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The Theme Is … Grilled Cheese!

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Grilled Cheese! (Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Amazing Tomato Soup, from TK member Amanda of I am Baker)

April is National Grilled Cheese Month. I think you’re all with me in thinking there aren’t enough excuses to celebrate any concoction that involves gooey, melted cheese and something buttered and slightly crunchy. So today, we’re all about grilled cheese sandwiches in various forms. And since they’re traditionally served with a nice bowl of tomato soup, as seen in the photo above of TK member manda2177’s recipe for Amazing Tomato Soup (she of the amazing blog I Am Baker), we’ll talk a bit about tomato soup, too.

Allegedly, early precursors of what we know today as grilled cheese sandwiches date back to similar recipes found in ancient Roman cookbooks. Seriously. I did the research, and that’s what they said. It took me a while to get over the shock of finding that there were cookbooks that old, but if there’s something that can adequately distract me from whatever is going on in my head, it’s melted cheese.

The grilled cheese has universal appeal, as can be expected. It’s called a toastie in New Zealand, a cheese jaffle in some parts of Australia, and a cheese toastie or toasted cheese sandwich in the UK. The modern grilled cheese is more readily traced to the 1920s, when sliced bread and American cheese became easily accessible. And boy oh boy, whether broiled (as they originally were), grilled, toasted, fried or pressed, look at how far we’ve come since then.


Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Grilled Cheese! (Variations)Clockwise from top left: PW’s Favorite Sandwich, Three Cheese and Tomato Sandwich from TheRecipeCards, Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Mozzarella Sandwich from hailskitchen, Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Rox, and a Toasted Whole Grain Apple Cheddar Panini from pickypalate.

As you can see, you amazing Tasty Kitchen members are quite adept at kicking things up and glorifying innocent recipes. And just in case you want more meat in the sandwich, some blue cheese, or maybe just another uniquely delicious and new twist, I found a few more that might fit the bill.


Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Grilled Cheese! (With Meat)Clockwise from top left: Smoky BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese from whatsgabycooking, Turkey, Brie and Apple Grilled Sandwich from missamy, and a manly-looking hearty Buffalo Wing Panini from montanaeats that’s got blue cheese in it. Yum.

In the 1940s and 1950s, as grilled cheese sandwiches became more popular (it was inexpensive, too, which was a bonus), cafeterias and other service kitchens typically served them with tomato soup, which was seen as a good source of vitamin C. It’s a food pairing that’s endured to this day. It makes a wonderful and easy meal, and a great thing about it is that you can easily make it a vegetarian meal, too! Here are some wonderful tomato soup recipes to get you started.


Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Grilled Cheese! (Tomato Soup)From left to right, top to bottom: Simple and Delicious Tomato Soup with Salsa Verde from misspfui, an easy 5-Minute Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup from Rebecca, Tomato Soup from tallgrasskitchen, and a deep-flavored Roasted Tomato Soup from hailskitchen.

Wanna guess what’s coming next? You guessed it. Here are a few more tomato soup recipes if you’re looking for something that might be a little different. Some even already have the cheese and/or the bread (in the form of croutons) in them, which might make the sandwich a bit insecure.


Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Grilled Cheese! (Creamy Tomato Soup)On the left, from top to bottom: Creamy Tomato Soup Florentine from lshanahan, Tomato Garlic Soup with Roquefort Creme from rainydaygal, and the ever-reliable Cathy’s Sherried Tomato Soup from Ree. On the right is a Roasted Tomato Soup with Chipotle Cream from sallypv.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are a common entry in many a comfort food list, and most of us have memories tied to them. Do you have any you’d like to share? I’ll start: I remember watching a movie once where the guy was making grilled cheese sandwiches using his flat iron. (I can’t name the movie because, well, I’m not Ree.) I would have tried it too, but I think my mom caught the “I’m planning something that could potentially go very wrong” look in my eye, and told me not to even think about it.

Or maybe you don’t have a favorite memory tied to this simple yet irresistible sandwich. Maybe you just have a special way of enjoying them that’s a bit different from everyone else. Do you pair it with a different kind of soup? Just a glass of milk? Do you like it traditional and plain, or do you always look to kick it up in your own special way? Do tell! We could all use more ways to enjoy melted cheese, right?

