5 Steps to Making the Best Ever Grilled Cheese

By Merritt Watts
Grilled cheese perfection

Warm, melted cheese between slices of golden-brown, buttered bread is one of life's simple pleasures. But does it always have to be SO simple? Read on for a few ways to change up your next grilled cheese and maybe, just maybe, improve on perfection.

Make a dipping sauce
We like a sweet-savory mixture like 3 Tablespoons of apricot jam mixed with a tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

Use cheese on the outside
Finely grate a hard cheese, like Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano, then lightly oil your bread and press it into the grated cheese. Cook over medium heat - the outside will get nice and brown and have a crisp, cheesy coating.

Related: 10 Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Add kick (or crunch!)
Pepper jelly or spicy, grainy mustard are both great complements to the richness of a grilled cheese. For crunch, we layer in some thinly sliced apple, pear, even the peppery green escarole.

Lighten it up
After some serious experiment, we've found the perfect way to skip the butter entirely: Toast the sandwiches until the bread is golden brown in a large skillet coated with cooking spray, then transfer to a baking sheet and pop in the oven to melt the cheese.

Related: 20 Grilled Sandwich and Panini Recipes

Serve it with a simple soup
There's not a grilled cheese in the universe that wouldn't benefit from a simple tomato soup served alongside! We like this version of tomato soup, which we developed to go right along grilled cheese because it has enough cream to add great texture, but enough sweetly acidic tomato flavor to complement the sandwich.

More from Everyday Food:
50 Healthiest Main Dish Recipes
Favorite One-Pot Meals for the Family
Sweet Snacks Under 200 Calories