Vegetable Grilled Cheese Sandwich | Take the classic comforting grilled cheese sandwich and pile it high with fried onions + mushrooms and then stuff it with fresh lettuce and tomato for a new and wonderful spin on an old favorite. Simple homemade sandwiches don't get much better than this!
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This vegetable grilled cheese sandwich is not fancy, it's just plain good. It's cheesy, savory, and basic. The onions and mushrooms are soft and browned. The sambal oelek gives some spice. The cooking technique leaves the bread crispy and crunchy.
The lettuce and tomato gives a bit of freshness and saves the whole thing from being too heavy. One of these will fill you up for most of the day. Think diner lunch special.
Ingredients you need
- bread - use the kind you like. We use rye bread for this sandwich. I've also made these on my Brioche Buns as a veggie burger
- cheese - basic cheese slices are perfectly melty
- onions and mushrooms - slice them thin
- tomato - I like Roma tomatoes
- lettuce - I use romaine - use your favorite lettuce
- use sliced bell peppers instead of the onions or mushrooms if you want to
- sourdough bread would be really good here, or hamburger buns
- you can try shredded cheese if you want, but a cheese slice really fits
How to Make this sandwich
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and then the onions and mushrooms. Season them with salt and pepper and then cook them for about ten minutes, stirring often, until they brown and soften up.
Add the garlic and the sambal oelek. Cook those for minute or so and then set aside. (You can either move these to a bowl so you can use this frying pan again for the next step, or just use another frying pan.)
Heat the frying pan over medium heat and add oil. Add both slices of bread and cook for a few minutes. Flip and cook another minute or so.
*You could just toast the bread instead if you want to, but I like seriously crispy bread.
Spread one slice of toasted bread with mayo. Pile on the onions and mushrooms.
Add the cheese slice, lettuce, and tomato. Top with the other slice of toasted bread and serve.
I like to serve mine with some greens like arugula with oil and lemon on top, so I feel better about myself 🙂
Tips and Tricks
Frying the bread in oil makes it SUPER crispy. Don't want to do that? Go ahead and make a regular grilled cheese by buttering the bread instead. Or try mayo in place of butter!
Pan-fry the bread in oil and regardless of whether you use oil or butter or mayo, cook in over medium or medium-low heat for a bit longer than usual, instead of trying to cook it quickly over high heat.
Yep, it's a little spicy. Leave out the Sambal if you don't like spice.
Sambal Oelek is a vinegary chili paste. You could substitute Sriracha hot sauce instead if you have that - a teaspoon or so would do.
More Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes
Vegetable Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 2 slices rye bread (or your favorite)
- ½ small onion (diced)
- 3 cremini mushrooms (chopped)
- ½ Roma tomato (sliced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
- 2 leaves romaine lettuce (or your favorite lettuce)
- 1 slice cheese (slice or whatever kind you want)
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- oil/butter (for frying)
- Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat.
- Add a swirl of oil and then add the onions and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add the sambal oelek and the garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring, until both the mushrooms and onions are soft and browned. Turn heat off and set aside (or transfer onions and mushrooms to a bowl to wait)
- Heat another frying pan over medium heat (or use the one from the onions if you moved them to a bowl) Add oil and then add two slices of bread. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
- To assemble: Spread mayo on one slice of bread. Add the onion + mushrooms. Add the cheese slice, lettuce, and tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining piece of bread. Slice in half and serve hot.
- Use different vegetables if you want, whichever ones you like best. If they are watery ones, like zucchini, etc., make sure to cook them well.