How to Cook the Perfect Vegan Grilled Cheese (And 9 Twists You Must Try)

For many of us, a classic, crispy-on-the-outside, gooey-in-the-middle grilled cheese sandwich tops our list of comfort foods. And while it’s not a difficult sandwich to make, a few subtle tips — and being aware of common mistakes — can turn a grilled cheese sammy from good to enjoyable.

How to Make a Vegan Grilled Cheese

A successful vegan grilled cheese has but a few requirements. “It should have bread that’s lightly browned and cheese that’s melted all over and is slightly greasy and slightly salty,” says co-author Michael Suchman. NYC Vegan And the other half is vegan activist VeganMos.

Suchman added that grilled cheese makes him think back to when he was four or five years old when his mother would make him grilled cheese for lunch. Back then, though, grilled cheese was little more than Wonder Bread and non-vegan Kraft singles.

VegNews.MiyokosGrilled CheeseMiyoko’s Creamery

Fortunately, grilled cheese has come a long way since the 1970s. To get it right, start by making sure the bread you’re using isn’t too thick or too hot to melt the cheese. Check the crust too. “I like a soft-crust bread for my grilled cheese so it’s easy to bite into when it’s cooked,” says Suchman. If the bread crust is too hard before you cook it, it can be a challenge to eat after grilling. Then choose a vegan cheese that melts easily or your bread will burn before the sandwich is done. Suchman prefers slices but can work in chunks.

Although you may be tempted to spread vegan butter on bread, break that habit. Instead, use a light spread of vegan mayonnaise. Why? “It tastes better,” Suchman says. If you add fillings to your sandwich, place them in the middle so the sandwich is layered as bread, cheese, filling, cheese, bread. (Pro tip: If you’re using vegan meat like ham or bacon, cook it separately before adding it to the sandwich.) Then start cooking over medium-low heat so the bread slowly toasts and the cheese melts. Once golden brown, flip it over and cover the skillet with a lid. If you’re grilling, cover the sandwich with a lid to help trap the heat and help the cheese melt.

Creative takes a classic

If you’re looking for grilled cheese inspiration, try these nine unique creations from vegan bloggers.

VegNews.JackfruitGrilled CheeseHell yeah it’s vegan

1 Vegan Grilled Cheese with Jackfruit (Three Ways)

Can’t decide between chipotle, green pepper or buffalo jackfruit? Blogger Claire Slattery of Hell Yes It’s Vegan has got you covered with three unique ways to add the likes of jackfruit to your grilled cheese.
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VegNews.JalapenoGrilled CheesePeas and Crayons

2 Vegan Jalapeno Poppers Grilled Cheese

Turn your favorite appetizer into a grilled cheese! This recipe by Jane Laughlin of the Peas and Crayons blog is sure to please that jalapeño-loving palate with this spicy twist.
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VegNews.BBQGrilled Cheesecolorful kitchen

3 Vegan BBQ Grilled Cheese

Simple is the name of the game with this sandwich by Ilene Godofsky Moreno of The Colorful Kitchen. Made with carrots and barbecue sauce, this sandwich packs a punch. Top it up with some spinach and red onion, and you’ve got yourself a tasty twist.
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VegNews.KaleAvocadoGrilled CheeseWhen sweet becomes healthy

4 Vegan Avocado Grilled Cheese

Avocado lovers, this one’s for you. Add some pickled onions, kale, and spices and your grilled cheese just got a huge upgrade, thanks to Nicole Barth of When Sweet Becomes Healthy.
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VegNews. Black Bean Grilled CheeseVegan Richa

5 Smoky Black Bean Nacho Cheese Sandwich

Trust Richa Hingle, blogger and author of Vegan Richa, to write home about these tastebuds. Smoky black beans (or refried, if you prefer) may become your favorite add-in.
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VegNews.Caramelized OnionMushroomGrilled CheeseIt doesn’t taste like chicken

6 Vegan Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Grilled Cheese

Got any health nuts looking to veganize their grilled cheese? Blogger and author Sam Turnbull of It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken has your back with this delicious onion-and-mushroom version.
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VegNews.BalsamicBerryGrilled Cheesenervous mother

7 Balsamic Berry Vegan Grilled Cheese

Holy fried cheese! Jennifer Rossano of Neurotic Mummy is the brains behind this sweet berry-filled concoction. If there were a Golden Globe for grilled cheese, this would be the winner.
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VegNews.MacGrilled CheeseSix vegan sisters

8 Vegan Mac and Grilled Cheese

Yes, you can really add mac and cheese to anything, including grilled cheese. The sisters behind Six Vegan Sisters not only slather their famous mac and cheese between two slices of bread, they pile on more cheese for the ultimate cheesy comfort food.
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VegNews.HealthyGrilled Cheesenutritionally

9 Healthy Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Healthy Nuts, Nutriciously’s Alena made it for you, as this healthy version is loaded with veggies like avocado, zucchini, and spinach. You’ll make your own cheese sauce before assembling and cooking the sandwich in a pan.
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For more vegan cheese recipes, read:

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