This is the sandwich you didn’t know you needed in your life. (But you totally do!) This swoon-worthy grilled cheese is made with ooey, gooey cashew mozzarella layered with fig jam and peppery arugula, then stuffed between crusty bread slices and grilled to perfection.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I made an impulse purchase of a bunch of figs and would be sharing a recipe soon. Well, here it is!
I actually wasn’t sure if I was going to post this one or not. Even though I promised! The thing is, I don’t really see this as being one of those recipes that everyone is going to make. If I saw a recipe for a fig jam sandwich in my feed I’d probably be like “oh cool,” but then skip right past it.
But sometimes there’s a distinction between the recipes I blog and the recipes I check out online and those I make for myself when I’m just playing around in the kitchen.
When I first made this sandwich it was meant to be a fun way to use my figs. I don’t cook with figs that often.
But guys, it was so good. And my husband declared that it was the best sandwich he ever ate. It might be my favorite too, and that includes all vegan and non-vegan sandwiches I ever ate. So I kind of had to share!
The other thing that kind of held me back was that the mozzarella part is pretty much nothing new. I borrowed that part of the recipe from my Caprese sandwiches. And I always feel compelled to share new stuff. But like I said, I didn’t even mean to share this initially, and the mozzarella works so well. In case you need a bit more guidance on how to prepare the cheese, check out the Caprese post I linked to above. The only difference in this recipe is that I skipped the garlic.
As for the fig jam, you can use store-bought, if you don’t feel like making it or you can’t get ahold of any figs. I made my own, because I had figs to use up. If you want to make your own too, go get some figs now because fig season is running out!
Fig jam is really easy to make and makes your house smell awesome. This recipe will yield a super small batch (about a cup) so double or triple it if you want lots of fig jam to have around.
Dice your figs up and place them in a saucepan with some sugar (I used coconut sugar, but any granulated variety works) and balsamic vinegar. Heat it up and let it simmer, giving it a stir every now and then. Keep an eye on the pan to make sure it doesn’t burn. When it’s done, let it sit and cool. It’ll continue to thicken up.
Slice your vegan mozzarella and layer it on some good sandwich bread with fig jam and some greens.
Grill in olive oil to delicious, gooey perfection.
Tips for Making Delicious Vegan Grilled Cheese & Fig Jam Sandwiches
- Fig season runs from about August through October in the U.S. So get moving if you want to make your own jam!
- Figs go bad fast! Ideally, make the jam the day you buy them. Otherwise, store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
- You’ll have some jam leftover. It’ll last about 1 month in the fridge, or you can freeze it for about 6 months.
- Obviously, this is a bit more involved than your typical grilled cheese sandwich. Save time the day of serving by preparing the cheese and jam ahead of time.
- Will somebody try this with tempeh bacon and tell me how it turns out? I think it’ll be delicious but I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet.
- Try adding a few pinches of your favorite spices to the fig jam if you like. Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves would all be really nice!
Vegan Mozzarella & Fig Jam Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
This is the sandwich you didn't know you needed in your life. (But you totally do!) This swoon-worthy grilled cheese is made with ooey, gooey cashew mozzarella layered with fig jam and peppery arugula, then stuffed between crusty bread slices and grilled to perfection.
For the Cashew Mozzarella
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained
- 1/2 cup unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
For the Fig Jam
- 3/4 pound fresh figs, diced (about 1/2 inch)
- 3/4 cup organic granulated sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
For the Sandwiches
- 8 slices good sandwich bread
- 2 cups baby arugula
- Black pepper to taste
- About 2 tablespoons olive oil
To Make the Cashew Mozzarella
Place the cashews, milk, tapioca starch, lemon juice, and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Blend until smooth.
Add the coconut oil and blend until fully incorporated.
Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and place it over medium heat.
Slowly heat the mixture, whisking constantly. It should begin to thicken up. Remove from heat once the mixture becomes very clumpy and pulls away from the sides of the pot, after about 5 minutes of cook time.
Let the pot sit for a few minutes until the mixture is cool enough to handle
Transfer the cashew mixture to a sheet of parchment paper and roll it into 6 to 8 inch long a log shape. Place it on a plate and transfer it to the fridge to chill for about 2 hours, until set.
To Make the Fig Jam
Stir the figs, sugar and vinegar together in a small saucepan.
Place the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
Lower the heat and allow it to simmer, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pot from heat and allow the mixture to cool. It will continue to thicken up as it does.
When the jam is cool, transfer it to a glass jar, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To Make The Sandwiches
When the cheese has set, slice it into 12 pieces (about 1/2 inch thick each).
Arrange about 3 cheese slices on a piece of bread, then top with about 2 tablespoons of jam and a small handful of arugula. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste.
Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with olive oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, place the sandwich in the skillet and grill for about 4 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp. You can grill a few sandwiches at a time if you've got room in the skillet.
Repeat until all of the ingredients are used, adding oil to the skillet as needed between sandwiches.
This recipe makes about 1 cup of fig jam. You'll need about half of that for the sandwiches.