5 Ways to Make a Grilled Macaroni and Cheese Sandwich

Two Comfort Foods Combined

In the past few years, macaroni and cheese has had a bit of a makeover, going from a simple side dish to stellar entrée, boasting additional ingredients such as Buffalo chicken, lobster, and truffles. But there also is another way to transform this quintessential comfort food into something spectacular: making it part of a grilled cheese sandwich.

Since macaroni and cheese has two basic ingredients—pasta and cheese—and grilled cheese has two main ingredients—bread and cheese—it seems only natural to merge these two well-loved dishes together. And there are endless possibilities for creating flavor combinations by playing around with different ingredients.

From straight and simple, to rich and meaty, to a way to get your kids to eat their veggies, any of these sandwiches will most definitely have you seeing mac-n-cheese in a whole new way. And they're perfect for using up leftovers.

  • 01 of 05

    Grilled Macaroni and Cheese Sandwich With Braised Short Ribs

    A grilled macaroni and cheese and short rib sandwich cut in half to expose the filling
    Grilled Cheese Social

    This grilled macaroni and cheese sandwich is filled with tender braised short ribs and umami-rich steak sauce. You can use boxed mac-n-cheese or homemade, whatever your family prefers, or whatever you have on hand. In addition to these ingredients, this decadent sandwich is layered with two kinds of cheese on a buttered onion roll, which is then grilled until gooey and toasty.

  • 02 of 05

    Spicy Jalapeño Mac-n-Cheese Grilled Cheese

    Someon holding a jalapeño mac-n-cheese grilled cheese cut in half to show the filling

    Grilled Cheese Social

    This quick-and-easy recipe is for those who like a little extra spice—the jalapeños and pepper jack cheese add a nice kick to a traditional mac-n-cheese. This recipe comes together simply if you use leftover mac-n-cheese, but of course, you also can make your favorite recipe.

    If you are having a hard time imagining how all that mac-n-cheese doesn't fall out of the bread, the trick is letting the pasta get cool and firm up—basically creating a cheesy glue that helps everything stay together. 

  • 03 of 05

    Grilled Macaroni and Cheese Sandwich With Broccoli

    A grilled cheese sandwich with macaroni and broccoli cut in half and resting on a plate
    Grilled Cheese Social

    This sandwich is a winner all around, and a great way to squeeze some veggies into a sandwich that doesn't always have the healthiest reputation—as well as sneak in a green vegetable for those picky eaters. Of course, leftover mac-n-cheese brings this recipe together in a snap, but if you find yourself without any and need to cook up a box or homemade recipe on the spot, let it sit for a little while so it thickens up before layering it between the bread slices.

  • 04 of 05

    Grilled Mac-n-Cheese Sandwich With Bacon Jam

    Someone holding a grilled cheese and mac and cheese sandwich with bacon jam
    Grilled Cheese Social

    Those who think everything is better with bacon have never had bacon jam. The sweet and spicy mixture that includes bacon, of course, onion, brown sugar, spices, and a splash of coffee makes anything more delicious—especially macaroni and cheese. The creamy, rich, salty, and sweet jam is slathered on top of the mac-n-cheese and then pressed between two slices of buttered bread before frying until golden brown.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Grilled Macaroni and Cheese Sandwich

    Grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese sandwich cut in half on a cutting board
    Grilled Cheese Social

    It's like mac-n-cheese and grilled cheese got married and had a baby—the classic macaroni and cheese is nestled inside the classic American grilled cheese, making for a sandwich almost any kid would love. It's perfect for when you can't decide between the two comfort foods, or when you have leftovers you need to use up. No matter why you make it, though, it is a match made in heaven and your mouth.