Love spaghetti, but looking for a more handheld lunch? Look no further than this Spaghetti Grilled Cheese recipe!
This post is sponsored by the Ohio Beef Council. As always, all opinions are my own.
Kings of the Grilled Cheese
If you weren’t absolutely convinced that we 100% LOVE a grilled cheese sandwich around here, I present the following as evidence:
At the time of THIS posting, we have 9 grilled cheese recipes live on this site (*and we’ve pared down). These sandwiches range from a simple Mushroom and Swiss Grilled Cheese, all the way to Apple and Brie Grilled Cheese sandwiches and even a Gruyere Grilled Cheese with fig jam.
And yet, not one of those recipes contains our favorite protein, ground beef. Today, we right this wrong by offering you an easy way to use leftover spaghetti to make a deliciously cheesy, meaty Spaghetti Grilled Cheese.
Why You’ll Love Spaghetti Grilled Cheese
First off, this recipe is part of a “cook once, eat 3 times” series. This series of recipes kicks off by making this big batch Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Beef and then using it to easily make 2 additional meals! (This sandwich, and these stunning Italian Nachos!)
These are a real boon to the family meal planner, (especially during the hectic back-to-school season) because of how much time, dirty dishes, and fridge space they’ll save you throughout the week.
Not only are you using up that leftover spaghetti but this quick and easy recipe also comes in grilled cheese form! It’s like your kids 4th favorite food stuffed inside their 3rd favorite food!
The cheesy, saucy goodness of this recipe is enough to stand on its own, but thanks to the cover provided by the two slices of cheesy garlic bread, it’s easy to sneak some additional greens, veggies, and flavors in there without the littles even noticing!
If all that doesn’t interest you, how would you feel about an ingredient that helps build muscle, promotes brain development AND provides energy giving B vitamins to keep you and your kids fueled? The ground beef in this recipe does all that and more! Learn more at Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.
Key Ingredients in Spaghetti Grilled Cheese
- Bread – We prefer an Italian (semolina) bread to stay “on brand” with the spaghetti, but use your favorite grilling bread (sourdough works well also). Anything too open (larger air bubbles inside) like focaccia or Ciabatta won’t butter as nicely.
- Cheese – We use a 3 cheese blend of Provolone, Mozzarella, and Parmesan. (These all melt perfectly for that signature stretchy cheese pull)
- Leftover Spaghetti – Use our Slow Cooker Spaghetti, or whatever potluck/party leftovers you happen to have.
- Garlic and Butter – Infuse your bread with the magic of this dynamic duo. (Alternatively, if you have leftover garlic toast, even better!)
How To Make Spaghetti Grilled Cheese
- Butter the bread. Mix up some garlic butter and spread it generously on the outside your bread.
- Coat with cheese. Sprinkle and spread some shredded Parmesan onto the buttered side.
- Layer. Assemble the sandwich by layering provolone and mozzarella around a scoop of leftover spaghetti.
- Grill your sandwich until golden brown in a skillet, griddle, or panini press. Alternatively, find air fryer instructions in our Air Fryer Grilled Cheese post!
Tips for Making the Perfect Gooey Grilled Cheese
I do three things to ensure all of our grilled cheeses are ooey gooey on the inside and crisp and golden on the outside:
- Use freshly shredded cheese (and a few different kinds). Pre-shredded cheese is coated to keep it from sticking to itself, which makes it harder to melt and form those long gooey cheese strings. Using a mix of cheeses, shredded and/or sliced, makes for the best flavor.
- Butter your bread all the way to the edges. Do not skimp on the butter–generously spread it into every nook and cranny for max crispiness.
- Cover the pan. Ever have a grilled cheese that’s burnt on the outside and barely warm in the middle? Yeah, that’s the worst. To avoid this, cover your pan after you flip your sandwich. If your pan doesn’t have a lid, a baking sheet works fine for this. The trapped heat will help melt the cheese, so it’s nice and gooey by the time the crust is golden!
What can you do with leftover pasta?
What goes with Spaghetti Grilled Cheese Sandwiches?
Had enough carbs? Me too. So maybe try pairing these leftover spaghetti sandwiches with our Easy Garden Salad, this Celery Seed Coleslaw, a tangy Cucumber Tomato Salad, or this deliciously sweet and tangy Grilled Peach Arugula Salad.
- 4 large slices Italian bread, or 6 smaller slices
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups leftover spaghetti with meat sauce, warmed through
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a small bowl, stir together the butter and garlic powder. Spread the butter evenly on the outside of each piece of bread, being sure to spread it all the way to the edges.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the outside of the bread, and use your fingers or a knife to press it into the butter a bit.
- Layer each sandwich in this order: bread slice (butter side out), shredded mozzarella, scoop of spaghetti, provolone cheese slices, bread slice.
- Heat a well seasoned cast iron skillet or heavy non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Place the bread in the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Carefully flip, cover the pan, and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes until the second side is brown and cheese is melted.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
The keys to an ultra gooey, melty grilled cheese are:
- Use freshly shredded cheese.
- Cover the pan. If your pan doesn’t have a lid, use a sheet pan to cover the top.
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Are You Cooking With Beef?
If you’re cooking with beef this back-to-school season, use #OhioBeef to share photos of your healthy meals! Visit www.OhioBeef.org, and follow the Ohio Beef Council on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for beef nutrition facts, cooking tips, recipes and to meet Ohio’s beef farming families.
Also don’t miss our other site GroundBeefRecipes.com for, ya know, that.