Nothing says comfort like hot, cheese-laden sandwiches. Learn our secrets to making perfectly crispy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside grilled cheese, plus get 15 recipe ideas.
Grilled Cheese Steps
No matter the bread, cheese or other fixings, make perfectly gooey grilled cheese sandwiches every time with these simple steps.
1. Slice Bread Thinly
If it’s too thick, you risk it burning before the cheese melts. Any bread goes. White loaf slices are classic, but sourdough, whole wheat and other kinds work just as well. But for a better sandwich, buy bread from your grocery’s bakery rather than bagged loaves.
2. Use Butter or Mayonnaise
Butter helps create that crispy, perfectly golden crust. Soften it first, then spread on an even layer. Or try mayonnaise. It has a higher smoking point than butter, meaning the crust is less likely to burn.
3. Shred the Cheese
For better melting, shred or grate your cheese first. Don’t be afraid to splurge a little on the cheese, too. After all, it’s the namesake ingredient. Instead of using American cheese slices, shred a block of fine cheddar.
4. Don’t Overload
Add fixings sparingly. If your sandwich is piled too high, the cheese won’t melt as well. Smear condiments on the bread before adding cheese, and sprinkle more cheese on top of other fixings so the entire inside gets gooey.
5. Preheat the Skillet
Heat your skillet over medium high heat, then reduce to medium low. Cook the sandwich until golden brown on one side, about 2-4 minutes, then flip and cook until the other side is done, about 1-3 minutes.
Tip: For easier flipping, place a plate on top of the skillet, flip the sandwich onto it and then slide it back into the skillet.
6. Put a Lid on it
To help turn that shredded cheese into gooey melted goodness, put a lid on the skillet.
Grilled Cheese Ideas
With all the meats, veggies and condiments you can add, you’ll never tire of this quick and delicious classic. Use your favorite ingredients or try these scrumptious ideas:
- Multigrain or walnut bread, fig jam, Brie and bacon
- Whole wheat bread, goat cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes
- Italian loaf bread, Swiss, shaved ham and sautéed yellow onion
- Sourdough bread, sharp white cheddar, avocado slices, tomato slices and bacon
- Pretzel bread, Gouda and sweet and spicy mustard
- Ciabatta or French bread, pesto, fresh mozzarella and finely shredded Parmesan
- Dark or marble rye bread, Swiss, spicy whole grain mustard and sauerkraut
- Cinnamon swirl bread, cheddar cheese and thinly sliced apple
- Texas toast, smoked cheddar, shredded Monterey Jack, bacon and barbecue sauce
- English muffin, provolone and blackberry jam. Split the English muffin and grill inside out
- Sourdough bread, Gruyere, sautéed shallots and mushrooms and fresh thyme
- Multigrain bread, sharp cheddar and mango chutney
- Italian loaf bread, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, sliced olives and pizza sauce (for dipping)
- Raisin brioche, mild blue cheese and thinly sliced pears. Drizzle with honey
- White loaf bread, cheddar, blue cheese, shredded or sliced chicken, sliced celery and buffalo sauce
What’s your favorite grilled cheese recipe? Tell us in the comments section below!