10 Elevated Takes on a Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches That You Should Try Now

plated grilled cheese with tomato
Sidney Bensimon

Elemental in its construction and primal in its comfort, a grilled cheese is a sandwich that's as easy to make as it is to love. The American-single-on-white version, with its soft melted cheese, golden-brown crust, and irresistible buttery warmth, is the standard. Adored by little ones and adults alike, the grilled cheese sandwich, as we now know it, can be traced back to the 1920s, when both sliced bread and processed cheese were invented. Yet despite its humble roots, grilled cheese knows how to take a sophisticated turn.

Elevated renditions of grilled cheese sandwiches include everything from fresh ingredients, such as broccoli and pears, to spreads, like onion jam and whole-grain mustard. Try a fresh take on this ultra-classic sandwich with one of our inventive recipes, like the Grilled Taleggio Sandwich with Tomato and Basil that's pictured here. Not only does it include thinly-sliced Taleggio, but this grilled cheese sandwich also gets a finishing touch with fresh basil and slices of heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes. The result is a refined, juicy, gooey take on grilled cheese you are sure to enjoy. Looking for other sandwiches to try? We have options for meat-lovers, like bacon- and turkey- grilled cheeses, and even one with a fried egg. No matter which route you go, the results are sure to be delicious.

Ahead, we've gathered our most elevated recipes that use the iconic sandwich as a blank canvas for all kinds of mouthwateringly delicious meals. Try these sophisticated twists on the usual grilled cheese next time a craving strikes.

01 of 09

Grilled Gruyère Sandwich with Onion Jam

close up plated grilled cheese
Sidney Bensimon

Onion jam brings a sweet note to this grilled sandwich but it's not the only condiment that's used to make it absolutely incredible; mayonnaise helps the bread crisp up when grilled and Dijon mustard provides a piquant counterpoint to the melty Gruyère.

02 of 09

Inverted Tomato Sandwich

Tomato Sandwich
Bryan Gardner

Put the tomatoes on the outside and the Italian bread on the inside: It's a revolutionary concept, but it really works! Whatever you do, don't forget the cheese here. This sandwich features grated Parmesan as an essential ingredient on the bread.

03 of 09

Brie, Pear, and Mustard Grilled Cheese

Brie, Pear, and Mustard Grilled Cheese
William Hereford

Whole-grain mustard adds tang to the sweetness of sliced pears in this grilled cheese. If you want to make this into a heartier meal, add leftover turkey or chicken.

04 of 09

Grilled Ham-and-Broccoli-Rabe Sandwiches

Grilled Ham-and-Broccoli-Rabe Sandwiches
Anna Williams

Fontina and fig jam provide the rich, sweet flavors alongside the ham and broccoli rabe in this hearty sandwich.

05 of 09

Grilled Cheese with Bacon, Apple, and Sprouts

Jen Causey

Bacon and sprouts add a savory contrast to the sweet apple here, creating an irresistible sandwich you'll want to make again and again.

06 of 09

Test Kitchen's Favorite Grilled Cheese

hands holding grilled cheese
Sidney Bensimon

Our food editors' favorite grilled cheese takes this popular sandwich up a notch with both mayonnaise and butter spread onto the bread to add a crisp, flavorful result.

07 of 09

Croque Madame Sandwich

Con Poulos

Egg sandwiches aren't just for breakfast. This grilled sandwich includes fried eggs that have set whites and runny yolks.

08 of 09

Turkey Monte Cristo

Bryan Gardner

We're stretching the boundaries of what counts as a grilled cheese here, but we didn't want you to miss this sandwich. The Monte Cristo is commonly cooked on the top of the stove like a grilled cheese but this tasty take that uses Thanksgiving leftovers has you soak cheese-, roast turkey-, and cranberry sauce-filled sandwiches in an egg mixture, similarly to the process of making French toast, then pop them in the oven to toast.

09 of 09

Bacon-and-Escarole Grilled Cheese

Bacon-and-Escarole Grilled Cheese
Johnny Miller

Bacon adds flavor to the filling of this grilled cheese, but it plays another important role too: The fat from the meat helps toast the bread to a golden crisp.

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