t generally considered a healthy food, but there’s no rule that says you can’t toss some greens into the mix. Fresh spinach pairs beautifully with cheese, especially provolone, Swiss, Asiago, Gruyère, and mozzarella. Add a few leaves of spinach before you toast your bread and cheese. 

11. Turkey Cranberry Grilled Cheese 

grilled cheese
Source: instagram
Thanksgiving dinner in the form of grilled cheese? Yes, please. (Via @cravingsbistro)

The only thing better than digging into a carved turkey on Thanksgiving is using that turkey—along with other feast fixings—on a sandwich the next day. Sliced turkey and fresh cranberry sauce make great leftovers for several days, especially when served atop whole grain bread or sourdough with brie, Monterey, or havarti. It’s one more reason to wish you could have Thanksgiving dinner every day. 

Get Grilling! 

Some people say you can have too much of a good thing, but when it comes to grilled cheese, that’s just not true. Clearly, there’s no shortage of ways to make a grilled cheese sandwich even yummier. Check out one of these recipes next time you need a perfectly savory bite. 

Make Fresh Bread for Your Sandwich

Bread Baking 102: Master Sandwich Breads, Ciabatta, & Bagels

Written by:

Alli Hoff Kosik