What We're Cooking This Weekend: Grilled Cheese with Spinach

If you thought vegans couldn’t enjoy the indulgent cheesiness of a grilled cheese sandwich, you thought wrong! This Vegan Spinach Grilled Cheese sandwich has all the melted cheesiness that makes this classic so delicious. If you aren’t a fan of the store-bought vegan cheese, don’t worry because this homemade version blows pre-made vegan cheese out of the water!

The 'cheese' in this sandwich is cashew-based, but the key ingredient to achieve the perfect texture is Tapioca Starch (also known as Tapioca Flour), which will help you achieve that cheesy stretch. Note that this cannot be substituted for any other starch such as cornstarch. The good thing is that it’s not a hard ingredient to find and it’s also gluten-free! In fact, this whole recipe can be gluten-free if you just use gluten-free bread.

Pro Tip: Instead of spreading butter on your bread try vegan mayo, which has a higher burning point and allows you to grill your sandwich thoroughly without burning the bread. Don't worry-- you won’t even taste the mayo. This recipe is really easy and convenient, especially if you ever get that craving for a satisfying grilled cheese sandwich.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ Cup Raw Cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
  • 1 ¼ Cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tbsp Tapioca Starch
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 4 Slices Bread of your choice
  • Vegan Mayo or Butter, to spread on bread

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak your raw cashews in hot water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain them and add to a high-speed blender along with freshwater (not from the soaked cashews), nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tapioca starch, salt, and garlic pepper. Blend until completely smooth and combined.
  2. Transfer your cashew mixture into a medium-sized saucepan and heat over low-medium heat. Using a rubber spatula or whisk, continuously stir for a few minutes. It may take a while for it to thicken up, but once it starts it’s going to thicken up quickly.
  3. Once it starts to thicken, remove from heat. The residual heat from the saucepan will be enough. Continue to stir until it becomes stretchy and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Heat up a non-stick pan and cook your spinach over medium heat until spinach becomes wilted, transferring your spinach to a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Grab your bread and spread your vegan cheese over one slice, add some spinach on top, and spread some vegan cheese on another slice. Sandwich the two slices together.
  6. Spread vegan mayo on one side of the sandwich, and in the same pan, you cooked your spinach in and grill your sandwich, vegan mayo side down. As your sandwich is grilling, spread some vegan mayo on the top side of your sandwich. Continue to grill for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully flip and grill again for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Eat right away and serve with your favorite grilled cheese sides, like ketchup or tomato soup. Enjoy!