This tasty pizza grilled cheese is the best comfort food mash up! Made with garlic bread, marinara sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese, this super gooey sandwich is perfect for both kids and adults!
This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been updated for content.
Trying to stay creative with meals that my kids don't get sick of can be overwhelming, to say the least.
This pizza grilled cheese recipe is fun twist on the classic sandwich. It's a gooey piece of pizza, in sandwich form! I love doing fun mash up recipes like this or my carbonara mac and cheese.
These easy grilled cheese sandwiches are great for lunches, after-school snack or easy dinner. Cut the sandwiches into quarters for fun party snacks!
🍕 Ingredient notes
- Bread - White bread or texas toast are the best type of bread for grilled cheese. French or Italian bread, ciabatta bread or bagels make for fun alternatives!
- Cheese - Shredded mozzarella is the type of cheese I prefer for this delicious sandwich. It's gooey, melts easily and is also the most like regular pizza. Add some ricotta or cream cheese for an even more gooey cheese sandwich. Provolone is another Italian cheese that is also a great option!
- Sauce - I like using my old school Italian gravy for this, however any marinara or pizza sauce will work.
- Pepperoni - Use mini slices of pepperoni because they have a tendency to stay on the sandwich best. For larger slices, cut them into smaller pieces and layer them with the cheese.
📋 Substitutions and variations
- Toppings - Add your favorite pizza toppings, such as grilled veggies, Italian sausage or mini meatballs!
- Dairy Free - Use a dairy free plant based mozzarella cheese and also butter. Cook the sandwiches on low heat to prevent burning as dairy free cheese typically takes longer to melt.
🔪 Step by step instructions
First, spread the side of each slice of bread with unsalted butter and sprinkle with both the garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
Spread the buttered slices of bread with the sauce and then top four of the bread slices with both cheese and pepperoni.
Place the top piece of bread on top so the outside of the bread has butter and the toppings are in the middle.
Preheat a griddle pan or electric griddle to medium heat. Cook the sandwiches for about 2-3 minutes on each side till golden brown and the cheese is melted.
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⭐ Expert tips
- Make sure to spread the butter from crust to crust for even browning.
- Press down the pepperoni slices and cheese into the bread with marinara to help make sure they stick and don't fall out.
- If the outsides of the sandwiches are browned and the cheese is not melting, then reduce to medium-low heat and place a pot lid on top of the sandwich. This will help create more heat for the cheese to melt without the sandwich burning.
🥘 Alternative cooking methods
- Oven Baked - Assemble the sandwiches as directed and then place on a sheet pan or cookie sheet. Bake at 350˚ for 10-15 minutes, flipping half way through, until the cheese is melted and the sandwich is golden brown. Place sandwiches under the broiler for 30-60 seconds for additional browning if needed.
- Air Fryer - Assemble the sandwiches as directed and then place in the air fryer basket. Cook at 375˚ for 3-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
🥡 Storage suggestions
Leftover sandwiches will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in frying pan on a stovetop, under the broiler or also in the air fryer.
🍕 More pizza recipes
If you loved this easy recipe for pizza grilled cheese sandwiches, check out these other pizza recipes that I know you will love too!
Pizza Grilled Cheese
- Spread softened butter on one side of each of the slices of bread and sprinkle each buttered side with the garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
- Spread the sauce old school italian gravyon the inside of each of the slices of buttered bread and then sprinkle the cheese and pepperoni on the top of the sauce on four of the slices.
- Add the remaining slices of buttered bread with the sauce on top of the slices of bread with the toppings. The buttered sides should be facing out with the sauce, cheese and pepperoni in the middle.
- Preheat a griddle pan or electric griddle over medium low heat. Cook sandwiches for 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
- Bread - Use texas toast, French or Italian bread, ciabatta bread, or bagels.
- Cheese - Add ricotta or cream cheese for a more gooey sandwich. Provolone cheese can also be added.
- Pepperoni - Mini pepperoni stays best on the sandwich. Larger slices can be cut into smaller pieces and layered with the cheese.
- Toppings - Add your favorite pizza toppings, such as grilled veggies, Italian sausage, or mini meatballs!
- Dairy-Free - Use a dairy-free alternative for the cheese and butter.
- Oven Baked - Assemble the sandwiches and place them on a sheet pan. Bake at 350˚ for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the cheese is melted and the sandwich is golden brown. Place sandwiches under the broiler for 30-60 seconds for additional browning if needed.
- Air Fryer - Assemble the sandwiches as directed and then place them in the air fryer basket. Cook at 375˚ for 3-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
- Leftovers - Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in a frying pan on a stovetop, under the broiler, or in the air fryer.