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Grilled Cheese Florentine

This Grilled Cheese Florentine is a hearty vegetarian sandwich filled with tender baby spinach, juicy fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, and shredded mozzarella. And best of all, there’s no need to stand over the stove since this sandwich is baked in the oven. It’s a no-fuss dish that can serve as the main course or pair easily with your favorite sandwich sides.

Saturday lunches at our home are usually very casual, throw-together-whatever’s-in-the-fridge kinds of meals. More often than not, that means sandwiches. Sandwiches with lots of cold cuts and cheese.

Grilled Cheese Florentine on a white serving plate with a napkin, knife, and fork alongside.

But sometimes I just want something different. Something quick and easy, and out of the ordinary.

This sandwich perfectly fits that description. It’s different from our usual cold cut laden fare and piled so high with good-for-you and good-tasting ingredients that you might not even realize it’s vegetarian. It’s honestly one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve ever made.

And if you have eaters who want a more protein heavy sandwich, you could easily add a little sliced leftover rotisserie chicken. Yum.

🔪 How to Make Grilled Cheese Florentine

Start by combining the spinach, red onion, diced tomato, garlic, and mozzarella in a large bowl. Toss it all together until it’s well combined. Drizzle on the olive oil, add a little salt and pepper and toss again.

Now, spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and line up your bread. Top two of the slices with half each of the mixture. Really pile it up high and don’t leave anything in the bowl!

Sandwich filling piled on top of bread on a baking sheet.

Top those with the other two slices of bread and pop it in the oven for between 7 and 9 minutes or until the spinach has started wilting and the bread is browning.

Flip the sandwiches over and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes or until the second piece of bread has toasted.

Transfer each sandwich to a plate. Be sure to scoop up any of the filling that might have escaped while in the oven and put that alongside.

You’ll want to serve these sandwiches with a knife and fork.

🔀 Possible Variations

  • Add cooked meats such as rotisserie chicken or ham
  • Try substituting kale for the spinach
Grilled Cheese Florentine on a white serving plate with a napkin, knife, and fork alongside.

❓ Questions About Grilled Cheese Florentine

What’s the best bread to use?

For this sandwich, I chose a hearty whole wheat bread. You’ll need something substantial such as sourdough, rye, or pumpernickel. Soft breads such as white sandwich bread won’t quite stand up to the filling.

Can I use another type of cheese?

Of course. Select a cheese that melts easily and grate it yourself. The pre-grated cheeses are great for some applications, but they contain a starchy coating that doesn’t work well in this recipe. Monterey Jack or a sharp white Cheddar would be great as would any type of Swiss such as Gruyere. A tablespoon or two of grated Parmesan added to the filling would be nice. 

Any suggestions for side dishes to go with grilled cheese?

I’d serve this with any type of soup (tomato, chicken noodle, vegetable), a fruit salad, a tossed green salad, or even French fries or tater tots.

Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Grilled Cheese Florentine on a white serving plate with a napkin, knife, and fork alongside.

Grilled Cheese Florentine

This Grilled Cheese Florentine is a hearty vegetarian sandwich filled with baby spinach, diced tomatoes, red onion, and shredded mozzarella.
5 from 5 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baby spinach packed, washed and dried
  • ¼ medium red onion sliced very thinly
  • 1 tomato diced (juices reserved)
  • 1 small garlic clove minced finely
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices whole grain bread

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425.
  • Combine the spinach, onion, tomato (and juices), garlic and mozzarella in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss again.
  • Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray (or line with parchment). Place two slices of bread on the cookie sheet and top each with half the spinach mixture. Place the second slice of bread on top.
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the spinach is wilted and the bread is toasted. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes until toasted on the second side.
  • Transfer to a plate and include any of the filling that has fallen out.

Notes

Serve this delicious sandwich with a knife and fork.
Variations
  • Add cooked meats such as rotisserie chicken or ham
  • Try substituting kale for the spinach
FAQs
What’s the best bread to use? For this sandwich, I chose a hearty whole wheat bread. You’ll need something substantial such as sourdough, rye, or pumpernickel. Soft breads such as white sandwich bread won’t quite stand up to the filling.
Can I use another type of cheese? Of course. Select a cheese that melts easily and grate it yourself. The pre-grated cheeses are great for some applications, but they contain a starchy coating that doesn’t work well in this recipe. Monterey Jack or a sharp white Cheddar would be great as would any type of Swiss such as Gruyere. A tablespoon or two of grated Parmesan added to the filling would be nice. 
Any suggestions for side dishes to go with grilled cheese? I’d serve this with any type of soup (tomato, chicken noodle, vegetable), a fruit salad, a tossed green salad, or even french fries or tater tots.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1sandwich | Calories 235kcal | Carbohydrates 8g | Protein 14g | Fat 17g | Saturated Fat 8g | Cholesterol 44mg | Sodium 389mg | Potassium 382mg | Fiber 2g | Sugar 3g | Vitamin A 3704IU | Vitamin C 19mg | Calcium 325mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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5 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent flavor! Will make this sandwich often. I put it in my panini press instead of the oven. Pairs wonderfully with cream broccoli soup

    1. Thanks! This one is also good in the air fryer. It’s perfect for the fall with all the delicious soups we have this time of year.

  2. Barbara | Creative Culinary says:

    Wow this looks good. Love every little bit and bite about it!

  3. Just beautiful Lana – love this!

  4. Todd Stone says:

    Lana, we’ve been really trying to eat healthier at our house, more fruits and veggies, less meat. This looks amazing! If I make it for our lunch, and my wife raves about how creative I am, can I just take credit and keep the brownie point all to myself?

    1. Absolutely. I have no idea where you got the idea for that fabulous Grilled Cheese Florentine sandwich :-)

  5. Gio of The Hungry Giant says:

    This looks so good Lana! Do you think this will still work if the spinach mixture is cooked slightly in a pan?

    1. I think it would, Gio. But don’t cook it very much because spinach wilts down to nothing really quickly.

  6. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective says:

    I love a sandwich with a heaping helping of greens, Just gorgeous!