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

As someone who loves minimal-effort cooking and meals, I make quesadillas and grilled cheeses more than a lactose-intolerant person like myself 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 microwaveable grilled cheeses, I sincerely had to drop everything and see it with my own eyes (and tastebuds).

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

I always wanted to be like the other kids who brought Lunchables for school lunch, but my parents never bought them, so this was kinda healing.

Note: BuzzFeed was provided this product free of charge; however, we were under no obligation to give a positive review.

Dannica Ramirez

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. 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, noting its small size and price of $5.99
u/ialost / Via

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."

User comment on the cost of grilled cheeses, preferring homemade over pricey options
u/TheGiantRascal / Via

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 five dollars, which is still on the pricier side. (Honestly, no matter how you spin it, making your own grilled cheese will always be cheaper.) But I mean, the idea of a microwaveable 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

Also, it is so cute that it's called a grilled "cheesie." 🥹

Dannica Ramirez

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

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

For your convenience, here's what the directions say:

1. Remove the plastic wrapper but keep the lid on.

2. Microwave the box on a paper towel for 60 seconds on HIGH.

3. Cool down for 60 seconds and enjoy.

Simple enough, right?

Dannica Ramirez

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 Cheese Kit above a kitchen counter
Dannica Ramirez

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
Dannica Ramirez

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

Grilled cheese in the microwave compared to out of the microwave

She's like Hot Pocket's little sister.

Dannica Ramirez

Here are the pepperoni pizza grilled cheese and the original grilled cheese after taking them out of their little boxes:

Person holding a pan with two grilled cheese sandwiches
Dannica Ramirez
Grilled cheese sandwich beside text "TASTE TEST"
Getty Images

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 melted cheese visible

Pay no attention to my thumb missing a nail.

Dannica Ramirez

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 melted cheese

Also, I'm somewhat shocked that there are two slices of cheese; I don't know why I only expected one, LOL.

Dannica Ramirez

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 flavor: one, I love pepperoni, and two, 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 like it had a lot more meltiness going on than the original grilled cheese, 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
Dannica Ramirez

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
Dannica Ramirez

Here's my reaction:

Three-panel image of a person eating a piece of bread, 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 sandwich cut in half on a plate, with melting cheese visible
Dannica Ramirez

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 yourself. Also, if you don't crave grilled cheeses a lot, the Lunchables single-serving is something to consider.

Two Lunchables Crispy Grill Cheeses boxes featuring original and pepperoni pizza flavors on an orange surface
Dannica Ramirez

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

The author is eating toast with a satisfied expression, adjacent to an empty plate with crumbs

If it means anything, my cousin tried the grilled cheeses and he said, in true Gen Alpha fashion, "It was lowkey gas." (Translation: It was kinda good.)

Dannica Ramirez

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!