How To Make Grilled Cheese Without Butter?



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How To Make Grilled Cheese Without Butter

Toasted, crispy bread and warm, gooey cheese inside – is there anything else you need to make your morning breakfast special? Those who have eaten American-styled grilled cheese all their life may find it unimaginable to leave out the butter. However, if you are looking to skip it for health reasons or you simply don’t have any butter in the fridge, this post will help you.

So, how to make grilled cheese without butter? The crispy texture and brown crust on the top of your grilled cheese comes at the cost of over 400 calories and about 18 grams of saturated fat. Substitute butter with olive oil, canola oil, margarine, or mayonnaise to cut back on the high calories and fat without compromising with the taste and texture.

Quick Way To Make Grilled Cheese Without Butter

What you will need:

  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 2-3 teaspoons of mayonnaise
  • 2 slices cheddar or any other cheese


  • Put a nonstick pan on the gas on low heat
  • Evenly coat one side of the bread with a spread of mayo
  • Put the bread on the pan, mayo-side-down
  • Add shredded or a full slice of cheese over the bread on the pan
  • Now, add the other slice of bread with the mayo side facing up
  • Let the sandwich cook for a few minutes until the bottom part becomes crispy and golden brown.
  • Flip the sandwich and cook the other side to get a similar golden-brown texture. Wait until the cheese melts and then take it out on a serving plate.

Butter Vs Mayonnaise Grilled Cheese Sandwich

We know some people who have eaten traditional style grilled cheese since their school days find substituting butter with mayo just like taking the ‘soul’ out of the dish. What about the flavor, the aroma, and that old nostalgic taste? Can mayo stand up to the expectations and do justice to our good old comfort food. We have drawn a comparison between the two to help you decide for yourself.  


The butter slathered grilled cheese comes with an even browning that we all love, but the mayonnaise version looks even more appealing. The outer side not only felt crispier but the bread inside the sandwich is fluffier as well, so it feels nicer to bite into something soft. The butter version, on the other hand, is perfectly crisp, but it feels slightly dry on the outside and crumbly inside.


When it comes to convenience of use, it’s hands down mayo over butter because the former is always soft and ready to use immediately when hunger pangs strike you. To use butter, you will need to ensure that it has been kept out at room temperature for some time to be soft enough to spread. Margarine is another good substitute for butter, but most households may not have margarine in the fridge.


The tangier taste of the mayonnaise version may not be pleasant at first, but your tastebuds will get acclimatized with the flavor. The butter grilled cheese tastes heavenly and classic no doubt, and traditionalists may not buy into the change of taste. However, if you have health concerns, give mayo and margarine a try and you will soon be able to appreciate them more.

How To Make Grilled Cheese Without Butter? (Using Olive Oil Instead)

If you are averse the taste of mayo or you are a vegan looking for an egg-less alternative then consider using olive oil cooking spray instead of butter. This yields a crispy and crusty exterior similar to the butter version, but without the added fat and calories. Here’s a quick recipe to make a healthier version of grilled cheese without butter:

What you will need:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Half of an avocado
  • Lime juice
  • Thin onion slices
  • Fresh spinach (handful)
  • Portobello mushroom (1 medium, sliced)
  • Whole-grain bread (2 slices)
  • 2 thin slices of tomato
  • Swiss cheese (1 slice)


  • Take a bowl and mix lime juice and avocado until they become chunky
  • Put a skillet on medium heat and spray it with cooking spray. Add a few onion slices and cook until they become soft and translucent
  • Now, add a handful of spinach to the pan and stir constantly until the spinach begins to wilt. Remove from heat.
  • Wash mushrooms and wipe in a clean paper towel. Cut the stems and slice into long strips. Again, spray some oil and cook mushroom slices until they become dark and soft.
  • To prepare the sandwich, spray olive oil cooking spray on one side of the bread and put in on the skillet (sprayed side down) on low heat. Add a layer of mashed avocado, tomato slices, onion slices, spinach, mushrooms, and a slice of cheese.
  • Cook for a few minutes until the bread turns golden brown and cheese starts to melt. Spray the other slice of bread and place it on the top.
  • Flip the sandwich and now cook the other side until it also becomes golden brown in color. Remove from heat and enjoy.

