Let us help you create a healthier melt-in-your-mouth version to this popular cheesy sandwich.
Ah, the grilled cheese. It’s the quintessential comfort food that not only pairs easily with a cup of soup, but it’s easy to whip together with just a few ingredients. There are many reasons to celebrate the gooey cheesiness of this toasted sandwich, but at nearly 700 calories this a treat you may only want to indulge in a few times a year.
But with just a few ingredient swaps — think light mayonnaise or toasting the bread in a toaster instead of slathering it in butter — you can re-make your grilled cheese into a mouth-watering and nutritious meal.
We’ve compiled a couple of easy substitutions, and some of our favorite healthy twists, so you can try a new variation of an old favorite.
- Be Choosy with Your Cheese
It’s the star of your sandwich, but do you need to always grab the yellow slices? Try to opt for stronger flavors, like blue cheese or extra-sharp cheddar, to help you retain flavor while using less of cheese on your sandwich.
- Better Bread Goes A Long Way
Plain old white bread might be your toast of choice, but by choosing a whole wheat or multigrain bread for your sandwich you’re not only adding in a new crunch and flavor, you can also increase your fiber and nutrient intake.
- Hold the Butter
Your mom, and maybe even your grandmother, probably spread a layer of butter on your grilled cheese throughout your childhood. But know this: It isn’t necessary. While butter helps crisp the crust, it doesn’t add too much in the way of flavor.
Instead, try using a thin layer of reduced-fat mayonnaise or a creamy spread. Or skip grilling altogether by toasting your bread and then baking your sandwich open faced in the oven for a few minutes at 350 degrees.
Looking for a new twist? Here are three incredibly tasty healthier versions to your traditional grilled cheese.
- Pesto Spinach Havarti Grilled Cheese: A little zest and a handful of your daily greens thrown together with Havarti cheese may make this a new favorite. Added perk: This recipe comes in at around 80 calories. And it’s super easy to make with only four ingredients — Havarti, grain bread, pesto and spinach.
- Pear & Fig Grilled Cheese: If you’re a fan of cheese and fruit plates, you’re going to want to try this one! With six ingredients, including pear slices, fig or grape jam and Havarti or Monterey Jack cheese, this sandwich is easy to make and comes in at about 300 calories.
- Avocado Tomato Grilled Cheese: Tomato and avocado may already be toppings you like to use on your sandwich, but by mixing in a white cheddar cheese and a multigrain or wheat bread, you can add an extra kick of protein and fiber!