Eat Clean. Eat Good
4 Steps to a Diet-Approved Grilled Cheese
Who doesn't love a gooey, cheesy sandwich? Learn how a few smart swaps can turn this comfort food favorite into a healthy meal.
Think this looks too good to be healthy? You're in for a delicious surprise!
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love grilled cheese, especially on nights when spending a lot of time in the kitchen just isn’t an option. The super-fast prep makes it a major crowd pleaser that’s easy to whip up in a flash. While the sandwich is generally considered a splurge when following a healthy diet, it is possible to enjoy the cheesy goodness sans the side of guilt. With these four easy swaps, you can up the health factor of the classic grilled cheese for a delicious meal you can feel good about feeding your family.
1. Consider the Bread
One of the easiest ways to improve the health score of your grilled cheese is by starting with a better-for-you loaf. Plain white may be your go-to, but whole-wheat will taste just as good once it’s slathered in melted cheese – plus, it delivers a dose of healthy whole grains and fiber.
2. Be Choosy With Your Cheese
There are tons of delicious cheeses out there, but when choosing your slice, follow this general rule of thumb: The sharper and more flavorful a cheese is, the less you’ll need to use to make an impact. A reduced-fat cheddar, parmesan, or hard goat cheese are all tasty options with a strong, sharp taste, allowing you to cut back on the amount needed to pack a flavor punch.
3. Sneak in Veggies
Who says cheese has to be the only topping? When it comes to add-ons, the possibilities are endless. Try layering on your favorite veggies: Onions, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and red peppers are all flavorful additions. (Hint for moms and dads: This is a great way to get kids to eat more veggies!)
4. Skip the Butter
Soggy bread is a major grilled cheese faux-pas, but many people think the key to the crispy slices is slathering them in butter. You can actually get the same crispiness by using a panini press or greasing your pan with a little olive oil before grilling the sandwich. So skip the butter and save major fat and calories, without sacrificing the crunchy texture you love.