Sauerkraut Is The Bold Ingredient For A More Flavorful Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese sandwich and bowl of sauerkraut
grilled cheese sandwich and bowl of sauerkraut - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

Some may argue that grilled cheese is a perfect meal all on its own, and it shouldn't be messed with. While the simplest version of the dish is the epitome of tasty comfort food, there are so many delicious ways you can upgrade it, you're likely missing out if you don't try a few add-ins. We love apples, lobster, and kimchi, but if you're looking for a truly bold flavor upgrade, stuff some sauerkraut into your grilled cheese.

Sauerkraut, which translates to "sour vegetable" in German, is essentially shredded, fermented cabbage. In a grilled cheese, sauerkraut brings specific flavor and texture benefits. This hot sandwich is full of warmth and gooeyness, but sauerkraut offers a crunchy balance that's still soft enough to blend in with the rest of the ingredients. Plus, it's made by packing cabbage in brine and converting its carbs into lactic acid, so it brings a pop of potent salty and acidic flavors alongside creamy melted cheese. And in general, there are quite a few reasons you may want to incorporate sauerkraut into your diet: It can help boost gut health, has anti-inflammatory effects, and boasts plenty of antioxidants.

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Squeeze Your Sauerkraut To Prevent Sogginess

white sauerkraut in a jar
white sauerkraut in a jar - Ollo/Getty Images

If you're already a sauerkraut lover, you may also be a fan of Reuben sandwiches, which incorporate corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and rye bread alongside the fermented veggies. Since these sandwiches are cooked on the stove until the cheese melts, they're essentially elevated grilled cheeses already, so feel free to start here when including sauerkraut in your dish. This ingredient would also be a delicious addition to sandwiches with sourdough, which is also fermented, and other sharp or acidic flavors like Dijon mustard, tomato, pickles, and jalapeños. Of course, you'll need some richness to balance that all out, so feel free to pack your grilled cheese with cheddar, American cheese, provolone, mozzarella, and even avocado.

You can typically buy sauerkraut in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Jars made from red cabbage will be a little sweeter, while those that come from white cabbage (aka the most common type) will be more potent and slightly bitter. Either way, your sauerkraut will come packed in liquid, so squeeze out the portion you're using ahead of time so you don't end up with a soggy sandwich. Then place the cabbage in between layers of cheese (again, so it doesn't get the bread wet), and pan-fry your lunch to gooey perfection.

Read the original article on Tasting Table