There’s nothing like a melty, toasty, delicious vegan grilled cheese sandwich! Learn what bread to use, what cheese melts the best, and how to pack more flavor into this favorite sandwich.
Who doesn’t love grilled cheese? It’s a favorite comfort food for many people, but if you can’t have dairy or gluten, you may wonder if it’s possible to even make a good grilled cheese sandwich.
The good news is that it’s definitely possible! With the right substitutes, you can still enjoy a melty, toasty, vegan grilled cheese. It’s the perfect complement to a good bowl of dairy free tomato soup.
If you’re new to a vegan or dairy free diet, you might be overwhelmed by all the different varieties of dairy free butter and dairy free cheese.
What is the best butter substitute?
Earth Balance makes several vegan buttery spreads that are widely available in many health food stores and supermarkets. I like to use the soy free version.
There are other dairy free spreads, like Melt! or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter – Vegan. You will need to read the ingredients and decide what brand is right for your particular needs. In general, these spreads are going to work the same way that butter does – they will melt and allow the bread to get nice and golden brown and toasted.
What dairy free cheese works best in a grilled cheese sandwich?
There are many dairy free and vegan cheeses to choose from! What you choose will ultimately depend on what’s available in your area, and what works for your particular dietary needs. This guide to dairy free cheese is really helpful, and includes reviews of each cheese.
Does dairy free cheese melt the same way as regular cheese?
I find that Daiya slices and shreds do melt very well. You may have different results with different brands.
What brands of bread are gluten free and vegan?
If you need bread that is gluten free and vegan, two brands to try would be BFree, and Schar. If you are just looking for vegan bread, there are lots of options. One allergy friendly vegan option is Angelic Bakehouse, but it does contain gluten. You could also try to make your own gluten free vegan sandwich bread. I haven’t tried that, but this recipe looks promising.
Tips for making a perfect vegan grilled cheese:
- don’t turn the heat up too high – low and slow is the key
- cover the pan to help the cheese melt
- cook the sandwich for about 3-4 minutes on each side
To boost the flavor of this sandwich, I like to add some dairy free pesto in between the two slices of cheese. It’s delicious plain, but if you want to make this grilled cheese extra special, a little pesto goes a long way. You could also add roasted red peppers, or use a dairy free pepper jack cheese for a little kick.
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The Perfect Vegan Grilled Cheese.
- 2 slices vegan bread
- 2 slices dairy free cheese
- 2 teaspoons vegan buttery spread
- 1 Tablespoon nut free pesto optional
- Spread the vegan butter on the two pieces of bread.
- Place one piece of bread in a frying pan, butter side down. Turn the heat to medium low.
- Place the two pieces of vegan cheese (and the pesto if using) on the bread. Place the other slice of bread on top, butter side up.
- Place a lid on the pan to seal in the heat and help the cheese to melt.
- Check the grilled cheese after a few minutes. If it is golden brown on the bottom, flip it and continue to cook on the other side. The second side will probably not take as long to brown. Reduce heat if needed.
- Slice the grilled cheese in half and serve with pickles if desired.