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5 ways to spice up your grilled cheese

By Penelope Wall, April 2, 2010 - 12:29pm

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5 ways to spice up your grilled cheese

How many of us grew up eating grilled cheese sandwiches? As a kid, it was my favorite food for hot lunch. Even now, I still get weak in the knees for grilled cheese. And my husband, Colin, asks if we can have it for dinner at least once a week.

I try to indulge the craving often, but let’s face it: greasy grilled cheese is not exactly the healthiest fare, and I also want to get a satisfying meal out of the deal. So, I like to spice things up with unexpected—and healthful—ingredients. This week for dinner, for example, we made Hot Chile Grilled Cheese sandwiches. Mashed-up beans, salsa and hot peppers bulk up the cheesy filling. Just think of it as a cross between a grilled cheese and a Mexican chile relleno burrito. If you love a little spice, you’ll love this sandwich. (Love Mexican food? Spice up your dinner routine with these healthy Mexican recipes.)

As for Colin, he was impressed with the amazing combination of flavors. He took one bite and said, “This is NOT your ordinary grilled cheese.” And it’s super filling too.

Here are some more yummy, cheesy grilled sandwiches to try:

Southwestern Cheese Panini
This recipe is a favorite at our house. Lots of colorful vegetables and salsa make this cheesy panini prettier than any grilled cheese you've ever seen. The small amount of Cheddar cheese in this sandwich goes a long way because it is shredded and sharp. Serve with a mixed salad and you've got a delightful lunch or light supper.

Turkey & Tomato Panini
A creamy spread full of Parmesan and fresh basil cozies up to turkey and tomato slices for a savory hot sandwich that will quickly become a go-to mealtime solution.

Mediterranean Tuna Panini
For a great grilled sandwich filling, spike canned tuna with salty olives and capers, bright lemon juice and tangy feta. Yum!

Grilled Eggplant Panini
OK, so this recipe isn’t your typical grilled cheese sandwich. But it’s perfect for warmer weather, because you make it on the grill instead of in a pan. Plus it’s so cheesy and creamy and delicious—it will satisfy all of your grilled cheese cravings.

Hot Chile Grilled Cheese
This deconstructed version of a chile relleno turned sandwich packs some heat and an ooey-gooey filling. We like the flavor of sourdough, but any kind of bread will work well. Serve with: Coleslaw and sliced pineapple.

How do you spice up your grilled cheese? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Penelope Wall, Food Blog, Dinner, Family meals, Recipe Makeover

Penelope Wall
Penelope is a web producer and writer for EatingWell.com. When she's not busy geeking out at the computer, she loves cooking and trying new recipes on her friends. Some of her favorite foods are dark chocolate, coffee, apples, sweet potatoes and cheese.

Penelope asks: How do you spice up your grilled cheese?

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