This Vegan Shiitake Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich is the ultimate savory comfort food. Whip it up in minutes and enjoy cheezy flavor and loads of mushrooms. I am always looking for delicious ways to add more mushrooms to my diet and this recipe really worked for me! Get the recipe…
Where does recipe inspiration come from? For me, it hits in a flash and I just HAVE to make something. This time: grilled cheese. As I was scrolling Instagram last week, as one does, I came across a grilled cheese sandwich by Gaby. And suddenly I was craving my very own grilled cheese – mine using vegan cheese, all melty and dairy-free. But I wanted a unique spin on things so shiitake bacon it was! And btw, I have a question about grilled cheese and ketchup…
Oh hi there ooey gooey melty vegan cheese…
Shiitakes are my fave mushroom, but any mushroom would work here!
Inspired Grilled Cheese
So what really caught my eye is that Gaby paired her grilled cheese with ketchup. I have never seen this done before but it actually sounded really yummy to me! I think you either love ketchup on everything or ketchup on nothing, amiright??
Ok, maybe not everything, but you get the idea. My husband hates ketchup, in all ways. I love it with salty french fries, hash browns, veggie burgers sometimes… So as an aside to this post, does ketchup on grilled cheese sound good or not-so-good to you? I think the next time I make a straight up plain grilled cheese on sourdough bread, I need to try it.
But today’s Shiitake Bacon Grilled Cheese was made amazing by the use of shiitake bacon. I posted my shiitake bacon recipe a few years ago and I’ll admit I don’t make it enough! It is the perfect add to sandwiches, tacos, salads and now… grilled cheese. It is smoky and salty with a hint of sweet and loads of umami flavor from the mushrooms.
I used a vegan cheddar cheese, but a variety of cheese flavors could be used. vegan provolone or mozzarella would also be yummy.
I used a pumpkin seed sourdough bread, thinly sliced, although a straight-up sourdough thickly sliced would be divine with this. Basically and bakery-style crusty bread or baguette is my preference for grilled cheese. The lighter and fluffier the bread, the better. But you can totally use whatever you have on hand.
My vegan grilled cheese tips are stuffed into this post.
A few other vegan grilled cheese sandwiches that I adore..
– Gouda Marmelade Grilled Cheese
– Spinach-Stuffed Grilled Cheese
..you could absolutely add some spinach to this sandwich. Or kale, or even avocado. Some green would be a lovely addition.
Other Shiitake Bacon Grilled Cheese add-in toppings you could try:
– hot sauce
– chopped parsley
– roasted garlic
– leafy greens
– caramelized onion
– garlic aioli
– tempeh bacon in place of shiitake
This grilled cheese would be lovely with a ginger beer, or light smoothie or even some kombucha.
Not sure what vegan cheese to use?
I used Violife Cheddar Shreds, but Daiya, Follow Your Heart, So Delicious, Miyoko’s or even Chao would work really well. My vegan cheese review can help.
Shiitake Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 1 cup shiitake bacon, see notes for recipe
- ½ cup vegan shredded cheese, any flavor (cheddar used)
- 2 slices bread
- extra virgin olive oil, as needed for skillet
- Prepare your shiitake bacon according to the directions in this post. Set aside.
- Warm a large skillet over high heat. Add a drizzle of oil. Wet the bread on both sides, then place both slices on the hot pan. Add the cheese and mushrooms. Close bread. Cover with lid or grilled cheese press. Reduce heat to low. Heat until the cheese melts.
- Slice and serve.
nutrition estimate | per serving
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