Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a favorite comfort food lunch recipe from my childhood. I remember my mom making it. Also remember eating it in college. And even now, my husband and I will sometimes have it if we’re craving something easy and comforting for dinner. The traditional version of this meal is impossibly… View Article

Healthy Grilled Cheese Two Ways: Salmon Dill and Pear Compote

Calories: 215 & 157

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a favorite comfort food lunch recipe from my childhood. I remember my mom making it. Also remember eating it in college. And even now, my husband and I will sometimes have it if we’re craving something easy and comforting for dinner. The traditional version of this meal is impossibly unhealthy: heavy bread coated in butter pan fried with slices of American processed cheese sandwiched in between. Yes, that’s still tasty in a greasy spoon sort of way, but I think you’ll find that this meal is easy to lighten up while retaining the essence of the cheesy, gooey goodness you’re after.

I used to try to make a healthier version of this meal by using super thin slices of cheese, but the results were always lackluster. Without enough cheese, it tends to just taste like fried bread. The trick, I found, is to use light spreadable cheese instead. When warm and melty, spreadable cheese has the ooey-gooey factor taken care of. The other key is to use low-calorie bread. For years I was convinced that bread was always about 100 calories per slice, and so it was something I basically never could eat because it was simply too caloric. Then I discovered that there are all kinds of light breads on the market at about 35 calories per slice. The main difference in light bread is that it’s a bit airier and sliced thinner, but it’s honestly not all that different from regular bread for drastically fewer calories. And remember, in this dish, the bread’s role is mostly there to serve as a vehicle for melty cheese.

I thought I’d spice things up with my grilled cheese by adding some tasty ingredients to the mix, including smoked salmon and pear compote. I think you’ll agree that this is an elevated, healthy take on grilled cheese and tomato soup that totally satisfies any melty-cheese comfort food craving.

Salmon Dill Grilled Cheese

Servings: 1 · Calories: 215
Fat: 8 g · Cholesterol: 45 mg · Sodium: 1060 mg · Carbs: 24 g · Fiber: 7 g · Sugar: 6 g · Protein: 20 g

Pear Compote Grilled Cheese

Servings: 1 · Calories: 157
Fat: 3 g · Cholesterol: 5 mg · Sodium: 401 mg · Carbs: 34 g · Fiber: 10 g · Sugar: 11 g · Protein: 7 g

Directions
For the salmon dill grilled cheese: In a small bowl, mix together the cheese and a sprinkle of dill weed. Spread this mixture on one slice of bread. Place the salmon on top of the cheese and cover with the other slice of bread.

For the pear compote grilled cheese: Peel pear and cut into small chunks. Place the pear chunks in a small sauce pan, cover, and heat over medium-low heat stirring frequently. Cook pears until they’re soft and starting to caramelize/turn brown on the outside. Remove from heat and blend until pureed with an immersion or regular blender. Spread half of this mixture on one slice of bread. Spread cheese on the other slice of bread–I find that it’s easier to spread if whipped with a butterknife in a separate bowl first–and sandwich the two pieces of bread together.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Place the sandwich on your hot nonstick pan and cover. Cook for several minutes, until the bread is a nice golden brown. Flip, and toast the other side.

Enjoy!

Tomato Soup

Servings: 2 · Serving Size: 1/2 · Calories: 158
Fat: 0 g · Cholesterol: 3 mg · Sodium: 665 mg · Carbs: 31 g · Fiber: 1 g · Sugar: 21 g · Protein: 7 g

  • 1 can Campbell’s Classic Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Cover and heat over medium heat. Serve with grilled cheese.

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10 Comments and Pingbacks for Healthy Grilled Cheese Two Ways: Salmon Dill and Pear Compote.

    • Thanks, Keri! It’s both upscale and classic comfort food at the same time :)

      Joules on March 23, 2016   /   Reply
  1. Yum – these both look delicious!

    Tieka, Selective Potential on March 23, 2016   /   Reply
  2. This looks amazingly delicious. Never thought to use salmon!

    Johanna on March 23, 2016   /   Reply
    • Thanks, Johanna! When the idea occurred to me I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it earlier!

      Joules on March 23, 2016   /   Reply
    • Thanks, Dana! It makes me super happy to hear you say that–I try to share the things I’m actually making, and often I don’t have time to make huge fancy recipes with obscure ingredients. I’m glad you’re enjoying them!

      Joules on March 24, 2016   /   Reply
    • Thanks, Trang! Let me know how you like it if you do!

      Joules on March 24, 2016   /   Reply