Vegan

Vegan Spinach & Mozzarella Cheese Melts

Move over grilled cheese, my Vegan Spinach Cheese Melts are here to curb even the most serious cravings for a cheesy, melty and comforting lunch sandwich! The addition of tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms take these vegan cheese sandwiches to the next level.

two homemade vegan mozzarella cheese melts with spinach and mushrooms on a wooden board

Vegan Spinach & Mozzarella Cheese Melts are here to curb all your comfort food cravings. Trust me, this is the vegan sandwich to end all your comfort food cravings. Creamy, filling, salty, crispy, buttery and so easy to whip up on any given weekday.

I mean, the combination of melty vegan mozzarella cheese and sauteed spinach alone would be pretty amazing.  But I didn’t stop there. Natural plant-based umami bombs mushrooms and tomatoes are added to take these vegan cheese sandwiches to the next level of deliciousness!

Just in case you’ve been wondering.  Yes, vegan cheese melts and grilled cheeses are a thing! How so? Homemade vegan mozzarella cream. You could also call it vegan cheese spread! That’s right. No need to buy expensive vegan slices at the store. We make our own spreadable mozzarella from simple ingredients. Mostly blended soaked cashew nuts, some garlic and miso for umami, and a touch of flour for getting that gorgeous thick yet silky texture upon heating the sauce.see recipe notes for gf and no nut options.

a vegan grilled cheese made with homemade cashew mozzarella , spinach and mushrooms

What’s the difference between a melt and a grilled cheese anyway, you might ask. Well, grilled cheese is bread, some spread, and cheese. A melt is anything that has another item added to it. If you add things like spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes, it’s a melt. If you add avocados, it’s a melt. You get the idea. If you add anything other than bread, vegan cheese, and some kind of flavor-enhancing spread, a vegan grilled cheese turns into a melt.

MORE SANDWICHES TO TRY

Vegan Spinach Cheese Melts

Move over grilled cheese, my Vegan Spinach Cheese Melts are here to curb even the most serious cravings for a cheesy, melty and comforting lunch sandwich! Layers of browned mushroom, garlicky spinach and homemade cashew mozzarella cream take these to the next level.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time15 mins

Total Time25 mins

Course: Breakfast, brunch, dinner, lunch

Cuisine: American

Keyword: vegan cheese melts

Servings: 4

Calories: 176kcal

Author: The Diet Geek

Ingredients

For the spinach:

  • 1 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 4 to 6 oz (4 oz) of frozen spinach or chopped spinach
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ to ¼ tsp salt

For the mozzarella cream:

  • ½ cup (64.5 g) raw cashews soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove or use ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons flour , I use all-purpose, see notes for Glutenfree

For the mushrooms:

  • 1 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 8 oz (226.8 g) mushrooms sliced
  • teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the rest of the ingredients.

  • sliced bread as needed
  • sliced tomatoes

Instructions

  • Cook your spinach by adding vegan butter to a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it starts to turn golden on some of the edges. Add in the spinach, pepper flakes, and salt, and cook until the spinach has wilted. If using frozen spinach then cook until the water is evaporated.

To make the Mozzarella Cream:

  • Drain the Cashews, then add to a blender, add water and the rest of the ingredients and blend until it’s smooth. You can blend for a minute then let it sit for a few minutes and then blend again for a minute.

  • Add the blended mixture to a skillet over medium heat, cook, stirring occasionally to thicken for six to seven minutes until it’s thickened evenly. Let it cool for a few minutes before adding it to the sandwich to serve.

To make the mushrooms:

  • Add vegan butter or oil to a skillet over medium heat, add sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are golden around the edges, or cook until your preferred state of the mushrooms.

Assemble:

  • Toast your bread slices in a toaster or on a skillet then assemble with some tomato slices, then top the slices with the cooked mushrooms, then add a good helping of the mozzarella cream and top it with the spinach. Too with another toasted bread and serve

  • Store the spinach and mozzarella separately refrigerated for upto 3 days. Reheat on a skillet and use . Or assembleSandwich and bake for 10 minutes to reheat entirely

