Grilled cheese and tomato soup. That’s my number 1, tried-and-true, go-to comfort food. And we could all use a little extra comfort these days, right? I’ve tried a lot of variations on this classic, and enjoy them all, so I thought I’d share some with you for National Grilled Cheese Day, April 12. We all need an excuse to celebrate these days, and this is something you can do even while stuck at home — make a delicious grilled cheese!

The basics to a perfect grilled cheese: there are a few keys to making any grilled cheese better.

First is spreading mayo over the top side of each piece of bread; this is what gives your bread the beautiful golden color and delectable crunchiness. Second, heat up the skillet before putting butter in. Once hot, SLATHER IT ON! As my momma always says, “(more) butter’s better!” Place your first piece of bread mayo-side down on the skillet, add cheese/other ingredients, then top with the second piece, mayo-side up. Heat until bottom slice of bread is golden, then flip, butter the skillet again, and heat second slice for the same amount of time.

Optimal taste is achieved when paired with soup.

  1. The Classic
    *Country white bread – I recommend thick slices
    *Cheddar cheese – because I can’t recommend American. I just can’t. But if you like *American cheese, it is the “standard” for a classic.
    *Paired with Campbell’s tomato soup, of course!
  2. The California
    *Sourdough bread
    *Monterey jack cheese
    *3-4 thin slices of tomato
    *1/4 an avocado, sliced thin
    *Several thin slices of onion
    *Paired with a tomato bisque soup
  3. The Fiesta (or Siesta… because this will send you into a cheese-induced food coma)
    *Rye bread
    *Mexican cheese blend (alternatively could use a queso fresco or melting cheese)
    *Stir-fried onion, red, yellow, orange and green peppers
    *Paired with chicken & rice soup– add some lime for an extra kick!
  4. The Gourmet – This is a seriously hearty variation!
    *Artisan bread – try a Rosemary Sourdough from HEB
    *1 thin slice each: gruyere, white cheddar, and muenster cheese
    *Onions, stir-fried in thyme & rosemary, with a dash of brown sugar
    *Pairs well with creamy tomato basil soup
  5. The Apple Abomination – I call it that because who would think fruit on a grilled cheese would work? But it does, my friends. It totally does. There are a few different versions of this I’ve tried, but this one takes the (fruit)cake. It even has – gasp! – fruity bread.
    *Fruited sourdough bread
    *Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
    *Baby Arugula
    *Sliced sharp Cheddar cheese

What’s your favorite take on the grilled cheese? Share below!

Hannah Haro
Hannah Haro, PT, DPT is a physical therapist, wife to Daniel and mom to Mina (2018). She was born and raised in a small northern Michigan town, is bilingual, helps run a soccer clinic for kids with disabilities, is a Christian, and a partner at the Austin Stone Community Church. Though Hannah currently works as a PT in a pro bono clinic at University of St Augustine, she has previously worked as a babysitter, downhill ski instructor, math teacher, barista, and health coach. She likes to say she is in the business of rehabilitation: of people, as a PT; and of homes, as she and her husband are now on renovations for house #4 in as many years. She also loves coffee and anything chocolate, enjoying the green spaces of Austin, and a really good sci fi/fantasy novel while curled under a blanket.


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