This $5, One-Minute Grilled Cheese Has People In A Tizzy, And I Taste-Tested It So You Don't Have To

    It's basically like the Hot Pocket's little sister.

    As someone who loves minimal-effort cooking and meals, I make quesadillas and grilled cheeses more often than a lactose-intolerant person like me should. I'll also admit that in addition to enjoying minimal-effort cooking, I love grabbing on-the-go snack packs from grocery stories — specifically, Lunchables. So when I heard that Lunchables came out with microwavable grilled cheeses, I sincerely had to drop everything and see it with my own eyes (and taste buds).

    Two Lunchables Crispy Grilled Cheese kits on a table, one original and one pepperoni flavor

    The frozen Lunchables Crispy Grilled Cheesies — which come in original and pepperoni pizza flavors — hit shelves in 2023, and it appears that many folks had big feelings about the quality vs. the price point. Reddit user u/ialost took to the very passionate r/frozendinners community to share their experience with the grilled cheese, saying, "I will say I was impressed by how buttery the bread was but needless to say just make your own grilled cheese. Also this was $5.99."

    Summary of a Reddit post expressing disappointment in Lunchables' grilled cheese, aside from the buttery bread, noting its small size and price of $5.99

    Another redditor, u/TheGiantRascal, said, "I'm a big fan of crappy grilled cheeses, but $6 is just offensive for something like that. Obviously it's cheaper to just make your own, but even ordering one from somewhere is close to the same price."

    Screenshot of above comment

    Reservations aside, I wanted to see for myself. In my area of Southern California, a two-pack of these grilled cheeses is a little under $5, which is still on the pricier side. (Honestly, no matter how you spin it, making your own grilled cheese will always be cheaper.) But the idea of a microwavable grilled cheese that uses "360Crisp" technology is enough to sell me; according to the brand, this element of the packaging "delivers a pan-like crisp in seconds." Like, I was probably more excited than I should be.

    The author is holding a box of Lunchables Grilled Cheesies with a surprised expression

    Since Lunchables offers an original grilled cheese and a pepperoni pizza grilled cheese, I obviously had to try both! To ensure that I got the maximum cheesiness and crispiness, I made sure to follow the directions to a T (which wasn't very hard).

    A hand holding a Lunchables Grilled Cheesies box with instructions on how to prepare the meal

    I heated up the pepperoni pizza grilled cheese right after the original grilled cheese, but the process for both was the same. First I removed the grilled cheese from the wrapper.

    Hand holding a packaged Lunchables Grilled Cheesie Kit above a kitchen counter

    Then, after admiring the little box it came in, I put the grilled cheese on a paper towel and let the microwave do the rest of the work.

    Package of Lunchables Grilled Cheesies on microwave plate set for 60 seconds

    After I twiddled my thumbs for a minute, the grilled cheese was done!

    Grilled cheese in the microwave compared with out of the microwave

    Here are the pepperoni pizza grilled cheese and the original grilled cheese after they've been taken out of their little boxes:

    Person holding a pan with the two grilled cheese sandwiches
    Grilled cheese sandwich beside text "TASTE TEST"

    The Original Crispy Grilled Cheesie: Okay, so I cut the grilled cheese in half to attempt a cheese pull, and, um, the cheese didn't pull. The cheese didn't even tug.

    Person holding a half-eaten grilled cheese sandwich, with not-so-melted cheese visible

    I don't know what happened, but the cheese was not cheesing! It barely melted in the microwave, and it didn't even cover the entirety of the bread.

    Grilled cheese sandwich on a plate, cut open with only slightly melted cheese

    As for the crispiness, one side of the sandwich was toasted noticeably better than the other. And there was A LOT of butter. Not to say that's a bad thing, but my fingers were slick and slippery every time I handled the grilled cheese, even gently! After using however many napkins and pouring myself a glass of iced tea, here's how the first bite went:

    Three sequential photos of the author biting into a grilled cheese

    Overall rating for the original flavor: 2.5/5 🥪

    If I came home from a really exhausting and draining excursion and didn't feel like taking out a pan and washing it afterward, I probably would reach for this in my freezer.

    Moving on! I had higher hopes for the Pepperoni Pizza Crispy Grilled Cheesie because 1) I love pepperoni, and 2) I love trying things that are not pizza but taste like pizza. (I bought these pizza-flavored chips last week for no reason other than the allure of it all, if that tells you anything.) When I got the grilled cheese out of the microwave, it looked as if it had a lot more meltiness going on than the original flavor, so I was kind of mentally hyping it up! Well, here's what the pepperoni pizza grilled cheese looked like cut open:

    The author is holding the Lunchables Pepperoni Pizza Crispy Grilled Cheesie

    Hello?! Is the cheese in the room with us right now? I feel like maybe the cheese melted a little too well or something, because I could only see the stain of it. There were three pepperoni slices in there and very minimal pizza sauce, so I quickly learned that I shouldn't have hyped up a frozen pizza grilled cheese so much.

    A hand holding a slice of pepperoni pizza toast over a black plate with crumbs

    Here's my reaction:

    Three-panel image of the writer eating a piece of bread and not looking too happy, showing different stages of a bite

    Overall rating for the pepperoni pizza flavor: 3.4/5 🥪

    I would reach for this pepperoni pizza grilled cheese after a tiring excursion, but I would also probably reach for one if I were casually looking for something to eat around the house. My siblings are older now, but if they were still kids, I'd probably feed it to them after school if I had to, too.

    Alright, so after trying the two Lunchables Crispy Grilled Cheesies, I've concluded that even though making a grilled cheese yourself is easy (and cheap), the Lunchables grilled cheeses somehow made it an even easier task. And because of that, for some people, keeping a box in the freezer just might make sense.

    Grilled cheese sandwiches cut in half on a plate, one with pepperoni

    I think the convenience of having a grilled cheese ready in one minute, with the microwave doing all the work for you, can be especially helpful for people who really just don't have the time, energy, or — and I know this because I've been there as a college student — resources to make a whole grilled cheese. Also, if you don't crave grilled cheeses a lot, the Lunchables single serving is something to consider.

    Two Lunchables Crispy Grilled Cheesies boxes featuring Original and Pepperoni Pizza flavors on an orange surface

    All in all, there's nothing extravagant or unique about these grilled cheeses to me, but as with all frozen food, the convenience factor is definitely worth noting. Do I prefer to make my own grilled cheese? Absolutely! But am I above taking some bread and cheese in a little box and warming it up in the microwave for a minute so that my tummy doesn't grumble? Not at all!

    The author is eating a grilled cheese with a satisfied expression, adjacent to an empty plate with crumbs and caption: "ate it all up! can't wait to bloat from all the cheese"

    Have you ever tried the Lunchables Crispy Grilled Cheesies? Do you think you would ever try them? Most importantly, what is your ideal grilled cheese?! I personally love a cheddar and pepper jack combo on sourdough with a side of sour cream. Let me know down in the comments!