From Comfort Meal to Gourmet Feel: 13 Sides to Go with Grilled Cheese
Comfort is melted cheese, whether it’s mac and cheese or in this case, two slices of bread joined by some melty cheesy goodness.
Each bite brings feelings of nostalgia and coziness, like sitting by the fire on a cold winter day. It has so many levels:
There’s the classic with white bread and American cheese and gourmet ciabatta with fresh mozzarella.
Whatever variation it may be, this sandwich is lonely without a side dish.
Let’s talk about what goes with grilled cheese. The staple sandwich is buttery and toasty.
When considering grilled cheese side combos, we focus on complementary flavors and textures.
The perfect pairing leaves your belly utterly satisfied (and not overly stuffed).
Whatever your grilled cheese gastronomic preferences are ready to feel like you have unlocked long-time secrets of the Earl of Sandwich.
For the traditionalist:
You may want to stick with the trusty sidekick, the tomato soup. Perfectly acidic, but classically smooth.
Or, perhaps a salad to freshen your palette on a warm day.
That toasty bread did not satisfy your craving for crisp? Truffle Brussel sprouts provide a robust solution.
Make your plate go global by incorporating some flavorful sides from around the world!
Yum. Now we’re hungry for more.
All of these grilled cheese sides will have you running to the kitchen to whip up the perfect lunch.
What to Eat with Grilled Cheese: Our Side Ideas Made with Love
Before you find yourself running to the skillet, bread, butter, and cheese in hand, let’s talk about some sides that will complete your grilled cheese experience.
1.Homemade Rustic Tomato Soup
Sandwiches and tomato soup, a love story that could rival any Nicholas Sparks movie.
Whether you dip, dunk, or sip, everything about the taste is complimentary.
The tomato soup brings the perfect amount of acidity while remaining creamy and smooth.
This pair is so compatible that it can be hard to move away from this iconic meal.
The can of Campbell’s that you had on crisp fall days as a child is a quick, basic side. There are so many options to make tomato soup more fun.
Want hearty and healthy?
If you’re watching your sodium intake, but you don’t want to sacrifice flavor, this rustic tomato soup is the way to go.
A natural, delicious, homemade recipe is the perfect match.
2. A Fresh Salad on a Summer Day
What if it’s too hot outside for soup? You bust out some leafy greens, and you get a nice crunch to go with the soft white bread of your sandwich.
Grilled cheese is a year-round delicacy! We won’t stop eating this delicious and straightforward morsel in the summer.
On a hot day, the best thing to do is swap out the soup for a refreshing salad.
We love the pop of color that this spring salad brings to the table.
The sweet summer fruit, biting arugula, and salty feta combines for a dynamic blend of tastes — the balsamic vinaigrette salad adds the tang to join the flavors together.
The diversity of flavors involved will make even the least health-conscious foodie swoon.
Heidi’s Spring Salad recipe has our mouths watering! Check it out on Foodie Crush.
3. Truffled Brussel Chips for a Healthy Crisp
We have finally found a happy medium between steamed veggies and a bag of potato chips!
These light and crunchy truffle Brussel chips are super simple to make and tastes so good that they may become the new go-to snack.
The truffle oil adds an element of richness to this recipe, which will make every bite of your cheesy bread more satisfying.
With decadence joining pure comfort, your tastebuds will be so happy that you chose this pair.
Ari has discovered a new perfect snack, and she’s giving up the secret on her blog Ari’s Menu; check it out.
4. Pickled Cucumbers: Another Classic
Oh, the memories of a pickled cucumber served with this classic meal!
Imagine when you were sitting in the diner in a red booth with your parents for lunch.
The waitress finally brought your sandwich. You quickly take your first bite.
Before you can even finish the half, you realize, “this is starting to taste different.”
You look down to find that the juice from the pickle on your plate has slightly penetrated the pores of your texas toast and cheddar cheese.
What is this magic? How was it so good?
The vinegary sweetness of pickles joins this sandwich in a strange but delectable marriage.
It just feels right to have a pickled veggie of some kind involved when you’ve got a sandwich on your plate.
Could we ask for a more satisfying crunch?
The best part is that homemade dill pickles are easy to make.
5.Bacon and Eggs Baked Avocado, Oh My!
