With fresh mozzarella, sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, and basil, this Strawberry Grilled Cheese is perfect for breaking your usual sandwich routine!
I used to hate grilled cheese. I know…sue me, judge me, say what you must. But for most of my life, grilled cheese meant two pieces of white bread sandwiching a thick slab of Velveeta, melted into a strange pseudo-cheese thing.
And it wasn’t until I grew up and moved off to college that I 1) learned to cook for myself and 2) learned that grilled cheese is pretty okay after all. Maybe it’s a rite of passage into adulthood, but one does not simply go to college and not live off grilled cheese sandwiches for at least a month.
In this time of grilled cheese exploration, I discovered the fascinating world of non-boring grilled cheeses. Anything could make a grilled cheese sandwich! Whatever I (or my roommates) happened to have in the refrigerator. Pesto / spinach / mozzarella, blueberry/balsamic, leftover mac n’ cheese…everything was game.
And thank the heavens I discovered that grilled cheese is not, in fact, the worst food known to man, because that discovery eventually led me to this Strawberry Avocado Grilled Cheese.
Ingredients for this gourmet grilled cheese
This gourmet avocado grilled cheese sandwich has a lot of tasty components. Let’s talk about ‘em.
Sourdough: You can’t have a grilled cheese without some really great bread! Any bread will work in this recipe, however I hands down recommend sourdough. The taste, combined with the fluffy inside and tough crust makes for one perfect grilled cheese. Use 2 thick slices!
Olive Oil: You’ll need 1 teaspoon of olive oil (butter or mayo will also work). This is used to coat the outside of the sandwich to help it reach a perfect golden brown in the pan or panini press.
Avocados: Hop on the shaved avocado train and slice them really thin. These are going to add some major eye-candy + creaminess to this sandwich.
Fresh Mozzarella: Today we’re using a fresh ball of mozzarella! Cut it into slabs and set them on a few layers of paper towels, then dab the mozzarella with more paper towels to get out the excess moisture. Let them sit for about 20 minutes to really get them dry. In total, you’ll need 2 to 3 ¼-inch slices.
Strawberries: You may be wondering if fruit on a savory grilled cheese could actually taste good. The answer: yes. Strawberries give a refreshing sweetness that we’ll balance out with the mozzarella and basil. You’ll need about 3 berries, sliced thin.
Basil: Because basil is summer perfection, and because my thumb has finally turned green in the form of an overgrown herb garden, it screams to be included in this grilled cheese! Add as few or as many leaves as your heart desires.
Salt & Pepper: A pinch of salt and another pinch of pepper add the perfect finishing flavors to the sandwich.
Optional dipping sauce: Go above and beyond on the flavor with a yummy mix of mayo and balsamic vinegar. A tablespoon of each combined creates a delicious and unique taste that is perfect for dipping this sandwich!
How to make a strawberry and avocado grilled cheese
Cut up your mozzarella and strawberries, and prep your avocado. From there, just assemble your sandwich and then cook it in a pan (or get fancy with a panini press)!
Step 1: Prep the ingredients
First, cut the mozzarella into slices and place them on a few layers of paper towels. Dab each slice and allow them to sit for about 10 minutes before you make your sandwich. This allows the excess moisture to absorb in the paper towels and prevents a soggy sandwich.
Step 2: Coat with olive oil
Spread olive oil onto the outward facing side of each piece of bread.
Step 3: Add the avocado
Onto the inside of each piece of bread, evenly mash the avocado so that it is spread all over the inside of the bread. This will also keep the sandwich from becoming soggy when cooked!
Step 4: Add fillings
Onto one of the pieces of bread, pile on the chopped strawberries, mozzarella, and basil. Sprinkle on salt and pepper, and then set the remaining piece of bread with mashed avocado on top.
Step 5: Cook the sandwich
Cook the sandwich in a pan or panini press on medium heat for about 5 minutes and flip halfway through, or until everything is melted and hot. Optionally serve with balsamic mayo.
Ways to switch up your berry grilled cheese
The beauty in using strawberries in cooking is that in most instances, other berries will work in their place. Take blueberries for example. They make a totally whopping grilled cheese and actually taste amazing with goat cheese! So amazing in fact, that they have their own recipe. But, if you want to stick with the avocado and basil idea, you can simply sub them for the strawberries here. Blackberries or raspberries will work too, but they’re a bit bitter! An excuse to use extra mozz, maybe?
Now, for the cheese. You have a couple of options. 1) Swap the mozzarella for some brie. This gives the sandwich a Mediterranean vibe that tastes pretty darn good. 2) Use Swiss. Classic, delicious, can’t go wrong.
Additional grilled cheese recipes to devour
To me, grilled cheese sandwiches are a multiple-times-per-week kinda meal. When you can make them so many different ways, why not? Here are some more of my favorite grilled sandwiches to try!
- 2 thick slices bread sourdough is great here
- 1 tsp olive oil can sub butter or mayo, 5 mL
- ½ avocado thinly sliced
- 3 strawberries thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 ¼-inch slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- A few basil leaves
- Pinch each of salt and pepper
- Optional dipping sauce: 1 Tbsp mayo + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Prep: Cut the mozzarella into slices and place them on a few layers of paper towels. Dab each slice and allow them to sit for about 10 minutes before you make your sandwich to remove excess moisture.
- Outside: Spread olive oil onto the outward facing side of each piece of bread.
- Avocado: Onto the inside of each piece of bread, evenly mash avocado so that it is spread all over the inside of the bread. This will keep the sandwich from becoming soggy when cooked!
- Fillings: Onto one of the pieces of bread, pile on chopped strawberries, mozzarella, and basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set remaining piece of bread with mashed avocado on top.
- Cook: Cook in a pan or panini press on medium heat for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until everything is melted and hot. Optionally serve with balsamic mayo.