A healthy grilled cheese? Is that even possible? You’re not wrong to ask, because traditionally, the grilled cheese is delectable comfort food. It’s oozing in butter and dripping in grilled, melted cheese calories that are high in fat and cholesterol.
Yes, a grilled cheese sandwich is undeniably tasty, but it’s not very healthy! Don’t worry, though; there are so many different ways to make grilled cheese sandwiches, and with a few tweaks and some light cheese, you can easily prepare a more nutritious grilled cheese at home.
Our healthy grilled cheese recipe uses cauliflower, cheese, whole grain bread, and a whole host of flavorful herbs and spices. When it comes down to healthy vs. unhealthy foods, this is one low calorie grilled cheese that will be the first choice, every time!
Keep reading for our ultimate skinny grilled cheese recipe ideas.
How to make a healthy grilled cheese sandwich using cauliflower
Makes 1 healthier grilled cheese sandwich
- 2 slices of whole-grain bread
- ¼ of a medium-sized cauliflower, sliced
- ½ of a medium-sized shallot, sliced
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika powder
- 1 tsp of whole-grain Dijon mustard
- ½ c of arugula
- 1 oz of light cheddar cheese, shredded
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start preparing your healthy grilled cheese sandwich by preheating your oven to 400°F and lining your baking tray with parchment paper and a light coating of oil.
- Next, slice both your cauliflower and shallot into thin pieces. Toss the veggies with smoked paprika, and add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the seasoned vegetables on the baking tray, and bake for 20 mins.
- Once your cauliflower and shallot have finished baking, spread Dijon mustard over both slices of your whole-grain bread.
- Add the cauliflower and shallot, arugula, and shredded cheese to form the sandwich filling.
- With your grilled cheese toppings complete, pour olive oil into a large skillet and turn the heat up to medium.
- Once hot, place your sandwich into the oil and start to grill it in the skillet.
- Allow the grilled cheese to cook for 3 mins on the first side, then turn the grilled cheese sandwich over and cook for another 3 mins on the other side.
- Once the cheese has melted, and the bread is a crispy golden brown, it’s time to serve your adult grilled cheese sandwich!
Tips for preparing the healthiest grilled cheese variations
Our cauliflower recipe is just one of the great grilled cheese ideas you can try at home. With a few extra tips, you can start using super healthy ingredients and substitutes to make your own recipes. Leave those pesky and unhealthy grilled cheese calories behind with our healthy grilled cheese recipe.
Use whole grain bread
The classic grilled cheese typically calls for white bread as the number one choice (after all, this is the most readily available type of bread in the stores!)
The quickest way to make a healthy grilled cheese is to switch your white bread for whole-grain bread. Whole Grain bread has fewer preservatives, and it’s much higher in fiber than white bread. Whole wheat bread is also lower in calories and fat, making this a much healthier option for your sandwiches.
Skip the butter!
It’s easy making grilled cheese without butter, especially when there are lots of other delicious options on the table. We use Dijon mustard and olive oil as a butter substitute for grilled cheese, but there are plenty of healthy alternatives to try.
Instead of dairy-based butter, you can use a plant-based butter substitute for a grilled cheese instead. A grilled cheese olive oil recipe works well, but so does plant-based mayonnaise if you want an even crispier (yet still healthy) outside coating.
Be picky with your cheese
The main ingredient of a grilled cheese is the cheese, and this is where you should choose carefully and pick the least fattening cheeses for your sandwich.
Most cheddars come in a light or skinny version, and these are typically lower in calories than your standard cheese. Try low-fat cheese slices, or be adventurous with the Mediterranean flavors and try delicious feta or halloumi cheeses (although they don’t melt in the same way as cheddar.)
More healthy options for stuffing your grilled cheese sandwich
What goes with grilled cheese? Loads of great grilled cheese sides and fillings do!
As well as cauliflower, you can try other baked vegetables to give your cheese sandwich a crunchy filling. Go for roasted broccoli and squash, for instance. Try an avocado spread or avocado slices, or you could add a few tomatoes, some cucumber, or zucchini.
Opt for a few different fresh herbs for extra flavor as well. How about some dill, freshly chopped parsley, or some oregano?
Importantly, don’t be sparing on the salad you put in your grilled cheese either. As this is fresh and light, we suggest arugula, but you could opt for traditional shredded lettuce, kale, or spinach. If it’s leafy and green, then it’s a healthy addition to your grilled cheese.
Healthy grilled cheese recipes: The final say
There are a ton of ways to create grilled cheese sandwiches that are super-healthy and low in calories, rather than dripping with fat and cholesterol.
Make a grilled cheese with olive oil instead of butter, switch white bread for whole grain, and use the least fatty cheese you can find in the store!
Why not bookmark our recipe for a healthier grilled cheese when you’re trying to think of more beneficial things to put on grilled cheese sandwiches?