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Air Fryer Grilled Cheese


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Air Fryer Grilled Cheese is the best way to make a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s ultra cheesy, extra crispy and ready in just minutes! 

air fryer grilled cheese sandwich cut in half showing melty cheese

Lately between chilly temperatures and rainy days I find myself craving something warm and comforting for lunch. If you ask me, comfort food doesn’t get much better than a gooey grilled cheese sandwich and a hot bowl of soup.

For years, I’ve been cooking grilled cheese sandwiches on the stove. And then I tried air fryer grilled cheese

This air fryer grilled cheese is a game changer. If you thought grilled cheese cooked in a skillet or on a grill pan was good, just wait until you try making it in the air fryer. Since an air fryer works by circulating hot air around food as it cooks, it makes the best grilled cheese. It’s extra crispy, golden brown, melty grilled cheese perfection! Needless to say, this is one of the air fryer recipes I make most often.

I love serving air fryer grilled cheese alongside a steaming bowl of tomato soup for lunch or dinner. It’s an easy meal that always satisfies.

air fryer grilled cheese sandwich served with tomato soup

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Recipe Ingredients

To make a grilled cheese sandwich in the air fryer you’ll need just 3 ingredients: bread, butter and cheese. Which types of bread, cheese and butter you choose is what makes all the difference when it comes to making the best grilled cheese.

  • Bread: I recommend using a hearty whole grain sandwich bread, sourdough bread, or a flavorful white sandwich bread. My current favorite bread for air fryer grilled cheese (and what you see pictured here) is a country style buttermilk sandwich bread. It’s best to avoid extra thin sliced bread as it tends to burn and dry out in the air fryer. 
  • Salted Butter: Salted butter will make your grilled cheese sandwich so much more flavorful, compared to unsalted butter. Let the butter soften to room temperature for a few minutes so that it spreads easily.
  • Cheese: If you’re wondering what is the best cheese for grilled cheese, I recommend a combination of sharp cheddar cheese and sharp white cheddar cheese. Sharp cheddar is more flavorful than medium or mild cheddar, and using a combination of white and classic yellow cheddar brings flavor complexity to this comforting sandwich. Feel free to use any cheese that melts well, including mozzarella, Monterey jack, provolone or American. I used cheese slices, but shredded cheese also works well.

Find the full printable recipe including ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.

How to Make Grilled Cheese in an Air Fryer

It takes just minutes to prep this easy sandwich, and then a few more minutes for it to cook in the air fryer. If you’re new to air fryer cooking, see my guide on how to use an air fryer

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 360° F for 4 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, butter the bread by spreading the softened butter on one side of each slice of bread. two slices of bread spread with butter
  3. Assemble the sandwiches, with the cheese inside and the buttered sides of the bread facing out. two slices of cheese on sandwich
  4. Put sandwiches in a single layer in the air fryer.two uncooked grilled cheese sandwiches in air fryer basket
  5. Air fry at 360° F for 3-5 minutes, or until the top slices of bread are golden brown. 
  6. Flip the sandwiches over and air fry for 2-4 more minutes, until the other side of the sandwich is golden brown and the cheese is melted. flipping grilled cheese sandwich over in air fryer

two grilled cheese sandwiches in air fryer basket

Tips for the Best Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

  • Use a medium thickness bread. Bread that’s sliced too thinly may dry out or burn in the air fryer. If you use a thick-cut bread you may have to add a few minutes to the cook time.
  • Add plenty of cheese. Using plenty of cheese will give you the ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwich that you crave. I use 2 ounces per sandwich.
  • Use salted butter for the best flavor. Or, use garlic butter for a pop of garlicky flavor.
  • Let the butter soften to room temperature for easy spreading. Usually just a few minutes at room temperature is enough to soften the small amount of butter used in this grilled cheese recipe. You can also heat the butter for a few seconds in the microwave, but be careful not to melt it.
  • Place the sandwiches in a single layer in the air fryer basket. If cooking more than two sandwiches, you may need to cook in batches.
  • Check on the sandwiches often as they cook. The cook time will depend on the thickness and type of bread you use, and may also vary between air fryers. After a bit of experimentation, you’ll find your perfect cook time.

Serving Suggestions

Tomato Soup and grilled cheese are a classic pair, but I also love to serve this sandwich with Vegetable Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, Lentil Soup, really any soup! It’s also delicious with a side of fresh fruit, French fries or a green salad.

two halves of grilled cheese sandwich stacked on top of each other

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

Course Lunch, Main Course, Sandwich
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer grilled cheese, grilled cheese in air fryer
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time12 mins
Servings 2 servings
Calories 433kcal
This Air Fryer Grilled Cheese is ultra cheesy, extra crispy, and so easy to make! Enjoy it with a bowl of soup for a comforting meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices sandwich bread (whole grain, white, sourdough... use your favorite)
  • 4 teaspoons salted butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese

Instructions 

  • Preheat air fryer at 360° F for 4 minutes.
  • Spread one side of each slice of bread with the softened butter.
  • Assemble the sandwiches by placing one ounce of each type of cheese in between two slices of bread, with the butter sides facing the outside.
  • Air fry at 360° F for 3-5 minutes, or until the top slices of bread are golden brown and crispy. Then flip the sandwiches over and continue cooking for 2-4 more minutes, until the other side is golden brown and the cheese is melty. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Use any type of cheese that melts well, such as sharp cheddar, white cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey jack, pepper jack, provolone or American.
  • Medium thickness bread is best. Bread that’s sliced too thinly will dry out or burn in the air fryer. If you use a thick-cut bread you may have to add a few minutes to the cook time.
  • Check on the sandwiches often as they cook. The cook time will depend on the thickness and type of bread you use, and may also vary between air fryers.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 669mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 819IU | Calcium: 541mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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