Perfect grilled cheese sandwiches are one of the most simple and delicious foods. Between the crispy buttery golden bread with the ooey gooey melted cheese center, you can’t deny the love and enjoyment we have for a grilled cheese.
As simple as this sandwich is it can sometimes let you down. The bread can burn, the cheese won’t melt before the bread is toasted, the bread is soggy. Sad grilled cheese sandwiches will now be thing of the past.
This grilled cheese guide has all of the instructions, tips, and tricks on how to make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Don’t forget to pin this guide as a resource for later. I’ve also included a giant list of TBD grilled cheese sandwich combinations.
Table of Contents
What Makes A Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich
A perfect grilled cheese sandwich consists of three components working in harmony together. Melty cheese sandwiched between two slices of bread that’s spread crust to crust with buttery (or mayo) goodness and pan-fried to a perfect just crisp and golden crust.
When you slice into this grilled crust the knife makes a crunching sound as it breaks through that outer crust. As you pick up a half to take a bite the cheese pulls from the sandwich half to the other. A bite of the warm sandwich is full of comfort and joy.
Is Mayo Or Butter Better For Grilled Cheese?
There are two sides to the bread spread debate. The butter side and the mayo side. Both sides can feel strongly about their choice of spread. Let’s take a look at both options.
- Flavor- butter has that familiar rich and salty flavor that can’t be beaten. Butter browns and builds more flavor as it toasts in the pan.
- Burns Easily- butter burns very easily. You have to have patience young Jedi when making your grilled cheese with butter. I’ve burned many grilled cheese trying to rush that perfect sandwich.
- Convenience – mayo is all ready to spread perfectly on your bread. You don’t need to wait for it to soften.
- Mayo Browns And Crisps Better- mayo seems to brown and crisp up better on the bread compared to butter.
- Doesn’t Burn As Easily – mayo doesn’t burn as easily as butter does due to that higher smoke point of the ingedients in mayo.
- Fluffier Bread – since the mayo doesn’t burn as easily you can cook the grilled cheese over a higher temperature. This results in a fluffier bread due to the shorter time needed over the heat.
- Mayo just can’t compare with the flavor of butter when used on a grilled cheese sandwich.
The Butter Or Mayo Answer
I’ve tested out both spread options on grilled cheese sandwiches. In my household, the butter wins by a long shot. There is nothing that can compare to the flavor of toasted butter on bread.
It requires more patience when making a grilled cheese sandwich using butter but, the effort is well rewarded.
There really isn’t a wrong answer. If you prefer mayo, use mayo. Delicious grilled cheese is only moments away either way.
Grilled Cheese Tips
- You can spread butter on the inside of the bread to help the bread from drying out
- Try spreading the bread with mayo and putting a little bit of butter in the pan right before cooking. The best of both worlds.
- Put a little bit of shredded cheddar cheese in the pan with some butter and place the grilled cheese on it for a crispy cheese crust.
- Patience. Grilled cheese should not be rushed, it burns so easily. It’s a very fast meal, to begin with. Take your time and watch it closely. You will be rewarded.
- Grating The Cheese – Grating your cheese helps it melt more evenly.
- Cover The Pan – If the cheese hasn’t completely melted but, your bread is almost golden brown, cover the pan briefly to help the cheese melt.
What Cheese Should I Use For A Grilled Cheese?
Oh, Cheese! Cheese has got to be one of the best comfort foods. With the wide variety of flavors, textures, and ways to enjoy it, it keeps you coming back for more.
Let’s look at some of the cheese options for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
American cheese is the classic childhood favorite. This is a processed cheese with very mild flavors.
I really like using cheddar on grilled cheese for that distinct flavor. You have the flexibility to choose the sharpness level that you prefer. My favorite is paring cheddar with a mild melty cheese like provolone or mozzarella.
Provolone is a nice mild Italian cheese. It’s great to pair with a cheese that has more bold flavors like cheddar, pepper jack, blue, or brie.
Mozzarella is the epitome of Italian cheeses. It’s mild and melts better than any other cheese. Mozzarella is well paired with bolder cheeses and it’s perfect for making sandwiches with vegetables. A Caprese grilled cheese comes to mind with fresh tomatoes and basil.
Jack cheese is a great alternative to American cheese. It has a light mild flavor and melts nicely. Monterey Jack is often used in Tex Mex dishes like quesadillas. Using a nice pepper jack would add a nice spicy kick.
