Have Your Grilled Cheese And Eat It, Too

Posted On Apr 1, 2019 By Amanda Wormann

Open-faced Tomato, Pesto, And Fresh Mozzarella Grilled Cheese on a plate.

Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? You’ve heard it here, folks. The grilled cheese has its own national day, too – April 12th. So grab your favorite cheeses and let’s get down to business.

If you’re looking to indulge in a grilled cheese (who isn’t?) but don’t want to feel like it’s a full-on cheat meal, here are a few ways to build on the old classic without going too far off track of your meal plan. Before I dive into the good stuff, I want to mention there is one tip I won’t skip no matter how unhealthy it may sound because I think it’s critical to any good grilled cheese. And that’s a nice schmear of mayo on the backside of the bread – this gives that perfectly light brown and crispy bread, without any burning. Trust me. You’ll never make a grilled cheese without it again.

Go Green

Making a healthier meal isn’t always about getting rid of things, a lot of times it’s about adding. Pack on the veggies and greens by using add-ons like spinach, arugula, and avocado.

Use A Healthy, Whole-Grain Bread

Rather than using nutrition-void white bread, use healthy, whole-grain grain bread so you can benefit from the protein and fibers in the grains and seeds.

Go Low-Carb With Cauliflower

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to limit the carbs, try a cauliflower “grilled cheese” using riced cauliflower as the base of the bread. If you’re looking for a recipe, give these Creamy Tomato Soup + Cauliflower Grilled Cheese Bites a try.

Stay Open

Another way to lower the carbohydrates is to make an open face grilled cheese. Here you’ll use one piece of bread instead of two, reducing the number of carbs and calories while still feeling satisfied. This open-faced tomato, pesto, and fresh mozzarella grilled cheese is an easy oven-baked grilled cheese.

basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese on a table.

Tomato, Pesto, And Fresh Mozzarella Open-Faced Grilled Cheese

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 to 10 minutes

Total time: 10 to 15 minutes

Servings: 1

Serving size: 1 open-faced sandwich

Tomatoes and basil leaves


  • 1 piece of whole-grain bread (I love Dave’s Killer Bread)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of pesto
  • Two slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Two tomato slices
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt + ground pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil, chopped (for garnish)
  • A schmear of mayonnaise


  1. Pre-heat oven to 450° F.
  2. Schmear the bottom of the slice of bread and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Add pesto, then the fresh mozzarella and the slices of tomato. Sprinkle with S+P and drizzle with the olive oil.
  4. Bake at 450° F for about 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted and edges lightly browned. Sprinkle fresh basil to garnish, and enjoy!
Tomato, Pesto, And Fresh Mozzarella Open-Faced Grilled Cheese sandwich on a plate.

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