Kimchi Grilled Cheese

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With spicy mayo, kimchi, and cheddar and pepper jack cheese, this Kimchi Grilled Cheese is bursting with flavor. It’s a quick and easy lunch that you can prepare in just 15 minutes!

Easy Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

We love grilled cheese sandwiches in this house, from the classic cheese-only sandwich to fun flavors like bacon grilled cheese and jalapeno popper grilled cheese.

This Kimchi Grilled Cheese is our latest recreation of the classic sandwich and possibly the most flavorful one yet! We’ve got Italian bread seasoned with red pepper flakes and everything bagel seasoning, cheddar and pepper jack cheese, a homemade spicy mayo, and some kimchi. Is your mouth watering yet?!

The kimchi really adds a unique flavor, unlike any other grilled cheese I’ve had before. I wasn’t sure how this would all go together at first but after trying it, I’m obsessed! Whether you already love kimchi or are trying it for the first time, you definitely need to give this recipe a try!

Overhead view of a kimchi grilled cheese on a tray

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Here are a few reasons this kimchi sandwich will quickly become one of your favorites.

  • It’s easy! From start to finish, this easy grilled cheese recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare.
  • Bursting with flavor. From the spicy mayo to the kimchi to the seasoning on the bread, every bite of this grilled cheese explodes with flavor.
  • It’s something different. If you’re tired of the same old grilled cheese or boring ham sandwiches, this kimchi grilled cheese is a great way to switch things up!

What Is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a Korean side dish made with fermented vegetables. Similar to sauerkraut, it’s made with cabbage as the main ingredient, along with radish and carrots, along with garlic, ginger, and gochugaru (Korean chili). It’s tangy and spicy and full of flavor!

Overhead view of kimchi grilled cheese ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

In addition to your classic grilled cheese ingredients, you’ll need a few specialty items for this Asian-inspired recipe. You can usually find them at any Asian market or Amazon.

  • French bread – French bread is ideal for these easy grilled cheese sandwiches, as it toasts well and doesn’t fall apart under the weight of the ingredients.
  • Butter – To get that golden brown finish on the bread.
  • Seasonings – Red pepper flakes and everything bagel seasoning add flavor to the sandwiches.
  • Cheese – I used a combination of cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese for a variety in flavors.
  • Spicy kimchi – The star ingredient! The spicier your kimchi is, the spicier the sandwich will be!
  • Mayo – The base of the spicy mayo dressing.
  • Gochujang – Gochujang is a spicy red pepper paste. It can be found in most Asian supermarkets.
  • Garlic purée – Adds an earthy taste to the mayo.
  • Black pepper

How to Make Kimchi Grilled Cheese

This easy grilled cheese sandwich makes a quick, flavorful lunch or dinner.

  • Prepare the bread. Combine the everything bagel seasoning and red pepper flakes. Spread butter over one slice of each bread slice and sprinkle with the seasoning.
  • Make the spicy mayo. Whisk the spicy mayo ingredients together. Spread onto the bread.
  • Assemble the sandwich. Shred the cheese and add cheddar to one side of the sandwich and pepper jack to the other. Top with kimchi then close.
  • Cook. Transfer to a preheated skillet. Cover and cook for 3 months. Flip and replace the cover, then cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  • .Enjoy. Sprinkle with green onions if desired and enjoy.
A kimchi grilled cheese sandwich cut in half to show the cheese

Tips & Variations

Here are a few tips for making the best kimchi grilled cheese sandwiches.

  • Can I use other types of bread? You can use any bread you want for making this grilled cheese but keep in mind that you’ll want something rather durable. Thin bread will fall apart or get mushy with the mayo, melted cheese, and kimchi.
  • Shred the cheese from the block. The key to the best grilled cheese sandwich is to shred the cheese yourself. It will melt much quicker and easier!
  • Try different cheese. I love the flavor of cheddar and pepper jack but you can use pretty much any cheese you’d like here. American, gruyere, and mozzarella are all good options.
  • Make sure the bread doesn’t brown too quickly. If you notice the bread browning too much before the cheese melts, you may need to adjust the temperature of your stove, as every one is different.
A kimchi grilled cheese sandwich on a plate

What to Serve with a Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich

You can easily serve this spicy kimchi grilled cheese up as a quick and easy lunch all on its own. Or keep things super simple and add a side of chips. French fries would also be good.

Or you can go the classic grilled cheese and soup route or even grilled cheese and a side salad. Since there’s so much flavor packed in this one sandwich, I do try to keep it simple flavor-wise.

Two kimchi grilled cheese sandwiches cut in half and stacked on each other

How to Store Leftovers

This kimchi grilled cheese sandwich is best enjoyed immediately. However, if you have leftovers…

  • Store. Store any leftover kimchi grilled cheese in a ziploc bag in the fridge for a day or two. Keep in mind that the kimchi and mayo will soften the bread.
  • Reheat. Reheat on the stovetop, covered, until heated through. Take care to not burn the sandwich.

More Easy Sandwich Recipes

Kimchi Grilled Cheese feature
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Kimchi Grilled Cheese

With spicy mayo, kimchi, and cheddar and pepper jack cheese, this Kimchi Grilled Cheese is bursting with flavor. It's a quick and easy lunch that you can prepare in just 15 minutes!
Servings: 6 sandwiches
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 16 minutes


Spicy Mayo



    • Preheat a skillet over medium low heat
    • Combine the everything bagel seasoning with red pepper flakes in a small bowl or ramekin.
    • Slice the bread into 1” thick slices.
    • Spread butter over one side of each bread slice, then sprinkle with seasoning. Flip bread butter side down.
    • Combine spicy mayo ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk well. Spread Mayo onto the bread.
    • Next, shred the cheese and add cheddar to one side of the sandwich and pepper jack to the other. Top with kimchi and close like a book.
    • Add to the skillet and cover. Cook for 3 minutes. Flip the sandwich over and cover. Cook for 3 more minutes.
    • Sprinkle with green onions and enjoy

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    Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 943mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 610IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 3mg


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