Grilled cheese for breakfast now we’re intrigued!
A soft-cooked egg for optimum dipping. Creamy avocado for spreading. And, of course, crispy bacon.
Need we say more?
The texture is soft, so we love the idea of using the baked avocado as a boat for dunking your entree.
Whip up some mimosas and call over your friends, and they will be raving over this brunch pairing fit for the gods (and goddesses).
For those of you who may have been drooling at the side dish above, but for one reason and one reason only… shout out to you!
Three cheers for bacon lovers!
Bacon is crispy, crunchy, salty, yummy bacon; the perfect side for grilled cheese (and pretty much everything else).
On top, on the side, underneath! All the roads lead to Rome, and in this case, Rome is your hungry, soon to be satisfied, mouth. Get ready to dig into your new favorite breakfast pairing.
6.Spicy Black Bean Corn Salad
Add a little spice in your life by giving this classic meal an ethnic flavor.
We love this salad that is packed with colorful nutrients. It adds beauty to your plate and a Latin twist to your pallet!
The sweetness of the corn and avocado matched with spicy black beans, red peppers, onion, and cilantro combines with the grilled cheese for a well rounded, flavor-packed meal.
This easy recipe for a nutrient-dense side can be found at Dinner at the Zoo, and this zoo has free admission!
7. Celery Salad
Okay, okay… we know what you are thinking.
“After six delicious and mouth-watering sides, you’re going to mention CELERY?”
Hear us out; we haven’t completely lost it yet!
It is wonderfully crunchy, excitingly flavored, and refreshingly light.
This recipe NOT your average, side-of-ranch, boring, semi-tasteless stalk.
This salad that ingeniously incorporates a Japanese umami flavor that will bring a whole new perspective about how to do lunch.
The sesame combined with ginger and spring onion perfectly combine for an uplifting, belly, soothing, satisfying side dish.
Follow this link to figure out how to turn the more flavorless greens into delicious snacks.
8.Refreshing Cilantro Chutney
Sweet, spicy, and refreshingly herbal, you won’t be able to find any reason to hate your new favorite dunking sauce for a variety of dishes.
The earthly heat of chutney perfectly complements the creamy, melty cheddar cheese and golden toasted bread.
In Indian homes, chutney and cheese sandwiches are a go-to lunchtime snack.
You can make your chutney and store it in the fridge and use it as a dip or sauce for other meals.
By adding this item to your grill cheese rather than eating a meal, you’ll be Feasting at Home!
9. Double the Rich: Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Okay, so this may make the meal calorie-dense because it’s cheese on cheese, but what’s not to love about this?
Spinach and Artichoke are two words that sound better when used in a sentence with cheese.
Why use tortilla chips alongside this holy dip when you could use your cheesy, fluffy sandwich?
Add a scoop (or three) to your plate and a smile to your face.
Pairing your grilled cheese with Spinach and Artichoke dip is a great way to eat your vegetables.
Holly’s recipe from Spend With Pennies is creamy, delicious, and budget-friendly.
10. Bolognese Sauce for an Italian Upgrade
Bolognese sauce is kind of like meaty tomato soup, and what could be better than an Italian version of a great pairing?
There’s still some debate about the best bread for grilled cheese, but we have an idea. If you are using an Italian bread such as focaccia to make your sandwich, this pairing will have you yelling, “mama mia!”
The two come together to create an explosion of pizza flavor.
A little chunkier than the classic tomato soup, the Bolognese has all the qualities as the traditional partner, but it adds a meaty Italian twist.
Lifehack: replace regular butter with garlic butter to make this pairing even better.
You can leave the pasta in the box, or add it to your plate if you are feeling hungry!
Check out Marissa’s recipe on her blog, Pinch and Swirl. She says, “pasta choice,” we say “sandwich.”
11. Butternut Squash Soup in Time for Fall
Want all the benefits of a sweet side that also fits autumn well?
Try out pairing your sandwich with butternut squash soup.
Seemingly designed to make us excited about fall, this easy butternut squash soup recipe is a great make-ahead option.
Brew up a big batch and keep it on hand (in the freezer) throughout the colder months.
As the ingredients spend more time together, this soup gets better and better.
