Southwestern Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled sweet potatoes and Jalapeño Garlic Havarti vegan cheese make this Southwestern Grilled Cheese Sandwich the new best thing in vegan eats!

Marly's Southwestern Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Last week I took a rather typical jaunt through the health food store. I was just there for the usual stuff, so I wasn’t expecting to leave with anything new.

Walking through a health food store is a little like being in a familiar museum. You know where your favorites are and you navigate to them, as if drawn by some unforeseen force.

Vegan grilled cheese sandwich

But sometimes being in a health food store can be a little like a treasure hunt…where you don’t know what the treasure is.

Last week I found one of those unexpected treasures. Daiya Foods has come out with a new style of vegan cheeses called wedges. My hand reached out over each of the packages and lingered over the one that read, “Jalapeño Garlic Havarti.”

A slice of bread with vegan cheese

I didn’t know what “havarti” was. I’m from Missouri where the corn grows tall, the cows stand firmly grazing in pastures, and cheese? Well, it’s sold in white or orange wedges. That’s that.

I just finished reading These is My Words (the latest assignment in my book reading club) and so my internal dialogue is filled with romantic descriptions of the land around me. But whatever “havarti” is, I figured it had to be pretty darn good to be coupled with garlic and jalapeño.

On the drive home I went through the motions of wondering what to make with my newfound treasure. Nachos? Bean dip? It obviously needed to be something with a southwestern flare to it. But to be completely honest, I already knew what I wanted to make. I had a sandwich forming in my head. (I know, sounds like a medical condition).  I decided to call it Southwestern Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Southwestern Grilled Cheese Sandwich with roasted sweet potatoes

Salsa-infused mashed beans with grilled sweet potatoes and Jalapeño Garlic Havarti. A perfect balance of flavors, taste, and health to keep you happy…and full!


Southwestern Grilled Cheese Sandwich


  • 1 small sweet potato, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup sweet bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup beans (I used kidney beans but you could use black beans as well)
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine
  • Dayia Jalapeño Garlic Havarti Wedge*
* This post was not supported by Dayia…I just happen to really like this product!


  1. Coat a skillet with vegetable spray and cook the sweet potatoes and sweet bell peppers over medium heat until tender. This usually takes 5 – 10 minutes at most. That’s one thing I love about sweet potatoes, they’re just ready to be cooked! Place the potatoes and peppers on a plate and set aside to cool.
  2. In a bowl, combine the beans and the salsa and mash with a fork. You can follow your preference as to whether you mash the beans into a paste (like refried beans) or leave it with some of the beans whole.
  3. Place the same skillet you used for the sweet potatoes over medium heat. While you’re waiting for the skillet to warm up, slather margarine onto one side of each slice of bread. Place two slices of bread with buttered side down in the skillet. top with one or two thin slices of Daiya cheese, grilled sweet potatoes, mashed beans and then one or two thin slices of cheese. Top that with the second piece of prepared bread, this time the buttered side up.
  4. Let the bread cook until toasted to your preference. I like to lift up the bottom corner every now and then to make sure it’s toasted just right. Once the bottom bread is toasted just so, use a spatula to turn the sandwich (carefully…so you don’t lose any good filling) and toast the other side of the sandwich.
  5. As the bread is toasting, the heat should also melt the cheese. If not, you can place the sandwich in the microwave and heat for a few seconds at a time until you get everything just right.
We’ve had this delicious vegan sandwich for breakfast and for lunch. I guess now I’ll have to buy some more of that cheese so we can have it for dinner as well. Enjoy!

Updated by Marly · Permalink

14 Responses to Southwestern Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  1. Girl. I was all about this sandwich from the get go, but then I got to the part about adding the smashed salsa beans and I want it even more! What a creative sandwich, I love how all the flavors bounce of each other.
    My friend introduced me to Dayia years ago when I helped sous chef for her in a cooking class. I was surprised at how ‘cheesy’ it was! I don’t use it at home very often though. I’ll have to recreate something like this soon!!

    I’ll have to check out that book you mentioned. I have a stack right now, can’t get through them fast enough 🙂

  2. That looks/sounds amazing! Will be making that this weekend! Yum 🙂

  3. I do believe this will be my lunch tomorrow. What am I saying? It may just be breakfast!!!

  4. Wow, I will be on the lookout for this cheese! I love how beautifully the Daiya shredded cheese melts so I can imagine how yummy this is with all that extra jalapeno-garlic flavor!

  5. You have won the Liebester blog award.

  6. What a unique combination for a grilled cheese. Sounds delicious!

  7. Sounds great, I am a big grilled cheese fan.

  8. I’d truly love to try this but sadly in the UK we don’t have Daiya products, it’s just not fair 🙁 I’ll have to try it with what (very limited availability where I am) vegan ‘cheeze’ I can get in my local health food store.

  9. OMG!!!! Daiya has HAVARTI!!!!! I haven’t had havarti in years! before going vegan it was my favorite cheese. I MUST find this little wedge of heaven!

    Is it one that still needs to be melted to taste good or have they mastered cold cheese taste and texture yet?

    • I definitely thought it tasted fine cold, but you’ll have to consider the source. I happen to love jalapeño so I was so wowed by that flavor, that I might have been ready to eat it frozen! OK, just kidding…a little.

  10. I just looked at your recipe for macaroni & cheese. It looks great, but since I’m allergic to soy, I can’t use the liquid amino or soy sauce. Is there anything that I can use in the place of soy? I have eaten extremely healthy for the last 20 yrs. About a month ago, I found out I was allergic to milk, soy, and eggs. I love soy, but cheese is my biggest food love outside of fruits & veggies. I just found Daiya & tried the only 2 I found that didn’t also contain soy. I haven’t seen their havarti. What does it taste like? Gouda is my favorite cheese. I love all of them except for swiss. Since I can’t eat any of those any more, can you please tell me if havarti tastes like any other cheese. If you can lead me to other cheese & a soy sauce substitute I can eat, you will have a friend for life! Thanks.

    • The milk and the eggs are no problem to eliminate. Soy? Well, that’s another matter. I’m sure that must be challenging!

      I found a a soy-free liquid amino/soy sauce options you should consider. In fact, I think I’m going to try it too!

      It’s called Coconut Nectar. See? Doesn’t that sound good?

      I think the Daiya is delicious. The version I bought had jalapeños in it which I absolutely love. It reminded me of a spicy pepper jack cheese.

      OK. Now that we’re friends for life, there’s a couple of things you need to know about me. I’m kind of quirky. I don’t like to shop all that much which I think seems to be some sort of prerequisite for girlfriends. I hate touching raw wood which means I refuse to eat popsicles. Ugghh! I can’t talk about anything gross when I’m eating. And I look away at violent scenes in movies. But I can do a mean coffee shop chat…as long as we can talk about names. I love to talk to people about their names, and yours is very intriguing!

      That just about covers it. I hope you try this cheese sauce recipe with the Coconut Secret sauce. I think you’ll like it. We use it on everything from baked potatoes to broccoli. Keep me posted on how it’s going!
      Your best friend for life,

  11. Made this tonight for dinner and it was so good. The only changes I made were that I used daiya pepper jack and used sprouted grain bread. I think I’ll make the leftovers (not much) into a wrap for lunch tomorrow.


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