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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Grilled Cheese With Pickles

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This grilled cheese with pickles sandwich is a simple, memorable twist on a classic grilled cheese! Once you try the combination of classic dill pickle slices with gooey cheese on a crispy sandwich, you’ll never go back to a traditional grilled cheese again. This pickle grilled cheese is perfect for pickle lovers everywhere!

Grilled cheese with pickles, sliced and stacked on a white plate.

Dill pickles on grilled cheese may seem like an odd combination, but trust me, it’s amazing! Rich cheddar cheese and salty dill pickles make this sandwich a favorite for everyone, especially pickle fanatics.

Serve up these dill pickle grilled cheese sandwiches with instant pot tomato soup or vegan tomato soup and potato chips, parmesan truffle fries (or air fried sweet potato fries) for a classic combination. Or for lighter side dishes, you can serve it with this tomato avocado cucumber salad, roasted green beans and potatoes, this roasted cauliflower salad, or this spinach and arugula salad.

Buttery and crispy on the outside, with gooey, melted cheese on the inside, you really can’t go wrong with this simple recipe!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • A fun addition to a classic grilled cheese sandwich
  • Super easy recipe
  • Simple to customize – there are variation ideas for everyone!
  • Ready in 20 minutes
  • Serious comfort food
  • Family friendly
  • Easy weeknight meal
  • Can be made vegan and gluten-free!

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🥘 Ingredients

This grilled cheese with pickles recipe requires just 5 simple ingredients! Here’s what you need:

Ingredients for grilled cheese with pickles sandwich recipe.
  • Whole Wheat Bread: I chose wheat bread instead of the traditional white bread for this cheese and pickle toastie because it’s a healthier option with more whole grains and fiber, and honestly, it tastes just as good as white bread when it’s grilled! You can use any kind of bread for this sandwich though – white bread, gluten free bread, sprouted wheat bread, buckwheat bread, or sourdough bread are all great options.
  • Mayo: Mayo adds creaminess and a little bit of a subtle tangy flavor to your grilled cheese and pickle sandwich. It’s optional though, so if you don’t like mayo just skip this ingredient. Use light mayo for a lower calorie and lower fat option.
  • Mild Or Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slices: Cheddar cheese has a sharper, more powerful flavor than other types of cheese like American cheese, which is typically used for grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Dill Pickles: Hamburger dill chips are the star of the show for this grilled cheese sandwich with pickles! But if you don’t love dill pickles, you can always swap this ingredient out for bread and butter pickles. This, of course, would completely change the flavor, but if you love bread and butter pickles then it will be a good change. If you don’t like pickles at all, see the variations section below for some other great ideas other than this pickle grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Softened Butter: Butter is what makes this grilled cheese and pickles sandwich perfectly crispy and golden brown on the outside.

🔪 Instructions

Pickles in grilled cheese taste delicious! Here’s how to make a grilled cheese pickle sandwich.

Dry Dill Pickles: Pat dry the sliced dill pickles with kitchen paper towel and set aside.

Dill pickles being blotted between paper towels on a cutting board.

Begin Assembly: Assemble the sandwiches by placing two slices of bread on a chopping board, spread a layer of mayo on each slice of bread.

Mayo being spread onto pickle grilled cheese sandwiches.

Add Pickles: Layer the sliced pickles and a slice of cheese over top of the mayo.

Cheese added to slices of bread with pickles and mayo.

Top Sandwich, Butter Bread: Top each sandwich with remaining bread slices. Butter the outside of each piece of bread with the softened butter.

Butter being spread onto dill pickle grilled cheese sandwiches.

Heat Skillet, Cook Sandwich: Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Place the sandwiches on the skillet, buttered side down, and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes or until the bread is lightly golden.

Grilled cheese and pickles cooking on a grill pan.

Flip, Cook, Serve: Using a spatula, gently flip the sandwiches over, continue to cook until the other side is lightly golden brown and the cheese has started to melt. Remove, cut in half and serve immediately.