So enjoy this National Grilled Cheese Month! But please celebrate responsibly, and stay away from the iron. Even if you get away with it and create a wonderful sandwich, the sudden occurrence of “inexplicable” cheese stains on your mom’s new skirt or favorite shirt might put a damper on your celebration. Not that I’d know anything about it.



Comments are closed for this recipe.

Laurie on 4.30.2010

anyone tried making grilled cheese with cream cheese? Yummy yummy yummy!

Katie on 4.22.2010

Grilled cheese is the only thing my stomach can take these days, they’ve been sustaining me. I love grilled cheese made with swiss.

Sonjiatx on 4.18.2010

My favorite grilled cheese is: Sour dough bread, spread with garlic butter, filled with mozzerella, cheddar and gouda.

GrammaB on 4.14.2010

When I had to go to a job-related school, I had to stay in the BOQ, where we weren’t allowed to have any appliances in the postage-sized kitchen. I used my toaster to toast bread, slapped a couple of pieces of cheese between the toast and put my dictionary down on it for weight so the cheese would melt, a little. Then I would hide my toaster. Wasn’t the best grilled cheese but better than nothing. Necessity IS the motherhood of invention.

Linda in Linden,VA on 4.14.2010

OH MY, One of my favorites. Growing up they were made with Old English Cheese. I can’t find the sliced Old English anymore so I have gone to the Old English in a jar and they are soooo tasty. So much more flavor then Cheddar! Hubby and daughter put mustard on the bread first but I’m not a fan. Keep mine plain Old English, a warm bowl of Tomato Soup and a handful of potato chips. They are great when the sandwich is done. Just toss them in one at a time so they don’t get soggy and eat up! OH yea, I’m making one for lunch today!

Jane on 4.13.2010

What a fabulous post, and clearly, a very popular subject! Reading about all the ways Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are enjoyed really gets me excited to try some new ways of eating grilled cheese. I always just did the Kraft singles slices for a quick family meal. Wow, you gals go!! Thanks for the inspiration.

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tallgrasskitchen on 4.13.2010

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is my all-time favorite comfort food. There is no gloominess it cannot make at least a small dent in!

Annessia on 4.13.2010

Grilled cheese with extra sharp cheddar…..then spread grape jam on top when still war….yummo!

My Mom and Grandpa always made it this way. Try it you’ll like it!

Annessia on 4.13.2010

My mom always made us grilled cheese with extra sharp cheddar. Then we dip them in grape jam…..yummo!!!!!

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coolbee on 4.13.2010

Haha, whoops, wrong post!

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coolbee on 4.13.2010

Seriously – everyone NEEDS to make this cake immediately! You don’t taste the tomato at all in the end product. Even the batter tastes awesome. It’s such an easy cake to make, too. Like I said on PW Cooks, I’d like to tweak the recipe into cookies – yum!

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LaLaLinz on 4.11.2010

Oh my gosh, I live for perfecting the art of making grilled cheese sandwiches! They are one of my favorite comfort foods. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes!

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nubee2010 on 4.11.2010

Grilled cheese is a comfort food from the days as a kid when I would spend Friday nights at my grandmas… Even today, as I get ready to hit the big 40, at 87, she still makes them for me when I come for a lunchtime visit! What great ideas to vary the traditional grilled cheese! Can’t wait to try them!

Kari on 4.11.2010

Oh, there is something so comforting about tomato soup and grilled cheese. These are great photos too!

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on 4.11.2010

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is my go to in a hurry quick meal.

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quilts on 4.10.2010

Love grilled cheese and tomato soup. Thanks for the recipes – I’m going to try them all! I usually just open a can of Campbells (LOL)! I like my grilled cheese with a slice of fresh tomato. Time for lunch!

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kelandry on 4.10.2010

In college my roommate and I would make grilled munster cheese sandwiches with tomato soup (made with milk) and sprinkle on grated cheese and mrs dash. One of the best memory meals I have!

