14 Recipes for When You Want to Eat Cheese for Dinner

Crab Macaroni Gratin
Photo: Sarah Crowder

From gooey grilled cheese sandwiches and  luxurious mac and cheese to rich cheese soups and savory cheese-filled pastries, these recipes will stretch your love for cheese beyond your wildest dreams. So, if you're feeling cheesy and want to treat yourself, grab your favorite cheese wedge and read on to discover the best cheese recipes to make for dinner tonight.

01 of 14

Opulent Grilled Cheese

Opulent Grilled Cheese
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

The combination of creamy, silky Taleggio and nutty aged Gruyère in these small but luxurious sandwiches, inspired by the iconic grocery store Zabar's, results in the perfect melt, with plenty of flavor. Pops of fresh salinity from lightly smashed capers stirred into sweet, jammy strawberries balance the richness. 

02 of 14

Beer and Cheddar Soup

Beer-and-Cheddar Soup

When Jonathon Erdeljac opened his restaurant, Jonathon's Oak Cliff, in Dallas, he knew he wanted to serve this rich soup. It's a favorite of his, especially with jalapeños and smoky bacon stirred in. 

03 of 14

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole with Sausage

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole with Sausage
© Phoebe Lapine

This easy gluten-free broccoli and rice casserole is a classically comforting one-dish meal. You can substitute pork sausage for the chicken, or swap it for sweet Italian if you're looking for something tamer. Transfer the casserole to the broiler to get the cheesy topping properly crusty and browned. 

04 of 14

Buttermilk Macaroni and Cheese with Baby Kale

Buttermilk Macaroni and Cheese with Baby Kale
Kelly Marshall

A quick sauté renders baby kale leaves perfectly tender, allowing them to almost melt into the buttermilk-enriched béchamel in Alexander Smalls' mac and cheese. For a smooth sauce, have all of the dairy ready at room temperature.

05 of 14

Raclette-Gruyère Mac and Cheese with Pickled Shallots

Raclette gruyere macaroni and cheese with pickled shallots
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Inspired by älplermagronen, Alpine farmers’ macaroni, this Swiss twist on a classic gets rich flavor from Gruyère and a lush creaminess from Raclette. Traditional versions of this dish are served with applesauce and as a nod to that flavor play, we’ve added some shallots that are quickly pickled in apple cider vinegar to balance the richness.

06 of 14

Ham and Cheese Danish

Ham and Cheese Danish
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This buttery ham and cheese pastry was inspired by one of the most popular offerings at Chicago's Kasama, 2022 Food & Wine Best New Chefs Genie Kwon and Tim Flores' bakery by day and fine dining restaurant at night. The flaky pastry balances sweet and savory flavors from the nutty Gruyère cheese sauce, salty ham, and crunchy turbinado sugar. 

07 of 14

Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup

Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup

Cara Cormack

A few simple ingredients make a sumptuous soup. High-quality cheddar is crucial to the dish's flavor, and you should choose yellow cheese for the richest color. For a chunkier soup, skip the pureeing and just break up some of the potato with a spoon.

08 of 14

Grillades and Cheesy Grits

Grillades and Cheesy Grits

Fred Hardy II / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

New Orleans classic grillades rely on succulent beef top round that’s cooked low and slow for hours until it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. Served with savory, cheesy grits and a luscious gravy using the fond from the beef, 2016 Best New Chef Michael Gulotta's grillades and grits is comfort food at its finest. 

09 of 14

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Radicchio

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Radicchio Recipe
Greg DuPree

A splash of red wine vinegar balances the richness of cookbook author Susan Spungen's cheesy pasta and magnifies the pink color of the onions and radicchio. Omit the prosciutto to make this a vegetarian main dish.

10 of 14

Cheesy Eggplant Rollatini

Cheesy Eggplant Rollatini
© Abby Hocking

Grilling the eggplant for this simple, hearty dish lends both flavor and texture. Make sure the eggplant slices are completely tender before they come off the grill; they won’t soften more in the oven.

11 of 14

Crab Macaroni Gratin

Crab Macaroni Gratin
Sarah Crowder

A glorious amount of crab meat baked with shell-shaped pasta in a three-cheese cream sauce  — tangy white cheddar, nutty Gruyère, and sharp Parmigiano -Reggiano — is no-joke delicious, and trés riche. That’s where the Champagne comes into play in cookbook author Andrea Slonecker's recipe. The tingly bubbles give your palate an ultrasonic scrub between each creamy, cheesy, blissful bite. 

12 of 14

Cheesy Grits Casserole

Cheesy Grits Casserole
© Lucy Schaeffer

Clothing designer Billy Reid says, "Folks in the South start eating grits young. You learn to love them as a kid and it never goes away." Using old-fashioned, stone-ground grits gives the casserole a better texture and flavor than quick-cooking grits.

13 of 14

Baked Shells with Gremolata Breadcrumbs

Baked Shells with Gremolata Breadcrumbs
Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee

Macaroni and cheese is always a crowd-pleaser. Justin Chapple's version features a combination of Fontina for optimal gooey texture and cheddar for its tangy flavor, and a crispy mix of toasted panko, parsley, lemon, and garlic that complements the richness of the ultra-creamy baked shells.

14 of 14

Grilled Cheese with Corn and Calabrian Chile

Grilled Cheese with Corn and Calabrian Chile Recipe
Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson

1990 Food & Wine Best New Chef Nancy Silverton gives thick slices of sourdough beautifully buttery, golden crust in a cast iron skillet, while sneaking in a jarred Calabrian chile with just the right amount of heat. Satisfyingly rich, sharp, and indulgent, the cheese filling is a knockout on burgers, or even as a hot dip with crackers and crudités.

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