Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Kayla Berman
My scrumptious Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup recipe is the perfect quick, budget-friendly meal for chilly nights, lazy weekends, and honestly, any day you want to witness the family racing to the dinner table. This delightful duo is the ultimate comfort food favorite that clocks in at just 45 minutes from the moment you think, “What’s for dinner?” to that first sumptuous bite. Plus, it’s made with primarily pantry staples!
Why You’ll Love This Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Recipe
Is there anything more universally comforting than the heavenly pairing of a gooey grilled cheese sandwich with creamy tomato soup? I surely doubt it! But, aside from being one of the most dynamic culinary duos around, this delightful twosome is also:
- Quick & Easy – Got 45 minutes? That’s all you need to whip up this delightful dish from start to finish!
- Crowd-Pleasing – From your picky little ones to your hard-to-please teens, all the way up to nostalgic adults, grilled cheese and soup is a fan favorite meal that promises to draw smiles from everyone around the table.
- Made With Simple, Pantry-Friendly Ingredients – Running low on groceries with a nearly empty fridge staring back at you? No problem! It’s made nearly entirely with trusty pantry staples you always have on hand.
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, you only need a few simple ingredients, like a can of tomatoes or two, to make this delicious grilled cheese tomato soup combo:
- Olive Oil – Just your basic cooking oil is perfect here. Feel free to swap in another variety like avocado oil if needed.
- Onion – Any color will do – sweet onion, yellow onion, or red onion! If you don’t want to deal with papery skin or the fumes that make your eyes water, opt for a bag of frozen, chopped onions.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic is best, but jarred minced garlic is a great time-saver when you’re pooped. Alternatively, you can use about 1 ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Dried Basil & Dried Oregano – Dried herbs are more potent by volume than fresh. If you’re using fresh, you’ll need to use about 3x as much. You could also alternatively swap in Italian seasoning!
- Canned Whole Peeled Tomatoes – If possible, opt for good quality San Marzano tomatoes.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes – Plain diced tomatoes work great, but you can also feel free to use a Tex-Mex version like RoTel if you like! Or fire-roasted tomatoes too for extra flavor.
- Chicken Stock – Feel free to swap in veggie stock or vegetable broth to make the tomato soup vegetarian-friendly.
- Heavy Cream – A splash of heavy cream adds a lusciousness that makes the tomato soup extra tasty. For a lighter meal, swap in half & half.
- Salt & Pepper: For basic seasoning, add salt and black pepper to taste here.
- Sourdough Bread – I love the tang of sourdough, but feel free to swap in the sliced sandwich bread of your choice.
- American Cheese – This processed cheese is a classic for the traditional, diner-style pairing of grilled cheese with tomato soup. You’re welcome to swap in the melty cheese of your choice.
- Cheddar Cheese – Mild, medium, or sharp will all work beautifully. You can also swap in the melty cheese of your choice (e.g. nutty gruyere, fiery pepper jack, or mild mozzarella).
- Salted Butter – For the perfect golden crust and rich flavor on your sandwiches. Feel free to use vegan butter if needed.
How To Make Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup are a snap to whip up, even on busy weeknights. Here’s how:
Step 1: Sauté Aromatics. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper to a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Simmer. Add the whole peeled tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock to the pot. Combine and bring to a boil. Then cover, turn the heat to medium low, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Blend. Next reduce the heat to low and use an immersion blender to blend the soup into a smooth, thick consistency.
Step 4: Add the Heavy Cream to the blended soup and mix to combine. Keep warm on low heat while you prepare the grilled cheese sandwiches.
Step 5: Assemble Sandwiches. Top one slice of sourdough with 2-3 cheese slices and the shredded cheese (about ¼ cup). Then top with another sourdough bread slice. Repeat this assembly for the other slices of bread for the remaining 4 sandwiches.
Step 6: Melt Butter. Next add about 1 tablespoon of butter to a large pan on the stove over low heat. Melt completely.
Step 7: Grill Sandwiches. Add the sandwiches to the pan with butter. You’ll have to cook in batches depending on the size of your pan. Cook the sandwiches on one side until golden brown, adding more butter as needed. Flip and cook on the other side.
Step 8: Serve & Enjoy! Remove sandwiches from heat and serve alongside a bowl of tomato soup. Garnish the soup with fresh basil or dried basil and an extra splash of cream.
Optional Variations & Dietary Adaptations
While I love this simple recipe for grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, there are plenty of ways to make it your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Dairy-Free/Vegan – Forget the dairy but keep all the cozy feels. Grab your favorite vegan cheese (Daiya and Violife are game changers) and use vegan butter or a touch of olive oil for grilling. As for that tomato soup? Blend in some pre-soaked cashews or use the unsweetened, unflavored vegan creamer of your choice. Trust me, it’s creamy magic! Coconut milk is also a good option.
- Swap Cheeses – Any creamy, melty cheese will work here. Think smoked gouda, dill havarti, or even fresh mozzarella.
- Add-Ons – Feel free to add your own spin to either the soup or the sandwich. Throw in some jalapeños and crispy bacon or a Mediterranean-inspired trio of sundried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and a hint of pesto to the sandwich. You can also consider adding roasted red peppers and/or a dash of smoked paprika to your homemade tomato soup. You could add red pepper flakes too to spice things up a bit!
