August 4, 2021

Greens Grilled Cheese

I would think these sandwiches sounded pretty strange if I didn’t know just how good they are. I love each of the main components separately: garlic-y sautéed greens plus gooey, crispy grilled cheese sandwiches. But whose idea was it to put them together?

I don’t know where it originated, but I saw the idea in passing one day, and right away knew I had to make my own version. I started out by making sautéed greens just as I would for any side dish, with lots of olive oil and garlic. But I didn’t want to braise these greens, because I didn’t want any extra moisture to make my sandwich soggy. I sautéed them quickly, letting salt draw out the moisture and evaporate off. I finished the greens with a splash of apple cider vinegar, because a little acid keeps cooked greens nice and bright, and helps cut through the richness of the cheese and butter these greens are about to meet.

These sandwiches are a great use of the end-of-winter and/or early spring greens in season right now. They pair well with just about any soup, to help round out a hearty cold-weather meal. Or, you could serve them with some sweet potato fries and a side of fruit for an easy weeknight meal or weekend lunch. No matter how you serve these Greens Grilled Cheese sandwiches, it’s a super tasty way to pack more dark leafy greens into your day!

Ingredients assembled for Greens Grilled Cheese
Assemble your ingredients.

Greens prepped to saute
Prep your greens: slice Brussels sprouts thinly, and slice leafy greens (such as the chard pictured) into 1"-wide ribbons.

Stages of sautéing greens
Saute the greens in olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes: start with the Brussels sprouts, then add the chard, and end with the baby spinach. Finish with a splash of apple cider vinegar to brighten them up.

Building the grilled cheese sandwiches
Assemble your sandwiches, as you would traditional grilled cheese, but really pile those greens in there! The cheese will melt and help hold everything together.

Close up of Greens Grilled Cheese sandwich, sliced in half on a plate
Serve alongside soup for a hearty and filling meal, or with your favorite sweet potato fries (or tots!) and fruit for a weekend lunch!

Original publication date: March 1, 2021

Greens Grilled Cheese

I would think these sandwiches sounded pretty strange if I didn’t know just how good they are. Garlic-y sautéed greens plus gooey, crispy grilled cheese sandwiches? Well, trust me on this one.


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











1 bunch dark leafy greens, such as kale or chard

1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts

1 large handful baby spinach

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

8 slices whole grain or sprouted grain bread

8 slices mild melting cheese, such as provolone or havarti

2 Tbsp. softened butter


  1. Start by prepping your greens. If using kale, remove leaves from stems, and chop leaves into 1”-wide ribbons (discard stems). Or, if using chard, remove wide stems, and dice stems into small pieces to saute first; chop leaves into 1”-wide ribbons. Set aside. Prep Brussels sprouts by trimming the bottom stem, cutting the sprout in half, then thinly slicing the Brussel sprouts into shreds. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced Brussels sprouts (and chard stems, if using), and saute about 4 minutes, until beginning to soften.
  3. Add minced garlic and pinch of red pepper flakes, and saute about 30 seconds.
  4. Add kale or chard leaf ribbons, and season with the salt and pepper. The salt will help draw out the moisture from the leafy greens, allowing them to soften and the liquid to evaporate (so you don’t have a soggy sandwich!). Saute about 6 minutes, then add the baby spinach, and saute another 1-2 minutes, until all leafy greens are wilted.
  5. Add apple cider vinegar. Taste for seasonings, then remove from heat. Divide greens into four equal portions.
  6. Assemble your sandwiches: thinly spread one slice of bread with softened butter. Place buttered-side down and top with one slice of cheese. Add one portion of the divided sautéed greens, piling them on top of the cheese. Add another slice of cheese on top of the greens. Top with a piece of bread, and spread the top slice of bread with a thin, even layer of butter. Repeat until your have assembled four sandwiches.
  7. Transfer sandwiches to a pre-heat griddle or large skillet, and cook on each side until the bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  8. Remove sandwiches from pan, and let rest 1-2 minutes. Slice in half, and serve!
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May 24, 2022
I don't normally comment on recipes but this has got to be the best thing I've ever made. It came together pretty easy and made five meals - perfect for meal prep for the week. I already can't wait to make it again.
January 22, 2022
Sherry Ruiter
I love this section!!!!!