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10 Smart Ways to Make a Healthier Grilled Cheese

When you want to indulge in a gooey, melty grilled cheese sandwich, you can include quite a few other ingredients for added nutrition.

These ten recipes include everything from mushrooms and asparagus to blueberries and beets. You can add protein too with turkey, chicken, or even lobster, and choose a hearty whole-wheat bread to make these meals even more healthful.

And let’s not forget cheese itself, which is full of nutrients like calcium and phosphorous and supremely satisfying, which means it can help you control your calorie intake for the rest of the day.

Enjoy!

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Blueberry Basil Grilled Cheese

Serves 2

This sandwich seems fancy – like a fruit and cheese plate on bread – but it’s easy to assemble. And you can make it a vegan grilled cheese, or opt for a creamy and tangy cheese like provolone or Swiss.

Either way, you’ll feel like your lazy lunch is gourmet.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

419

Calories

10 g

Protein

59 g

Carbs

16 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 tsp. coconut oil

1 shallot, thinly sliced

6 oz. fresh blueberries

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

4 slices sourdough bread

4 slices vegan cheese

Get the Recipe

Parmesan-Crusted Pepperoni Grilled Cheese

Serves 1

If you’re craving pizza but don’t want to take time to make dough – or even wait for the delivery guy to get to your house – this sandwich will definitely put a smile on your face.

It only takes ten minutes to assemble a simple grilled cheese. And this one is no different, requiring just six simple ingredients.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

412

Calories

28 g

Protein

28 g

Carbs

22 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 slices whole grain bread

2 tsp. butter, softened

2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese, divided

1 Tbsp. pizza sauce

6 slices turkey pepperoni

4 Tbsp. mozzarella, divided

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Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese

Serves 1

This is like warm, gooey spinach artichoke dip meets a grilled cheese sandwich. Not only that, but there’s also turkey for a good amount of protein.

For a vegetarian alternative, try a few strips of vegetarian bacon. Of course, it’s just as good if you don’t worry about all that and focus on the cream cheesy filling.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

364

Calories

28 g

Protein

36 g

Carbs

13 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 slices whole-wheat bread

3 oz. deli turkey

1 Tbsp. light cream cheese

2 Tbsp. chopped artichoke hearts (drained and rinsed, or defrosted)

1/2 cup fresh spinach

3 Tbsp. shredded part-skim mozzarella

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Grilled Cheese with Prosciutto & Fig

Serves 1

One-up the classic combo of bacon and grilled cheese by using prosciutto. To complete the grown-up version of grilled cheese, which features fresh mozzarella, there’s a luscious fig jam. A little arugula tossed in balsamic dressing completes the sandwich.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

549

Calories

20 g

Protein

67 g

Carbs

24 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 ciabatta bun, sliced in half

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. fig preserves

2 slices (1 oz.) prosciutto

1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, room temp.

1 handful arugula

1 tsp. balsamic vinaigrette

Get the Recipe

Lobster Grilled Cheese

Serves 4

One way to make grilled cheese gourmet is to add lobster. This might sound like a joke, but it’s totally doable and definitely delicious. However, you can’t pair just any type of cheese with the delicate meat of Maine lobster.

Havarti has the right kind of buttery flavor to work just right. If you’re trying another variety, be sure to keep it mild.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

719

Calories

5 g

Protein

30 g

Carbs

45 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb. lobster

Kosher salt (for boiling)

8 slices sandwich bread

8 slices Havarti cheese

1 Tbsp. minced fresh chives

1 Tbsp. lemon zest

Fresh watercress

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Get the Recipe

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Egg-in-a-Hole Grilled Cheese Breakfast Burger

Serves 1

How can you combine breakfast, a burger, and grilled cheese into one amazing meal? This version of egg-in-a-hole sneaks the fried egg into the middle of a thick, juicy burger patty.

It’s so good it hardly needs any condiments – but of course adding bacon to a burger never hurts, especially if it’s time for brunch.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

432

Calories

32 g

Protein

28 g

Carbs

24 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 lb. ground chuck

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 medium egg

1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar (or cheese of choice)

1 burger bun, halved

Get the Recipe

Turkey Cranberry Brie Grilled Cheese

Serves 1

If you want the Thanksgiving of grilled cheese sandwiches, here it is. It’s missing the gravy and stuffing, but you’ll forget about that with classic cranberry sauce and some melted Brie.

Of course, if you do have holiday leftovers on hand, you can incorporate them into this sandwich too

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

602

Calories

43 g

Protein

42 g

Carbs

29 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 slices seedless Rye bread

3–4 thick slices roasted turkey breast

3 oz. Brie cheese, thinly sliced (rind cut off)

2 Tbsp. cranberry sauce

Get the Recipe

Roasted Beet & Chevre Grilled Cheese

Serves 4

With rainbow chard and roasted beets, this is one grilled cheese sandwich that certainly can’t be called unhealthy.

It’s chock full of nutrients including vitamin A, folate, and dietary fiber. And with tangy goat cheese and horseradish, it has remarkable flavor that can be called anything but boring.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

310

Calories

18 g

Protein

34 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

8 slices whole-wheat bread

4 oz. goat cheese, room temp.

3 cups rainbow chard, roughly chopped

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 medium-large beets

Horseradish to taste

Get the Recipe

Spicy Smashed Avocado & Asparagus Grilled Cheese

Serves 2

Grilled cheese is the go-to vegetarian sandwich, and this version takes that challenge seriously. It’s got tons of smashed avocado oozing out the sides.

But more than that, it has added flavor, texture, and nutrition from a layer of asparagus spears. It all comes together with dill Havarti and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

718

Calories

24 g

Protein

36 g

Carbs

56 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed

1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 lemon

1 avocado, peeled and halved

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

4 slices whole-wheat bread

2 Tbsp. butter, softened

4 slices dill Havarti cheese

Get the Recipe

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