These air-fried grilled cheese sandwiches are made with three ingredients — bread, cheese, and butter. They are deliciously crispy, melty, and totally mess-free!
Looking for an air fryer? We absolutely adore this Cosori air fryer. We use it for a multitude of dishes, including this one.
Stovetop vs Air Fried Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is a highly-loved classic sandwich. It consists of layers of cheese between two slices of bread. Grilled cheese is commonly made using a frying pan on the stovetop or in a panini press, but air frying is a lesser-known but completely worthy method to make the sandwiches, too.
Compared to stovetop grilled cheese, air fried grilled cheese has a crunchier bread exterior due to the hot air circulating in the fryer. The crisp of the bread paired with the gooey melted cheese is a feat that even stovetop grilled cheese cannot reach. Next time, choose the air fryer to make these sandwiches. You and your family will love you for this one!
How To Make Grilled Cheese In Air Fryer
Grilled cheese is one of the first and easiest recipes most everyone learns how to make. Similar to the stove-top version, before turning on the air fryer, pre-slice the bread and soften the butter for easy spreading.
- Layer the cheese: Place cheese slices between two slices of bread. Cut off any edges of cheese hanging off the sides of the bread.
- Apply the butter: Spread the butter on the outer side of each piece of bread.
- Air fry: Place the whole sandwich into the air fryer basket, then cook at 380°F for seven minutes.
- Flip the sandwich: Flip the sandwich over and air fry for an additional three minutes. The sandwich is done when it’s golden brown and crispy on the outside. Enjoy!
Hot tip: To save on time, prep the sandwiches a day ahead of time. Store in the fridge until ready to air fry.
Tips For The Best Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
The technique of air frying is known for making all foods crispy. To make your grilled cheese the crispiest, tastiest, and gooiest sandwich, heed these tips.
- Choose a high-quality cheese: Avoid skimping on the quality of the cheese. The success of the grilled cheese truly depends on it! The best cheeses are provolone, gruyere, mozzarella, havarti, Swiss, American, or this homemade cheese. Feel free to mix two or three of your favorite types of cheeses. Avoid shredded cheese as it usually does not melt well.
- Pick the best bread: Pick a bread that is good for grilled cheese sandwiches. Country-style bread, sourdough bread, or no-knead bread make the best grilled cheese.
- Use butter: Although the air fryer ensures the sandwich will turn out crispy, add more butter to the side of each slice of bread to enhance the flavor and add even more crisp.
- Cut off excess cheese: Make sure the cheese is fully between the bread slices so it doesn’t melt over the edges. Cut off the excess cheese and place those small “scraps” inside the sandwich.
- Preheat the air fryer: For even frying, preheat the air fryer to 380°F. Once preheated, add in the sandwich.
- Secure the sandwich: Use a toothpick to pin the sandwich and prevent the top bread slice from flying off in the air fryer.
- Fry one sandwich at a time: Unless you have a large enough air fryer to fit multiple sandwiches in a single layer, fry only one sandwich at a time. Stacking grilled cheese sandwiches doesn’t allow them to become as crispy.
- Flip halfway through: Flip the grilled cheese halfway through frying to make sure both sides brown and crisp-up equally.
- Check on it frequently: Avoid making a burnt grilled cheese sandwich, so check in frequently with the air fryer. Different types of bread and cheese crisp up and melt at different speeds.
Hot tip: Keep in mind not all air fryers are created equal. Cooking times may vary depending on the air fryer you use.
Ways To Serve
Grilled cheese is great as an appetizer, snack, or a side dish. Nothing complements a grilled cheese sandwich quite like a bowl of soup. Our favorite is tomato soup, followed closely by creamy potato soup and chicken gnocchi soup. For a few non-soup pairings, offer the sandwich with beet, carrot, and cabbage salad and/or air fryer french fries
Storage & Reheating
Grilled cheese sandwiches are always best when eaten right away — they’re freshly crisp with hot melty cheese inside. But — if you’re making a few extra sandwiches to enjoy for lunch the next day, follow these storing and reheating tips for the best result.
- Refrigerator: To store for up to 3-5 days, place the grilled cheese in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Reheating: For the best reheated sandwich, use the air fryer again. Reheat at 380°F for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bread is crispy again. For a quicker reheat, use the microwave, although the bread will not be as crispy.
Why doesn’t my cheese melt in the air fryer?
If the cheese isn’t melting in the air fryer, it may be because the slice of cheese is too thick, it is not a good melty-cheese, or you are using shredded cheese. All of these may cause the cheese not to melt enough in a grilled cheese sandwich.
Is it okay to put cheese in the air fryer?
It is best not to put cheese alone into the airfryer; however, cheese inside of a sandwich, like a grilled cheese sandwich is complete safe!
How long should I air fry grilled cheese?
It takes about 10 hands-off minutes to air fry grilled cheese sandwiches.
Other Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Steak Bites — Steak…in the air fryer? That’s right! It’s tender, juicy, and fast!
- Air Fryer Asparagus — Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside
- Air Fryer Chicken — Want some quick protein on your salad? Let’s make that happen
- Air Fryer Cod — Air fried cod comes out moist and flaky each time
- 8 slices of bread
- 16 oz cheese slices
- 4 tbsp softened butter
- Place cheese slices between two pieces of bread. Cut off the enges of cheese thta hang off the sides of the bread.
- Apply butter on the outside of the bread.
- Place it in an air fryer basket, air fry at 380 °F for 7 minutes.
- Flip it over and air fry for 3 more minutes. The sandwich should be golden brown and crispy on the outside. Enjoy!