How to Make Healthier Grilled Cheese

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This trick will make your healthier grilled cheese ultracheesy and melty.~ 

Disclosure: I received a free sample of delicious Cabot Cheese however I was not paid to write this post. My thoughts and opinions are my own – and it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of all Cabot cheeses and Greek yogurts and butters and everything else their farmers make. (And I think their dairy farmers are some of the very nicest – and hardest working people I’ve known.)

See all that melty-cheese oozing out of the grilled cheese sandwich?! I’ve made a lot of grilled cheese in my live – and they’ve never ever melted into a foody-magazine-worthy sandwich. But this one did.

The ultimate melty-cheese trick was revealed in the March issue of Cooking Light magazine: Mix shredded reduced-fat Cheddar with a little 1/3-less-fat cream cheese and just a dab of mayo.

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Now that April national Grilled Cheese Month is upon us, everyone has yet another reason to eat more grilled cheese sandwiches! And yes, this dietitian is encouraging the consumption of this favorite comfort food…with a caveat: Try these tips for creating a healthier grilled cheese sandwich:

  • Start with whole grain bread. That means the first ingredient should be “whole wheat” – or “whole grain [name of grain] flour”. Or make your own. I’ve been using this classic recipe (using 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast) for years from the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day. And it is seriously: That. Easy.
  • Add fruits or veggies. Serve them on the plate as a green salad or simple chopped fruit. And you’ve got dinner. Or add them to the sandwich like the brilliant @LeanGreenBean did in this Balsamic Chicken & Strawberry Panini.
  • Cook it low and slow! While most recipes suggest cooking sandwiches on a medium-high heat, I learned a different method from the @CheezeLady Laura Werlin author of one of the finest culinary treasures (ever!) Grilled Cheese, Please. Laura taught me to cook cheese sandwiches on low or medium-low head. This is especially important if you are using reduced-fat cheeses – which tend to melt more slowly. It also prevents burning the bread before the cheese melts. (I know from experience!)

So raise a glass to Grilled Cheese Month – using this nifty Grilled Cheese Wine Pairing Guide – and celebrate with our favorite grilled cheese recipes:

Grilled Cheddar, Bacon & Pear with Green Garlic Pesto
Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Grilled Cheese with Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts

And here’s the Cooking Light recipe again to the ultimate melty cheese grilled cheese – for half the fat – developed by the brilliant dietitian at Cooking Light, Sidney Fry, MS, RD!

How do you like your grilled cheese? Please share – we want to celebrate with many sandwich ideas!


We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

We're also moms and business owners who share our family recipes, healthy kitchen hacks and nutrition adventures while keeping it real in the kitchen with you.

We’re so glad you’ve stopped by!

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