Are you looking for an easy grilled cheese recipe that is guaranteed to be healthier and tastier than any regular grilled cheese? Then check out this recipe for spinach grilled cheese. This tasty spinach grilled cheese sandwich is loaded with sautéed spinach, shallots, and garlic. This is a great way to sneak a few extra servings of vegetables into a classic comfort food.
We make this recipe for spinach grilled cheese with gluten free bread so that the recipe will be entirely gluten free. If you do not have a gluten intolerance, then you can also make this spinach grilled cheese recipe with regular bread. No other substitutions are needed!
What is in spinach grilled cheese?
What is in spinach grilled cheese? Here are some of the main ingredients that are in this spinach grilled cheese.
- Gluten free sandwich bread. The first ingredient you will need to make this spinach grilled cheese recipe is some gluten free sandwich bread. We have been using Canyon Bakehouse bread ever since this analysis revealed it was the most recommended by the gluten free community. If you do not have a gluten intolerance, then you can also use regular sandwich bread.
- Sharp cheddar cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese is the main cheese that is used in this grilled cheese recipe. We generally use white cheddar but you can also use an orange cheddar.
- Cream cheese. A little bit of cream cheese is added to give this spinach grilled cheese some extra creamy flavor. This creaminess perfectly complements the flavor of the spinach.
- Spinach. You can’t have a spinach grilled cheese without spinach! We use fresh spinach in this recipe but you could also substitute in frozen spinach.
- Garlic. Some garlic is added to the spinach as it cooks for extra flavor. We recommend adding the garlic towards the end of the cooking time so that it maintains a little of a bite. The longer garlic cooks, the more mellow the flavor will be.
- Shallot. Some shallots are also added to the spinach mixture. The shallots should be cooked until they start to brown and the sugars in the shallots start to caramelize so that they bring a little bit of sweetness to the dish. That means that they need to be added to the pan well before the spinach and garlic.
- Lemon juice. A squirt of lemon juice is added to the spinach when it is done cooking to bring more acidity to this dish. The acidity of the lemon juice lightens up the heavier flavors of the sharp cheddar and cream cheese.
How to make spinach grilled cheese
How do you make spinach grilled cheese? Here is how to make spinach grilled cheese.
- Chop the vegetables and grate the cheese. The first step in making a spinach grilled cheese is preparing your ingredients. The shallots should be chopped into thin slices and the garlic needs to be mined into small pieces. We recommend using a high quality chef’s knife (this is our personal favorite) so that you can get your slices nice and thin. This is also a great time to grate any cheese that you need to grate.
- Sauté the shallots. After you have chopped your vegetables, it is time to start cooking our vegetables. Heat a pan over medium low to medium heat and add around 1 tbsp of butter. Let the pan warm up and melt the butter before adding your shallots then cook the shallots for 5 – 10 minutes or until they start to brown. Mix the shallots occasionally.
- Add the spinach, garlic, and lemon juice. When the shallots are almost done cooking, add the spinach and garlic to the pan the shallots are cooking in. Cook the spinach and garlic until the spinach wilts then add some lemon juice to the pan.
- Toast one side of the bread. Once your vegetables are all done cooking, it is time to toast your bread. You can either get a new pan to toast your bread in or remove the vegetables from the pan you cooked them in and re-use the same pan. Either way, you should add a little fresh butter to your pan. You may need to use multiple pans or toast your bread in batches depending on how many sandwiches you are making and how large your pan is. You should toast each slice of bread on one side.
- Assemble your sandwiches. After you toast one side of your bread, you should flip the bread over then assemble your grilled cheese sandwiches using the toasted side of the bread on the inside of the sandwiches. Spread the cream cheese over one slice of bread then pile the cheese and vegetables on top of the cream cheese. After you add all of the filling, place another slice of bread on top of the fillings with the toasted side down.
- Toast the other side of the bread. When you are done assembling your sandwich, the un-toasted sides of the bread should be on the outside. Toast the bottom of the sandwich until it is a nice golden brown then flip the bread over and toast the other side.
- Salt the outsides of the sandwiches. When the sandwiches are done cooking, sprinkle some salt on the outsides of the sandwiches.
How to elevate grilled cheese sandwiches
Do you want to make your grilled cheese sandwich feel a little more fancy? Here are some suggestions for how to elevate a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Make it a panini. This is our favorite way to make our grilled cheese sandwiches feel a little more special. Use a panini press (we love this one, you can never go wrong with Cuisinart) that has grill places to add some pretty grill marks to the outside of your sandwich. You can either pre-cook the grilled cheese then add it to the panini press at the end or skip toasting the outsides of the sandwiches in the pan and let the panini press take care of that.
