There’s nothing like an excellently cooked grilled cheese sandwich. One bite will give you the ultimate comfort – it’s got sweet bread that’s toasted beautifully in butter, and a ton of ooey gooey melted cheese.
This sandwich is the perfect combination of soft and crunchy, rich and creamy, and sweet and savory!
But, while a grilled cheese sandwich is undoubtedly tasty, you’ll need to pair it with a few other side dishes to make it truly filling.
When coming up with grilled cheese sandwich pairings, opt for sides with subtle flavors. Your main entrée already has such strong flavors, you don’t want it clashing with your side.
As much as you can, pick light and refreshing dishes made of vegetables and fruits, such as a simple green salad or vegetable soup.
If you’re still at a loss, don’t worry – I got you! Here are some of the best sides to serve with grilled cheese.
1. Tomato Soup
I don’t think there is anything more classic than good old tomato soup combined with a grilled cheese. The two are just perfect together! Just imagine dunking your sandwich in a bowl of refreshing soup. Yum!
Here’s a fun fact about the iconic duo: their partnership started Post World War II. School cafeterias served them together for kids to get the required nutritional value.
Tomato soup is also easy and cheap to make – perfect for smaller schools that required teachers to teach and make their students lunch at the same time.
And don’t just serve tomato soup from the can! Tomato soup with fresh heirloom tomatoes is easy to make and even more delicious. Just combine the tomatoes with cream, chicken broth, and onions. Easy peasy!
As I’ve mentioned, you may want something refreshing to go with your rich entrée, and a simple green salad perfectly fits the bill.
What I love about salads is that you can easily customize them to suit your taste! You’re free to combine your favorite leafy greens, fruits, veggies, protein, nuts, and cheese, and it will surely taste great.
As for the dressing, whether it’s balsamic, dijon vinaigrette, ranch, or caesar dressing, you can’t go wrong.
3. Marinara Sauce
We already know grilled cheese tastes great with tomato soup, so it only makes sense that it also goes with marinara sauce. So go ahead, spread some of that sweet and tart sauce on top of your bread and pretend like you’re eating pizza.
Crusty bread, ooey-gooey cheese, and sweet marinara sauce; it doesn’t get much better than that.
4. Jam, Marmalade, or Chutney
If you’re a fan of sweet and savory, then you may want to infuse your sandwich with some jam, marmalade, or chutney.
Whether it’s mango, orange, or blueberry, the sweetness of the spread will contrast with the savoriness of the cheese, creating a perfect harmony of flavors.
5. Ketchup and Mustard
Grilled cheese, after all, is a sandwich, and sandwiches could always use a little dip! It couldn’t hurt to have a bottle of ketchup and mustard on the side just to add a little bit of flavor.
Here’s another refreshing veggie dish that never disappoints. The cabbage and carrots bring a mild sweetness that will cut through the fattiness of the cheese.
While you can definitely use the classic mayo dressing, I suggest you try the lighter, vinegar-based one instead. Grilled cheese is already rich, you don’t want to overwhelm your palate with mayonnaise.
The vinegar-based coleslaw creates a refreshing contrast that’s hard to resist.
7. Fruit Salad
Again, the idea is to balance out your rich and oily dish with a light and refreshing side. A combination of your favorite fruits – mangoes, peaches, bananas, grapes, whatever you have – coated in light Greek yogurt, will give a wonderful contrast to your entrée.
Just imagining the combination of sweet fruits and savory cheese already makes my mouth water.
8. Sweet Potato Fries
Here’s another sweet and stunning dish to pair with grilled cheese. Sure, French fries taste fantastic, but the classic potato side can be so greasy, it might just be too heavy. Enter its equally beloved cousin… sweet potato fries!
Not only will it provide a nice crunch to your meal, but sweet potato fries also give a sweet contrast to the sandwich. Plus, since they’re baked, not fried, they’re quite a bit healthier than traditional fries.
They’re my favorite guilt-free indulgence. While still getting a sweet, salty, and satisfying combo.
9. Dill Pickle
We’ve mentioned several sweet dishes already, time for something sour, for a change. A dill pickle has a wonderful tart flavor that will cut through the savoriness of the sandwich. It’s also got a bit of spiciness, which adds a nice kick.
And, instead of buying dill pickles from the grocery, you can make things more interesting by making them yourself. It’s easy!
Cut some cucumbers and red onions with your handy-dandy spiralizer and toss them in a jar. Soak the veggies in a vinegar and water mixture, and add salt, pepper, and dill fronds. Cover the jar and refrigerate for at least four hours.