Cheese and pickle toastie cooking on a grill pan.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Make sure to dry your pickles. If you skip this step, the excess moisture in the pickles will make your bread soggy.
  • Don’t use too much cheese. It might seem like more cheese would be better, but too much cheese can overpower the rest of the ingredients. One thick slice of cheddar cheese per sandwich is perfect for this recipe!
  • Pre-toast your bread. If you want an extra toasty sandwich, very lightly pre-toast your bread before putting it together. It’ll also help prevent your bread from getting soggy!
  • Cook low and slow for best results. Things can escalate quickly when you’re cooking a sandwich in a skillet. It’s best to heat your sandwich up slowly so the cheese melts before the outside gets too done. If your skillet is too hot, you’ll end up with a burnt outside and a non-melted inside!
  • Ensure the butter has softened to room temperature so it spreads easily on the bread. If the butter is too hard, it may tear the bread when spreading it.
  • Try a panini press. A panini press is an easy way to make a nice pressed grilled cheese with pickles, and it ensures you get a perfect sandwich every time (no risk of burning the bottom of the bread!).
  • Serve immediately, and serve hot. I don’t recommend grilling this sandwich, storing it and serving it later, the bread won’t be as crispy and the ingredients inside won’t be as melted and gooey after storing it and reheating it.

📖 Variations

  • Grilled Cheese With Jalapenos: If you’re not a fan of that dill pickle flavor, and want to add some spice, you can swap the pickles for jalapenos! Alternatively, if you like pickles but want heat, just add jalapenos in along with the pickles. For even more heat, add hot sauce or crushed red pepper.
  • Grilled Cheese With Tomato: If you’d rather tone it down some and just add a cool, fresh, and mild flavor to your sandwich, add fresh sliced tomato instead of the pickles.
  • More Dill Flavor: For extra taste, you can try sprinkling some fresh or dried dill over the mayo or add several slices of red onion before layering with remaining ingredients.
  • Lower Calorie Option: Use light mayo instead of regular mayo to save about 60 calories and 7 grams of fat per sandwich. You can also use olive oil cooking spray instead of butter to save about 100 calories and 12 grams of fat. Keep in mind though that olive oil cooking spray won’t give you as moist and crispy of a crust when compared to butter.
  • Different Bread Or Cheese: Feel free to choose your favorite bread for this cheese and pickle sandwich recipe, and substitute with any kind of cheese if you’re not a fan of cheddar! When it comes to cheeses, mozzarella, provolone, pepperjack or even swiss would all work well. You can also use a combination of cheddar and any other cheese for additional flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Grilled Cheese With Pickles: Make your grilled cheese gluten-free simply by using your favorite gluten-free bread.
  • Vegan Grilled Cheese: All it takes to make this pickle and cheese sandwich recipe vegan is to make sure your bread is vegan, use vegan mayo, and vegan cheese. The best vegan cheese I’ve found for grilled cheese is Violife’s Smoked Provolone.

❓Recipe FAQs

DO PICKLES AND CHEESE GO TOGETHER?

Surprisingly yes! Pickles and cheese make a great pair because the slightly sweet, super tangy flavor of the pickles complements the salty, creamy, more fatty flavor in the cheese really well. When you heat them together, their flavors combine to make the perfect combination!

WHAT CAN I ADD TO MY GRILLED CHEESE TO MAKE IT BETTER?

You can add so many things to your grilled cheese! An easy way to dress up your sandwich is to add lettuce and tomato and even raw or cooked onion. Different condiments and spreads also work great – try your grilled cheese with pickles and mustard, ranch dressing, or even cream cheese as a spread inside your sandwich!

Some other fun ingredients to add to your grilled cheese include:
** Fruits like apples, pears, figs, cranberries, raisins, or even grapes
** Spicy ingredients (jalapenos, hot peppers, hot sauce, sriracha)
** Creamy ingredients like avocado
** Herbs like basil, rosemary, oregano
** Pickle variations: pickle relish, pickled jalapenos, olives, cornichons
** Other condiments: fig jam, red pepper jelly, honey, dijon mustard or yellow mustard, fruit preserves, marmalade, different relishes, ketchup, bbq sauce

WHAT IS THE SECRET TO A GOOD GRILLED CHEESE?

The secret to a good grilled cheese is the butter on the outside of the bread, and cooking it low and slow in the pan so the cheese has enough time to melt. Make sure your butter is soft and easy to spread, so you’re able to get a thin layer of butter on your entire sandwich (too much butter will make it greasy).

