Who doesn’t love the ooey-gooey cheesiness and crispiness of an old-fashioned grilled cheese?! And lucky us, it’s actually possible to have a guilt-free grilled cheese that also looks and tastes delicious! We’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on a quick guide to build a better-for-you grilled cheese, plus two DIY recipes!
CHOOSE YOUR BREAD
- For dense grainy bread: Dave’s Killer Bread, thin-sliced
- For lighter “fluffier” bread: Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat
- For low-carb, gluten-free “bread”: Outer Aisles Cauliflower Crust
- For higher-protein bread: P28 High Protein Bread or Walmart’s Marketside Protein Bread
CHOOSE YOUR CHEESE
- Cabot Sharp Extra Light White Cheddar
- Half-and-half: Blend of full-fat cheese and a lower-calorie option like Cabot Sharp Extra Light cheese,
- Lower sodium cheese: Swiss cheese, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese, burrata
- Vegan cheese. Miyoko’s Creamery's or Parmelo’s Aged Nut Cheese
CHOOSE YOUR NUTRIENT-BOOSTING ADD-INS
- Roasted veggies like roasted red peppers, tomato, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini
- Fruits like thinly-sliced apples, figs, mashed blueberries
- Protein like grilled shrimp, shredded chicken, sliced turkey, mashed white beans or black beans.
- Plant-based fats: Avocado, coconut oil in place of butter
- Fresh herbs and spices: Fresh basil, cilantro, chipotle or cumin
If you don’t have burrata, you can sub fresh mozzarella or Swiss cheese – both are also naturally lower in sodium.
Killer Burrata Grilled Cheese
Makes 1 serving
- 2 slices Dave's Killer Bread - Thin Sliced Good Seed
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil or Earth Balance butter
- 1 teaspoon pesto
- 1 ounce burrata cheese
- 3 slices roasted red pepper
- 3 basil leaves, torn
Spread coconut oil on one side of each slice of bread. On the dry sides of the bread, spread on pesto. Add burrata, roasted red pepper, and basil leaves. Combine to make a sandwich.
On a hot skillet or fry pan, place sandwich, coconut oil side down, and cook with a lid for 3-4 minutes or until golden and cheese starts to melt. Flip sandwich over and cook for additional 2-3 minutes until cheese is warm and melty. Cut in half and enjoy.
Per serving: 340 calories, 23 grams fat, 12 grams saturated fat, 360 mg sodium, 31 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 13 grams protein.
Make this “quesadilla” vegan with a nut-based cheese like Parmela’s Creamery Aged Nut Cheese.
Spiced Up White Cheddar Grilled Cheese “Quesadilla” – GF, Low Carb
Makes 1 serving
- 1 Outer Aisle Gourmet Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil or Earth Balance butter
- 1 ounce Cabot Sharp Light Cheddar
- 1/4 avocado, sliced
- 5 slices jalapenos, sliced paper-thin
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
Spread coconut oil on the pizza crust. Add Cabot cheese, avocado, and jalapeno. Top with sriracha and fold crust over.
On a hot skillet or fry pan, place folded pizza crust and cook with a lid for 3-4 minutes or until golden and cheese starts to melt. Flip sandwich over and cook for additional 2-3 minutes until golden and cheese has melted. Serve warm.
Per serving: 320 calories, 23 grams fat, 11 grams saturated fat, 620 mg sodium, 10 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 19 grams protein.
Want more from Molly? Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune! And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @MollyKimballRD