- Don’t have an immersion blender? Don’t fret! You can also use a regular blender. Just make sure to let the soup cool a touch, and work in batches, only filling the blender halfway at a time to prevent burns.
- Cook the grilled cheese low and slow so the cheese melts before the bread burns. I also like to cover the pan to help melt the cheese. Don’t be afraid to add more butter as needed!
- Use your time wisely. Prep the sandwiches while the soup simmers so everything is ready at the same time.
- Make Ahead Magic. Feel free to make the soup ahead of time. It keeps beautifully in the fridge throughout the week. When the craving for a cozy meal strikes, just heat up the soup and make your grilled cheese!
Food is as much about the experience as it is about the taste! Here are a few fun ideas to get you started:
- Dipper’s Delight: Cut the grilled cheese into cute, bite-sized sticks or “fingers” so everyone can dip them into their soup.
- Soup in a Cup: Ditch the bowl and serve the tomato soup in mugs! It makes for cozy hand-warming, and it’s just perfect for sipping between bites of sandwich.
- Cheese Crouton Crush: Make grilled cheese sandwiches, cut them into mini squares, and float them on top of the tomato soup. They’ll act as scrumptious, grilled cheese croutons.
- Interactive Mealtime: Set up a grilled cheese bar with various cheeses, spreads, and toppings. Everyone can create their own masterpiece before you grill them to melty perfection!
- Soup Shots: If you’re serving for a party or just want to have a little fun, pour the tomato soup into shot glasses and serve them with grilled cheese triangles as an appetizer.
Of course you can! Fresh juicy tomatoes will give your soup a vibrant and naturally sweet flavor. Just make sure to cook them down until they’re nice and soft, and blend really well to achieve that smooth texture we all love despite the tomato skins.
A sturdy bread like sourdough or whole grain is ideal for grilled cheese. It holds up well to grilling and provides a delightful crunch. But feel free to use your favorite — the options are endless!
I always love a good old, classic white bread grilled cheese recipe too.
My personal favorite blend for grilled cheese is a mix of American and cheddar, combining meltability with a robust flavor. But remember, any blend of melty cheese will do the trick. It’s all about what tickles your tastebuds! Dive in and enjoy! 🧀🥪😊
The classic way to enjoy grilled cheese and tomato soup is by dunking your sandwich into the soup! Take a bite of that melty, toasty sandwich, then follow with a spoonful of the warm soup. However, it’s all about personal preference. Some love to eat them separately, some dunk, and some even like to pour a bit of soup over the sandwich. Dig in however you fancy and savor the comfort! 🍞🧀🍅😄
Grilled cheese teamed with tomato soup is quintessentially American. This dynamic duo gained traction in the 20th century, notably during challenging times like the Great Depression, as the ingredients were both economical and easy to find. As the years passed, this pairing cemented its place in American hearts, symbolizing comfort, warmth, and a touch of nostalgia.
It can be if you tweak a few things. Go for whole grain bread, consider using lowfat cheese, and add some veggies inside the sandwich. As for the soup, homemade is fantastic — just control the salt and use lower-fat half-n-half instead of cream. Pair with a side salad, and you’ve got yourself a cozy, nutritious meal. Just keep an eye on portion sizes, and you’re all set. Healthy comfort food for the win! 🍅🥪🥗✨
More Soup Recipes
- Creamy Beef Taco Soup
- Chicken Couscous Soup
- Chicken Meatball Soup
- Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Vegetable Gnocchi Soup
More Cozy Dinner Recipes
- Marry Me Chicken Pasta (Sun Dried Tomato!)
- Butternut Squash Turkey Chili
- Oven Braised Short Rib Ragu Pappardelle
- Creamy Herb Chicken
- Dutch Oven Pork Carnitas
- Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Connect With Me!
If you make this cozy combo recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.
Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.Print
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
My scrumptious Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup recipe is the perfect quick, budget-friendly meal for chilly nights, lazy weekends, and any time you want to witness the family racing to the dinner table. This delightful duo is the ultimate comfort food favorite that clocks in at just about 1 hour total. Plus, it’s made with primarily pantry staples!
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Cook Time: 45 Minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 5 Servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/3 cup heavy cream or half & half
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- 10 slices sourdough bread
- 10–15 slices American cheese, or whichever cheese you’d like
- 1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Salted butter
- Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper to a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add the whole peeled tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock to the pot. Combine and bring to a boil. Then cover, turn the heat to medium low, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Next reduce the heat to low and use an immersion blender to blend the soup into a smooth, thick consistency.
- To the blended soup add the heavy cream and combine. Keep warm on low heat while you prepare the grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Top one slice of sourdough with 2-3 cheese slices and the shredded cheese (about ¼ cup). Then top with another sourdough slice. Repeat this assembly for the remaining 4 sandwiches.
- Next add about 1 tablespoon of butter to a large pan on the stove over low heat. Melt completely and add the sandwiches. You’ll have to cook in batches depending on the size of your pan.
- Cook the sandwiches on one side until browned to your liking, adding more butter as needed. Flip and cook on the other side. Pro tip: Cook low and slow so that the cheese melts and the bread browns, without burning. Covering the pan also helps here!
- Serve and enjoy! Remove sandwiches from heat and serve alongside a bowl of tomato soup. Garnish the soup with fresh or dried basil and an extra splash of cream.
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