This spinach corn sandwich is rich, decadent, and ready in just 30 minutes. Filled with fresh sweet corn, baby spinach, and creamy havarti cheese, it's the perfect lunch for a casual summer picnic or beach day.
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a lunchbox staple. Melty cheese sandwiched between two slices of crispy, buttery bread. What could be better?
Well, let me introduce you to this amazingly creamy and delicious spinach corn sandwich. Because it's like grilled cheese, but better. Seriously. Who knew putting a creamy vegetable filling between two slices of bread and grilling it could be so magical?
Rich, creamy, and oh-so-satisfying, this sandwich is the perfect treat for those late summer or early fall months when both spinach and corn are in-season. I love using both fresh spinach and fresh sweet corn cut right from the cob. Using fresh, seasonal vegetables really makes this sandwich shine.
So, if you're ready to try this life-changing creamy spinach and corn grilled cheese sandwich, keep reading to learn everything you need to know to recreate it at home.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- A Delicious Way to Eat Greens- If you're not a big fan of spinach, this spinach corn sandwich will quickly change your mind. The rich cheese sauce that coats the spinach is so creamy and delicious that you'll barely even notice you're eating it. It's the perfect way to try to sneak some greens into your picky kid's lunchbox.
- Quick and Easy Lunch- While it takes a bit longer than a regular grilled cheese sandwich, it's still quick and easy. Plus, it's worth the extra effort. You'll feel like a superstar whipping up this fancy grilled cheese for yourself and your family.
- Simple Ingredients- I wanted to keep the ingredient list short for this recipe so that the flavor of the fresh sweet corn and spinach could shine through. Most of the ingredients are pantry staples like flour, butter, and cream.
Sustainability Tip: Growing your own food is a fabulous way to reduce your carbon footprint. Learn how to grow your own spinach in any space you have so you can enjoy the freshest, healthiest spinach whenever you'd like.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Fresh Sweet Corn- With so few ingredients, I wanted something that would make this sandwich feel extra special. One of the ways I did that was by using fresh sweet corn on the cob. Cutting the corn off the cob into a bowl helps keep the corn kernels from going everywhere.
- Baby Spinach- The perfect leafy green for this sandwich, the fresh chopped spinach practically melts into the creamy cheese sauce.
- Flour- As the starchy part of the roux, the flour helps to thicken the sauce. A thick sauce is necessary to keep this sandwich from completely falling apart while you eat it.
- Butter- A roux typically consists of flour and butter. The butter helps to create a smooth, lump-free consistency in the finished sauce.
- Cream- I use light cream in this recipe because the fat adds to the thickness and creaminess of the spinach corn filling. You can use heavy cream for an even richer sauce or half and half for a lightened up version.
- Havarti Cheese- Buttery in flavor and creamy in texture, havarti cheese is absolutely divine in this sandwich. The flavor pairs beautifully with the sweet corn and rich, buttery cream sauce.
- Whole Wheat Bread- High in fiber, whole wheat bread is a great choice for any sandwich. The nuttiness of the whole wheat really goes well with the rich, buttery, and slightly sweet flavor of these spinach corn sandwiches. However, you can use any sandwich bread you prefer.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this spinach corn sandwich.
Step 1: Make the roux. Melt the butter over low heat in a small skillet on the stovetop. Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine. Cook the flour in the butter, whisking occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the roux begins to brown.
Step 2: Make the spinach corn mixture. Slowly whisk in the cream until smooth and then season with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer before stirring in the chopped spinach and corn. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to wilt and soften. Turn off the heat and stir in the havarti cheese. Set mixture aside to cool.
Step 3: Assemble the sandwiches. Set a large skillet over medium-low heat and melt 1 ½ teaspoons of butter in the skillet. Take 3 slices of bread and place them in the skillet. Top each slice of bread with ⅓ of the spinach-corn mixture. Spread the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons of butter equally between the remaining 3 slices of bread (½ teaspoon per slice) and place them butter side up on top of the sandwiches in the skillet.
Step 4: Grill the sandwiches. Cook the sandwiches for about 3 minutes on each side or until the bread is golden brown and toasted. Allow the sandwiches to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can make this spinach corn sandwich fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Frozen or Canned Corn- While I love using fresh corn, especially during the summer and fall, frozen or canned corn can still work well here. Frozen corn can be used without defrosting. Canned corn should be drained prior to adding to the sauce.
- Frozen or Canned Spinach- You can also use frozen or canned spinach to make these sandwiches. Just be sure to defrost the frozen spinach and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Similarly, drain and squeeze out any excess liquid from the canned spinach.
