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5 BEST Butter Substitutes for Grilled Cheese: Elevate the Recipes

From the childhood joy of that first gooey, melty bite to its enduring presence on the menus of gourmet eateries, the grilled cheese sandwich is a comfort food icon.

But what if we told you that the secret to taking this classic treat from delightful to delectable lies not just in the cheese, but in the spread?

Enter the world of surprising butter substitutes that can elevate your grilled cheese experience in ways you’ve yet to imagine.

In this blog post, we’re shaking up your kitchen routines with 5 lesser-known butter substitutes. Gone are the days when margarine was your only other option. We’re going beyond oil and spreading our culinary wings to include nutritious, flavorful alternatives.

Home cooks, foodies, and all those hungry for new kitchen adventures, prepare your taste buds and griddles for some unexpected, delicious twists as we explore the best butter swaps for your grilled cheese indulgences.

🙋‍♀️ 5 Butter Substitutes for Grilled Cheese

When it comes to grilled cheese, butter is the backbone of the operation. It’s what gives your sandwich that golden, crispy exterior and that irresistible, buttery flavor.

However, with dietary restrictions, health concerns, and changing culinary landscapes, the need for alternatives has never been more pressing. This is why it’s vital to explore what options are out there and how they can transform our simple classics into culinary marvels.

Below, we chart a course through the land of butter substitutes, where healthy choices meet taste-bud-tantalizing flavors.

1. Avocado

Dubbed nature’s butter, avocado presents a luscious, creamy texture that marries beautifully with the sharpness of your favorite cheese.

Beyond its rich taste, avocado is packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals, making it a worthy inclusion in your next grilled cheese.

When substituting avocado for butter, you’ll want to use ripe, but not overly soft, fruit. Mash it with a fork and spread it as you would regular butter.

Pair with mild cheeses like mozzarella for an extra smooth experience. Add a slice of tomato for a fresh burst of flavor and to cut through the richness.

2. Hummus

Hummus as a butter substitute may sound unusual, but its earthy, nutty flavor and smooth consistency can complement a variety of cheeses.

Not only does hummus contribute to a creamy texture, but it also infuses the sandwich with protein and fiber, making it a more filling option.

For a Mediterranean-inspired grilled cheese, blend roasted red pepper hummus with provolone cheese and fresh basil. The result? A rich, zesty sandwich that might just become your new go-to quick bite.

3. Margarine

If you’re on the lookout for a classic butter substitute that aligns with a healthier lifestyle, consider incorporating margarine into your culinary repertoire. Margarine, known for its versatility, presents itself as an excellent alternative due to its similar texture and taste profile to butter.

Not only does margarine offer a rich flavor reminiscent of butter, but it also boasts a reduced saturated fat content, making it a favorable choice for those mindful of their fat intake.

To substitute butter with margarine, opt for a stick formula rather than a tub one. Stick margarine contains less water and more saturated fats, meaning it will have a similar consistency to butter when melted.

Simply swap out the same amount of butter in your recipe for margarine, and voila! You’re all set to enjoy a delicious grilled cheese sandwich without compromising on taste or health.

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil brings a subtle, sweet note to your grilled cheese, perfect for those who enjoy a hint of the tropics in their meal. Its high smoke point ensures a crispy exterior without burning the oil, and it’s renowned for potential health benefits like aiding digestion and brain function.

Coconut oil can solidify at room temperature, so heat it slightly before spreading. Partner with Swiss cheese for a sandwich that tastes as refreshing as a breeze on a tropical shore.

5. Ghee

Ghee, a staple in Indian cuisine, is clarified butter with a rich, nutty flavor. It’s a perfect butter substitute for grilled cheese, offering a depth of taste that can enhance the flavor profile of your sandwich. Ghee is lactose-free and its high smoke point makes it an excellent choice for grilling.

Use ghee with a robust cheese like fontina for a grilled cheese that’s both decadent and complex. The nutty undertones of ghee beautifully complement the intricate flavors of fontina, creating a sandwich that’s a sensory delight.

👨‍🍳 Tips for Perfecting Your Grilled Cheese Game

The secret to the perfect grilled cheese isn’t just about the butter substitute. It’s about the cheese, the bread, and the technique. Here are a few tips to make sure your next grilled cheese is a resounding success.

Cheese and Bread Pairing

Pick cheeses that melt well without turning oily, like cheddar, gouda, or mozzarella. For bread, select something sturdy enough to hold the fillings but not too thick, like sourdough or a good-quality white loaf.

Grilling Techniques

Everyone has their preferred method for grilling the ultimate sandwich. Some swear by cast iron, others by panini presses or even the oven. No matter your choice, keep the heat medium to avoid burning the bread before the cheese melts.

Serving Suggestions and Accompaniments

Grilled cheese is deliciously simple, but there are ways to accentuate the experience. Pair it with a bowl of tomato soup for a classic combination, or go bold with a spicy relish. And don’t forget to cut your sandwich into fingers or triangles — that’s non-negotiable!

🍳 Conclusion

The beauty of butter substitutes is their versatility. While we focused on grilled cheese, these options can enhance a variety of dishes — from baking to sautéing and beyond. By infusing knowledge and creativity into our culinary choices, we not only satiate our appetite but also foster an enriching dining experience.

Now, armed with these five surprising butter substitutes, don’t just think outside the box — grill it up, add some cheese, and enjoy a moment of pure, unadulterated culinary delight. Happy toasting!


Margarine Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This classic grilled cheese recipe is given a twist by using margarine instead of butter, making it a perfect option for those looking for a butter substitute. The result is still a deliciously gooey and crispy grilled cheese sandwich that will satisfy your cheesy cravings.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 sandwiches
Calories 393 kcal


  • 8 slices of bread
  • 8 slices of your preferred cheese such as cheddar, American, or Swiss
  • 4 tablespoons of margarine
  • Optional: additional toppings like sliced tomatoes cooked bacon, or caramelized onions


  • Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  • Assemble the sandwiches by placing a slice of cheese between two slices of bread. If desired, add any additional toppings.
  • Spread margarine evenly on one side of each sandwich.
  • Once the skillet is heated, place the sandwiches margarine side down onto the skillet.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  • Remove the sandwiches from the skillet and let them cool for a minute before serving.
  • Slice the sandwiches diagonally and serve hot.


  • Margarine can be a suitable substitute for butter in grilled cheese sandwiches, providing a similar taste and texture.
  • Be sure to use a non-stick skillet or griddle to prevent the sandwiches from sticking.
  • Experiment with different types of cheese and additional toppings to customize your grilled cheese sandwiches to your taste preferences.


Serving: 1sandwichCalories: 393kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 14gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 619mgPotassium: 111mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 843IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 315mgIron: 2mg
Keyword margarine grilled cheese sandwich
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5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Avery Rodriguez

Sunday 17th of March 2024

I've been experimenting with avocado spread instead of butter in my grilled cheese sandwiches, and it adds such a creamy texture!