Tickled Red on 4.9.2010

My favorite restaurant makes a killer BLT grilled cheese. Add their homemade tomato basil soup and you have a swoon-a-rama :)

A. Delano on 4.9.2010

This brings up a fond memory of my dad. When tomatoes were ripe he’d request grilled cheese with tomato slices and bacon. My family to this day will ask for a lunch of tomato soup and grilled cheese anytime it’s rainy. MMM…

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bakerluvr on 4.9.2010

When I worked at Eckerd Drugs as a short-order cook in 1966, I made grilled cheese sandwiches for my regular Friday lunch customer, Mr. Coons. He always ordered a Cherry Coke, and tipped me $20 – every single Friday!!!
LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches ever since that summer.

lisa on 4.9.2010

1. american dipped in ketchup rocks

2. sharp with apple on wheat, rocks more

3. swiss w/avocado, turkey and sour cream rocks the most

4. Giada de Laurentis has a recipe for mozz, raspberry jam and brown sugar that I am dying to try

5. Benny & June stole it from Mr. Mom (circa 1984?) … my all time, hands down fave comedy!!

6. The Beach Bar in Brooklyn, Michigan has hands down the best tomato soup EVER and they will not hand over their recipe : (

Elizabeth on 4.8.2010

My friend and I copied Johnny Depp years ago in a Jr. High class. We made grilled cheese with an iron as part of a class presentation on mental disorders…don’t even try to follow the teenage logic!

Emily on 4.8.2010

Benny and Joon! Great movie. I love grilled cheese – I worked at a lighthouse tourist attraction for the summer a few years ago and ate grilled cheese for lunch EVERY DAY. I didn’t love grilled cheese so much after four months of it, but some time apart has renewed my love for the sandwich. I love it best with a thin slice of ham tucked inside.

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giddycook on 4.8.2010

Grilled cheese is still one of my go-to fav’s! I like to get creative though and add …try my” Grilled Cheese Italiano” in the recipe section, you might like it! I’m definitely going to try the pesto and maybe the one with apples too!

Michelle G on 4.8.2010

I eat mine with cheddar and pickles.

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yogafanatic on 4.8.2010

My children and i like our grilled cheese sandwiches…black, as in burned crisp. I don’t know why and it is a little shameful but they are soooo yummy charred. My husband calls them fromage brulee!!

merium on 4.8.2010

not a fan of tomato soup, but grilled cheese and bean with bacon soup is a huge hit here!

Lola on 4.8.2010

Just plain grilled cheese for me. If I have tomato soup with my grilled cheese, I use swiss cheese and dip my sandwich in my soup. YUM! If I have just a grilled cheese, I use american cheese…no dipping. I also like a grilled ham and swiss. It’s only 10:00 am and I’m already hungry for lunch! :-)

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twograyfoxes on 4.8.2010

Thank you Michelle!!! A thousand times!! I have been missing cheese frenchee for years and thought it lost forever!
The best news is that I’ll be in Iowa in May for the BBQ in the Bluffs cook off. Woo hoo! I am definitely making a run to Don and Millie’s for a blast from the past.
Viva La Cheese Frenchee! And God bless you for sharing!

Vicky.J on 4.8.2010

Grilled cheese month? OMG is that official?
Still all those lovely mouthwatering images of oozing cheese…. Drool!

Robin in Virginia on 4.8.2010

A southern twist on grilled cheese is to grill pimento cheese spread, and I like thinly sliced pickles and sun-dried tomatoes, too……who doesn’t love grilled cheese?

Margo/MS Hospitality on 4.8.2010

OMGoodness… sweet memories of grilled cheddar cheese and tomato sandwiches followed by grilled cheddar and apple slices for a desert to share… each son got a 1/2 desert sandwich if they ate all of the first sandwich. I am going to make one for breakfast! Grilled cheese and bacon and egg sandwich! OH MY!

Courtney on 4.8.2010

I love grilled cheese. Thanks to this post I’ll be having pumpernickel bread with Munster cheese :)

Pat on 4.8.2010

My dad always dipped his grill cheese in ketchup, that is what I did too, and still do. And grill cheese with bacon is heavenly! Yes, the cast iron skillet was always used and I still have the one my mom used, it is well seasoned after all these years of use. I recommend one..