The classic French cheese used to croque monsieur. This a a perfect melty cheese with a distinct swiss cheese flavor.
You can’t forget the brie. Brie is a soft french cheese that pairs well with fruity flavors like figs, jams, cranberries, and apples.
You either love or hate this distinct cheese. If you are a fan of blue cheese try adding some to a grilled cheese sandwich paired with a melty cheese like mozzarella. A buffalo-flavored sandwich would be delicious with the addition of some buffalo sauce.
This creamy spreadable milk cheese adds great flavor and a creamy texture to a grilled cheese sandwich. Spread some cream cheese and apple jelly on the inside of your bread. Layer with cheddar and provolone for a delicious sandwich.
Ricotta is an Italian whey cheese. It is mild in flavor and it is a perfect base to mix in flavor. Roasted garlic mixed in with olive oil, tomato and mozzarella are perfect together.
This soft cheese pairs beautifully with fresh herbs and fruits.
How Much Cheese Should You Use On A Grilled Cheese Sandwich?
For the perfect grilled cheese sandwich use three slices of cheese. If you are using shredded cheese use a 1/2 cup of cheese. Using enough cheese on your grilled cheese sandwich is very important. The perfect ratio of cheese to bread will guarantee a delicious sandwich.
Best Bread For Grilled Cheese
Choosing a great bread for your grilled cheese sandwich can transform a simple sandwich into a gourmet delight. Each bread has its own characteristics and flavors that pair best with certain cheeses and fillings. I’ve curated a list of bread choices with their descriptions and tips on what they pair best with.
Fluffy white bread is the classic grilled cheese bread. You can never go wrong selecting this bread for your sandwich. If you are more adventurous check out some of the other options.
Sourdough bread is a great choice for a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s a slow-fermented bread that uses live cultures instead of yeast to get that perfect rise. It has a distinct tangy flavor, chewy center, and crisp crust. A delicious sourdough grilled cheese would be pairing caramelized onions, roasted red peppers with gruyere.
Thinly sliced french is a delicious choice for a sandwich with more crunch. Pair it with brie, caramelized onions, and mushrooms.
Another great bread choice for a grilled cheese sandwich. Italian bread pairs well with mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and basil.
A rye bread for a grilled cheese pairs well with honey, ricotta, and mozzerella.
Cinnamon raisin may seem like an odd choice for a grilled cheese sandwich. The sweetness of the bread pairs very nicely with salty cheese. Try making a sandwich with cinnamon raisin bread, a fried egg, and cheddar cheese.
The classic Reuben is made using rye bread. Pair your rye bread with tangy mustard, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut for a delicious sandwich.
How To Make The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich Step By Step With Photos
- spread two slices of bread with butter (or mayo) from crust to crust
2. prepare and set aside you cheeses and fillings
3. start with a cold pan and turn to medium-low (everyone’s stovetop is a bit different, make sure the temp is low enough that you wont burn it quickly)
4. Patience, watch the sandwich very closely and flip once it’s golden brown on one side. The entire cooking time should only be 5-7 minutes.
The Giant List Of Grilled Cheese Sandwich Combinations.
- No-Steak and Cheese Grilled Cheese – Mozzerella and jack cheese with sauted peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
2. No Burger- Cheeseburger Grilled Cheese- Make a sauce of yellow mustard, ketchup, and mayo to spread on the inside of the bread. Cheddar cheese, finely diced onions, tomatoes, and pickles are your fillings.
