The Most Delicious Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

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Did you know how easy it is to make a grilled cheese sandwich in an air fryer? With stretchy melted cheese and a crispy golden crust, this is the perfect recipe for grilled cheese sandwiches.

Ingredients for Grilled Cheese

Bread

A soft, white loaf of bread is classic for grilled cheese as it stays fluffy inside and gets a perfect golden crust. If you prefer, you can use a whole wheat bread, sourdough or even soft rye bread.

Mayonnaise

This helps to brown the bread whilst stopping it from drying out. I like to spread mayo on the outside of the bread as it’s spreadable straight from the fridge (unlike butter!) and gives an evenly golden, not greasy crust.

If you prefer, you can use softened butter instead of the mayo.

Cheese

I use one slice of strong cheddar for flavor, and one slice of gouda for the melty texture. You can use whatever type of cheese you prefer, though! If you want an extra gooey sandwich, I suggest adding an extra slice of gouda or some grated mozzarella.

How to Make Grilled Cheese in the Air Fryer 

  • Spread the mayo evenly over the top surface of each slice of bread.

  • Place the bread slices so their mayo sides are together (this allows you to fill the sandwich without getting mayo on your counter!)

  • Place the cheddar cheese slice onto the top slice of bread.

  • Top with the gouda cheese slice.

  • Place the slice of bread with the cheese on it into the basket of the air fryer, mayo side facing down.

  • Place the second slice of bread on top, mayo side facing up.

  • Air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 6 minutes, until golden on top.

  • Use a spatula to flip the sandwich over.

  • Air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden on top.

  • Remove from the air fryer and cut in half.

  • Serve.

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese FAQ

Why use an air fryer to make grilled cheese?

The usual method of making a grilled cheese involves using a skillet on the stove. Here I’ve used an air fryer instead as it ensures an evenly crisp, brown crust and perfectly melted cheese. It’s also a convenient way to make a grilled cheese if you don’t have access to a stove.

Is grilled cheese vegetarian?

In most cases, yes, grilled cheese is vegetarian as the ingredients do not contain meat. The main time a grilled cheese won’t be vegetarian is if a cheese is used which contains animal rennet (an enzyme produced in the stomach of a calves). Many cheeses do not use animal rennet so are considered vegetarian. The main cheese to watch out for is Parmesan as this always uses animal rennet. Please check the packaging of the cheese you’re using to see if it’s marked as vegetarian friendly, if you’re concerned.

How do you make an extra stretchy grilled cheese?

I think the best cheese combination for a grilled cheese sandwich is to have one melty cheese (e.g., gouda, fontina, mozzarella) and one flavorful cheese (e.g., sharp cheddar, gruyere). This guarantees that you’ll get a stretchy, gooey filling which is also salty and tangy.
My favorite combo is sharp cheddar and gouda. I’ve gone for one slice of each but if you want more stretch, add another slice of the melty cheese to your sandwich before toasting.

Can I use shredded cheese instead of slices?

If you prefer buying your cheese in blocks it’s still so easy to use for filling a grilled cheese sandwich. I find the best way is to grate it on a box grater on the coarse side as this cuts the cheese into small shreds which will melt easily. You could also use a sharp knife to slice the cheese into thin planks.

Can you make grilled cheese without butter?

The best coating for the outside of a grilled cheese is mayonnaise. You can even use light mayo! It’s always soft and spreadable which makes assembling a sandwich so easy. If you go with butter you need to make sure you let it soften before you can spread it onto the bread, otherwise it will cause the bread to tear.

Can I make grilled cheese without a grill?

By using my air fryer technique, you don’t need to have a grill to make a grilled cheese. You just air fry the sandwich for a few minutes on each side until perfectly golden, toasted and melty.

Can grilled cheese sandwiches be frozen?

As a grilled cheese is best eaten when freshly made, I’d advise against freezing them. The freezing process may change the texture of the cheese, meaning it won’t have the same stretchy texture again. The freezer can also cause the bread to dry out. You may also find that upon reheating a frozen grilled cheese that it ends up soggy.

Can grilled cheese be reheated?

Whilst this won’t give you the best texture, yes you can reheat a grilled cheese if you’ve made it recently (within a couple of hours). Just place on a piece of baking paper and back into the air fryer at 400°F (200°C) for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted again.

What do I serve with grilled cheese sandwiches?

As grilled cheese sandwiches are quite rich, I like to serve them with something tangy to cut through the grease, I’ve listed a few ideas below:
– Ketchup
– American yellow mustard
– Tomato chutney
– Tomato soup
– Kimchi
– Pickles

When is grilled cheese day?

Grilled cheese sandwich day falls on April 12th each year.

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Variations:

  • With bacon: air fry 1 to 2 rashers of smoky bacon at 400F for 8-10 minutes until crispy. Add the cooked bacon to the sandwich just after the cheese.
  • With ham: add 2 slices of ham
  • With kimchi: add 1 to 2 tbsp kimchi
  • With jalapeno: add 4 pickled jalapeno slices
  • With mozzarella: use 1 ounce grated, low-moisture mozzarella instead of (or as well as) the gouda
  • With sourdough: use 2 slices of sourdough bread instead of the white bread.

What Air Fryers Do You Recommend?

As the grilled cheese isn’t very large you can make 1 or 2 at a time in a mini air fryer. Here I’m using the Cosori 5QT air fryer.

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 slices soft white bread
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise (you can use light mayo) or softened butter
  • 2 to 3 slices (2 to 3 oz) cheese, I used Gouda and sharp Cheddar

Instructions

    1. Spread the mayonnaise onto one side of each slice of bread. Make sure you spread it out so it reaches the edges of the bread.
    2. Place the slices of bread so their mayo-covered sides are together (this allows you to fill the sandwich without getting mayo on your counter!). Place the cheese slices onto the top slice of bread.
    3. Place the slice of bread with the cheese on it into the basket of the air fryer, mayo side facing down.
    4. Place the second slice of bread on top, mayo side facing up.
    5. Air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 6 minutes, until golden on top.
    6. Use a spatula to flip the sandwich over.
    7. Air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden on top.
    8. Remove from the air fryer and cut in half then serve.
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