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Ultimate Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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This amazing vegan grilled cheese sandwich is layered with homemade vegan melty cheese, tomato, kale (or spinach), and creamy easy-to-make mayo. Who says grilled cheeses are for kids? This flavorful vegan sandwich is for everyone!

vegan grill cheese sandwich with tomato and lettuce soup in background

This vegan version of the classic grilled cheese sandwich is pretty amazing. It’s basically a healthy sandwich with one main ingredient–Vegan CHEESE!

So, what’s the best vegan cheese?

That’s an easy one to answer–HOMEMADE! I think we can all agree that store-bought vegan cheeses are not the best. Most don’t have a good flavor, and the ones that do are loaded with fat. Saturated, artery-clogging FAT!

The good news is that it’s pretty simple to make your own homemade cheese from wholesome and healthy ingredients you can feel good about. Here are three cheese recipes I use regularly that are great on grilled cheese sandwiches.

grilled cheese sandwich in nonstick pan with black spatula

#1 Easy Cashew Mozzarella

This amazingly simple vegan cashew cheese is deliciously stretchy and gooey on pizza, French onion soup, and so many other recipes. It’s the perfect dairy-free cheese recipe that also happens to be gluten-free.

cashew cheese block with shreds around it on wooden board

This vegan mozzarella is made with cashews but, believe it or not, white beans can be subbed out for those avoiding nuts.

It can be used immediately after making it in its gooey stretchy form, or it can be frozen. I actually highly recommend freezing this cashew cheese. Once it’s frozen, it can be grated to use as shreds which are terrific on pizza and salads. Or, it can be sliced to use on grilled cheese sandwiches.

#2 Vegan Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Making this terrific cheese sauce is as simple as boiling a pot of potatoes, onions, and carrots, adding them to a blender with cashews (or white beans), spices, and blending it until smooth. 

vegan cheese sauce poured from white gravy boat into white bowl

I have a Vitamix blender and so don’t take the time to soak my cashews. That thing is powerful and everything that goes into it comes out creamy. However, if your blender isn’t jet engine speed, soaking the cashews in warm water for at least 30-minutes before adding to this recipe will help this recipe come out more creamy. 

This one is great on pasta like mac and cheese, cheesy grits, and even nacho dip.

#3 Sweet Potato Vegan Cheese Sauce

Sweet potato vegan cheese sauce is packed with wholesome ingredients, amazingly delicious, and diabetes-friendly.

Some folks with diabetes are avoiding white potatoes, so I came up with this sweet potato cheese version that has all the flavor but is lower on the glycemic index.

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How to make a grilled cheese sandwich

Assembling this veg grilled sandwich is super simple and very versatile. Feel free to take liberties and sub or leave out any ingredients you like.

vegan grill cheese sandwich with tomato and kale on wooden board

The bread

Begin by finding a healthy whole grain (or gluten-free) bread that you enjoy. Personally, I use one called Ezekiel Sprouted Bread because it’s completely oil-free. Sometimes I will also use a great sourdough bread made at a local bakery near me.

Personally, I like to toast my bread before getting started, but that’s completely optional.

The mayo

Next, I like to add my Homemade Vegan Mayonnaise. The recipe requires only 5-minutes5-ingredients, and a blender to make! It is completely egg-free and dairy-free and oil-free.

vegan mayo in glass jar with tomatoes in background on wooden table

Assembling the veg sandwich

Some folks just like cheese on their grilled cheese, and others like me enjoy adding a few veggies like freshly sliced tomatoes and a few greens such as kale or spinach.

sandwich open with cheees and tomato with mayo knife to side

The great thing about this veg sandwich is that it’s completely flexible to make any way you desire.

On my sandwich, I like to spread a little--or a lot actually–of the mayo, followed by lots of vegan cheese, a nice big slice of tomato, and then some kale. The video demo clip shows exactly how I assemble mine.

Cooking a vegan grilled cheese

Cooking is really just melting the cheese on this sandwich. If you decide to use my mozzarella cashew cheese above, it can be added to the sandwich immediately after cooking it in about 20-minutes.

If you toast your bread first, like I do, and make this cashew cheese, you don’t even have to grill the sandwich at all if you don’t want to. However, if you’re using the frozen slices of cheese, melting will be necessary.

grilled cheese sandwiches in nonstick pan with black spatula

Simply heat a nonstick pan on the stovetop to medium-high and place the assembled cheese sandwich in the hot pan. I like to cover mine with a lid for just about 5-minutes to help the heat melt the cheese quicker.

