Crispy, cheesy, succulent mouthfuls of deliciousness seem to be a dream when going low carb. But this keto grilled cheese sandwich makes it all a reality. You get high fat, minimal carbs, and a whole lot of tasty goodness with this new take on a grilled cheese sandwich. We take Greek flavors and ingredients to create a lunch sandwich you’ll love over and over again throughout the week.
How To Make Keto Grilled Cheese
Whether you’re a keto vegetarian newbie or a veteran, the choices of what you can eat can seem limited. The key to sticking with a keto vegetarian diet is all about getting keto creative. One of the things many people miss when they go on regular keto or the keto vegetarian diet are those tasty slices of bread. Many of us remember those delicious grilled cheese sandwich recipes we used to enjoy as kids which can make keto more difficult to stick to.
The good news is that you can replace those slices of bread with other ingredients that will hold up your cheese sandwich. This keto grilled cheese sandwich is going to make you feel happy about being on Keto because you can have low-carb grilled cheese sandwiches. This keto grilled cheese sandwich replaces bread with Halloumi cheese to make a keto grilled cheese sandwich.
Benefits of Using Halloumi Cheese
Halloumi cheese can give you the meltiness of cheddar cheese. But since its melting level is so high, you can grill the cheese, unlike cheddar cheese. When you grill your keto Halloumi cheese sandwich, you get the crustiness of bread on the top and bottom of the cheese, and inside you get melting grilled cheese.
So essentially the Halloumi cheese does double duty as both the bread of the sandwich as well as the cheese of the grilled cheese sandwich. We’ve stuffed this keto grilled cheese sandwich with spinach and olives to get a Greek keto grilled cheese sandwich vibe.
Keto Grilled Cheese Recipe
Let’s get into how exactly you are going to make this keto grilled cheese sandwich without slices of bread and cheddar cheese but with all of the texture and flavor as the original. Grilled cheese recipes don’t have to be something you need to write off because you’ve gone keto. This is one of those recipes you can enjoy while on keto vegetarian as well as standard keto.
Main Ingredients for Keto Grilled Cheese
- Halloumi Cheese (instead of bread slices and cheese slices)
- Kalamata Olives
So first off you want to heat your panini press or griddle. You need to ensure it is nice and hot before you put your cheese slices on it. Unlike bread, the cheese slices will not get crispy on the outside if it isn’t hot enough. Bread can go into a cold toaster and come out toasty. However, this is one of those sandwich recipes that requires instant heat when you put the sandwich down. If there isn’t instant heat, the cheese for your keto grilled cheese sandwich will slowly melt and you’ll just get a giant cheese mess.
Preparing Your Perfect Ketogenic Panini
The filling for your keto grilled cheese will take just 90 seconds or so to cook. The prep time is longer than the total time for cooking. For the filling, you want to thoroughly wash your spinach and give it a rough chop. As with other spinach recipes, you just need to get your spinach wilted, you don’t want to steam the life out of it.
So heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add onions, and saute for about 90 seconds or until soft. Add your garlic and saute for 30 seconds, then mix in the spinach and olives for your Greek-inspired keto grilled cheese. Cover the pan for two minutes and then turn off the heat. For added cheesiness, use a cheese slicer and add in 4 or 5 thin slices of Halloumi cheese into the spinach mixture, set aside.
Next, slice your Halloumi into thick slices. Remember that the cheese is taking over for your slices of bread so the slices need to be thick. So you need to cut the cheese so that it is approximately 3/4″ thick. Bread isn’t that thick, but this keto cheese is not only going to be your bread component but also your cheese component. This keto grilled cheese sandwich is reliant on you getting nice thick slices of cheese to replace the bread. That way you get a toasty bread-like layer on top of the cheese and a gooey, cheesy layer inside of the cheese.
Grilling Your Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Now place your cheese slices on your griddle or press and cook the one side for about 3 minutes. Then turn over the cheese slices and cook the other side for another 3 minutes. Each side should be browned like lightly-toasted bread. Then place your spinach filling on top of one of the slices and top with the other slice of your keto grilled cheese.
Now let your cheese brown so it has that nice crusty brown quality of toasted bread. If you are using a press, you just close the press, but if you are using a griddle or pan, then press down on top of your keto grilled sandwich and listen for the sizzle. Flip the sandwich over and let it sizzle for another minute.
Remove your keto grilled sandwich onto a plate, and let it cool for a minute or two. You can prepare a side salad to go with this recipe too. For instance, a red cabbage slaw can give you the crunchy bite to go with your gooey sandwich or you can go with a green salad for simplicity and freshness. You can pack this sandwich up in a lunch container to go or just brown bag it!
This is one of the best recipes for keto grilled cheese you are ever going to find. The crust is just as crusty as toasty bread and the inside part gives you the gooey deliciousness of cheddar cheese. You never have to miss out on grilled cheese sandwiches again when you use recipes like this one that gives you all the texture and flavor of the one you loved as a kid. Bon appetit!
Is a grilled cheese sandwich healthy?
There are recipes for grilled cheese that are healthy and other ones not. The kind of ingredients you use in your grilled cheese recipes makes all of the difference. If you use processed cheese and bread then you are not going to be able to stay in ketosis and it certainly isn’t going to be healthy for you.
We’ve created one of those recipes for grilled cheese that is healthy. Halloumi cheese is high in fat and protein and in turn, makes it a healthy keto replacement for bread. Normal white bread doesn’t have a lot of nutrients, but your cheese bread version is full of good-for-you macros.
Why can’t I use bread for my keto grilled cheese sandwich?
Bread contains a lot of empty carbohydrates. If you use bread for your grilled cheese sandwich, you will spike up the sugar levels in your blood and that means you get out of ketosis. If you get out of ketosis, that means your body is no longer burning fat for fuel. Instead, it is using the carbohydrates from bread.
When you get out of ketosis, it will take some time for you to get back into it. This means you will lose all of the gains you made when you got into keto and fat-burning. To stay in fat-burning mode, stay away from the following:
- Sugary drinks
- High-carb dairy
- Fruits and veggies high in sugar
Can I make a grilled cheese for breakfast?
Yes, you can definitely turn this sandwich into breakfast by adding 1 egg. You can cook the 1 egg over easy or as you like and place it inside of your Halloumi cheese bread slices. You can also make a french toast version of this by using almond flour and eggs. You can dip each slice of cheese in egg and then coat it in almond flour for a crispy French toast feeling.
If you are on keto, you don’t want to use regular flour. Almond flour is the flour for you due to its low carb content. Dipping your cheese into eggs and then almond flour gives you that added bread texture. It feels like you’re having a French toast grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast.
We hope you enjoy our recipe! Please let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.Print
This easy keto grilled cheese is simply delicious! With just a few ingredients, you’ll be creating the perfect healthy lunch or snack. Enjoy!
2 slices Halloumi Cheese (3/4” thick)
2 cups spinach, washed and chopped
½ medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely-chopped
2 tsp sliced Kalamata olives
1 small tomato (optional)
Handful parsley (optional)
3 tbsp Olive oil
- Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook for a minute, add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add spinach and olives, cover skillet and cook for 5 minutes, turn off the stove.
- Heat up your Panini press or griddle on high and when hot, place on Halloumi slices.
- Cook Halloumi for a few minutes or until you get grill marks or it browns, remove from heat and cool for two minutes
- Place your spinach mixture on one of the slices of halloumi, top with tomatoes and parsley if you want, place the second slice of halloumi on top and you are done!
- Enjoy with a side salad of your choice.
Keywords: Keto, Ketogenic, lunch