3. Pimento Cheese Grilled Cheese – Pimento cheese spread and chedder cheese
4. Jalepeno Popper- Cream cheese and cheeder with roasted jalepenos
5. Thanksgiving Grilled Cheese- Your favorite thanksgiving leftovers (stuffing, cranberry, and mashed potatoes) with mozzarella
6. No Meatball Grilled Cheese- Your favorite vegetarian meatballs with mozzerella cheese. Dip in Marinara
7. Vegetarian Rueben Grilled Cheese – Thousand island dressing smeared on rye bread with swiss and sauerkraut
8. Cajun Grilled Cheese- Provalone and cajun seasoning with sauted onions and peppers
9. Muffaletta Grilled Cheese- Muffaletta olives or an olive salad with proavlone cheese
10. Buffalo Grilled Cheese- Monterey jack and blue cheese with buffalo sauce. You can also add in some sauteed carrots and celery (raw veggies would be too crunchy in this sandwich)
11. Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese- Lentils, finely diced onion, and peppers mixed with sloppy joe sauce (ketchup, mustard, garlic powder, mustard, Worcestershire, vinegar and salt and pepper) melted with cheddar cheese. Try toasting some of the cheese on the outside of the sandwich for a crispy crust
12. Italian Sausage Sub Grilled Cheese- Field Roast Italian sausages thinly sliced with sauteed onions, pepper, and mushrooms with mozzarella cheese
13. Philly Style Italian Hoagie Grilled Cheese- Hot cherry pepper spread, onions, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper grilled with provolone cheese
14. Sauerkraut and Mustard Grilled Cheese- Spread mustard onto the inside of the bread slices with provolone cheese and sauerkraut
15. Chili Cheese Grilled Cheese- You favorite chili sandwich between to slices of bread with cheese cheese and diced onions grilled to perfection
16. Italian “No Beef” Grilled Cheese- Two slices of italian bread spread with a seasoned mayo ( a drop of worstershire, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper). Pepperonchini, roasted red peppers and provalone.
17. White BBQ Grilled Cheese- White BBQ sauce smeared onto the inside of the bread with pickled jalapenos, diced onions, and provolone cheese
18. BBQ Sauce with caramelized onions- Cheddar, mozzarella cheese, and sweet caramelized onions with BBQ sauce spread on the bread
19. Chickpea Tuna Melt Grilled Cheese- Chickpea tuna salad (smashed chickpeas, mayo, onion, pickles salt, and pepper melted with cheddar cheese
20. Vegetarian Cuban Grilled Cheese- Fresh bread slices smeared with mustard and mayo on the inside of the bread. Melty swiss cheese with pickles
Italian Grilled Cheese
21. Pesto Grilled Cheese- Pesto with mozzarella
22. Caprese- Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil
23. Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese- Garlic butter slathered onto the inside and outside of the bread with melty mozzarella cheese. Dip in Marinara
24. Ricotta and Bruchetta Grilled Cheese- Spread ricotta onto the inside of your bread, layer mozzarella cheese with a bruschetta filling of chopped tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper in between
25. White Pizza Grilled Cheese – Spread ricotta onto your bread with mozzarella cheese. Add all of your favorite pizza toppings
26. Italian Pickled Vegetables Grilled Cheese- Chopped pickled vegetables (Gardinera) with provalone cheese
27. Baba Ganoush Grilled Cheese- Baba Ganoush with provalone and feta
28. Spinach, Tomato, and Feta – Mozzerella and feta cheese with spinach and tomatos. Saute the spinach to wilt it before putting it in the sandwich
29. Mediterranean Grilled Cheese- Hummus, feta, and provalone with roasted red peppers and caramelized onions
30. Ricotta and Roasted Garlic Grilled Cheese- Ricotta cheese spread onto the insides of bread with roasted garlic and mozzarella cheese
31. Parmesean Crusted Grilled Cheese- Add grated parmesean to the pan before adding the bread. Set the bread onto the parmesean for a crispy crust
32. Greek Salad Grilled Cheese- Feta and provolone with diced onion, kalamata olives, tomatoes and pepperoncini tossed with a little bit of greek dressing
33. Gyro Grilled Cheese- Mozzerella and feta with tatziki sauce, red onion, roasted red pepers and tomatos
34. Balsamic Roasted Eggplant With Pesto- Roasted eggplant drizzled with balsamic vinegar layered between the bread with pesto and mozzarella cheese
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches With Fruit
35. Apple and Cheeder- Your favorite apples thinly sliced (or apple butter) with cheddar cheese
36. Fig with Blue Cheese and Provalone – Fig jam with a touch of blue cheese and provalone
37. Cranberry and Brie- Cranberry sauce spread on the bread with melty brie