I am often asked about which nonstick pan I use, and my favorite is the 12″ Stone Earth Ozeri Fry Pan. There are actually two of them in my kitchen, and I use them daily.

Brown both sides of the sandwich and make sure the cheese has become ooey-gooey. Then, it’s ready to be served.

What to serve with vegan grilled cheese

There are so many options for side dishes with a vegan grilled cheese sandwich, and it really just depends on what you’re in the mood for. Some of my favorite sides are:

vegan grill cheese sandwich with tomato and kale on wooden board

Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This amazing vegan grilled cheese sandwich is layered with homemade vegan melty cheese, tomato, kale (or spinach), and creamy easy-to-make mayo. Who says grilled cheeses are for kids? This flavorful vegan sandwich is for everyone!

Ingredients

Cashew Cheese Mozzarella

Sandwich Ingredients

  • 2 slices of whole grain or gluten-free bread
  • Homemade Vegan Mayonnaise
  • Slice of tomato (optional)
  • Fresh spinach or kale (optional)

Instructions

Cashew Mozzarella

    1. Begin by deciding whether you would like to use raw cashews or white beans for the base. Personally, I love the cashew version because the flavor is out of this world. However, I understand completely that some folks have nut allergies or heart disease and are staying away from nuts.
    2. If you are using cashews, you'll need to soak them in very hot water for 30 minutes or overnight. However, if you're using a high-power blender such as a Vitamix, soaking is not absolutely necessary.
    3. If you're using white beans, they will need to be cooked first unless they are from a can. If they are from a can, remember to drain the liquid and rinse them well.
    4. Once the cashews have soaked and become softened, add all of the ingredients to a blender and process on high until smooth.
    5. Next, simply pour the blended cheese ingredients from the blender or food processor into a saucepan. Begin slowly heating and whisking together as it warms. This will happen quite quickly. Do not leave it unattended because it needs to be stirred nearly constantly until it reaches the desired thickness and stretchiness.
    6. At this point, the cheese is ready to be used in your grilled cheese sandwich or even with lasagna, quesadillas, veggie pizza, no-meat balls, French onion soup, or anything else that comes to mind.
    7. I actually highly recommend freezing this cashew cheese. Once it’s frozen, it can be shredded to use as shreds which are terrific on pizza and salads. Or, it can be sliced to use on grilled cheese sandwiches.


Making the sandwich

  1. Personally, I like to toast my bread before getting started, but that’s completely optional.
  2. Next, I like to add my Homemade Vegan Mayonnaise. The recipe requires only 5-minutes5-ingredients, and a blender to make! It is completely egg-free and dairy-free and oil-free.
  3. On my sandwich, I like to spread a little--or a lot actually–of the mayo, followed by lots of vegan cheese, a nice big slice of tomato, and then some kale. The video demo clip shows exactly how I assemble mine.
  4. Cooking is really just melting the cheese on this sandwich. If you decide to use my mozzarella cashew cheese above, it can be added to the sandwich immediately after cooking it in about 20-minutes.
  5. If you toast your bread first, like I do, and make this cashew cheese, you don’t even have to grill the sandwich at all if you don’t want to. However, if you’re using the frozen slices of cheese, melting will be necessary.
  6. Simply heat a nonstick pan on the stovetop to medium-high and place the assembled cheese sandwich in the hot pan. I like to cover mine with a lid for just about 5-minutes to help the heat melt the cheese quicker.
  7. Brown both sides of the sandwich and make sure the cheese has become ooey-gooey. Then, it’s ready to be served.

Notes

To freeze it, I simply pour it into a glass dish and cover it well then place in a freezer bag. When it’s frozen solid, remove from the freezer and grate into shreds or slice.

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 350mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 10gSugar: 12gProtein: 11g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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Ann Leenhouts-Shane

Monday 25th of May 2020

Hi Teri, Quick question about the cheese... if making the mozzarella with beans, does it still slice and grate after it's frozen? Thank you!

Terri Edwards

Monday 25th of May 2020

Hi Ann- The bean version of the cheese can still be sliced, but it is not as smooth as the cashew version. You also have to work very quickly so it doesn't thaw out at all.

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