Grilled cheese is one of the most common sandwiches in the United States, as well as one of the most versatile. It can be made gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and with almost any combination of cheese and bread, as long as it’s grilled.
Whether young or young at heart, grilled cheese is enjoyed by people of all ages. In fact, the United States even has a national grilled cheese month, in April, and day, on April 12.
So, what kinds of foods do we serve with grilled cheese? There are some obvious favorites like tomato soup with goldfish crackers, but there is a lot more to the grilled cheese side dish scene than that. Let’s check them out!
17 Side Dishes To Serve With Grilled Cheese
1. Tomato Soup
This is the most well-known side dish for not only grilled cheese but for most sandwiches. Tomato soup is easy to make and can be homemade from scratch. Tomato soup is popular because it’s acidic, which cuts through all the oils and fats used in grilled cheese.
If you want to use tomato soup, I suggest bringing in some crackers to spice it up. I like goldfish or saltine crackers the most, but there are many more kinds to choose from.
Pickles can be served out of the jar or fried into chips. You can also use pickles to make relish to put in the grilled cheese or simply put pickles straight into the sandwich.
I have many fond memories of seeing dill spear pickles with my grilled cheese whenever I went to a restaurant as a kid. This side dish continues to be served with sandwiches like grilled cheese.
3. French Fries
If you want something starchy to go with your grilled cheese, this is the easiest choice. French fries can be made to perfection with many kinds of seasoning.
For a healthier alternative, you can try other fried vegetables like zucchini fries or sweet potato fries. Baking the fries rather than frying them is another healthier option.
By “apples,” I mean anything you can do with apples: apple slices, dried apples, applesauce, apple butter. Apples are not only healthy, but they complement the flavor of the cheese.
Apples can be used as a side dish or cooked within the sandwich itself. The sweetness of the apple and the savory flavor of the grilled cheese is a winning combination.
5. Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is one of my favorite foods. It can be made fresh at home or bought cheaply at a store, although the homemade stuff is healthier.
The soup is served on the side with grilled cheese, where you can either eat it all straight or tear off parts of the sandwich and dip it into the soup for an additional, if messier, treat.
6. Garden Salad
If you want healthy veggies with your grilled cheese, here’s one option. Garden salad is usually based on lettuce with carrots, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. The dressing is whatever you want, but healthier options are low on sugar and salt.
As an alternative to the usual salad on the side, you can cook the vegetables into the grilled cheese itself. That’s one easy way to eat your vegetables!
What is poutine? It’s a French-Canadian side dish of French fries and cheese curds with gravy on top. Like many of these sides, poutine can be served inside the grilled cheese as well as with it.
Poutine’s major downside is, of course, that it’s not the healthiest option, especially for anyone who’s trying to watch their weight. Still, it’s a very tasty temptation.
8. Gazpacho Soup
Gazpacho soup may seem like an odd choice; it’s supposed to be served cold. But the chilly soup and a hot grilled cheese make a nice contrast in taste, and on a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than cold soup.
Traditional gazpacho is a vegetable soup with tomatoes and cucumbers. However, the word has evolved to cover a wide range of chilled soups. There are a lot of recipes online just waiting to be tried out.
Here’s one way to add some spice to your grilled cheese. Chili is a combination of beef, broth, and peppers or chili powder that is considered (depending on who you ask) a thick soup, a stew, or a sauce. There’s a long-running debate over that, but I’m staying away from that.
Either way, chili is a very popular side dish to use with sandwiches, particularly grilled cheese. It’s a very flavorful combination that’s a hit with any party.
10. Heirloom Tomato Salad
Remember when I said that tomato acidity cuts through the fats of grilled cheese? Well, tomato salad has that same quality going for it. Tomato salad also has the benefit of a full serving of vegetables and it’s healthy.
Heirloom tomato salad is based off, naturally, heirloom tomatoes. The rest of it depends on the recipe you use, and there are many recipes out there.
A contrast of sweetness to grilled cheese’s savory, grapes are easy to prepare as finger food. And it’s not just grapes; if you want a snack that lasts, you can try raisins.
Grapes have the benefits of being high in antioxidants and vitamin C. They’re good for metabolizing acids and increasing energy. And it’s fun to pop them into your mouth.
12. Vegetable Soup
Here’s another winning soup and sandwich combo. Naturally, vegetable soup is vegetarian-friendly and can be made vegan-friendly. It can also be served hot or chilled for any time of year.
Vegetable soup is a healthy counterpart to the filling grilled cheese. It can even be made at home from scratch, although the preparation is a bit time-consuming.
Another sweet, healthy fruit to go with your grilled cheese. Pears can be sliced and grilled into the sandwich, or they can be served on the side.
Pears are an excellent source of fiber that are available year sound, although some kinds are normally only in the store around August to October.
14. Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes aren’t the side you want if you’re on a diet. On the other hand, potatoes are a good source of starch and fiber.
You can serve baked potatoes as a side, but I’ve also seen recipes for combining baked potatoes with grilled cheese. If you want to liven up your sandwich, go for it!
Okay, this is technically multiple side dishes, but there are too many to choose from. Anything from good old macaroni and cheese to lasagna counts. And you would not believe the number of grilled cheese spaghetti sandwich recipes I’ve seen.
Pasta is mostly famous for being high in fiber and a very versatile dish. It’s low-fat, cheap, and quick to make. That’s always a good thing for a side dish.
16. Baked Beans
The cousin to baked beans on toast, baked beans can be used as a side or cooked into grilled cheese. The beans have a lot of fiber and zinc, and they can be made at home.
It should be said that there are some downsides to baked beans, however; they’re high in sugar and salt and cause gas. The beans are worth it, though.
17. Lentil and Bacon Soup
If you want a tasty soup, here’s one you might not have tried. Lentil and bacon soup starts with tomato or vegetable soup. Then add lentils, bacon, and other flavorings that vary for a tasty dish that goes well with grilled cheese.
The soup is at its best when served hot, along with a freshly made grilled cheese sandwich. The combination will be a smash hit no matter where it’s served.
Grilled cheese is one of my favorite foods, and it’s amazing how many side dishes go well both with and in it. It says a lot about what an amazing sandwich grilled cheese is.
I hope you enjoyed reading my list. If there’s anything you think I missed or if you have any awesome recipes to share, feel free to let me know.