Some people use mayo instead, but either one will add a nice flavor to your sandwich and help it crisp up. You can even use a combination of mayo and butter to get the best of both worlds and a perfect crispy sandwich!

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T BUTTER YOUR GRILLED CHEESE?

Using butter (or mayo) on the outside of your grilled cheese is critical to getting it to toast evenly and get that golden brown crispy crust. You need some sort of fat as it drastically improves the flavor and texture of the bread as it cooks.

If you don’t butter your grilled cheese, your bread will get toasted, but your sandwich will turn out dry and may not cook evenly (and may also burn quicker). If you absolutely don’t want to use butter and need a lower calorie option, try olive oil cooking spray or avocado oil cooking spray instead.

HOW TO STORE GRILLED CHEESE WITH PICKLES?

A grilled cheese pickle sandwich is really best eaten fresh, but if you want to store leftovers they should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Reheat them in a skillet or toaster oven until warmed through.

Alternatively, if you want to meal prep this cheese pickle toastie, they can be prepped ahead of time (just don’t butter the outside) and stored, in airtight container in the fridge, for up to 24 hours before cooking. When you’re ready to eat them, butter the outside, grill the sandwiches, and serve!

Grilled cheese with pickles, sliced and stacked on a white plate.

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🎥 Watch How to Make It

Grilled cheese with pickles, sliced and stacked on a white plate.
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5 from 6 votes

Grilled Cheese With Pickles

This grilled cheese with pickles sandwich is a simple, memorable twist on a classic grilled cheese! Once you try the combination of classic dill pickle slices with gooey cheese on a crispy sandwich, you'll never go back to a traditional grilled cheese again. This pickle grilled cheese is perfect for pickle lovers everywhere!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course, mains
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 2 sandwiches
Calories: 483kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 4 slices whole wheat bread or sprouted wheat bread
  • 2 tbsp mayo can also use light mayo
  • 2 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 dill pickles sliced
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
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Instructions

  • Pat the sliced dill pickles dry with kitchen paper towel and set aside.
  • Assemble the sandwiches by placing two slices of bread on a cutting board.
  • Spread a layer of mayo on each slice.
  • Layer the sliced pickles and cheddar cheese over top of the mayo.
  • Top each sandwich with remaining bread slices.
  • Butter the outside of each sandwich with the softened butter.
  • Heat a skillet over low-medium heat.
  • Place the sandwiches on the skillet, buttered side down, and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes or until the bread is lightly golden.
  • Using a spatula gently flip the sandwiches over, continue to cook until the other side is lightly golden and the cheese has started to melt.
  • Remove, cut in half and serve immediately.

Notes

  • It’s really important to dry the sliced dill pickles before preparing the sandwiches so be sure not to skip this step otherwise the liquid will make the bread soggy.
  • Any bread can be used for the sandwiches such as sourdough, white, multigrain or gluten-free.
  • Do not have the heat up too high as the bread will burn too quickly and the cheese won’t have time to melt.
  • You can use other other cheeses instead of cheddar — mozzarella, provolone, pepperjack or even swiss would all work well.
  • To add some extra taste you can try sprinkling some fresh or dried dill over the mayo or add several slices of red onion before layering with remaining ingredients.
  • Ensure the butter has softened to room temperature so it spreads easily on the bread. If the butter is too hard, it may tear the bread when spreading it.  
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute the wheat bread for gluten-free bread.
  • To make this vegan-friendly, substitute the mayo, cheese and butter for vegan friendly options.
  • Sandwiches can be prepped ahead of time and stored, in airtight container in the fridge, for up to 24 hours before cooking. 
Note: Using light mayo will cut the calories and fat. Here is the nutritional information for using light mayo instead of regular mayo: 422 Calories, 27g Carbs, 16g Protein, 22g Fat (11g Saturated Fat), 45mg Cholesterol, 1121mg Sodium, 9g Fiber, 4g Sugar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1094mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 3g

10 responses to “Grilled Cheese With Pickles”

  1. Loved this simple grilled cheese for lunch yesterday! Added extra dried dill, and otherwise followed the recipe and quantities you provided, and it turned out beautifully!5 stars

  2. Usually I just serve a dill pickle on the side but I loved grilling the cheese with the pickle. One of my favorite comfort foods has always been a grilled cheese.5 stars

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