Amp Up Your Grilled Cheese Game

Fruits, Veggies, and Herbs Put a Whole New Spin on an Old Favorite


Few foods are as comforting and delicious as a simple grilled cheese. Two slices of bread, some cheese, a bit of butter, and you have an easy, delicious (if not so healthy) treat. 

But with some simple (and perhaps, not-so-simple) twists, you can transform this old classic into a gourmet meal that’s packed with nutrients. Swapping out white bread for wheat can add plenty of fiber, or you can go low-carb and replace the bread with low-carb shredded veggie waffles. Want an extra dose of fiber and nutrients? Add in fruits like apples and veggies like arugula. 

Today, we’ve got 3 recipes that will up your grilled cheese game with additions just like these. Pair with your favorite soup, and you’ve got a hearty and nutritious meal that’s sure to impress. 

Brie, Fig, and Apple Grilled Cheese

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod. Makes 2 sandwiches.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • 4 slices sourdough
  • 2 tbsp soft butter
  • 4 tbsp fig butter or jam
  • 5 oz brie cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Granny Smith, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup baby arugula 


Begin by heating the olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add the onion slices and cook until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Next, heat a large skillet or griddle pan over medium-high. Take your slices of bread, butter the outside of each slice, and spread fig butter or jam on the inside of each slice. Layer brie, apple slices, onions, and arugula, then top with the other slice, butter side up.

Place the sandwiches in the hot pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side until bread is browned and cheese is melted. Serve immediately. 

Zucchini Waffle Grilled Cheese

Adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings. Makes 3 sandwiches. 


  • 4 cups freshly shredded raw zucchini
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ½ tsp italian seasoning
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 slices cheddar cheese 


Place shredded zucchini in a large bowl and let sit for 10-15 minutes to drain. Pour off liquid, then use sturdy paper towels or cheesecloth to wring zucchini dry, a ½ cup at a time. Once finished, you should have about 2 cups of drained zucchini. 

Combine zucchini, eggs, mozzarella, seasoning, and flour to a large mixing bowl and stir until all ingredients are combined. Preheat waffle iron on medium-high and generously grease the top and bottom. Measure out about ⅓ cup of zucchini mixture, press slightly to compact, then place into the middle of waffle iron, spreading it out using the back of a measuring cup or spoon. Ensure the waffle is thin. Cook until golden brown, about 7-8 minutes, and set aside. Repeat until you have 6 waffles. Do not turn off your waffle iron.

Once you have 6 waffles set aside, take 2 and place them back into the waffle iron, lined up with the grids. Place a slice of cheese between the waffles and press down on the waffle iron with pressure. Cook for a few minutes until the cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining waffles and cheese. Serve immediately. 

Havarti Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese

Adapted from Oh Sweet Basil. Makes 2 sandwiches.


  • 4 slices wheat or multigrain bread
  • 4 slices havarti cheese
  • 4-8 slices vine ripe tomato
  • Honey
  • Fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp butter


First, preheat a large pan over medium-high. While it heats, spread a thin layer of honey inside each slice of bread. Then, top with cheese, tomato, basil, another slice of cheese, and top slice of bread. Butter outside of bread and place in the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately. 

Accessibility Toolbar