This air fryer grilled cheese comes together in less than 10 minutes and turns out super crispy on the outside and gooey inside! Made with just 5 ingredients, it’s the perfect comfort food.
What can you cook in an air fryer? Literally, ANYTHING!
My favorite thing to make, though, is a crispy and cheesy grilled cheese sandwich. It’s so much faster than the stovetop, and there is almost ZERO risk of it burning or overcooking.
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
- Quick and easy. Like a traditional grilled cheese, this air fryer version is super speedy and needs just a handful of sandwich staples.
- Mess-free. No oil splutter, messy stovetops, or excessive clean-up is needed.
- Everyone loves it. My family reckons my grilled cheese is the best ever, and I often make it for them as a quick and easy dinner with some salads or tomato soup.
What I love about this recipe is you can customize it any way you like! Like any good toasted sandwich, you can load it up with almost anything!
This recipe is very simple and calls for just five basic ingredients which you’ll likely already have on hand. Here is what you’ll need:
- Sandwich bread. I used white bread, but you can also use sourdough, whole wheat, or any other type of bread.
- Mayonnaise. The secret ingredient that guarantees the exterior to be extra crispy and delicious. I used whole egg mayo as it has the richest flavor, but use whatever you like.
- Butter. Unsalted and softened to room temperature.
- Mozzarella and cheddar cheese. With any recipe that calls for melted cheese, it’s super important to use at least two kinds of cheeses- one for the melt and one for the flavor. These two are my classic go-to options.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
What cheese is best?
The best melty cheese options for grilled cheese are Swiss, havarti, mozzarella, provolone, and pepper jack cheese. You can also choose other types of cheese, but look for one that is strongly flavored (sharp) and melts well.
How to make grilled cheese in the air fryer?
What I love about this recipe is that once the sandwich is prepped (and it has very little prep time!), the air fryer takes care of all the hard work!
Step 1: Prepare the bread. On one side of the bread slices, spread some mayonnaise and half a tablespoon of butter on top of the mayonnaise. It will be the outside of the grilled cheese.
Step 2- Add cheese. On the other side of each slice of bread, add half a cup of cheddar cheese and half a cup of mozzarella cheese. Cover the cheese-coated sides with bread slices while keeping the butter/mayonnaise side on the outside.
Step 3: Prep the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F. Generously spray the air fryer basket and place one sandwich in it. Add two toothpicks to prevent the bread from sticking.
Step 4- Air fry. Let it cook in hot air for 8-9 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once the outside is golden brown, remove it from the air fryer.
Step 5- Serve. Slice the sandwich in half and enjoy.
Recipe tips and variations
- Avoid pressing the bread while flipping, as you will risk the cheese oozing out and making a mess. I actually prevent this from happening by using air fryer liners or some parchment paper.
- I have a Phillips XL air fryer that comfortably fits two full-sized sandwiches. If yours is more compact, cook the sandwiches one at a time to ensure maximum crispiness.
- Use a toothpick to prevent the bread from falling apart while cooking in the air fryer. I’ve had many occasions where the bread flies off while air frying.
- Add different fillings like ham, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, or some crispy bacon.
- Make it dairy-free by using dairy-free cheese, mayonnaise, and butter.
To store. Place leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To freeze. Avoid freezing sandwiches as they do not thaw and/or reheat well at all.
Reheating. Reheat the refrigerated grilled cheese in the air fryer or a frying pan (don’t add oil).
Frequently asked questions
f you remove the sandwich from the air fryer too soon or cook it at a low temperature, your grilled cheese won’t get crispy. Also, if you overcrowd the air fryer with sandwiches, the crunchy texture will be affected.
Always cook grilled cheeses at a high temperature, around 200C/400F. This allows the exterior to quickly crisp up while keeping the cheese filling gooey.
More fun air fryer recipes
- Air fryer French toast– The breakfast classic made in a fraction of the time.
- Air fryer bagels– Just 2 main ingredients and ZERO yeast.
- Air fryer bagel bites– My family’s favorite kid-friendly snack given a makeover.
- Air fryer bacon– Crispy bacon every single time.
- Air fryer quesadilla–
Perfect Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
- Spread mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread. Next, add half a tablespoon of butter on top of the mayonnaise. This is for the outside of the grilled cheese.
- On one side of two pieces of bread the non-mayonnaise/butter side, add half the mozzarella cheese and half the cheddar cheese on each piece of bread. Place the second piece of bread on each one, mayonnaise/butter side on the outside.
- Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F.
- Generously spray the air fryer basket and place one sandwich in it. Add two toothpicks to prevent the bread from sticking.
- Air fry for 8-9 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once the exterior is golden, remove it from the air fryer. Repeat the process with the second one.
- Slice the sandwiches in half and enjoy.
Recipe originally published November 2022 but updated to include new information, photos, and a recipe video for your benefit.
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