Shiitake Bacon Grilled Cheese

This Vegan Shiitake Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich is the ultimate savory comfort food. Whip it up in minutes and enjoy cheezy flavor and loads of mushrooms. I am always looking for delicious ways to add more mushrooms to my diet and this recipe really worked for me! Get the recipe...

Where does recipe inspiration come from?
For me, it hits in a flash and I just HAVE to make something. This time: grilled cheese. As I was scrolling Instagram last week, as one does, I came across a grilled cheese sandwich by Gaby. And suddenly I was craving my very own grilled cheese - mine using vegan cheese, all melty and dairy-free. But I wanted a unique spin on things so shiitake bacon it was! And btw, I have a question about grilled cheese and ketchup...

Oh hi there ooey gooey melty vegan cheese...

Shiitakes are my fave mushroom, but any mushroom would work here!

So what really caught my eye is that Gaby paired her grilled cheese with ketchup. I have never seen this done before but it actually sounded really yummy to me! I think you either love ketchup on everything or ketchup on nothing, amiright?? Ok, maybe not everything, but you get the idea. My husband hates ketchup, in all ways. I love it with salty french fries, hash browns, veggie burgers sometimes... So as an aside to this post, does ketchup on grilled cheese sound good or not-so-good to you? I think the next time I make a straight up plain grilled cheese on sourdough bread, I need to try it.

But today's sandwich was made amazing by the use of shiitake bacon. I posted my shiitake bacon recipe a few years ago and I'll admit I don't make it enough! It is the perfect add to sandwiches, tacos, salads and now... grilled cheese. It is smoky and salty with a hint of sweet and loads of umami flavor from the mushrooms.

Shiitake bacon..

I used a vegan cheddar cheese, but a variety of cheese flavors could be used. vegan provolone or mozzarella would also be yummy.

I used a pumpkin seed sourdough bread, thinly sliced, although a straight-up sourdough thickly sliced would be divine with this. Basically and bakery-style crusty bread or baguette is my preference for grilled cheese. The lighter and fluffier the bread, the better. But you can totally use whatever you have on hand.

My vegan grilled cheese tips are stuffed into this post.

A few other grilled cheese sandwiches that I adore..

- Gouda Marmelade
- Spinach-Stuffed could absolutely add some spinach to this sandwich. Or kale, or even avocado. Some green would be a lovely addition. Other add-ins you could try:

- hot sauce
- chopped parsley
- roasted garlic
- leafy greens
- tomato
- caramelized onion
- garlic aioli
- sauerkraut
- tempeh bacon in place of shiitake

This grilled cheese would be lovely with a ginger beer, or light smoothie or even some kombucha.

Not sure what vegan cheese to use? I used Violife Cheddar Shreds, but Daiya, Follow Your Heart, So Delicious or even Chao would work really well. My vegan cheese review can help.

Shiitake Bacon Grilled Cheese

Kathy Patalsky

Published 06/24/2019

Shiitake Bacon Grilled Cheese

This savory, cheesy grilled sandwich includes smoky-sweet shiitake bacon made from mushrooms.


  • 1 cup shiitake bacon
  • 1/2 cup vegan shredded cheese, any flavor (cheddar used)
  • 2 slices of bakery-style bread
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Prepare your shiitake bacon according to the directions in this post. Set aside.
  2. Warm a large skillet over high heat. Add a drizzle of oil. Wet the bread on both sides, then place both slices on the hot pan. Add the cheese and mushrooms. Close bread. Cover with lid or grilled cheese press. Reduce heat to low. Heat until the cheese melts.
  3. Slice and serve.

Yield: 1 sandwich

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.

Total time: 15 mins.

Tags: grilled cheese,recipe,sandwich,easy,vegan,lunch,cheese,food,grilled cheese sandwich,shiitake, mushrooms,

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