Gooey, cheesy, and really easy, these Vegan Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are absolutely STUFFED with melty vegan cheese.
- 2 slices bread (whatever you like) (use gluten-free if needed)
- 1-2 tablespoons vegan butter or vegan mayo (see note 1 for oil-free option)
- 2-4 slices vegan cheese (see note 2 for oil-free option, see note 3 for brand suggestions)
- 2-3 tablespoons homemade vegan bacon bits (see note 4 for substitution)
- Preheat skillet: Preheat a medium or large nonstick skillet over medium low heat. The name of the game is low and slow so you don’t burn the bread before the cheese even melts.
- OR preheat sandwich press: Heat on medium - high (depends on the brand) for a few minutes or until any light indicators turn green, depending on the brand.
- Butter the bread: Butter one side of each slice of bread using softened vegan butter or vegan mayo.
- Add bread to pan or press: Lay them butter/mayo side down in the pan. I like to put them both in at the same time to get the bread heated up.
- Build the sandwich: Put one thick layer of vegan cheese down on the bottom. I like to do 2-3 slices to cover my bread, depending on the size. I do that Field Roast Chao first, but use whatever you have. My point with telling you that is to remind you to use two different cheeses, one for each layer, if you like. Then add a thick layer of the vegan bacon bits or whatever you’re using. Next add the other layer of cheese - for this one I used the 365 vegan american cheese slices. Finally, add the other piece of bread, butter side facing up or AWAY from the sandwich.
- If cooking in a skillet: I recommend placing a lid on the pan and cooking for 3-5 minutes each side. Use a large nonstick spatula to gently check the underside of the bread. If it’s ready to be flipped, do so and put the lid back on, cooking for another 2-4 minutes. It’s done when the bread is crispy and browned to your liking, and the cheese should be mostly if not fully melted.
- If cooking in the panini press: Gently push down the top of the press and cook 4-6 minutes. Check and see if it needs more time, but 5 minutes is the sweet spot for my machine. Your vegan bacon grilled cheese is done when the bread is crispy and browned to your liking, and the cheese should be mostly if not fully melted.
- Serve: Cut your sandwich in half if you like and serve immediately. Enjoy! Maybe with some vegan Instant Pot Tomato Soup?
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days, but you may want to reheat in a pan to get the crisp factor back.
- Note 1: Any vegan butter or margarine will work. We like Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter or Earth Balance Buttery Spread the best but anything is fine. If you’re one of those people who prefers to use mayo, by all means spread on some vegan mayo. If you’d like to reduce the amount of oil, I’ve found that liberally brushing one side of each slice of bread with unsweetened canned full fat coconut milk also works. And no, it doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor in my opinion.
- Note 2: If you want to use homemade, oil-free vegan cheese, you can definitely try that. I’ve tried this with both my homemade stretchy vegan mozzarella sauce and my homemade stretchy vegan cheddar sauce with great success. Bonus: they both take only about 5 minutes to throw together!
- Note 3: There are so many different brands and kinds of vegan cheese out there, we’re much luckier than we were 10+ years ago in that way. I’ll recommend some brands, but keep in mind I’m in the US and I know brands and availability differ a lot inside and outside of the country I’m in. My two favorite brands for flavor and meltability are Field Roast Chao Cheese Slices and 365 Vegan Cheese Slices (the Whole Foods generic brand). That’s what I used in these sandwiches and they’re my go-to cheeses. Other brands we really like include Violife, Follow Your Heart, Daiya, and Tofutti. We also want to mention that we often make vegan grilled cheese with vegan cheese shreds. It’s a little messier but they melt a little faster and they can be easier to find. The best melting shredded vegan cheese is Follow Your Heart Finely Shredded variety. Experiment with your local available vegan cheeses.
- Note 4: I used my homemade vegan bacon bits for this recipe. They take about 20 minutes to make and you can make a batch a few days ahead of time--it lasts about 5 days in the fridge. You could alternatively try my soy curl bacon if you want bigger chunks or my portobello bacon if you want a more “whole food” option. Or store-bought vegan bacon will also work!
- Cook Time: 6 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan Grilled Cheese, Vegan Sandwich