A spinach grilled cheese is a great way to add healthy veggies and nutrition to a classic grilled cheese sandwich! It’s a homemade version of one of those fancy, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches that you can make at home in about 10 minutes!
This recipe was originally published in 2013. The post was rewritten in 2023 to include new images and a variation of the recipe. We are in love with this new version!
Since my family owns a dairy farm, we’re all about cheese!
Adding spinach and cheese to a sandwich is a great idea! You get that crusty and buttery outside with gooey melted cheese on the inside, plus extra veggies!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Quick and easy! This cheese sandwich can be made in about 10 minutes! I used to chop the spinach in a food processor before making the sandwiches, but I’ve simplified the recipe so it’s fewer dishes and easier!
Healthy! I’m using my artistic license to call this spinach sandwich healthy! Hear me out! It’s loaded with spinach to give you extra iron. Cheese is packed with calcium. Use whole wheat bread for extra fiber. Trust me, it doesn’t taste like one of those healthy sandwiches that taste like cardboard either! It’s comfort food at its finest!
Simple ingredients! You don’t need anything fancy here! Use whatever bread you have on hand. Use either frozen or fresh spinach. Any good melting cheese can be used.
Customizable! It’s so easy to add your favorite ingredients to a cheese sandwich to make it exactly the way you like it!
Although you’ll need simple ingredients I want to talk about substitutions and options.
Spinach: Wondering what kind of spinach to use? Fresh spinach or frozen spinach will work. I like baby spinach leaves if I’m using fresh. Or, if you’re using frozen be sure to use the bagged kind. It takes too long to thaw a box of spinach and you’re finding another way to use it.
Bread: I like using sturdy bread for this sandwich. French bread is typically what I have on hand. You don’t want to slice the bread too thick because it takes too long to melt the cheese in between the bread slices.
Cheese: I’ve recently started using shredded cheese in my grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s a little bit messier but it melts faster and is worth the mess. I use mozzarella for this sandwich because it melts really well and I think it’s pretty with the pop of green color. Cheddar cheese, pepper jack, and colby jack are all great options. You could even add a little bit of feta! Spinach and feta is a wonderful flavor combo!
Butter: You know a dairy farmer is going to spread the outsides of the bread with butter! I think it has the BEST flavor. You can also use mayo or brush the bread with olive oil too.
How to Make a Grilled Cheese with Spinach
I prefer using fresh spinach if I have it on hand. If not frozen will work just fine. Add a little bit of butter or olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add frozen spinach from the bag. Stir. Break up the clumps it cooks.
It’s so easy! Let’s go through it step by step to make sure it turns out perfectly every single time!
Step 1: Saute spinach in a saucepan. Melt a little bit of olive oil or butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add fresh spinach and stir occasionally until it’s sauteed. It will quickly wilt and reduce in size. Remove from the pan and wipe the pan clean.
Step 2: Generously butter the outsides of two pieces of bread. Set one slice buttered side down on a cutting board, plate, or whatever you want.
Step 3: Add half of the grated cheese to the unbuttered side of the bread.
Step 4: Set the sauteed spinach over the layer of cheese. Spread it out evenly.
Step 5: Add the remaining grated cheese. Some of it’s going to fall off and that’s okay!
Step 6: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach cheese sandwich to the skillet. Cook until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and repeat on the other side.
Step 7: Remove to a cutting board. Let rest for a couple of minutes. Slice.
Pro Tips and Tricks
It’s really important to grill sandwiches over medium heat. I know it takes a minute longer but it’s worth it! Toasting the grilled cheese sandwich over lower heat gives the cheese a chance to melt before the outside is burned. Patience is worth it when you’re making spinach grilled cheese!
Most toddlers don’t like eating chunks of spinach. Heck, my 15-year-old wasn’t sure about it until I convinced him to taste it by telling him it would be like spinach and artichoke dip!
Here are my tips for making a spinach sandwich appealing to a toddler. It also makes the filling a pretty green color that’s perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day party!
- Add the spinach to a food processor. Pulse until it’s roughly chopped. You can also do this with a knife.
- Mix the spinach with a little bit of room-temperature cream cheese and grated cheese.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over one piece of bread.
- Grill as directed.
You don’t need any fancy equipment to make this easy recipe. But, using quality tools does make it easier.
- I love using a cast iron skillet for making grilled cheese sandwiches. They heat evenly and hold heat really well. It’s my favorite pan for making all kinds of things like pizza quesadillas and skillet burritos.
- Deli paper is one of the most used tools in my kitchen! I LOVE making sandwiches on it because my countertop stays clean and it makes cleanup as easy as throwing the paper away!
- This pancake turner works great for flipping the sandwich
One of the best parts about a grilled cheese spinach sandwich is the gooey inside and the crispy crusty outside. You can make the sandwich ahead of time but the outsides will be soft, so I don’t recommend it.
Prep the ingredients ahead of time instead. Saute the spinach and grate the cheese. Refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble and cook the spinach melts.
It’s fun to switch things up and customize any grilled cheese to your liking. Here are a few of our favorites!
- Cooked bacon
- Sliced tomatoes
- Diced artichokes
- Sauteed mushrooms and onions
- Red pepper flakes for a spicy kick
- Thinly sliced apples (fruit and cheese are perfect together and I love the crunch)
- Sprinkle on different kinds of cheese like parmesan or feta
Adding raw spinach is a great way to make recipes healthy. Baby spinach is tender so I like it best.
Typically frozen spinach has been balanced before freezing. That means it was boiled for just a minute before freezing.
You can add sliced fruits and vegetables. It’s also fun to add different seasonings. Lunch meat is a great addition.
It’s both. It seems like older people call them cheese melts and the younger generation refers to them as grilled cheese sandwiches.
What to Serve with Spinach Grilled Cheese Sandwich
A grilled cheese and spinach sandwich is great served with just about any kind of salad or chips. Check out all of my easy side dish recipes.
Spinach Grilled Cheese
- 2 slices bread
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter room temperature
- to taste salt
- to taste pepper
- Saute spinach in a saucepan. Melt a little bit of olive oil or butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add fresh spinach and stir occasionally until it's sauteed. Season with salt and pepper. It will quickly wilt and reduce in size. Remove from the pan and wipe the pan clean.
- Generously butter the outsides of two pieces of bread. Set one slice buttered side down on a cutting board, plate, or whatever you want.
- Add half of the grated cheese to the unbuttered side of the bread.
- Set the sauteed spinach over the layer of cheese. Spread it out evenly.
- Add the remaining grated cheese. Some of it's going to fall off and that's okay!
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach cheese sandwich to the skillet. Cook until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and repeat on the other side.
- Remove to a cutting board. Let rest for a couple of minutes. Slice.
- Red pepper flakes
- Mushrooms, artichokes, tomatoes
- Add feta cheese or parmesan cheese