38. Grilled Peach With Mozzerella- Grilled peaches, mozzarella cheese and basil
39. Pear and Brie- Slices of fresh or grilled pears with brie cheese
40. Pear with Blue Cheese- Slices of pear with blue and provelone with a touch of honey
41. Blueberry with Brie- Slightly blistered blueberries with brie cheese
42. Pineapple Pizza Grilled Cheese- Pinapple bits and picked jalepenos diced very small and melted with mozzerella
43. Apple Butter and Pepper Jack– Spread apple butter onto the inside of you bread with spicy pepper jack cheese
44. Brie and Orange Marmalade- Orange marmalade spread onto the inside of cinnamon raisin bread with melty brie in between
45. Peach, Honey, and Cheeder Cheese- Perfectly ripe peach slices with a drizzle of honey sandwich within melty cheddar cheese
46. Mango and Strawberry Grilled Cheese– Cream cheese and mozzarella with mango, strawberries, and a drizzle of honey
Sweet Grilled Cheeses
47. Honey and Cream Cheerilse- Provalone, cream cheese and a drizzle of honey
48. Nuttella – nuttella spread inside white fullfy bread grilled to perfection
49. Nuttella and Strawberry – nuttella and thin slice strawberries sandwiched between your favorite bread
50. Nutella and Bananas- Nuttella spread with thin slices of bananas
51. The Elvis- The kings favorite sandwich peanut butter and banana and honey
52. Cream Cheese and Strawberry Grilled Cheese- Pair cream cheese and a mild cheddar with strawberry jam
53. Chocolate, Raspberry and Brie Grilled Cheese- Shaved chocolate, raspberry jam with melty brie
54. Strawberry Cheesecake Grilled Cheese- Cream cheese mixed with vanilla and powdered sugar spread onto fluffy bread. Fresh macerated strawberries (slice the strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar in a bowl. Let them sit for a bit to bring out all the sweet juices. Melty mild white American cheese. Serve with more strawberries.
55. Salted Caramel Grilled Cheese– Salted caramel sauce spread on the inside of the bread with cheddar cheese. You can also add shaved chocolate for a chocolate salted caramel grilled cheese.
Kids Favorite Grilled Cheese SAndwiches
56. Pizza Grilled Cheese – Mozzarella with marinara sauce. You can also add in some of your favorite pizza toppings
57. Mozzarella Stick Grilled Cheese – Mozzarella cheese with cheddar crisped on the outside of the bread. Dip in marinara sauce.
58. Disney’s Grilled Cheese- Cream Cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, cream with salt and pepper mixed together. The second spread is made of mayo, garlic, and salt. The bread is spread on the outside with the may spread. On the inside layers of cheddar and provolone are assembled with a layer of the cheese spread in between.
59. Grilled Cheese Fingers – Turn your favorite grilled cheese into fingers for the kids by cutting into strips
60. Cheddar and Pickles – For the pickle lover, use your favorite pickles with cheddar cheese
61. Grilled Cheese Roll-ups – Flatten bread slices with a rolling pin, spread cream cheese and shreeded cheese on the bread and gently roll-up. Place rolls seam side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 5 to 10 minutes, flipping once,
62. Ranch Grilled Chesse- Ranch dressing with cheddar and mozzarella chesese
63. Grilled Fluffnutter Sandwich- The classic fluffernutter grilled. Two slices of fluffy white bread spread with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff.
64. Grilled Peanutbutter and Jelly – Your childhood favorite with golden buttery bread
Veggie Lovers Grilled Cheese
65. Roasted Vegetables- Your favorite roasted veggies (eggplant, red pepper and zuchini) with mozzarella
66. Roasted Corn Grilled Cheese- Roasted corn, onions and red peppers with mozzarella cheese
67. Spinach and Artichoke Dip Grilled Cheese- Artichoke hearts with a spread made of garlic, spinach, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Melted with Gruyere cheese
68. Peppadew and Cheese – Cream cheese, mozzerella and peppadew peppers
69. Roasted Tomatoes Grilled Cheese- A little spin on your classic tomato grilled cheese by roasting the tomatoes
70. Tomato and Avocado Grilled Cheese- Cheddar cheese with diced tomatos and avocados
71. Brocccli and Cheese Grilled Cheeese- Cheddar and mozzarella cheese with brocolli bits
72.Sundried Tomato and Spinach Grilled Cheese- Mozzarella cheese with finely diced sundried tomatoes (best with the tomatoes in a jar of oil) and spinach
73. Roasted Red Pepper and Mushroom Grilled Cheese- Mozzarella and cheddar with roasted red peppers and mushrooms
74. Toasted Veggie Grilled Cheese- Lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, black olives between two slices of bread spread with mayo and melty provolone cheese