Kate has a wholesome and delicious recipe on her blog, Cookie and Kate that will have you ready for the change of season.
12. What to Serve With a Grill Cheese on a Chili Day?
The flavors here really bring us straight to a sports game or a weekend camping in the great outdoors.
Is this combination just a chili-cheese dog without the dog? Maybe it is, and we love it.
Do chili your way and dip it, spread it, or eat it separately.
Whether you are watching football on the couch or lunch for work, this is quite the meal.
The spice changes the flavor vibe of the sandwich, the acidity balances the cheese, and the meat brings ties it all together with some hearty substance.
Take it to the next level and use cornbread when you make your grilled cheese.
Sam from Quarter Soul Crisis has a chili recipe that is fast, easy, and delicious!
13. Indian Dhal: The New Classic
A classic American sandwich meets an Indian Staple. In a similar fashion to the Spicy Black Bean Corn Salad, this pairing combines food from two cultures.
Dal, Dahl, or Daal, however you choose to spell it, translates to lentils. As a dish, it is a spiced lentil soup. It’s hearty, and the masoor-dal-tadka uses red lentils.
Sometimes it is served with rice or Naan, but we prefer it with a variety of dishes.
We are swooning in at this East meets West power couple.
Creamy, nutritious, spicy, dhal, and a salty, crispy Grilled Cheese, it’s a modern romance.
We love this pairing for the same reason we love the sandwich with any soup. It is warm, versatile, and the textures are perfect together.
There are many dhal recipes; many of them are vegan. Lentils are an excellent source of protein, iron, and fiber, making them a smart choice of side.
Eva from The Curious Chickpea knows what it takes to make this versatile, filling, and spicy lentil soup.
What Goes with Grilled Cheese (Besides Everything)
We have gone over a variety of delectable sides to serve with your grilled cheese sandwich.
Now, we will go over some fundamental factors to consider when choosing a side dish.
We know that this sandwich pairs well with so much, but some sides are better than others.
Just in case you’re thirsty after salivating while reading these yummy recipes, we’ll touch a bit on our favorite drink pairing.
Diverse Flavors and Textures
What we like is adding a side dish equipped with a different flavor profile.
Of course, the sandwich is gooey and crispy, and all things delicious.
New sensations are always welcome on our plate.
Acidity, bitterness, and spice are all characteristics that pair well with grilled cheese as they help bring balance to an otherwise soft flavor portfolio.
Of course, we have been keeping in mind the nutritional value. Who says grilled cheese can’t be healthy?
Sure, at its core, it’s carbs, dairy, and grease, but it makes us happy, so dig in.
We could have spent this article giving you 13 ways to make french fries, but instead, we decided to provide options that are healthier, more diverse in flavor, and origin.
With any of these sides, you will finish your plate feeling satisfied and without guilt.
Is today your cheat day? Then double up on the cheese and add on some bacon to make it worth it!
If it is not, and you’re looking for a lighter option, pairing your sandwich with a soup or salad is perfect.
Even a more vegetable-driven side such as Brussel sprouts or sweet potato fries will leave you feeling satisfied.
Okay, health lecture over, now let’s talk about drinks!
In addition to any of these sides, guess what else going perfectly with grilled cheese?
Beer, beer, and more beer! You don’t have to be a serious beer drinker to know cheese and beer are a holy pair.
A microbrewed IPA, a little on the hoppy side, is the best thing to drink alongside your meal.
The salt and umami of cheese balance a slightly bitter pint.
Salt sneaks into the bitter-taste receptors on your tongue to hinder the bitter flavor.
That’s why Grilled Cheese is a world-famous bar snack.
When you start getting thirsty after all of that bread and cheese, swig a sip of a cold one and experience optimum flavor sensations.
Final Words on What Sides to Pick
While we are #1 fans of grilled cheese and tomato soup, you may be asking what to eat with grilled cheese, besides the classic soup pairing.
Many of these grilled cheese sides are made in large quantities so you could cook them and meal prep for the rest of the week.
Whether you’re treating yourself with creamy richness, or you are watching your calorie intake, you will enjoy these tasty ideas for what goes with grilled cheese.
There is something for every season, and they all will make your heart feel warm.
They are nutritious and delicious, just the way we like it!