Friday, April 12, is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day! So let us help you create a healthier melt-in-your-mouth version of 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, it’s definitely an occasional treat.
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 remake 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 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 multi-grain bread for your sandwich you’re not only adding in 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, brush the bread with olive oil, or 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 (and healthier) versions of the traditional grilled cheese sammy.