This keto grilled cheese is a low carb alternative to the classic staple sandwich! Buttered keto bread filled with two kinds of cheese and pan grilled to perfection!
Keto Grilled Cheese
Unless you have a dairy allergy, I think it’s safe to say that you are a fan of the grilled cheese sandwich. We all grew up with this staple dish, and our parents and families all have their own special way of making it.
Now, just because you follow a low carb or keto diet does NOT mean you cannot partake in this. When I first embarked on a keto diet, I promise myself I would never give up my favorite foods. This meant that I regularly enjoyed brownies, would always have some ice cream in my freezer, and when I wanted a grilled cheese, I put aside five minutes to make a low carb version!
This keto grilled cheese recipe looks, tastes, and quite frankly, stays true to the classic in all regards. It screams comfort food and brings me back to my childhood, teenagehood, and adulthood. Yes, I am proud to admit I still enjoy a grilled cheese on an almost weekly basis.
Now, just because this is low in carbs does NOT mean it sacrifices in terms of taste or texture. It’s buttery and crunchy on the outside, but gooey, melty, and cheesy in the middle. Using two kinds of cheeses guarantees full flavor AND the cheesy pull we all love.
Ready in just 5 minutes, it needs just 4 ingredients but it will taste a million bucks.
How do you make a keto grilled cheese sandwich?
- Keto bread– I am yet to perfect a keto sourdough bread but in the meantime, you can use my classic keto bread or a store-bought white variety, like Thinslims food plain bread (as I used here).
- Butter– Unsalted butter. This will be spread on the exterior of the sandwich to give them the gorgeous, buttery crunch.
- Tasty cheese– Either tasty or American cheese, but NOT the processed slices. You can use other full flavored cheeses too, like manchego or Red Leicester.
- Mozzarella cheese– The secret ingredient! Adding a small amount of shredded mozzarella to the grilled cheese guarantees a beautiful pull and keeps the filling extra gooey.
- Salt– Always add a pinch of flaky sea salt to the buttered exterior. Trust me, this takes it to another level.
Start by buttering one side of each slice of bread. Next, add the tasty cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese on one of the non-buttered sides of the bread. Place the second piece of bread on top, again with the non-buttered side.
Now, lightly grease a non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Once hot, add the grilled cheese sandwich to it and let it sizzle and cook for 2-3 minutes, before carefully flipping and cooking for a further 2 minutes. Press down onto the sandwich and when the cheese starts to ooze out, you can remove it from the heat. Sprinkle with flaky salt, slice in half, and serve immediately.
Expert tips to make the best low carb grilled cheese
As a self-proclaimed grilled cheese connoisseur, there are a handful of tips and tricks to guarantee the perfect sandwich every time. Here are five important ones to live by-
- The cheese matters. The entire recipe needs just 4 ingredients so you can make an effort to make sure the cheese is top-notch. A full-flavored cheese is a must, like cheddar, tasty, or vintage. Avoid using Swiss cheese or Gouda, as they lack the intense flavor needed for the best sandwich.
- Butter AND mayo or just butter. Quite a controversial opinion but some find mayonnaise a must in their grilled cheese. I’m not one of those, but if you do want to add some mayonnaise to it, you still must include the butter. A grilled cheese without a buttered exterior is simply not complete!
- Non-grainy bread. We’ve been told by health experts that the grainier the bread, the better for you it is. While I do generally agree with those views, I make an exception for a grilled cheese. White or sourdough bread is a must. As I mentioned earlier, I’m yet to perfect a keto sourdough loaf so the white alternative is the next best thing.
- Non-stick pan or bust! Compared to a sandwich or panini press, a non-stick pan might be a little more time-consuming, but it is worth the extra effort. You just don’t get the necessary crispy and buttery exterior. Besides, the time difference in the preparation between the two is one minute.
Nothing beats a classic grilled cheese, but we all love some variety- Here are some tasty filling options to change things up!
- Protein– Amp up the protein content of your sandwich by adding some grilled chicken, ham, turkey, a fried egg, or some tuna fish (perfect for a tuna melt).
- Veggies– Baby spinach, chopped broccoli, and zucchini are some delicious low carb vegetables that work well with cheese!
- Low carb fruit– Perfect for the sweet and savory combo! Blackberries or raspberries are some strange but good pairings.
- Sauces- Drizzle some honey mustard, ketchup, or some barbecue sauce on top!
- Antipasto– Olives, sun-dried tomatoes (no added sugar), or marinated artichoke hearts.
- Bread– Once you’ve mastered the classic grilled cheese, switch up the ‘bread’ with other keto alternatives. My favorites include buns, rolls, 90-second bread, or tortillas!
Make ahead and storage tips
A grilled cheese sandwich is best enjoyed fresh and hot off the grill, but you can prepare them in advance or even freeze them!
- To make ahead: You can prepare up to 5 days’ worth of sandwiches in advance (pre-grilling). Simply prepare them as instructed and place them all on a plate or tray and cover with plastic or saran wrap. When ready to grill, simply remove the sandwich and place it on a greased non-stick pan and cook them as instructed.
- To freeze: Wrap the prepared non-grilled sandwiches in parchment paper then place them in individual ziplock bags and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before grilling.
What to pair with keto grilled cheese
A grilled cheese tastes delicious on its own, but here are some delicious keto side dishes and crispy snacks that will take it up a notch!
Keto Grilled Cheese
- Place the slices of bread on a flat surface. Add butter to one side of each of the slices of bread.
- Add the slices of cheese to the non-buttered side of the bread. Add the grated mozzarella cheese. Place the second non-buttered side of the bread on top.
- Lighty grease a non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Once hot, add the sandwich onto the pan and let it sizzle, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for a further 2 minutes. Press down using a spatula and if cheese begins to ooze out, the grilled cheese is done.
- Remove the grilled cheese sandwich off the pan and sprinkle with the flaky sea salt. Slice in half and serve.