Morgawse on 4.8.2010

Where I’m from, in the Netherlands, they’re traditionally either just bread and cheese, or bread, cheese and ham. I don’t eat ham any more but back when I did, a ham and cheese toastie (or ‘tosti’ as we call them back home) was always a welcome treat.

And yes, there are definitely memories! The one that stands out most are my friend Tim’s mum’s famous cheese toasties. I don’t know what she did to them but they were just so good; a whole bunch of us would often meet at Tim’s house to hang out and play games, and sooner or later his mum would bring out a massive plate of toasties for our lunch. It was brilliant.

Kerri Fichter on 4.8.2010

I love to make my grilled cheese and then when it hits my plate I pull it apart and cover it with dill pickle slices….put it back together and chow down :) So yummy!

Jacoline Bachert-Teeuwen on 4.8.2010

In Holland we call a grilled cheese sandwich a “tosti”. Love ‘em! Great to use up old bread.

Kristen M. on 4.8.2010

I butter the outside and sprinkle some grated parmesan on it. It makes the bread extra crispy and gives it a yummy warm flavor. The best one was the other day with pesto and a little tomato sauce on the inside with provolone and then the parmesan on the outside of sourdough. Mmm!

kristina on 4.8.2010

Wheat bread, cheddar and swiss cheese, tomatoes and pesto. Mm mm mm!

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CarlyH on 4.8.2010

Sometimes I like to eat way more calories then I should be, and I make what I like to call the double-decker grilled cheese. I usually make it in a panini press with a piece of bread, cheddar cheese, another piece of bread, more cheddar cheese, and then another piece of bread on top! It’s nothing too fancy, but it is definitely more filling and I do love grilled cheese a lot!

kaori on 4.7.2010

great post! the movie you’re talking about has gotta be
“Benny and Joon” – with Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Materson.
totally sweet love story, with wonderful references to peanut butter, too.

Evelyn on 4.7.2010

Love grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup…don’t know which I love more the soup or the sandwich. Anyway, Micheal Keaton in “Mr. Mom” also made grilled cheeses with an iron.

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freckles2stars on 4.7.2010

Ya’ll have given some great ideas. Thanks! We like to do grilled cheeses with tomato soup. Sorry to say we buy a store bought brand tomato soup and add heavy cream and pesto. I have tried home made tomato soup and have yet found a recipe I am happy with in comparison to my favorite brand store bought.

Miss Tish on 4.7.2010

That’s it – I’m pulling my panini press out of the cabinet and melting some cheese, baby!!! :)

janna on 4.7.2010

I love almost any kind of bread/cheese combination! When I was growing up, we always called them toasted cheese. I didn’t know that was what the brits call them, and I have no idea why my family called them that!

Laurie on 4.7.2010

Here’s another great grilled cheese website (didn’t read all the comments to see if anyone else has posted it)

It is narrated (that’s right, narrated!) by Jenna Fischer (Pam from “The Office”. 30 amazing looking recipes…

LadyG on 4.7.2010

What a divine post – yes, divine. i cannot wait to try some of these recipes!!

And – I’m sure someone said this, but i didn’t read all the comments, Benny & Joon is the one i remember most with ironed-cheese sammies. Good flick.

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diane7 on 4.7.2010

At our house we dip our grilled cheese in Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing or Creamy Italian dressing, very good!

Michelle on 4.7.2010

The Cheese Frenchee lives!! It was originally at a restaurant called King’s Food Host where you placed orders from a phone at your booth. I ate there in Lincoln, Nebraska. King’s Food Host is no more but you can still get the Cheese Frenchee at Don and Millie’s in Omaha. White bread, american cheese , mayo and breading (?corn flakes) and deep fried!!! It doesn’t get any better!!!

Emily on 4.7.2010

My fave is from AZ88 in Scottsdale, Arizona… Not sure what cheeses there are, but there is thick bacon and tomatos in between. And the waffle fries served with buffalo sauce and bleu cheese sauce are crazy good too!