This kale grilled cheese sandwich is made for grownups. It adds a nutritious kick to your childhood favorite and is perfect for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration!
Just look at all that ooey, gooey, green cheese!! Yep, green cheese. Don’t you just love St. Patrick’s Day with all of the green everywhere? Chicago dyes the river green, bars turn their beer green, and there is always a special on green clothing around this time of year. There is a whole lot of green going on here in the United States and I like it! Afterall, green is my favorite color.
This year, St. Patrick’s day falls on a Thursday, which means that Chicago will dye its river on Saturday the 12th and most cities will have their celebrations right along with them. I didn’t realize just how green that river gets until I saw it with my own eyes. It’s super green, kind of like this sandwich.
This sandwich however, doesn’t call for any artificial colors in order to get that beautifully vivid shade of green. It’s all natural, and all courtesy of baby kale. The kale is blended right into the homemade cheese spread and if it weren’t for the color you would hardly know it was there. It’s good enough that Tuck stole the last bite of it right out of my hand. For a dog that suspiciously sniffs anything that isn’t bacon before eating it, you know that’s a good sign.
I like to call this a grownup version of grilled cheese. Mainly because it calls for real cheese, not the processed imitations. The trick to getting that ooey, gooey texture is a result of buying a block of cheese and grating it yourself.
When you buy pre-shredded cheese, you’ll notice that the last ingredient is always powdered cellulose. It’s not necessarily a bad ingredient but, as indicated on the package, it’s used to prevent caking.
This kale grilled cheese sandwich calls for two types a young gouda and an aged cheddar.
The young gouda is a semi-hard cheese. It gives slightly when pressed upon and springs back with no indentation. I chose Arla’s Dofino Gouda. With it’s smooth, creamy texture it melts beautifully. The flavor is mild and slightly nutty.
For the aged cheddar I chose Tillamook’s extra sharp white cheddar. This cheddar has been aged for three years and can start to crumble when it’s grated. It’s going in the food processor anyway, so it doesn’t have to look pretty. The sharp zing of the cheddar plays very nicely with the more mellow flavor of the gouda, creating a delicious cheesy combination.
Everything here is measured by weight, because once you grate it the volume changes – it’s not an accurate measurement. Since I already had my scale out, it was easy to just use it to measure the kale as well. If you don’t yet have a scale, you can pick one up on Amazon for around $12. It’s well worth it when building up your kitchen supplies.
The cheese goes into the food processor, mini food processor, or blender along with the kale and butter. The butter’s job is help make the spread smooth and creamy. Between the salt in the cheese and the butter, no additional salt should be needed, but adjust to taste if you prefer. Blend it all up until it’s smooth and creamy, then spread a thick layer on one side of your bread.
Melt 1 tsp of butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the bread side-by-side in the pan. Cover and let them start to cook. As the butter melts the milk solids will start to brown along with the bread, lending the nutty flavor of browned butter.
After about 90 seconds, check the bottoms. If they are browning too quickly, lower the heat. In this case it’s better to cook a little longer at a lower heat than let them burn. Stack the bread to form a sandwich, cover and cook another 60 seconds or so. Flip, cover, and cook the last 60 seconds.
By this point the sandwich should be nicely toasted on both sides and the cheese should be melted in the middle. Let it rest a moment before cutting it in half.
The recipe below includes the amounts to make just one kale grilled cheese sandwich. The filling can be doubled, quadrupled, or more based on how many sandwiches you need to make.
The cheese spread can also be made a couple days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
If you’re anything like me, your favorite thing to eat with a grilled cheese is of course tomato soup. Join me Friday when I share my version of tomato basil bisque. It goes perfectly with this grownup kale grilled cheese sandwich.
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Kale Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 1/2 ounce young gouda
- 1/2 ounce aged cheddar
- 1/4 ounce baby kale
- 1 tsp butter
- cheese spread, recipe above
- 2 slices bread
- 1 tsp butter
To Make the Cheese Spread
- Grate cheeses.
- Add grated cheese, kale, and butter to the food processor. Blend on high until a thick spread is formed, stopping to scrape down the sides at least once.
- Cheese spread can be used immediately or refrigerated for 1 - 2 days.
To Make Sandwiches
- Spread cheese spread over 1 slice of bread.
- Heat a medium sized frying pan over medium heat.
- Melt one teaspoon of butter in frying pan.
- Add bread slices side by side.
- Cover and cook for 90 seconds.
- Stack the slices of bread, toasted sides out forming a sandwich. Cover and continue to cook 60 seconds.
- Flip the sandwich over, cover and continue to cook 60 seconds.
- Allow sandwich to rest 1 minute prior to serving.