Notes

Nutrition does not include bread.
To make this cheese melt gluten-free, use 1 tsp rice flour and 1 ½ tsp cornstarch or potato starch , use Glutenfree bread or Glutenfree tortilla wraps to make quesadilla 
For Nutfree:Try my Cauliflower alfredo or pumpkin seed alfredo  Recipe Variations  I also like to serve these vegan cheese melts in other ways. Homemade quick tomato relish is an amazing addition along with the spinach. I make my tomato relish by chopping some fresh tomatoes and stirring them together with some fresh spinach and basil. Season with salt, and a dash of balsamic vinegar – delish!  But that will be a much messier sandwich. In a good way, of course. Make it a quesadilla: You can also turn this into a quesadilla by layering the tomatoes, mozzarella cream, mushroom, and spinach in a quesadilla and then grill lightly and serve. Make it a vegan spinach & mozzarella pizza: YYou can also turn this into a vegan pizza. Drizzle the mozzarella cream on the crust, then add a layer of the mushrooms and the cooked spinach mixture, then drizzle some more of the cream, and then bake until the top starts to get a bit golden.  Serve.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Spinach Cheese Melts

Amount Per Serving

Calories 176 Calories from Fat 126

% Daily Value*

Fat 14g22%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Sodium 687mg30%

Potassium 465mg13%

Carbohydrates 10g3%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 6g12%

Vitamin A 2964IU59%

Vitamin C 10mg12%

Calcium 44mg4%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Ingredients:

  • bread – I recommend slices of sourdough bread
  • spinach sauteed with garlic in vegan butter. You can use fresh or frozen and thawed
  • mushrooms – cremini, mini porta, portobello, shiitake – anything goes
  • soaked cashews as the base for the vegan cheese spread
  • the cheese sauce is flavored with garlic, salt, lemon juice, onion powder and miso paste
  • flour for thickening the cheese sauce. I use AP flour but you can use rice flour and cornstarch for gluten-free
  • tomatoes – I use fresh tomatoes but sun-dried would be nice as well

ingredients needed for making vegan cheese melts

Tips & Substitutions:

  • Sun-dried tomatoes or artichokes would be amazing additions.
  • You could use store-bought vegan mozzarella but it might not be as melty as our vegan cashew spread.
  • Any mushroom will do here. Feel free to make this with umami-richer kinds like fresh shiitake mushrooms or portobello mushrooms.
  • To get the vegan cashew mozzarella cream super smooth,  blend for a minute then let it sit for a few minutes. Then blend again for a minute.

How to Make Vegan Spinach Melt Sandwiches:

a pan with sauteed spinach next to a saucepan with vegan mozzarella cheese spread

Cook your spinach by adding vegan butter to a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until starting the garlic start to turn golden. Now add in the spinach, pepper flakes, and salt, and cook until the spinach has wilted. If using frozen spinach then cook until the water is evaporated,

To make the Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Spread, drain the soaked cashews, then add them to a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. You can blend for a minute then let it sit for a few minutes and then blend again for a minute or 2.

Add the blended cheese mixture to a skillet over medium heat, cook, stirring occasionally to thicken for six to seven minutes until it’s thickened evenly. Let it cool for a few minutes before adding it to the sandwich to serve.

sauteed mushrooms in a frying pan

Add some vegan butter or oil to a skillet over medium heat and add sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are golden around the edges.

bread sliced being topped with sauteed mushrooms and vegan mozarella cheese

Assemble:

Toast your bread slices in a toaster or on a skillet then assemble with some tomato slices. Top the slices with the cooked mushrooms, then add a good helping of the vegan mozzarella cream and top it with the sauteed spinach.
Place another slice of toasted bread on top and serve.

overhead shot of vegan cheese melts topped with homemade cashew mozzarella spinach and tomatoes

Recipe Variations:

I also like to serve these vegan cheese melts in other ways. Homemade quick tomato relish is an amazing addition along with the spinach. I make my tomato relish by chopping some fresh tomatoes and stirring them together with some fresh spinach and basil. Season with salt, and a dash of balsamic vinegar – delish!  But that will be a much messier sandwich. In a good way, of course.

Make it a quesadilla:

You can also turn this into a quesadilla by layering the tomatoes, mozzarella cream, mushroom, and spinach in a quesadilla and then grill lightly and serve.

Make it a vegan spinach & mozzarella pizza:

You can also turn this into a vegan pizza. Drizzle the mozzarella cream on the crust, then add a layer of the mushrooms and the cooked spinach mixture, then drizzle some more of the cream, and then bake until the top starts to get a bit golden.  Serve.

side view of vegan cheese melts topped with spinach and chopped tomatoes

Which bread is best for making vegan cheese melts?

I find that all sturdy types of bread are better for getting that perfect crunch we love about cheese melts and grilled cheese. Think sourdough. Any multi-grain or rye bread would work great too. Also gluten-free bread, obviously.

two vegan cheese melts on a wooden cutting board

 

 

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