This Taco Grilled Cheese Sandwich is the perfect mashup of two classic comfort foods. It’s made with flavorful taco meat, melty cheddar, lettuce, and tomato sandwiched between two perfectly golden and buttery slices of bread.
I remember my mom making grilled cheese sandwiches and serving them with a bowl of tomato soup when I was a kid. A classic meal that brings back so many fond memories. Fast forward to today and I’m making that same comforting meal for my own family…except sometimes I like to get a little creative with it.
And that’s how this taco grilled cheese was born. I’m no stranger to creating fun twists on classic recipes. It keeps things interesting!
This taco grilled cheese sandwich is everything you love about tacos in a classic crispy, golden grilled cheese sandwich. It’s hearty and filling, so tasty, and a quick and easy meal that the whole family will go crazy for.
Why You’ll Love This Taco Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- The perfect mashup. I mean, we all love tacos and grilled cheese separately. Why not combine the two?!
- Minimal ingredients. Just 7 main ingredients, plus the dipping sauces of your choice.
- Hearty and delicious. Not only is this grilled cheese sandwich so flavorful, but it’s also quite a bit more filling than a standard grilled cheese thanks to the add-ons.
The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.
- Ground Beef: I like to use lean ground beef so it isn’t too oily. If you do use a fattier beef, you may need to drain off some of the excess grease before adding it to your sandwich.
- Taco Seasoning: You can grab a container of pre-made taco seasoning at the store or easily make your own using my homemade taco seasoning recipe.
- Bread: I like to use a soft white bread to keep it classic, but feel free to use whatever bread you like best for your grilled cheese.
- Butter: Adding a layer of unsalted butter to the bread helps the exterior of the sandwich achieve that golden crisp.
- Lettuce: Crunchy iceberg lettuce is a delicious addition.
- Tomato: Be sure to dice the tomato pretty small so it incorporates well with the other toppings.
- Cheese: Use freshly shredded cheddar cheese.
- Condiments: Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, you name it.
How to Make a Taco Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Just like any grilled cheese, this taco grilled cheese recipe is quick and simple to put together. Here’s a quick summary of the recipe:
- Step One: In a skillet, brown the ground beef. Add in the taco seasoning and combine.
- Step Two: Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread, then top the non-buttered side with lettuce, tomatoes, ground beef, and cheese. Cover with the other slice of buttered bread with the buttered side facing out.
- Step Three: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, then grill the sandwich on each side until the desired doneness is reached. Slice in half, then serve hot with the toppings of your choice.
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What to Serve with a Taco Grilled Cheese Sandwich
This taco grilled cheese is delicious as-is or with dipping sauces such as salsa, creamy salsa dip, sour cream, or guacamole. However, if you want to bulk your meal up a bit, you can enjoy it with your favorite Mexican-inspired appetizers or side dishes.
Here are a few ideas:
- Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños
- Chicken Fajita Pasta Salad
- Guacamole Tomato Boats
- Pico de Gallo
- Chips and Corn Salsa or Chicken Queso Dip
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses contain an anti-caking agent that can cause the melted cheese to feel gritty and grainy. Freshly shredded cheese is key to the best grilled cheese sandwich.
- Butter the outside of the sandwich. You’ll butter each slice of bread on the side that will be touching the pan. The butter helps the exterior of the grilled cheese get golden and crispy.
- Soften the butter first. Microwaving the butter for 5-7 seconds before spreading it on the bread helps it go on so much smoother and easier.
- Preheat the skillet. The skillet should be nice and hot before you add the sandwich in. If you put the sandwich on the pan before it’s hot, then it will burn on the outside before the cheese is melty in the middle.
- Be careful when flipping. We don’t want all of those fillings to fall out!
- Serve right away. Grilled cheese sandwiches are best served right away after cooking.
Variations and Substitutions
- Add other toppings. Try layering in any of your favorite taco toppings in addition to (or in place of) the lettuce and tomato. Add black olives, fajita veggies, diced jalapeños, diced red onion, you name it.
- Try another meat. Swap the ground beef out for ground turkey or chicken instead.
- Make it vegetarian. Leave out the meat or use a meatless variety of ground beef. If you’re leaving the meat out, you can try swapping it out for refried beans.
Once a grilled cheese is assembled and cooked, it is best served immediately. The texture is unbeatable! If it sits too long, the toppings will start to make the bread soggy.
If you do want to get ahead, you can cook the ground beef and store it in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Can a grilled cheese sandwich be frozen?
Usually, yes. In this case, I don’t recommend it. The fresher toppings, such as the lettuce and tomato, won’t freeze and thaw well. Fresh is best!
Should Grilled Cheese Be Shredded or Sliced?
Shredded cheese works best. The small shreds melt more quickly and more evenly than a full slice of cheese would.
What Kind of Cheese is Best for Grilled Cheese?
Cheddar cheese is the classic cheese to use for a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s also a classic cheese used for tacos. With that in mind, I usually stick with cheddar. However, you can absolutely get creative with other types of cheeses for this recipe. Here are a few ideas:
- Monterey Jack
- Pepper Jack
What is the Secret to a Good Grilled Cheese Sandwich?
While there are a few different factors that contribute to a great grilled cheese sandwich, here are the keys to the best one:
- Good bread. Great bread really does make a great grilled cheese sandwich. I like classic white bread. The flavor is mild and it crisps up perfectly on the skillet.
- Freshly shredded cheese. Use shreds of cheese that you shred yourself. No slices or pre-shredded cheeses.
More Taco-Inspired Recipes You’ll Love
Taco Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 package taco seasoning 1 oz/35g package
- 8 slices white bread
- 4 tbsp salted butter softened
- ½ cup iceberg lettuce sliced thin
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- salsa, guacamole, sour cream for dipping
- In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium high heat. Add in taco seasoning and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.
- On the non-buttered side, add lettuce, tomatoes, ground beef and cheese and cover with other slice of buttered bread. The buttered side should be facing outwards.
- Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Grill each side for 2 to 3 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. Cut in half and enjoy hot. Serve with salsa, guacamole and sour cream for dipping.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.