Air Fryer Grilled Cheese makes the best cheesy classic comfort food almost foolproof! This method makes the bread toasty and melts the cheese perfectly. An easy air fryer sandwich recipe for a quick snack or meal.

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On a black background "I need dinner tonight" is in yellow and "this recipe takes less than an hour" in white
A diagonally cut grilled cheese, pulled slightly apart to show cheese pull on a white plate.

Tips and Tricks

What do you serve with grilled cheese? I love to make air fryer grilled cheese as a quick snack when I’m craving comfort food but it also makes a great quick dinner (less than 15 minutes to make this!). Naturally, grilled cheese goes great with Creamy Tomato Bisque or a side salad.  Either (or both) will compliment a cheesy sandwich. The acidity of the soup and freshness of the salad go great with the richness of the cheese and bread. Personally, dipping grilled cheese in tomato bisque is my favorite combination. 

Grilled cheese being dunked into a white bowl of tomato bisque with a spoon and garnished with fresh basil. All on a white background.

How many sandwiches can you make at once in the air fryer? This depends on how large your air fryer is. For most smaller air fryers, you can fit one grilled cheese in the basket at a time. Always make sure the grilled cheeses are in a single layer so the top piece of bread gets toasted, if they overlap they won’t cook evenly. It’s best to make grilled cheeses in batches if you can only make one at a time. 

What type of toppings can you add to grilled cheese? There is a whole world of suggestions about what you can add to grilled cheese. Some personal favorites are deli ham, already cooked bacon, caramelized onions, or fresh tomatoes. Whatever you add to your grilled cheese should be already cooked as the air fryer will only warm up the ingredient. Get creative and use up leftovers to elevate your grilled cheese.

Ingredients

What’s the best cheese to use for grilled cheese? The best type of cheese to use is a matter of preference. I will recommend you use one melting cheese like swiss, fontina or low moisture mozzarella and one with a lot of flavor like an aged cheddar, parmesan or gouda. This combination will give you great flavor and a great melt you’re craving. I typically use whatever combination is in the house but swiss and cheddar is always a winner! 

Do you have to use shredded cheese for grilled cheese? Shredded cheese melts faster and it’s easier to mix in topping using shredded cheese. However, if you have already sliced deli cheese, you can absolutely use that! The best thing about this recipe is about how versatile it is. If you already have deli cheese from cold cut sandwiches for lunches, use that! Cheddar, provolone and swiss are all great for grilled cheese. 

What’s the best bread to use for grilled cheese? This comes down to what you prefer. Make sure your bread will fit inside your air fryer and that you have two pieces about the same size. I like using a softer white bread from the bakery but if you prefer a crustier sourdough that will work too! Other great types of bread are pumpernickel, rye or whole wheat bread. 

Ingredients laid out and labeled, bread, butter, shredded cheddar, shredded swiss. On a blue background.

Method

How do you make an air fryer grilled cheese? Preheat the air fryer to 375 F.  Spread melted butter on one side of each piece of your bread. Once the air fryer is preheated, place one piece of bread in the air fryer, butter side down. Top this piece of bread with both types of cheese, making sure it reaches edge to edge. Add the other piece of bread, butter side facing up. Secure with two toothpicks in opposite corners and cook for four minutes. Remove toothpicks, flip the sandwich and cook for 3 more minutes. Take out the sandwich from the air fryer and cut diagonally. Serve with your favorite soup or salad. 

A collage of 4 photos that show 1) a piece of bread with melted butter, 2) the bread butter side down in the air fryer, 3) the cheese on the bread in the air fryer and 4) the other peice of bread, butter side up in the air fryer.

Why do you need toothpicks for this recipe? Toothpicks keep the top piece of bread from flying around. An air fryer works by circulating hot air and if an ingredient is too light, it will fly around while cooking. Toothpicks are an easy way to keep that top piece of bread to stay secure.  

How do you stop the bread from flying around? To stop the bread from trying to escape, secure two opposite corners with toothpicks! This will stop the bread from moving around and allow the cheese to melt, which keeps the bread in place when you flip it.

Grilled cheese in the center of an air fryer basket.

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Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese makes the best cheesy classic comfort food almost foolproof! This method makes the bread toasty and melts the cheese perfectly. An easy air fryer sandwich recipe for a quick snack or meal.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time12 mins
Servings: 1 Sandwich
Author: Samantha

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces of bread
  • 2 tablespoons shredded swiss
  • 2 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 375 F.
  • Spread melted butter on 1 side of each piece of bread.
  • Once the air fryer is preheated, place 1 piece of bread in the air fryer, butter side down. Top this piece of bread with both types of cheese, make sure cheese reaches edge to edge.
  • Add the other piece of bread, butter side facing up on top of the cheese. Secure with 2 toothpicks in opposite corners.
  • Cook for 4 minutes. Remove toothpicks, flip the sandwich and cook for 3 more minutes.
  • Remove from the air fryer and cut diagonally.

Notes

  • Use your favorite bread, as long as it fits in the air fryer. I prefer a softer white bread but a heartier sourdough will work.
  • The cheese measurements are approximations; use enough to cover the piece of bread edge to edge.
  • Instead of swiss you can use fontina, low moisture mozzarella, havarti, monterey jack or other melting cheeses.
  • Instead of cheddar cheese you can use an aged gouda, asiago, parmesan, smoked cheddar or other flavorful cheese.
  • Salted or unsalted butter works here, use whatever is in the fridge.
  • Secure grilled cheese sandwich with toothpicks to avoid the bread flying around. If you don’t have toothpicks, simply check on the bread every 30-60 seconds to make sure it’s staying put.
  • You can add other flavors to the grilled cheese like tomato, ham, bacon or caramelized onion, just make sure that it is fully cooked before you add it to the sandwich as it’ll just be warmed through in the air fryer.

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