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“Sneaky” Grilled Cheese Panini“Sneaky” Grilled Cheese Panini

Jami Nolen, Nutrition Program Associate

April 14, 2013


This grilled cheese recipe is sneaky because vegetables are hiding within the cheese. It's great for getting kids to eat their veggies, but adults will enjoy this healthier version too!



  • 4 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup prepared chunky salsa
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil



  1. Combine Cheddar, zucchini, carrot, cilantro and salsa in a medium bowl. Divide among 4 slices of bread and top with the remaining bread.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 panini in the pan. Place a medium skillet on top of the panini, then weigh it down with 4 canned goods. Cook the panini until golden on one side, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the panini, replace the top skillet and cans and cook until the second side is golden, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with another 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining 2 panini.


Nutrition Information

Per serving:
331 calories
14 g fat (5 g sat, 2 g mono)
30 mg cholesterol
37 g carbohydrates
16 g protein
5 g fiber
523 mg sodium
163 mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin A (50% daily value)
Calcium (30% dv)
Vitamin C (20% dv)
Iron (15% dv)


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Funded in part by USDA SNAP.

Running out of money for food? Contact your local food stamp office or go online to For more information, call MU Extension's Show-Me Nutrition line at 1-888-515-0016.


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Last update: Tuesday, May 07, 2013