The Case For Dipping Grilled Cheese In Ketchup

Everyone loves a good grilled cheese sandwich. Crispy, buttery bread oozing with thick, luscious cheese — what's not to love? That being said, grilled cheese sandwiches can also be very rich. Because of this, many people like to include something that will cut through with some freshness. Instinctively, we might lean toward grilled cheese additions like fresh greens, slices of bell pepper or pickles, or sweeter elements like fruit or jam. In other words, anything that has some acidity to it will be perfect for pairing with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the ultimate companion for grilled cheese sandwiches — tomato soup. Whether from a can or a 15-minute recipe lovingly passed down from one generation to the next, tomato soup brings just the right amount of acidity and freshness to the meal. But what happens if you don't have a can of tomato soup on hand, let alone the ingredients to make tomato soup from scratch? No worries! You have ketchup, don't you?

Ketchup is a lot like tomato soup

It might sound wild to dip a grilled cheese sandwich in ketchup, but hear us out. Ketchup and tomato soup have very similar textures and flavors, as their main ingredients are tomatoes and spices. The only real difference is that ketchup uses sugar and vinegar, whereas tomato soup uses broth and other flavors based on the cook's seasoning preferences. 

This is precisely what makes ketchup such a great pairing for grilled cheese. Not only do you get salty and savory flavor notes, but you also get some sweetness from the ketchup's sugar content. Even better, ketchup provides an additional level of contrast with its temperature. Unlike tomato soup, which is served hot, ketchup is usually refrigerated, making it stand out even more against the crispy backdrop of a grilled cheese sandwich.

The next time you make a grilled cheese, save yourself the hassle of making a bowl of tomato soup as an accompaniment. Instead, try a healthy dollop of ketchup. Who knows, you might like it so much, you'll never pair your sandwiches with soup again.