Grilled cheese is one of the greatest examples of comfort food. The crunch of the bread coupled with the gooey melted cheese has a mysterious power to soothe even the most anxious soul.
While a grilled cheese can absolutely be enough to satisfy by itself, there are some times when you might feel the need for a side dish. But what goes best with a grilled cheese?
That’s where this list comes in. We’ve selected some of the best side dishes for this beloved sandwich, so get reading so that you can get eating!
Coleslaw is a great side dish for so many things, from fried chicken to barbecue, and you can add grilled cheese to that list.
A grilled cheese is a bit oily – that’s part of its charm – but a vinegar coleslaw has a nice acidity that can cut through it perfectly.
If your coleslaw is too mayonnaise heavy, it might make the grilled cheese a bit too heavy, so avoid slathering it in mayonnaise.
The link above is to a great recipe for coleslaw that doesn’t use mayonnaise and takes its acidity from apple cider vinegar.
You can put the coleslaw between the bread with the cheese or serve it as a side salad, your choice.
Fries must be the ultimate side dish – either they go with absolutely everything, or we just love them so much that we’ll eat them with anything.
Grilled cheese is no exception to this rule and in fact, it’s even another option that you can eat on the side or put in the bread with the cheese.
Don’t look at the screen like that, just try it! Of course it’s not healthy, but a grilled cheese is supposed to be an indulgence anyway, so there’s no need to hold back from going the whole hog.
Frozen fries from a bag will do the job, but it’s quite simple to make your own too, and that means you can season them however you like.
The recipe linked here is for delicious french fries seasoned with several different herbs and parmigiano reggiano cheese. Sumptuous!
This one’s not so much a side dish as a condiment, but that doesn’t matter because it’s a primo addition to a grilled cheese.
The great thing here is that there are so many different types of mustard that you can get a huge range of different flavors to try out, all of which go nicely with cheese.
A milder American mustard (like French’s – not to be confused with French mustard) can be swapped for a Dijon mustard or a fiery English mustard, depending on your preferences.
They all make for a great grilled cheese, though!
The pleasing acidity of the tomatoes to cut through the fattiness of the cheese makes tomato soup an absolute classic to serve with grilled cheese.
Tomato soup can be made a hundred different ways, with every ingredient except for the tomatoes being negotiable.
The recipe linked here is one of the simplest ones around – the only ingredients are tomatoes, onions, and butter. That’s all.
It might not sound impressive, but just try it, and you’ll see how well it pairs up with your favorite grilled cheese.
Of course, it’s easy enough to start adding in herbs and spices if you’re feeling adventurous.
You might be able to sense a running theme here – acidity!
The tartness of the vinegar used in the pickles is a great compliment to a grilled cheese, and the fun part is that making your own pickled cucumbers is as easy as can be, though of course you can always buy some from a store if you don’t have much time.
The recipe featured here uses rice vinegar, chosen for its mild flavor, but other kinds of vinegar will work too.
In addition to livening up a grilled cheese, you can use your pickle stock as a garnish for burgers or a snack by themselves.
To quote the great philosopher Homer Simpson: “Mmmm, bacon”. Bacon is the perfect addition to a grilled cheese with its wonderfully salty, meaty flavor.
If you like smoked bacon, that smoky flavor adds another layer to the taste of the sandwich.
You can cook it to your taste, of course, but crispy bacon is especially good for providing a crunchy contrast to the gooey cheese.
This is another side dish that goes well with all kinds of things, not least grilled cheese.
It’s crunchy, salty, and if you like, meaty as well, contrasting with the richness of the melted cheese between the bread.
There’s quite a lot of debate on the best way to make a Caesar salad (covered in the linked recipe) but it’s a dish that’s easy to replace ingredients in to your own personal taste.
While it’s a classic brunch dish in its own right, eggs Benedict also works brilliantly as an accompaniment to a grilled cheese sandwich – that’s why adding cheese to eggs Benedict is so popular.
The dish does feature English muffins, which is fine, but if you’re not in the mood for the double carbs then you can leave them out.
Grilled cheese dipped in hollandaise sauce might feel slightly sinful, but it’s okay, we won’t tell anyone, and it tastes so good.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s The Difference Between A Grilled Cheese And A Melt?
This is a question that has the power to provoke surprisingly strong feelings on certain corners of the internet. In any case, it’s a fairly simple answer.
A grilled cheese is a dish of cheese (often cheddar or American cheese) between two pieces of bread, fried, baked, or grilled. A melt is similar, but also includes some kind of meat or fish like chicken or tuna.
Another difference is that grilled cheese is traditionally made using sandwich bread whereas melts can be made with many other kinds of bread (baguettes, ciabatta, etc.).
Melts also are typically free to use a wider range of cheeses.
How Do You Judge A Grilled Cheese Sandwich?
The ideal grilled cheese sandwich will be toasty, crisp, and golden brown on the outside, with both sides having a similar color and texture.
The inside will consist of gooey, melted cheese. There shouldn’t be too much cheese – if the sandwich is overstuffed, it will fall out of the bread and result in a greasy mess.
A good grilled cheese has all the cheese contained in the bread.
What Cheese Should I Use To Make Grilled Cheese?
Well, grilled cheeses typically use either cheddar or American cheese. These are the standards, but if you don’t mind breaking with tradition a little, there’s a whole world of cheeses out there that will do nicely too.
For example, gruyère (the cheese traditionally used for fondue) is a great choice, as it melts very well and has a lovely, smooth consistency.
Experiment with different cheeses (or even a mixture) to assemble your ideal grilled cheese filling.
Now that you’ve finished this list, you’ll be full of ideas for accompaniments for the next time you indulge in a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.
To be honest, that’s probably what you want to do now rather than read this, so get on with it!