What’s warm, melty and crispy all at the same time? A classic grilled cheese sandwich.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t run downstairs fast enough when my mom said she was making them for lunch. And when they were paired with hot soup, I was seated at the table before she could set out a plate!

Even today, I enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches pretty regularly. I typically make the classic with buttered bread and sliced American cheese, but I also like to experiment with unique variations.

Related: Cheesesteak Three Ways

That’s why in celebration of National Grilled Cheese Day, I put together a few recipes I found online — from spicy to subtly sweet.

BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese

Craving a summer backyard barbecue? No need to wait for June! Instead, you can indulge in this flavorful grilled cheese from I Am Baker.

Photo credit: I Am Baker

Filled with grilled chicken, barbecue sauce and Havarti Cheese, it will take you straight to those warm days under the sun. To make 3 sandwiches, you’ll need the following:

BBQ Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cups shredded roast chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce of choice
  • 6 slices Havarti cheese

Garlic Butter Bread

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, minced
  • 6 slices sourdough bread (or other sturdy bread)

To make the chicken, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft (about 2 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Then, toss in the shredded chicken, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and BBQ sauce. Stir thoroughly and cook until everything is heated through (about 2-3 minutes).

For the bread, add butter, garlic and minced parsely in a medium bowl and microwave until melted. Lay all your slices of bread down and spread the melted butter mixture over every piece. Turn each piece over and top 3 of the bread slices with 3 cheese slices and the BBQ chicken. Add the remaining cheese on top of the chicken and top with another slice of bread.

Place the buttered sandwiches in a large non-stick skillet and place over medium heat. Brown the bottoms of the sandwiches (3-5 minutes), and turn them over while reducing to medium-low heat. Continue cooking until the cheese melts (3-5 more minutes).

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Simply Stacie created a grilled cheese sandwich that will have any spice-lover excited.

Photo credit: Simply Stacie

There are quite a few sandwiches that are topped with jalapeños, but this one actually includes jalapeño POPPERS inside. How fun! Here’s what you’ll need for 2 sandwiches:

  • 2 jalapeños
  • 4 slices white bread
  • Butter at room temperature
  • Cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons tortilla chips, crumbled

Start by roasting 2 jalapeños on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down. Broil oven the top shelf until the outer layer of skin is blackened (about 10 minutes). After, place the peppers in a plastic bag, seal it and let them cool for 20 minutes. Pinch off the skin of the jalapeños.

Next, butter the outside of the bread and spread cream cheese on the inside of each slice. Top two of the slices with jalapeños and sprinkle cheese on top of them. Add the crumbled tortilla chips, and finish by placing the other slices on top.

Cook them in a non-stick pan over medium heat until the outside is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Apple, Ham and Brie Grilled Cheese

If you’re looking for an option with a touch of sweetness, you’ll love this recipe from Unsophisticook.

Photo credit: Unsophisticook

It’s filled with melty Brie cheese (which is one of my favorite cheese varieties), Granny Smith apples and smoked ham. And the crisp crunch of the apple definitely adds a unique dimension to the sandwich! Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • 2 slices wheat bread
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 6 thin slices of Brie cheese
  • 1/4 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 3 sliced smoked ham

Start by mixing the thyme leaves with the softened butter. After setting aside, lay out 2 slices of bread on a cutting board and drizzle them with honey. Add 3 slices of brie to one slice of bread, then top with your smoked ham and sliced apples. Layer 3 more slices of cheese on top and cover with the other piece of bread (honey side in).

Butter the outside of the bread and grill over medium-low heat until the bread is golden brown and the Brie melts.

Pizza Grilled Cheese

Pizza and grilled cheese in one? Sign me up!

Photo credit: Piper Cooks

This one isn’t all that complicated — it’s exactly what it sounds like. The same toppings you’ll find on pizza, you’ll find smashed between two slices of bread. Furthermore, Jacqueline Piper (the chef) says it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to cook, which means its a good option for those busy weekdays. Take a look at what you need for 2 sandwiches:

  • 4 slices sourdough bread (or your bread of choice)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 8 slices pepperoni
  • 10 slices genoa salami
  • 8 tablespoons pizza sauce

Begin by buttering one side of each slice of bread. On the other sides of the slices, spread pizza sauce so that it covers the entire surface. Next, add mozzarella cheese, meat, more mozzarella and some additional pizza sauce to one of the slices. Stack another slice on top with the sauce side facing down.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and cook each sandwich for about 3-5 minutes per side so that the bread browns.

If you could make one of these grilled cheese recipes right now, which one would it be? I think I’ll try the BBQ style first… guess I’m too excited for summer!

From my kitchen to yours,


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