10 Healthy Grilled Cheese Recipes

Who doesn’t love grilled cheese? With melty, gooey cheese on the inside and crispy bread on the outside, it’s easy to see why this sandwich is a classic comfort food for kids and adults alike. However, because of the high saturated fat in cheese (and ample opportunity to slather butter on refined-grain bread), grilled cheese isn’t always the healthiest meal choice.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to add nutrients and reduce calories in grilled cheese—and still keep a delicious finished product. From opting for whole wheat bread to experimenting with fruit and veggie fillings, you can dress up your sammie with extra fiber, micronutrients, and antioxidants that turn it from nutritionally so-so to genuinely good for you.

Try any of these 10 healthier grilled cheese sandwiches.

Balsamic Roasted Broccoli and Red Pepper Grilled Cheese

Balsamic Roasted Broccoli and Red Pepper Grilled Cheese

Cookie and Kate

One way to instantly improve your grilled cheese? Add veggies! This balsamic roasted broccoli and red pepper grilled cheese from Cookie and Kate serves up a head of broccoli, an entire red bell pepper, and a whole onion in just four servings. 

To prepare, roast the vegetables in a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then load as many of them as you can fit onto whole grain bread topped with shredded cheese. Roasting cuts veggies’ bitterness, making them a perfect complement for the sharp cheddar here. To limit calories and fat, just keep the cheddar to a light sprinkle.

Baked Grilled Cheese Pesto Sandwiches

Baked Grilled Cheese Pesto Sandwiches

gerenme / Getty Images

These baked grilled cheese pesto sandwiches from The Spruce Eats may seem rather simple—but at just 175 calories per serving, keeping it simple isn’t a bad thing. Your choice of thin-sliced Swiss, Muenster, Colby, or cheddar gets layered atop whole wheat bread with a smear of basil pesto for easy-peasy, cheesy prep. 

This recipe simplifies things even further by baking the sandwiches in the oven instead of pan-frying them. Bake on a sheet of aluminum foil for no-fuss clean-up.

Spiced Pumpkin Pie Grilled Cheese With Goat Cheese

Pumpkin Pie Grilled Cheese with Goat Cheese

The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

Not all grilled cheeses need to be savory. This spiced pumpkin pie grilled cheese with goat cheese from The Spruce Eats proves that sweet fillings make a delicious twist on the traditional. 

In this recipe, you’ll start by creating your own pumpkin butter from pumpkin puree and spices. (Feel free to make extra for other purposes, like swirling in oatmeal or yogurt. Or, to save time, simply use a low-sugar store-bought pumpkin butter.)

Then crumble soft, creamy goat cheese on hearty whole wheat bread, top with pumpkin butter and nuts, and grill in a panini press. With its delicately sweet flavor, you might even decide to have this one for dessert.

Feta and Strawberry Grilled Cheese

Feta and Strawberry Grilled Cheese

Olive Tomato

For an additional sweet take, try this light, Mediterranean-inspired feta and strawberry grilled cheese from Olive Tomato. Feta’s tangy bite creates the perfect backdrop for fruity strawberries and a hint of balsamic vinegar. To up the health factor, this sandwich uses heart-healthy olive oil instead of butter, achieving delightfully crispy browning on the pan-seared bread.

Vegan Grilled Cheese

Vegan Grilled Cheese

The Hidden Veggies

Vegan grilled cheese may sound like a contradiction in terms, but stick with us on this one. This cheese-free version of the classic sandwich from The Hidden Veggies allows vegans and those on a dairy-free diet to enjoy the melty texture of mozzarella without animal products.

How, you ask? Combining coconut milk, nutritional yeast, and a short list of other ingredients recreates the cheesy stretch you know and love. The faux cheese takes a little time to chill before it’s ready (about three hours) but may well be worth it in the end.

Brussels Sprout and Hummus Grilled Cheese

Brussels Sprout and Hummus Grilled Cheese

Simply Quinoa

Here's another option for vegans and dairy-free folks—a Brussels sprout and hummus grilled cheese from Simply Quinoa. Sautéed Brussels sprouts join forces with whole chickpeas, herby hummus, and a surprise ingredient (apple!) in this healthy sandwich.

The recipe includes the option to add vegan cheese in the mix, if you like, but with the creaminess of hummus, you might not even feel it’s necessary.

Zucchini Grilled Cheese

Zucchini Grilled Cheese

The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Whipping up a plate of zucchini fritters is always a good idea, but using them as the “bread” in grilled cheese? Pure genius.

Zucchini grilled cheese from The Spruce Eats begins with easy DIY baked zucchini patties. Top with sliced mozzarella, then pop them under the broiler for just seconds to create an ooey-gooey combo that’s gluten-free and keto-friendly.

Beet and Chickpea Grilled Cheese

Beet and Chickpea Grilled Cheese

Anita Schecter

A boring grilled cheese this is not! Beet and chickpea grilled cheese from The Spruce Eats is not only totally distinctive, it’s stocked with vitamins and minerals from multiple vegetables, plus healthy fats from sesame-based tahini.

Compared to the usual three-ingredient grilled cheese you might be used to, this one takes a bit more prep—but your efforts will be rewarded with its colorful, company-worthy presentation.

Haul out your food processor and grind fresh beet, chickpeas, tahini, and seasonings into falafel-style patties, which bake about 30 minutes in the oven. Once the patties have baked to firmness, assemble a sandwich with whole wheat bread, spinach, feta, za’atar, and a drizzle of olive oil. Return to the oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted to your liking.

Grilled Eggplant Halloumi Sandwich

Grilled Eggplant Halloumi Sandwich

Everyday Healthy Recipes

If you’ve never tried halloumi, a grilled eggplant halloumi sandwich from Everyday Healthy Recipes is a tasty introduction to this firm white cheese. This recipe puts the “grill” in grilled cheese, as both the eggplant and the halloumi hit the grates for searing. (You’ll relish the perfect grill marks on both ingredients.)

In addition to eggplant, this unique sandwich features fresh tomatoes and arugula, so it’s a high-fiber, antioxidant-rich choice for lunch or dinner.

Spinach and Avocado Grilled Cheese

Spinach and Avocado Grilled Cheese

Peas and Crayons

A grilled cheese that’s… green? This spinach and avocado grilled cheese from Peas and Crayonsfeatures avocado and spinach for healthy fats, iron, vitamin K, and, yes, a lovely green hue. (Don’t worry, the cheesy taste still shines through.)

Simply squeeze in a few slices of creamy avocado and tender spinach leaves alongside your favorite cheese for a nutrient boost. This recipe doesn't specify a type of bread, but for more fiber and B vitamins, choose whole wheat or whole grain bread.

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