With a little creativity, cooks can create several different recipes when serving a cheese sandwich. While the traditional grilled cheese is a classic choice, adding a little meat to the mix could transform the cheese sandwich into a tuna or patty melt. Cold cheese sandwiches, such as a ham and cheese or a vegetarian sub, are also filling lunch options. For those looking for a more international cheese sandwich, the Italian cheese panini is not a difficult meal to put together.
The grilled cheese sandwich is a lunch and dinner option that gained its popularity in America during the 1960s. It consists of two pieces of bread with cheese melted in between. Although called a grilled cheese, grilling is not the only way this bread can be cooked. The bread is often fried in a pan, or toasted in a toaster oven. Other names for the grilled cheese are toasted cheese or a cheese toastie.
Originally, the grilled cheese was on open sandwich, only requiring one slice of bread with the cheese melted on top. Instead of using the traditional slice of American cheese, the open sandwich typically had shredded cheddar cheese melting on top of it. Not all cheese sandwiches require heat, however. A common cold cheese sandwich is the ham and cheese. Mustard and mayonnaise can be added, along with lettuce, pickles or peppers. Ham and cheese typically goes with either sliced bread or sandwich breads — some people might place it in between two buns or on a croissant.
To create a more filling cheese sandwich, individuals can put together a patty melt. This meal still uses regular sliced bread, but it also adds a hamburger patty and smothered onions. Cooks then soften the onions in butter in a pan before covering the patty and melted cheese with them.
Tuna melts are another hot cheese sandwich featuring a meaty filling. This recipe combines tuna and mayonnaise along with the melted cheese on grilled bread. The tuna can also be replaced with chicken salad, roast beef or turkey.
In Italy, a cheese panini can refer to any cheese sandwich, but in the United States, this commonly refers to a specific pressed sandwich. Along with the cheese, a panini can also hold various meats and vegetables. The sandwich is often cooked using a panini press which toasts both sides of the sandwich simultaneously.
Although the majority of cheese sandwiches feature cheddar or American cheese, substituting these traditional choices for an alternative cheese could liven up a typical lunch routine. Pepper jack cheese could suit those looking for something spicy. Provolone cheese provides a sharper taste, and low-fat varieties could make cheese sandwiches an option for those on a diet.