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Gooey Grilled Cheese made with plants!

Updated: 4 days ago

plant based veggie gooey grilled cheese

Imagine a delicious, warm, crispy-on-the-outside gooey grilled cheese made from 100% whole plant foods. Packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and nutrients, this grilled cheese is a meal you can say yes to whenever the kids ask for it!

Where the cooking classes began

This grilled cheese started being tested a long time ago. Way back, about a decade ago, before I'd officially founded VegeCooking, I had an idea. To create Farm-to-Table cooking classes to show people how to incorporate fresh, seasonal veggies into their meals, support local farms and learn about a plant-based lifestyle. Well let me tell ya, the classes were a huge hit.

People braved the cold weather, rain and short days to connect and try some delicious food.

Dawn Hutchins plant based cooking classes

Let’s take a walk back in time and review some of the Farm-to-Table Cooking Classes….

This was from my very first class where I learned a hard lesson. Don’t try and make four recipes in the span of an hour and also deliver poignant curriculum and stories.

Dawn Hutchins plant based cooking class

There was our famous kids class….where we actually saw children eating their vegetables.

Below was some of the prep work that went into the classes. Look at all this beautiful organic produce from KyV Farm! I sure do miss them now that they've moved back to Puerto Rico.

Farm to Table CSA Produce

Sometimes I’m asked what the group’s favorite recipe so far has been. Hands down, I’d say it’s this plant-based Gooey Grilled Cheese sandwich made without any processed cheese – very much in line with a whole food, plant-based diet.

As the group was tasting they shouted out different uses:

  • nacho cheese

  • cheese sauce for vegan charcuterie board

  • creamy dressing

  • replacement for mayonnaise

  • on tacos

  • in crunch wraps

I had a few of my own ideas

Though we occasionally eat Daiya in our house (a brand of vegan cheese) in a pinch, I prefer to use unprocessed foods so this veggie grilled cheese was born. I’ve made this made this many, many times since the class and the whole family loves it. It’s creamy, flavorful perfection between two toasty slices of bread.

Have fun and get the kids involved with making this one!


How I got grill marks on this Gooey Grilled Cheese with no oil or butter!

When I make this in a cooking demo for kids, I use Earth Balance butter on the bread. For my own purposes, I dry-cook it without oil or vegan butter and it's absolutely delicious. Scroll down for how I get these amazing grill marks and the crispy exterior with a warm, gooey and cheesy interior!

Behold the Rachel Ray Grill Pan! This is the pan that gets the most use in my house. In fact, I usually just leave it on the stove. I love how it puts amazing grill marks on everything without having to heat the grill (in Florida it's already been so hot that the idea of cooking outside hasn't been appealing).


Plant based Vegan Grilled Cheese

Gooey Grilled Cheese made from plants!

Serves 6 (you may have some cheese left over)

Gooey Grilled Cheese (oil-free, made with plants)
Download PDF • 1.02MB


1/3 cup peeled and diced onion

1 2/3 cups diced potatoes or orange sweet potatoes (I did not peel, but you can)

1/4 cup diced fresh carrot

2/3 cup hot water from the boiling veggies

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup non-dairy milk, (Trader Joe's Unsweet Organic Soy Beverage)

1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 loaf Dave's Killer Bread (Organic, Good Seed, Thin Sliced, oil-free)


  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a stock pot; add potatoes, carrots and onions to the boiling water; cook about 10 minutes, or until fork tender.

  2. Add 2/3 cup water from veggies into a blender; add sunflower seeds, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon, salt, garlic powder and mustard; blend well; spoon tender veggies in and blend again.

  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; spoon veggie mixture onto one slice of bread and spread evenly; top with second side of bread and cook until golden brown on each side - one to three minutes. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

NOTE: Reserve extra cheese sauce for nachos, crunch wraps, etc. Save the potato water as veggie broth for soup!

By Dawn Hutchins

Adapted from Vegan Yumminess

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 sandwich

Servings: 6

Amount per serving

Calories 331

Total Fat 12 g

Saturated Fat 0.7g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 794 mg

Total Carbohydrate 46.6 g

Dietary Fiber 13 g

Total Sugars 5.5 g

Protein 19.7g

Vitamin D 0 mcg

Calcium 79 mg

Iron 4 mg

Potassium 914 mg


Would you like to feel lighter, have better digestion, and feel proud that you accomplished something great for your health?

Try our FREE course! It will teach you 3 simple ways to add more plant foods to your diet over 3 days.

What can you expect from this course?

By day 3 you'll have added over fifteen nutrient dense, fiber-filled plant foods to your diet.

Who is this for?

People new to plant-based diets, veg-curious, or anyone looking for a quick diet refresher.

“[If you're] thinking about doing the three day program I’d definitely say it’s worth it. It will open up your eyes and your mind to realize how it’s all a process, that can change you from the inside out!! 😍” – Lisa Farquhar, 3-Day Course Graduate

This course is the first step towards feeling better.

My name is Dawn Hutchins and I'm a plant-based lifestyle expert and whole foods chef. I have a certificate in plant-based nutrition through Cornell and the T. Colin Campbell foundation. Through this program I'll show you the steps I took to get started on my path to over ten years of improved energy, mood, and overall health; as well as successful, lasting weight loss.

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