Sandwiches have been my go-to lunch ever since elementary school, when my mom would pack my food for me everyday (thanks, Mom!). It was always a game to guess what type I'd have in my lunchbox: PB&J, ham and cheese, grilled cheese. Today, though I love a classic sandwich like everyone else, I try to switch things up by making more unique, "adult" creations, oftentimes requiring some cooking instead of just putting things between two slices of bread. Paninis are one way to grill a sandwich, but you don't need fancy equipment to make a bomb grilled sandwich. If you have an iron on hand, or other pans or lids to press down your sandwich, you're good to go to make one of these grilled sandwich recipes that are super easy to make and packed with flavor.

1. Copycat Monte Cristo Grilled Sandwich

Agnes Chen

As an LA native, I was fortunate enough to grow up in close proximity to Disneyland, aka the "happiest place on earth." However, I think a more fitting title would be the "foodiest place on the West Coast" because of signature dishes like Dole Whip and the Monte Cristo, a deep-fried ham and Swiss sandwich. Soak your stale bread (sturdier breads like challah or brioche work best) and sprinkle some powdered sugar on top, and you've got yourself the perfect bite for when you're craving something sweet and savory.

2. Grilled Cheese "Ravioli"

This recipe was featured on Buzzfeed's Tasty Junior, so you know it's kid-friendly and therefore simple to make. These grilled cheese "ravioli" dippers are the perfect potluck item if you're in a pinch. Portable, dip-able, and adorable, these grilled sandwich roll-ups are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

3. Roasted Veggie Grilled Sandwich

Cutting back on meat? I got you. With the abundance of fresh summer veggies available at the grocery store, you can load up on all your favorite fillings and make extra to refrigerate and eat for another day. It's a win-win because you're saving time and getting a nutrient-dense, tasty meal at the same time.  

4. Peach Bacon Brie Grilled Cheese Waffle

Though this grilled cheese recipe calls for a waffle iron, don't fret. You can still make this recipe without one; just grill on a frying pan as you would any other grilled cheese. However, with the addition of Brie, peaches, bacon, and a drizzle of honey, this is anything but your average grilled cheese. The sophisticated blend of flavors elevates this childhood classic, so you'll definitely feel like an adult if you make this grilled sandwich recipe.

5. Apple Pie Panini

As someone with a perpetual sweet tooth, here's a break from all the savory recipes. Apple pie is always good, so why not make it in panini form? It's less time-intensive than making your own pie from scratch (although, this pie crust recipe only requires five ingredients), and when topped with vanilla bean ice cream it's just as satisfying as a slice of freshly baked apple pie.

6. Thanksgiving Leftovers Grilled Sandwich

The best part of Thanksgiving doesn't even happen during the actual dinner; the real star are the leftovers. With an abundance of food at your disposal, you've gotta get creative. To make sure nothing goes to waste, try out this Thanksgiving leftovers grilled sandwich recipe, which puts all the flavors of the holiday season—turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce—between two slices of bread. You'll be thanking me later for showing you this recipe.

7. Cuban Grilled Sandwich

sandwich, cheese, ham, bread, bacon, lettuce, toast
Bernard Wen

Though I'm not a huge mustard fan (ranch is obviously the superior condiment), I'm a huge fan of Cuban sandwiches. If you've never had a Cuban sandwich, it's basically an upgraded version of a ham and cheese. Once you add sour pickles, Dijon mustard, and multiple types of meat (deli ham, roasted pork, and/or turkey are commonly used for Cuban sandwiches), you may never go back to your typical ham and cheese again. 

8. Peanut Butter Bacon Grilled Sandwich

Christin Urso

There's been a severe lack of peanut butter in this article thus far, so here's a recipe for my fellow my nut butter fanatics. A take on Elvis' signature sandwich, this decadent combination of creamy peanut butter and crispy bacon strips will become your tried and tested hangover cure.

#SpoonTip: Use crunchy peanut butter for added texture and enhanced flavors. Because we all know that crunchy is superior.

9. Buffalo Ranch Shredded Chicken Panini

Goodbye are the days of flavorless, bland chicken breast. With this recipe, you've got the flavors of buffalo sauce without the mess associated with eating wings with your hands. As a bonus, you can meal-prep leftovers for the rest of the week and enjoy whenever you're craving a hearty sandwich. 

10. Vegan Caprese Panini

This take on the classic caprese sandwich uses cashews to replace the mozzarella, but you can easily swap it out with your favorite plant-based alternative or forgo the cheese element entirely. Regardless, the fresh basil and tomatoes served atop ciabatta provide a light, satisfying, and simple lunch, ideal for prepping and packing for a picnic.

11. Grilled Cheese Mac and Cheese

If it's 2 am and you've got a major case of drunchies, try out this grilled cheese mac and cheese recipe. The beauty of this grilled sandwich recipe is that you can use whatever mac and cheese recipe your heart desires, so you can go as simple as making boxed mac and cheese, or go all with something as extravagant as Sriracha-infused mac and cheese.

12. Grilled Salmon Panini with Goat Cheese, Kale, and Spinach

Got leftover baked salmon from dinner last night and don't know what to do with it? Make salmon salad by mixing your salmon with a little bit of mayo and goat cheese, scoop your mixture in between two slices of whole wheat bread for a healthy dose of complex carbs, and grill up on a pan. It's a great lower-calorie take on tuna salad.

13. Spinach & Artichoke Quesadilla 

Whenever there's spinach and artichoke dip at parties, you can catch me huddled by the bowl with my chips and carrots. To avoid the awkward small-talk associated with standing by the appetizers table, make your own spinach and artichoke dish that you won't have to share with anyone. Plus, it's in the form of a quesadilla, making it about 10 times more fun to eat.

14. Grilled Roast Beef Sandwich

Los Angeles is home to delis such as Langer's Deli that serve up fully-loaded roast beef sandwiches. Make a version that's even better that's stacked with two types of cheese, bell peppers, and a whopping 1/4 pound of meat. You're less than 20 minutes away from roast beef heaven.

15. S'mores Panini

chocolate, peanut butter
Tarika Narain

Got room for dessert? Of course you do! Enjoy all the melty chocolate and ooey-gooey marshmallow you love with this epic s'mores panini. Bonus points if you put on a graham cracker crust for some extra crunch.

Bookmark this article the next time you're in a food rut and need some inspo to spice up your meals, or if you're just craving a darn good sandwich. One of these grilled sandwich recipes will surely satisfy all your carb needs.