- Use high quality ingredients. It should come as no surprise that if you use higher quality ingredients then you will get a higher quality dish. If you want to make your grilled cheese feel a little extra special, try using high quality cheeses and bread.
- Add some extra cheeses. Another easy way to elevate a grilled cheese sandwich is to add a little extra cheese. If your grilled cheese only has one type of cheese then we recommend using a cheese with a different flavor. For example, if you only have a sharp salty cheese like sharp cheddar then we recommend adding a smooth, creamy cheese like brie. For this spinach grilled cheese recipe, we recommend replacing some of the sharp cheddar with havarti.
How to store grilled cheese
How do you store leftover grilled cheese? You can store leftover grilled cheese in any airtight container in the refrigerator. You can either put the grilled cheeses in a food storage container or a large gallon bag. These spinach grilled cheeses will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. Any time you are storing toasted bread, we recommend putting a paper towel in the container with the bread to absorb excess liquids.
How to reheat grilled cheese
How do you reheat a grilled cheese sandwich? You have a few options when it comes to reheating grilled cheese sandwiches.
- On the stovetop. The best way to reheat a grilled cheese sandwich is on the stovetop. We recommend heating a pan over medium low heat then adding some butter to grease the pan. After that, you can cook the grilled cheese for a few minutes per side until it is warm throughout.
- In the microwave. If you do not want to dirty any extra dishes then you can reheat your grilled cheese sandwiches in the microwave. Grilled cheese sandwiches that are reheated in the microwave will have bread that is more chewy and less crispy than grilled cheese sandwiches that are reheated on the stovetop. We recommend microwaving the grilled cheese sandwiches for 45 – 60 seconds on full power then checking to see whether they are thoroughly heated.
Spinach grilled cheese
- 8 slices gluten free bread
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- butter (for frying)
- salt (for the outside of the grilled cheese)
- 2 cups spinach (lightly packed)
- 2 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Slice the shallots into thin slices and mince the garlic. Roughly chop the spinach leaves into halves or quarters.
- Heat a pan over medium low to medium heat. Add the butter for the spinach mixture to the pan and let it melt before adding the shallots to the pan. Add the salt for the spinach mixture to the shallots. Cook the shallots for around 10 minutes until they lightly brown. Stir occasionally.
- Add the spinach, garlic, and lemon juice to the pan with the shallots and cook them until the spinach wilts.
- Remove the spinach mixture from the pan then add more butter to coat the pan. Cook each slice of bread on one side for 2 - 4 minutes until it is a light golden brown. You may need to cook the bread in batches depending on how many grilled cheese sandwiches you are making.
- Assemble the grilled cheese sandwiches using the toasted sides of the bread on the insides of the sandwiches. Spread a layer of cream cheese on one slice of bread then add some sharp cheddar and spinach mixture. When you are done, you should have grilled cheese sandwiches that have the untoasted sides of the bread on the outsides.
- Add more butter to your pan and cook the assembled grilled cheese sandwiches for 2 - 4 minutes per side until they are a nice golden brown. This should be long enough to melt the cheese inside the sandwiches, but if you find that the bread is browning before the cheese melts then you should lower the temperature on your burner.
- Sprinkle salt on the outside of the sandwiches and serve.
Substitutions for spinach grilled cheese
- Gluten free sandwich bread. We use gluten free sandwich bread to make this spinach grilled cheese, but if you do not have a gluten intolerance then you could also use regular sandwich bread.
- White sharp cheddar. If you want to step up your grilled cheese game a little, you can replace half of the sharp cheddar cheese with havarti. Havarti cheese has an extra sharp, salty flavor that will give the grilled cheese a little bit extra of a bite.
- Shallots. Shallots can be expensive and we understand that. If you live in an area where it is difficult to find shallots or where shallots are too expensive, you can replace the shallots with a regular onion. You will only need 1/4 to 1/2 of a regular onion to make this spinach grilled cheese.
Other recipes you will love
Are you looking for a grilled cheese recipe that is the perfect combination of sweet and salty? Check out this recipe for havarti grilled cheese with salty havarti cheese, sweet apricot jam, and fresh apple slices!
Are you looking fro something a little more dramatic? Check out this recipe for smoked gouda grilled cheese with smooth cream cheese and crisp apple slices.
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