Air Fryer Grilled Cheese makes your ultimate lunchtime favorite in a new way.
I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to grilled cheese. It’s one of my absolute favorite foods and I eat it for lunch almost every day.
I’ve perfected my stovetop grilled cheese over the years (the secret is to cook it low and slow, with lots of butter) and even experimented with unique fillings like nacho grilled cheese.
But recently I started to wonder: can you make grilled cheese in an air fryer? It turns out that you can! And you should.
Why Make Grilled Cheese in an Air Fryer?
The biggest reason to make Air Fryer Grilled Cheese is the texture. This cooking method gets the bread extra toasty and crisp on the outside, but keeps it soft inside. It’s crispier than a sandwich cooked in a skillet, but also less greasy.
Spreading the bread with butter or mayonnaise gives it plenty of classic grilled cheese flavor so it doesn’t just taste like cheese toast.
The second reason is consistency. Air fried grilled cheese cooks really evenly and you’re less likely to accidentally burn it in spots. It comes out perfect every time.
I’m able to fit one sandwich at a time in my 2.6 quart Crux air fryer, but if you have a larger fryer or one with a square basket, you should be able to fit two at a time.
Mayo or Butter?
Mayo or butter… the eternal grilled cheese debate! I usually prefer the flavor of butter, but when it comes to air fryer grilled cheese, mayo has my heart. It helps the bread turn a beautiful, even golden brown while butter results in a grilled cheese with a less consistent color.
It’s also easier. Spreading the bread with butter is difficult to do without ripping it. You can melt the butter first, but that’s an extra step and dirties an extra dish. Mayonnaise on the other hand is easy to spread right on to each slice right from the jar.
The Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese
When it comes to the cheese for grilled cheese, I love something that melts and stretches. My go to is muenster, but classic American cheese is also a solid choice.
If you want to use something with a sharper flavor, like cheddar, use shreds instead of slices and mix it with something that melts well, like mozzarella.
The Best Bread for Grilled Cheese
White bread reins supreme when it comes to grilled cheese. Anything else tends to compete with the cheese flavor.
Wonderbread is a classic choice, but I usually grab a soft farmhouse white. Thin sliced sourdough is also one of my favorites, but it can be more difficult to find.
2 slices soft white sandwich bread
2 tsp. mayonnaise or softened butter
3 slices American or Meunster cheese
- Spread one side of each piece of bread with the mayonnaise or butter.
- Place one piece of bread buttered side down in your air fryer basket. Top with the cheese.
- Cover with the second slice of bread, buttered side up.
- Cook at 350°F for 5 minutes.
- Carefully flip the sandwich over and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until the sandwich is crisp and browned.
- Carefully remove the sandwich from the air fryer and cut into two triangles to serve.