This simple Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwich is wonderfully crispy and gooey. It’s a great way to make your favorite sandwich when you don’t have access to a stovetop.
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Grilled cheese sandwiches make for an awesome snack or light meal. They’re quick to make and, I mean, who doesn’t love a grilled cheese. Did you know that you can skip making them on the stove and cook them in the air fryer instead?
While I’d still say that the stove top is the best way to make a grilled cheese, the air fryer cooks the sandwich more evenly, so every bite is crunchier. It’s also a great alternative for when you don’t have a stove top, like for college dorms or when camping.
This grilled cheese recipe uses cheddar cheese, but feel free to experiment with different cheeses to give it your own personal touch. It may be a simple recipe, but air fryer grilled cheese sandwiches are salty, buttery, and delicious.
Ingredients You Need
- Bread: Choose your favorite bread. Sourdough or country white bread work well, but just about any type of bread will work.
- Salted Butter: the fat of the butter will make the bread nice and crispy. The added salt gives more flavor than unsalted. Feel free to use mayonnaise on the instead.
- Cheddar Cheese: This recipe uses sliced cheddar cheese, but you can use a different type of cheese. You can also use shredded cheese, but I find that slices stay put better. Stick with cheeses that melt well.
How to Make Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwich
A note about the cooking process:
I’ve made many grilled cheese sandwiches in my air fryer and have found that 385° F is a good temperature to keep the bread from burning before the cheese melts. You might find that your air fryer cooks differently than mine. This is a common complaint and not something I can mitigate for you. You’ll have to keep an eye on the bread throughout the process and adjust as necessary.
Butter each bread slice on one side. Place the buttered side down on a plate and add on the cheese, top with the other slice of bread, buttered side up.
Place the sandwich in the air fryer basket. I like to use a piece of parchment paper under the sandwich, but it’s not necessary. Another thing to note is that some air fryer are quite powerful and will blow the top off the sandwich before the cheese melts. If this is a problem for you, you might want to secure the sandwich together with a toothpick. Just stick one or two into all layers to hold it together.
Cook at 385° F (190° C) for 8 minutes, turning the sandwich over at the halfway mark to ensure that it gets cooked evenly on both sides.
Substitutions & Variations
- The best cheeses to use in a grilled cheese are: Cheddar, Havarti, Provolone, low-moisture Mozzarella, Monterey jack, and Swiss. You can use grated cheese as well, but grate your own. Pre-shredded cheese usually has anti-caking agents, so they don’t melt as well.
- Spray the bread with a bit of olive oil to use less fat than butter or mayonnaise.
- Add some slices of crispy bacon or ham to the grilled cheese.
- Make it Italian! Add a thin slice of tomato and oregano to your grilled cheese for an Italian-inspired grilled cheese. Salt and pat the tomatoes dry before adding them to the sandwich.
Questions About the Recipe
My sandwich is burning, what do I do?
Not all air fryers are created equal. Your air fryer may get hotter than others, so lower the temperature or decrease cooking time if your grilled cheese is burning. The biggest complaint about cooking grilled cheese in the air fryer is that the bread sometimes burns. It will be a process of trial and error to get it right for your
Can I use grated cheese instead?
Yes, you can use grated cheese instead of sliced cheese. But, grate your own cheese if you are going to do this. Pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking agents that prevent the cheese from melting nicely.
Can I store these sandwiches?
You can technically store the grilled cheese for later, but I recommend eating them fresh. The bread will lose a lot of its crunch and the cheese won’t be warm and gooey.
Tips and Notes
- If your air fryer needs to be preheated, then preheat it for 3 minutes.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer’s basket. Having too many sandwiches in the air fryer will cause uneven cooking and the grilled cheese may not end up as crunchy.
- Use bread slices that aren’t too thin, because the bread may come off while cooking. If you only have thinner slices of bread, then place a toothpick in the middle of the sandwich to keep it held together. Remove it before flipping the sandwich.
What Side Dishes to Serve?
There are some really easy side dishes you can serve with your main dish cooked in the Air Fryer. In some cases, you can even cook them together in the air fryer to make it even faster.
Some of our favorite side dishes to serve include air fryer cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and corn on the cob. We love these crispy smashed potatoes and cottage fries because they go with just about anything. Other quick options are to make a side garden salad or some macaroni and cheese.
Why Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.
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Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 2 slices sourdough or country white bread
- 1 tablespoon salted butter or mayonnaise
- 2 ounces cheddar cheese
- Butter each bread slice on one side. Place the buttered side down on a plate and add on the cheese, top with the other slice of bread, buttered side up.
- Place a parchment paper liner in the air fryer. Put the sandwich on the paper.
- Cook at 385° F (190° C) for 8 minutes, turning the sandwich over at the halfway mark.
All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes over at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, and you’ll find Instant Pot recipes at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.