Upgrade Your Grilled Cheese With These Italian-Inspired Ingredients

Some 79% of 1,223 people named grilled cheese as their most loved sandwich, according to a 2019 poll conducted by YouGovAmerica. This is hardly a surprise, because really, who doesn't love two slices of toast with a gooey cheese-filled middle?

Through the years, the popular sandwich has undergone various transitions, with homemakers and celebrity chefs attempting to take the sandwich to the next level. Variations are abundant, limited only by imagination, ranging from adding bacon, lettuce, and tomato, to "Mythical Kitchen" host and chef Josh Scherer's quite justifiably famous "Ramen Grilled Cheese" TikTok creation. The possibilities are truly endless.

You may be wondering: With all the delicious ways there are to spruce up a grilled cheese, can it be done Italian-style? And the answer? Absolutely. There are multiple variations of the Italian-style grilled cheese that involve more than simply swapping cheddar for provolone. By adding just a few more ingredients, your sandwich is sure to be transformed.

Swap more than just the cheese

To upgrade your regular grilled cheese sandwich to an Italian masterpiece, you'll want to change the bread you use. Switching from classic white bread to ciabatta, baguette, or even flatbread is a small way to create a big variation of the classic sandwich. 

Sargento suggests using mozzarella cheese, sourdough bread, adding some basil and roasted red peppers, and a little Italian dressing spread on the outside of the bread slices for some zest. You can heat the sandwich on a traditional skillet over medium heat, or use a sandwich press.

Taste of Home offers another Italian-inspired spin on the grilled cheese, using sliced tomato, basil, and provolone. The recipe calls for Italian bread rather than traditional sandwich bread, and like Sargento, suggests Italian dressing to flavor and moisten the bread, spreading it on the outside of the bread slices before grilling.

There are countless ways to tweak the classic lunchtime favorite, grilled cheese, and whether you are looking for an Italian version or something else, don't be shy about adding any ingredients you love to find your perfect sandwich.