November 21, 2012
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Grilled cheese sandwiches take regular sandwiches to a whole new level, and today I’m showing you how to pack them into lunches!
Grab your bread, cheese, and butter because you’re going to get your grilled cheese fix today! We’re talking techniques to a perfect sandwich and some incredible recipes to get you inspired. Are you ready for this? Good, let’s go!
How to Pack Grilled Cheese in a Lunchbox
Perfectly crispy, toasted bread with gooey cheese, I would hate for it to get…. ruined.
Yes, it’s true, there is a wrong way to pack grilled sandwiches. Instead of toasted bread, it’s soggy and sad, but today I’m making sure that doesn’t happen, so your kids can enjoy crispy, cheesy goodness bite after bite.
Of course, we can’t talk grilled cheese without including directions on how to craft the perfect grilled sandwich so I’m sharing that as well.
1. Start by assembling your sandwich of choice. Could be regular ham & cheese, turkey & avocado melt, or a PB & J for you adventurous type.
2. Next, lightly butter both sides of the sandwich.
3. In a non-stick pan over medium heat, place the sandwich and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes.
4. Flip it and cook for another 3 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread perfectly toasted.
5. Remove the sandwich from the pan and allow it to cool down to room temperature. Don’t skip the cooling time!
6. Slice the sandwich in half and pack it into a lunch container.
I’m so serious about this that I even created a video which demonstrates this process start to finish, click below to check it out:
Kid-friendly and delicious lunch ideas are what we’re all about here and we’ve got more where this came from in our family meal plans! Packing lunches and family dinners don’t get easier than our weekly menus with real-food recipes, shopping lists, and prep guide, so your family can enjoy meal after meal, without breaking a sweat.
Best Soups to Serve & Pack with Sandwiches
Soup is always a good idea for a thermos lunch, but when it comes to a soup and sandwich lunch, creamy, simple recipes are best! Not that we don’t love ideas like these 5 hearty thermos soup recipes, but we don’t want to mask the flavors of the grilled cheese.
Of course, you’ll need a good thermos container to keep the soup hot until lunch. You can check out a few of our best kid-friendly thermos containers to get the job done plus instructions on how to keep hot foods piping until lunch.
Grilled Cheese Recipe Inspiration
When it comes to grilled sandwiches, you are in the right place. Something about melted cheese between 2 slices of toasted, buttery bread gets us excited to try all sorts of ideas.
- Taco Grilled Cheese
- Rosemary Avocado Melts
- Tuna Melt
- Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese
- Spinach & Artichoke Sandwich
- Philly Grilled Cheese
- Grilled Cheese Dippers
Other Grilled Cheese Topping Ideas
But let’s not stop, there are so many more ideas to try in a grilled cheese. Just take the basic recipe below and cook your way through the following:
- Cooked bacon strips and sliced avocado
- Marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and sliced pepperoni
- Classic Rueben sandwich
- Sliced turkey, tomato, and avocado
- Sliced pears and Brie cheese
The sky’s the limit but first, let’s start with this Grilled Chicken & Cheese Sandwich.
Lunchbox Grilled Chicken & Cheese Sandwich
- 1 cup grilled chicken strips
- 4 slices sandwich bread
- 2 slices Cheddar cheese
- Butter for grilling
- Layer the grilled chicken strips and cheese onto 2 slices of bread. Assemble the sandwiches and lightly butter both sides.
- In a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat, grill the sandwiches for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and continue to grill until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from heat and allow the sandwich to cool to room temperature before slicing in half and packing inside a lunch container.
One question, I assume this lunch is not kept refrigerated before lunch. What if the lunch is in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating? Does that change the bread texture?
Hi Karlee, this will cause the bread the cheese to get hard and the bread to dry out.
I tried this today but it became soggy, don’t know what’s wrong. I made sure it wasn’t hot before I put them in the lunch box
MOMables - Laura
It was not cooled down long enough. Sorry!
I want to send my kids with items like grilled cheese. Where do I get the stainless steel container you packed this grilled cheese in? Thank you.
Faith, you can find that container here: http://amzn.to/2kdSsZI
I would love to be able to pack grilled sandwiches for my boys, but right now, we can’t afford the stainless steel containers (18.00 x 3)…for something that I’m not sure they would like in the lunches! Do you have any other ideas on how to keep a grilled cheese “warm” ?
it’s hard to keep food warm when it’s not inside a thermos for long periods of time. Yes, 3-4 hours is a long period of time. if you have a thermos, i suggest you cut the sandwich in strips and make grilled cheese stix. otherwise, you can try wrapping it in foil. if you are not sure they would like something in their lunch, you need to try it at home first, this way, you are not wasting food.
I read on another site to wrap the grilled cheese with foil to keep it warm. I thought it was pretty ingenious! They didn’t say if the foil kept the sogginess away though. I think it probably does. I will be trying it this year.
wrap it in a paper towel and then foil to help keep soggy away. That’s how my Dad sends me breakfast sandwiches to work with Mom.
What a great idea–warming the thermos with hot water while the soup is cooking–can’t believe that I didn’t think of that! Cannot wait for the new recipe ideas! One question: when is MOMables coming out with her cookbook? I know quite a few people who could benefit from your fantastic ideas and recipes.
thanks Renee. One day…
Any way to keep a grilled cheese warm for lunch.? She doesn’t like cold food. We have a subscription and love your ideas.!! Thank you.!
Hi Jill! the ONLY way is in a metal container or inside a thermos. We mostly “grill” for the crunchyness and melting the flavors together.
When you place the cooled grilled cheese in the stainless steel container, do you add ice packs on top of it? It doesn’t sound like it would be safe to leave it at the room temperature. Thanks!
I do not pack ice packs when I grill a sandwich. I’m ok with it this way for my kids. Everything in the sandwich has been “cooked”.
Do you have the creamy homemade tomato soup recipe? Thanks.
Angela, I love Alison’s recipe on her personal blog (she’s a contributor here). It’s simple and delicious http://thishomemadelife.com/creamy-tomato-soup If you like “thicker” soups… reduce some of the broth. Hers comes out delicious every time. :)
Hi! Was wondering where you got your insulated cup? I want to send soups, etc to school with my daughter, but she can’t stand the metallic after taste that the stainless steel ones have.
Thanks in Advance!
The one in our post is a really old one… but in our “store” tab, click on lunch essentials and you’ll find a non-metal thermos on page 3. Sold right through Amazon.