Secrets For How To Make Grilled Cheese Healthier

Grilled cheese is no doubt a tasty and easy food option at any time of the day. With few ingredients and less time needed, this is the perfect snack item that has a crispy crust and soft interior. What’s not to love about it, except the calories? If you want to make healthier choices, here are a few secrets that can cut back on fat and enhance the taste.

1. Choose the right cheese

 All varieties of cheese do not have the same flavor or taste so don’t treat them as equal. Some people prefer American cheese for its superior melting qualities, however, it doesn’t have the same flavor so your sandwich may taste bland.

We would suggest that you give mild-flavored cheeses a miss and choose the higher intensity ones, such as Cheddar or blue cheese. As it has a strong flavor, less is enough so it also helps you cut down your fat and calories intake.

You may also try some different flavors such as pepper jack cheese, manchego or muenster, gruyère or gouda to fire up the flavors. Just make sure the cheese melts really well, or else you may choose to grate the cheese. For better results, consider buying grated Mexican or Italian cheese blends.

2. Go beyond cheese and try some veggies

You may be used to eating grilled cheese since your schooldays but how about mixing it up with some other ingredients as well. You don’t necessarily need to intake a large amount of cheese to make that perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Mix it up with veggies to enjoy other flavors while still retaining the softness of cheese.

Try other ingredients such as mashed beans, tomatoes, onions, peppers, spinach, and so on. Parents will love this tip because it’s a secret way of sneaking in some veggies in your child’s diet. So, you still have the ooey-gooey factor, with some nutritious additions too.

3. Pick the healthier bread

Think of grilled cheese and your mind is sure to conjure up images of the delicacy prepared using white bread, the classic way we all know! However, if you like treating yourself with grilled cheese often then make a healthier choice by picking whole bread instead of the white version.

Another good alternative would be to upgrade to a country-style loaf, which may be a bit fancier but you get better flavors nevertheless. Whole bread and loaf taste as good as white bread when slathered in melted cheese, plus you get a good dose of whole grains and fibers.

4. Try a panini maker for better results

Grilled cheese is slightly misleading because it is fried rather than being grilled. Butter does play an important role in giving you that golden crust on the top, but there are other substitutes you can use to get similar results and a good panini maker (see Amazon) can help you with that.

How? Well, the panini maker has a hot surface that compresses the bread to make it naturally crisp. If you don’t have a panini maker at home, try this – heat one teaspoon olive oil or canola oil in a large skillet and place a slice of bread over it, add cheese and veggies and place another bread slice.

Now, cover the sandwich with another skillet and weigh down with cans until it becomes golden brown on one side. It usually takes about 2 minutes. Then flip and repeat the same process to turn the other side golden brown too.

5. Skip the butter for good

Soggy grilled cheese is a major faux pas, and most people think that slathering them in butter is the key to making a perfect sandwich. As the delicacy is already rich with melted cheese in between, you don’t really need to enhance the flavor with butter.

Try other substitutes as mentioned above (olive oil, canola oil, or reduced-fat mayonnaise) to get similar results as butter. You may also use reduced-fat sour cream to give your sandwich that sense of richness and silky mouthfeel without the use of butter.

10 Easy Tips To Make Delicious Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese

Now, that you know how to make grilled cheese without butter, let’s consider a few simple and easy tips that make you a master at it. These little tips can bring about a great difference in the end results and your guests will surely be left craving for more.

