Change up that grilled cheese!

Are you looking for a new way to enjoy this classic cool-weather comfort food? Do your kids love the simple version, but you’d rather switch up one for yourself? Or are your kids’ palates curious enough to branch out into something new? Try these recipes on the skillet or on the Panini press, and don’t forget the soup!
 
French Onion Grilled Cheese
This would be great with French Onion soup or as-is. The addition of caramelized onions kicks up the flavor while Gouda (if you’ve got it) brings a bit of gourmet!
 
Makes 4 sandwiches
 
8 slices whole wheat bread
1 white or yellow onion
¼ cup beef (or veggie) stock
Butter & Olive oil
8 slices Gouda cheese (you can use Swiss instead)
 
Slice the onion into thin rings and cook in a glug of olive oil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. While it cooks, lightly butter both sides of each slice of bread. When finished with the bread, add the beef stock to the pan. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to release the caramelized bits. The onions should be softening and darkening. When the liquid has reduced by half, remove it from the heat and set aside.
 
Set a large skillet over medium-low heat (in the 3-4 range) and drop in four slices of the buttered bread. When golden to your preference, flip them over and place a slice of cheese on each piece. When the bottom is toasted, remove to a wire rack (to keep the bottoms from getting soggy). Place some of the onions on two slices of the bread, then cover with the remaining two slices. Repeat for the last four pieces of bread. Slice on the diagonal and serve on plates.
 
Nutritional info per serving: 531 calories, 30 g fat, 72 mg cholesterol, 797 mg sodium, 379 potassium, 52 carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 21 g protein. 39% DV calcium, 13% DV Vitamin B-12.
 
Grilled Feta Veggie
Less gooey than a typical grilled cheese, but just as delicious! If you want, you could add a few leaves of fresh spinach to these sandwiches before closing and slicing.
 
Makes 4 sandwiches
 
8 slices of whole wheat bread
4 ounces feta cheese
1 small zucchini
1 green or red bell pepper
1 medium tomato
1 small eggplant
Olive oil
 
Dice the veggies down to bite-size, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet, and sauté veggies over medium heat until cooked to your liking. Remove veggies to a plate or dish, and use the same skillet (with another dash of olive oil) to toast your bread. If you flip the bread and the pan is too dry, lift them out for a moment and add a bit more olive oil. Replace, and while that side is toasting, add the feta cheese to the top of two slices of bread.
 
Remove to wire racks, and cover the feta with some of the roasted veggies. Top with more feta (if desired) and then press the other toasted bread slice on top. Repeat the process with the remaining bread, then slice diagonally and serve on plates.
 
Nutritional info per serving: 451 calories, 21 g fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 642 mg sodium, 552 mg potassium, 56 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 13 g protein. 15% DV Vitamin A, 19% DV Vitamin B-6, 14 % DV Vitamin E, 18% DV calcium.
 
Sweet and Savory Grilled Turkey
This is a great post-Thanksgiving recipe as a way to use up extra turkey! Thick-sliced honey-roasted turkey breasts work well for the sandwich. You could use chicken instead of turkey.
 
Makes 4 sandwiches
 
8 slices of bread
8 slices Swiss cheese
8 slices Turkey breast
4 tablespoons of peach chutney or jam
4 tsp Dijon mustard
Butter
 
Butter both sides of the bread and then place four slices in a skillet over medium-low heat, until toasted to your liking. When you flip them, place a slice of Swiss cheese on each toasted side and let it begin to melt. When the bottom is done to your liking, remove the bread to a wire rack. Top with slices of turkey and spread some of the mustard and chutney on the turkey. Press the other pieces of bread onto the fillings, repeat with the rest of the ingredients and serve.
 
Nutritional info per serving: 590 calories, 27 g fat, 85 mg cholesterol, 958 mg sodium, 483 mg potassium, 58 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 31 g protein. 14% DV Vitamin A, 30% DV Vitamin B-12, 18% Vitamin B-6, 16.5% Vitamin C, 58% calcium.
 
Did you know could also use mayo instead of butter on your bread? It works like a charm. Do you have a grilled cheese recipe that’s slightly off the beaten culinary path? Share your recipe or additions below!

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