- Half and Half- If you're looking to lighten this sandwich up a bit, opt for some half in half in place of the light cream. Light cream typically has about 20% milkfat while half and half has between 10.5% and 18% milkfat.
- Monterey Jack Cheese- Can't find havarti cheese? Monterey Jack cheese, while firmer than havarti, has a similar flavor profile. They're both mild, buttery, and slightly sweet. Mild cheddar cheese could also work well here.
- Fresh Garlic- I used garlic powder in this recipe because I didn't have any fresh garlic on hand the day I was testing this recipe. It's also a quick, easy way to add a touch of garlic flavor. You can, of course, use one clove of minced or grated garlic in place of the garlic powder.
- Gluten-Free- To make this sandwich gluten-free, swap out the all-purpose flour in the roux for your favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour. My favorite is Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. You'll also need to serve this sandwich on gluten-free bread.
- Vegan- To make this sandwich vegan, you'll need to make a few adjustments. The butter can be swapped out for a bit of olive oil or vegan butter. The light cream should be replaced with a dairy-free alternative such as full-fat coconut cream. Finally, the cheese can be left out entirely or swapped out for dairy-free cheddar cheese.
- Spicy- Like things a little spicy? Try adding red chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or a bit of sriracha to the spinach corn filling.
- Extra Cheesy- If you're someone who can't get enough cheese, you can either add more grated cheese to the cheese sauce or add a cheese slice to the sandwich as you're assembling it. Try mixing and matching with various cheeses to see what you like!
Storage and Reheating
For best results, store leftover filling in an airtight container separately from the bread. The leftover filling will stay good for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
I do not recommend freezing this sauce as it may change the consistency. Dairy-based sauces tend to separate and become watery after they've been frozen and thawed. If you've made too much filling, you can always repurpose it by stirring it into macaroni and cheese or just eating it as a creamy vegetable side dish.
How to Reheat
When it comes to reheating, you have a few options:
- Microwave- A quick way to reheat this sauce is in the microwave. Simply microwave on half-power for approximately 1-2 minutes or until warmed through.
- Stovetop- Add the leftover filling to a small saucepan and warm through over low heat. You can add a bit of water or cream to loosen the sauce, if necessary.
- No Reheating- My favorite method is to use the sauce as-is straight from the refrigerator. Just make sure the sauce gets hot enough while the sandwich is grilling. Sometimes using a lid helps warm it up nicely.
Frequently Asked Questions
While this sandwich is high in fat thanks to the butter, cream, and cheese, it's also high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You can make a lower fat version by swapping the cream for half and half and leaving the cheese out.
Yes! You can make these sandwiches in the morning and pack them for lunch. Simply allow the sandwich to cool before wrapping it in aluminum foil or storing it in an airtight container. While the filling won't be melty, it will be deliciously flavorful and the crispiness of the bread should hold up well.
Of course! Since this sandwich is pretty basic flavor-wise, it acts as a blank canvas for any seasonings you might like. Try adding some Italian seasoning and red chili flakes or maybe a bit of curry powder and cayenne pepper. Experiment and see what you enjoy!
Spinach Corn Sandwich
For the Spinach-Corn Filling
- ½ tablespoon butter unsalted
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup light cream
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper freshly cracked
- 1 cup baby spinach finely chopped
- ¾ cup fresh corn removed from cob (about 1 ear)
- ½ cup havarti cheese grated
For the Sandwich
- 3 teaspoons butter unsalted, divided
- 6 slices whole wheat bread
Make the Spinach-Corn Filling
- Melt the butter over low heat in a small skillet on the stovetop. Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine. Cook the flour in the butter, whisking occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the roux begins to brown.½ tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Slowly whisk in the cream until smooth and then season with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer before stirring in the chopped spinach and corn. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to wilt and soften. Turn off the heat and stir in the havarti cheese. Set mixture aside to cool.½ cup light cream, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, 1 cup baby spinach, ¾ cup fresh corn removed from cob (about 1 ear), ½ cup havarti cheese
Grill the Sandwich
- Set a large skillet over medium-low heat and melt 1 ½ teaspoons of butter in the skillet. Take 3 slices of bread and place them in the skillet. Top each slice of bread with ⅓ of the spinach-corn mixture. Spread the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons of butter equally between the remaining 3 slices of bread (½ teaspoon per slice) and place them butter side up on top of the sandwiches in the skillet.6 slices whole wheat bread, 3 teaspoons butter
- Cook the sandwiches for about 3 minutes on each side or until the bread is golden brown and toasted. Allow the sandwiches to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
Did you try this recipe?
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