  1. Choose medium-soft to medium-hard cheese and you have dozens of choices available online. The reason is this type of cheese melt better and spread out evenly.
  2. Combine more than one type of cheese to improve the flavor of the dish. Make sure one of them is really soft in consistency to get that gooey feel.
  3. You may want to add veggies or tuna in your sandwich, but in that case, make sure you add cheese on both sides so that it is the first thing that comes in contact with bread.
  4. An expert tip from professionals is to use slightly stale bread that is beyond the prime time to make a grilled cheese sandwich (stale does not mean old or moldy). It results in better browning on the outside.
  5. Avoid using bread added with sugar because they tend to brown faster before cheese melts, but they are also water-absorbing in nature. They are less likely to have that crunchy texture.
  6. Don’t overheat the grilled cheese or else you will not get that perfect flavor. Keep it between low to medium to get a brown color and a nice crunch.
  7. You may be crazily hungry but don’t try to make your grilled cheese in haste or you will not get the desired results. Let it cook over low heat for at least 8-10 minutes for maximum crispiness.
  8. If you are an ardent cheese fan, substitute butter or olive oil with grated parmesan cheese. Sprinkle it over the bread slice just before it hits the hot pan to get a delicious cheesy crust.
  9. Enhance the taste by adding black truffles or crispy bacon along with cheese and vegetables. This not only improves the nutritious value but also makes the dish more filling.
  10. Almost anything goes with grilled cheese if you just make sure that you have cheese slices in contact with bread on both sides. If the ingredients are wet, add just two spoons and if it’s dry then you can stack the ingredients high.

Mistakes To Avoid When Making Grilled Cheese

Making grilled cheese is easy, isn’t it? You have already learned how to make grilled cheese without butter, so you possibly cannot go wrong (maybe that’s what you think). Well, here are some common mistakes to avoid.

Choosing Thick Bread: The thickness of bread is an important feature to ensure that you get a perfect grilled cheese. The standard half-inch is the ideal size but you may go up to three-fourth of an inch so that your bread turns brown evenly and does not burn before the cheese melts. The crispier or softer you sandwich depends on the bread, so choose the right bread.

Spreading unevenly: The magic you see on the outside when the bread touches the pan is due to butter spread on it. As we are discussing ‘how to make grilled cheese without butter’, in this case, it is olive oil or mayo. If you spread haphazardly, you will have uneven spots of brown, so make sure you smear the fat from edge to edge, in an even layer.

Overdoing the fillings: You may choose to keep it to just cheese or add extra fillings like ham, sliced meat, bacon, and tomatoes. You may sauté vegetables to caramelize onions and soften other fillings. Avoid overstuffing the fillings as this will make the sandwich fall apart and things will ooze out of the plate, making it difficult to eat.

Over heated pan: You may be hungry as hell, but this is where you really need to slow down as too much heat will ruin the grilled cheese. An overly heated pan will char the outside of the bread even before the cheese softens. For best results pre-heat the pan while you prepare the bread and fillings, and cook over low heat for a long time.

Picking the boring cheese: We know you may be nostalgic about that orange square slice of cheese that you are used to eating. This may make your sandwich stereotypical and boring. Mix up different flavors to please your tastebuds and grate the cheese to help it melt faster.

1. Can I make grilled cheese in a microwave?

Yes, you may but you will need pre-toasted bread. Place a slice of cheese between two slices of toast and heat in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds. It will be close to your traditional taste.

2. How to keep your sandwich warm for long?

A nice way of keeping your grilled cheese warm for long is by storing them inside a thermos. Pour boiling water in the thermos and let it sit while you make the sandwich. Empty water and wipe the interior to make it dry. Let the grilled cheese cool on the board. Cut it into smaller pieces and keep inside the thermos that’s now warm due to hot water, seal tightly until lunchtime.

3. Can I reheat grilled cheese?

Yes, leftover grilled cheese and Panini can be heated in the microwave oven to make it crisp on the outside and even warm up the inside.

4. How long can grilled cheese sit outside at room temperature?

The delicacy is meant to be savored immediately and if it sits outside at room temperature, it should not be eaten after 2 hours to avoid health problems. Remember that cheese is prepared with the help of bacteria, so you must be extra careful about following the USDA guidelines.

See Also:
Difference Between Grill And Oven
What to Eat with Grilled Cheese (14 Sides)
Melt Vs Grilled Cheese: Here’s The Difference
Can I Grill Inside My Garage? (Detailed Explanation)

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