Grilled cheese and soup is one of the most perfect fall comfort meals. It’s warm, crunchy, and can be healthy (depending how it’s prepared). The first step in making your grilled cheese meal healthy is making sure you include some type of vegetable. Enter soup! Soup is a great accompaniment to your sandwich. Be sure to choose a broth or veggie based soup for maximum nutrients. Not only does soup help you to get more veggies in, but it allows you to fill up on something light and nutritious so you don’t end up eating two grilled cheeses. Often times a grilled cheese sandwich at a restaurant will be sky high in calories, so it is best to make them at home instead. Here’s how to enjoy a healthy grilled cheese at home:
Bread: Choose whole wheat or sourdough
Cheese: Choose 1-2 ounces of sharp cheddar, Jack or favorite cheese. Choose a strong flavored cheese in order to use a smaller amount.
Spread: Use a small amount of butter or olive oil based margarine (1-2 teaspoons) to get your bread crispy. I recommended heating both sides of the bread in the pan, but only buttering one side of the bread.
Side Dish: Veggie based soup (like tomato or minestrone) or side salad. Boxed soups like the kind they sell at Trader Joes are a good option because they tend to have less preservatives than some of the canned soup.
Add Ins: Go classical with just cheese or add more veggies like tomato, avocado, or peppers to your sandwich. Lean ham or turkey is another good grilled cheese add in.
Dinner doesn’t always have to be elaborate. When in a pinch grilled cheese works but make sure you add soup or salad to get your 5 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Heather Mason is a Registered Dietitian who holds a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science. She has a passion for debunking nutrition myths and helping people discover delicious and healthy food. You can read more posts from her on her blog, Nutty Nutrition.