9 Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches to Warm Up a Rainy Day

When done right, a basic grilled cheese is a comfort that rivals flannel pajama bottoms. The buttery, crispy bread nestles around oozy slices of Kraft cheese, and if your cook has any clue about what's hip, the sandwich is cut diagonally, into triangles. If you're a really lucky camper, you have a bowl of tomato soup into which you can dip your crusty wedge of goodness.

But as wondrous as the basic is, some days you're either fresh out of Kraft cheese (having used it for origami), or you're craving something a little more grown-up, gourmet, or classy. Suit yourself! The grilled cheese is the tabula rasa of paninis, the canvas on which any cook can paint (or, as it were, assemble and fry) her masterpiece.

Whether you choose to modify the cheese, the bread, the fillings, the size, or the act of grilling, the grilled cheese is waiting for your creativity. We've got ideas to get you started. Here are 10 bloggers' amazing recipes for the grilled cheese of your dreams.

by Claire Luchette

Replace the Cheese with Mac 'n' Cheese

We know what you're thinking: "Whaaaaat!" But it's real. Take a look at this slab of truffle macaroni and cheese grilled between slices of whole grain bread. Russell of Endless Simmer has made me believe in true love.

Make it Sweet and Savory

For a delightful autumnal twist, add caramelized butternut squash and roasted garlic. Stick with trusty fontina cheese, and cook it all in coconut butter. Jessica of How Sweet It Is really outdid herself with this one.

Make it Mini!

A snackable grilled cheese is something we can really get behind. Averie of Averie Cooks crafts these cute and addictive miniature versions of the classic using sliced baguette.

Add Pistachio Parsley Pesto

Because you've never heard of anything like it, and it sounds incredible! The unique pesto adds a pop of color and flavor, and the best cheese for pairing is taleggio, says Ella of Naturally Ella.

Add Roasted Red Peppers and Fontina Cheese

For a sandwich with a tang, add roasted red bell peppers. And look at how beautifully the red goes with the white of the fontina cheese and the dark rye! A sandwich that looks as amazing as it tastes, courtesy of Lauren of Climbing Grier Mountain.

Add Avocado and Bacon

Because to what have you ever added avocado and bacon and been disappointed? Nothing. This sandwich, the genius creation of Julie of Table for Two, looks like the perfect storm of all my favorite ingredients.

Add Tomato Jam, Gouda and Sage

Hot darn! If only this were sold in vending machines. In her description of her creation, Eva of Adventures in Cooking promises a sandwich that is "gooey, salty, sweet, toasty, smoky, creamy." So, yeah! We'll have 5 right now.

Try Poblano Peppers and Curried Butter

If you were looking for a way to use your leftover curried butter, this is it. And if you, like us, don't have leftover curried butter, it's super easy to make, and sounds like the Paired with these pretty green peppers, this sandwich from How Sweet It Is looks like a true winner.

Make it Florentine

The Florentines do it right. Loaded with spinach and mozzarella, this sandwich is as calcium- and iron-packed as it is decadent. Lana of Never Enough Thyme has struck the perfect balance.