Grilled cheese sandwiches are the mouthwatering stuff of dreams. This craving-worthy comfort food is a quick fix for lunch or dinner (perhaps even breakfast if you prefer decadent mornings). While the classic cheddar-and-bread combination is a reliable go-to, there is an untapped well of fixings that can turn the simple grilled cheese sandwich into a gourmet treat.
Lucky for us experimental folk, the warmer-weather seasons yield a bounty of fruit that pairs well with a number of cheeses. Mozzarella or fresh goat cheese can benefit from the tartness and acidity of aromatic plums or yellow peaches. Funkier varieties like Stilton or aged Gouda are delicious with sweet grapes or crunchy apples. Get creative and dress the sandwich in additional herbs, condiments, and other fun pantry items. Then watch lustfully as everything melts between two slices of perfectly pan-grilled bread.
Here are a few magical, fruity grilled cheese pairings that you’re going to love this summer.
Ricotta and Strawberry Grilled Cheese
What pairs well with ricotta cheese also works smashingly in a sandwich. Here, we sliced fresh strawberries and layered in the ricotta, topping it off with a drizzle of honey for a fresh new take on grilled cheese. We also tossed in some toasted almonds to give it crunch.
Almonds, sliced and toasted
Gouda and Pear Grilled Cheese
Going fruity doesn’t mean you have to go sweet. This grilled cheese pairs thin slices of pear with smoky Gouda and sage for a savory finish.
Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese
If you want to take a more traditional approach to grilled cheese, stick with some sharp cheddar and throw in sliced green apples for a tangy kick. Dijon mustard helps balance out the sting.
Granny Smith apples, sliced
Whole grain Dijon mustard
Ham, Fig, and Swiss Grilled Cheese
Doesn’t everything taste better with fig jam? For a hearty grilled cheese that will suit you just fine for lunch or dinner, we recommend this ham-and-cheese twist.
Mozzarella and Peaches Grilled Cheese
Of course, nothing says summer quite like a juicy peach. Pair it with caramelized onions and thick slices of mozzarella for grilled cheese sandwich you won’t forget.
Shop some of our favorite kitchen supplies below to create your very own grilled cheese concoction.
This story was originally published on July 25, 2016, and has since been updated.