75. Green Goddess Grilled Cheese- Provalone cheese with green goddess dressing, spinach and artichoke hearts.
76. Roasted Red Pepper and Hummus Grilled Cheese- Provolone cheese melted with diced roasted red peppers and a smear of red pepper hummus
77. Tomato and PIckled Onion Grilled Cheese- Thinly sliced tomatos with pickled onions toasted with cheddar cheese
78. Hummus and Veggie Grilled Cheese- Hummus spread onto the inside of the bread with finely diced onions and tomatoes melted with provolone cheese
79. Garlic Avocado Grilled Cheese- Avocado smashed with red pepper flakes and garlic toasted with mozzarella cheese
80. Gryere with Caramelized Onions- Gryere cheese with sweet caramelized onions
81. Gryere with Mushrooms and Thyme – Gryere cheese with sauted mushrooms and fresh thyme
82. Siracha Grilled Cheese- Sriracha sauce mixed with mayo smeared onto the inside of the bread slices. Your favorite vegetables (I like diced onions and tomatoes) with provolone cheese
83. Korean BBQ Grilled Cheese- Koren BBQ sauce with kimchi between two slices of bread with provalone cheese
84. Sweet Chili Grilled Cheese- Montery Jack and chedder cheese with sweet chili sauce spread on the bread
Tex-Mex Flavored Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
85. Spicy Nacho – Montery Jack and cheedar cheeses with pickled jalepenos
86. Mexican Street Corn Grilled Cheese- Roasted corn with a spread made of mayo, sour cream, parmesan cheese, cilantro (or hold it), red chili pepper, and a squeeze of lime. Melted with Monterey jack cheese
87. Fajita Grilled Cheese- Monterey jack and mozzarella cheeses with sauteed onions, peppers, and mushrooms. A sprinkle of chili powder and some pickled jalapenos.
88. Chili Relleno Grilled Cheese- Roasted poblano peppers with montery jack cheese. Optional fried egg
89. Taco Grilled Cheese- Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses with your favorite taco toppings onions, tomatoes, olives, jalapenos with a sprinkle of taco seasoning
90. Queso Grilled Cheese- American and Monterey jack cheese and cream cheese with garlic, diced tomatoes, diced onions, jalapeno add a touch of onion and cumin
91. Huevos Rancheros Grilled Cheese- Toasted buttery bread with eggs, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, jalapenos, black beans, and salsa.
92. My Favorite Burrito Grilled Cheese- Pickled cabbage, pico di gio, salsa verde with montery jack cheese
93. Mexican Fried Eggplant Grilled Cheese- Roasted eggplant, poblano peppers, pickled onions with refried beans spread on the bread. Melty Monterey jack cheese with a touch of enchilada sauce
Breakfast Inspired Grilled Cheese
94. FriedEgg and Cheese Grilled Cheese- The classic fried egg with cheddar cheese
95. Eggs Benidict Grilled Cheese- An egg and cheese sandwich with hollandaise sauce.
96. French Toast Grilled Cheese- Mild cheddar sandwiched between two fluffy white slices of bread dipped in a french toast batter (milk, egg, and vanilla) perfectly toasted and served with warm maple syrup
97. Omlete Grilled Cheese- Prepare your eggs and veggies as a small omelet then sandwich it between two slices of bread with cheddar cheese. Toast until golden
98. Maple and Cheddar Grilled Cheese- Cheddar cheese with maple syrup sandwich between two slices of bread. This sandwich is great with cheddar cheese toasted on the outside of the bread or dipped in french toast batter
99. Everything Bagel Grilled Cheese- Cream cheese, mozzarella, and everything bagel seasoning. Add in some of your favorite bagel toppings.
100. Veggie Bagel Grilled Cheese- Veggie cream cheese and mozzerella
Grilled Cheese Sandwich Guide
Don’t forget to Pin this grilled cheese sandwich guide to use as your go to reference for grilled cheese sandwich ideas.
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How To Make Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – Guide To Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – How To Make This Comfort Food ClassicDifficulty: Easy
The perfect simple grilled cheese
2 slices of bread
butter or mayo
Cheese of choice
- Spread two slices of bread with your spread of choice
- Prepare your cheese and filings
- Start with a cold pan and turn it on to medium-low
- Watch the sandwich very closely, flip in around 5 minutes when side one is golden brown