What's more comforting than grilled cheese? Absolutely nothing. But perhaps we should push ourselves out of our comfort zones to revitalize this staple by ditching Cheddar and American and amping up the flavor. Arguably, there are options for fancifying grilled cheese: 1) modify the ooey-gooey cheesy combinations; 2) change the choice of bread, a crunchy French baguette, or soft Italian loaf; and 3) finally, what we griddle the bread in. Here are the best ways to fancify your grilled cheese. 

Brie Berry Smash

Mia Rhee

While most grilled cheeses fall into the hardcore savory category, this one blurs the line. As a soft cheese brie has a low melting point, adding the perfect cheese pull and puddle of molten goodness to any sandwich. The cheese's fruity undertones pair perfectly with tart lingonberry jam, sweet strawberry, or your favorite fruit preserve. Be sure to give the bread an extra charred grilling to cut through the sweet center. 


If the brie and berry combo blurs the line between sweet and savory, then chocolate and mascarpone have definitely crossed it. I first heard of dessert grilled cheese on an episode of Chopped. In the dessert round, a contestant — in a stroke of genius — slathered brioche bread with mascarpone cheese, a handful of chocolate chunks, and fresh strawberries; thus creating what has become known to me as the dessert grilled cheese. Think of this sandwich as an acceptable way to have grilled cheese for any and all meals.

Seasoned Crust

Arguably everything is better with Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. One of the most underrated ways to fancify your grilled cheese is to spice up the bread that holds everything inside. After buttering your bread simply shake on a hefty amount of Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and toast your sandwich as per usual. You'll get a delicious garlicky crust before sinking your teeth into the gooey center. 

More Cheese

What better way to fancify a grilled cheese than to, well,add more grilled cheese? In contrast with the melted inner core, an intricate lace of toasted cheese adds more than the perfect crunch. Other than amping up texture, utilizing a variety of cheeses also adds to the flavor. Try making a parmesan lace for added nutty and saltiness or perhaps pepper jack for a bit of spice. 

Get Saucy

With a buttery crust and salty interior, grilled cheese has already hit the two textural notes: crispy and gooey. So what would we need sauce for? Drizzling inside a garlicky pesto chock-full of basil, lemon, and parmesan is a one-ingredient flavor bomb. Similar to dressing up a burger, no grilled cheese should be complete without its own special sauce. Try combining pesto slathered bread with Mozzarella and tomato for grilled caprese perfection. If you're in the mood for something salty and sweet, layer fig jam, prosciutto, and brie for ooey gooey deliciousness. Even a truffle aioli paired with white cheddar and mushrooms will put you in grilled cheese heaven.

Mix and Match Cheeses

The simplest and most radical solution is perhaps to add more cheese. Too afraid to ditch cheddar and move on to camembert? Try amping up your cheddar cheese pull with a few slices of muenster for a milkier flavor or get inventive by mixing yellow cheddar with white.

Grilled cheese, the world is your oyster. Whether it be a flavored crust, a zany cheese combination, or a complete upheaval of tradition, the best way to fancify your grilled cheese is to experiment. Try a four-cheese grilled cheese. Throw some berries in. Maybe even fill your grilled cheese with mac and cheese...but let's not get too carried away!