The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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Nothing is more comforting than a hot, melty grilled cheese sandwich. Grilled cheese and tomato soup are a combo made in heaven. It’s the perfect easy lunch recipe and great for even the pickiest of eaters.

The best grilled cheese always starts with a sturdy bread, lots of cheese and a smear of … butter mayonnaise on the outside!

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on parchment paper

The Best Grilled Cheese

Friends, there are NO wrong answers for making this lunchtime classic. As long as you’ve got bread and a generous amount of cheese, you’ve got the basis for the best grilled cheese sandwich.

Best Bread for Grilled Cheese:

This is what making grilled cheese is all about!

  • Use whatever bread you love, but make sure it is sturdy enough to hold the cheese in.
  • White bread and sourdough are the most popular, but even a thickly sliced boule will make a perfect grilled cheese!
  • Dark rye and pumpernickel pair well with lighter cheeses like Gouda or Havarti (add a slice of pear or apple between the slices for a sweet crunch!)

What is the Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese?

Grilled cheese sandwiches are not the place for cheese judgement. Anything goes!

  • A classic grilled cheese is made with American cheese and white bread (but I love sneaking in sharp cheddar too)!
  • Real cheddar, a bit of provolone, creamy processed cheese, leftover brie from last night’s party. Any and all varieties work!
  • Pick your favorite or all of them! Smooth, creamy and oh so dreamy!

Ingredients for grilled cheese sandwich on a wooden board

How to Make Grilled Cheese

Most of us know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, but do you know how to make an amazing grilled cheese? Here are my tips to make the best grilled cheese:

  1. Low Heat: Low heat allows the bread to get a golden crust while the cheese has a chance to melt.
  2. Open faced: If you’re filling it really full with cheese and other goodies, start by cooking it without a top slice of bread and covered for a couple of minutes. It won’t get soggy but the little bit of steam helps melt the cheese. Once the cheese starts to melt, add the top slice of bread.
  3. Get Cheesy: It really doesn’t matter what cheese you use as long as its one you love and don’t skimp on it! I cover every corner of the bread, nobody wants a grilled cheese without loads of cheese.

The BEST Tip for a Perfect Grilled Cheese

My friends, this is a must. I make grilled cheese without butter! Swap out the butter on the outside of the sandwich for mayonnaise. Cook mayonnaise side down in the pan.

Your grilled cheese will come out perfectly golden with a crust that doesn’t get soggy and is not greasy!

If the pan is too hot, the cheese won’t melt before the outside is cooked. If you notice the cheese taking awhile, cover it with a lid. The steam will help melt the cheese so it cooks evenly!

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches stacked together

What Can I Add to My Grill Cheese?

Honestly, what can’t you add?  Caramelized onions, sliced apples. or pears, bacon, and even a smear of crunchy peanut butter can take your grilled cheese sandwich to a whole new level!

Add pepperoni for a pizza grilled cheese and of course my all time favorite Dill Pickle Bacon Grilled Cheese!

More Cheesy Recipes

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on parchment paper
4.98 from 81 votes
Review Recipe

Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 2 sandwiches
Nothing is more comforting than a hot, melty grilled cheese sandwich. Serve this lunch time favorite with a bowl of tomato soup for dipping!

Ingredients

  • 4 slices white bread or sour dough
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese or American cheese
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar optional

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Instructions

  • Preheat a small skillet over low heat.
  • Spread mayonnaise over one side of each piece of bread and place mayonnaise side down in the skillet.
  • Top with cheddar cheese slices, black pepper to taste and remaining slice of bread, mayonnaise side out.
  • Grill until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and grill the other side until golden.
  • Optional: Just before serving, add the shredded cheddar directly to the outside of the sandwich and grill an additional minute or so until it gets crispy.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 490, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 739mg, Potassium: 113mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 655IU, Calcium: 600mg, Iron: 2.2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American

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Grilled cheese sandwich on parchment paper with a title
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About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. You are correct: mayo is the key to a perfectly crisped outer crust. Gives the sandwich a nice little tang, too. I enjoy trying out different cheeses, but cheddar is my go-to favorite. Delicious!5 stars

  2. I was skeptical about the Mayo but I gave it a try. Needless to say, I have a new permanent recipe for grilled cheese. Thank you!5 stars

  3. Can’t go wrong with a grilled cheese except for when you use aged cheeses because they become SOOOO greasy when melted. YUCK!!! If you want an amazingly meltable cheese with ACTUAL good cheese, heat some evaporated milk in a pan, add a little pre mixed plain hydrated gelatin (soak with water first), add your grated cheeses and take off heat, mix With emulsion blender and put in a ramekin lined with cling wrap. Chill in fridge for a couple hours until sliceable… your welcome. it will have all the cheesiness and gooeyness of American cheese, no greasy mess and the taste of whatever you used. My fav is a combo of sharp cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere and a little Parmesan then add cherrywood smoked ham in between plus mayo on outside vs butter. Dipped in leftover Icarus lobster bisque is the best thing ever!!! Cheers to grilled cheese!3 stars

  4. Oh man, this takes me back to high school summers when I was a lifeguard, and my dad made me grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch! I love the simplicity of the traditional grilled cheese. There’s nothing quite like it5 stars

    1. A perfect grilled sandwich is definitely a throwback for me too Karyl! There is just something about them!

  5. It’s been so long since I’ve had a grilled cheese and this looks fantastic! I’ve never put mayo on mine but def gonna try it! :D5 stars

    1. Trying it with mayo is a must Tammy! It gives you that perfectly browned exterior. Hope you love it!

    1. Sorry for the confusion, I add it to the outside of the sandwich and let it cook a minute or so until it gets crispy.

  6. Mayo instead of butter! Yes, yes, yes! I’ve been making grilled cheese sandwiches with mayo for years and it really is the best way to make a sandwich. I’m so pleased to see that I’m not alone in this. :-)

  7. There is nothing more quintessential than a classic grilled cheese! It’s just uncomplicated yet so many restaurants mess it up. I absolutely love how you broke it down with the types of bread and cheeses that work best!

    Seriously great post… annnnnnd now I want a grilled cheese sandwich!5 stars

  8. I completely agree — absolutely NOTHING is more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich! It’s our family’s favorite quick-fix, weeknight go-to. Great tips for making the perfect melty, cheesy sandwich!

  9. Loving all the tips here, although being in Aus I have to say I go with real cheddar every time as American cheese just isn’t a thing here :) We love a good grilled cheese (toastie here) for lunch, always goes down a treat!5 stars

  10. Look at that ooey gooey cheese and crispy bread. One of my childhood favorites just waiting for me to make it a regular in my lunch rotation.5 stars

  11. Ok I NEVER would have thought to use mayonnaise instead of butter! Genius!! And I’ve always wanted to use a bunch of different cheeses in a my grilled cheese but just never have done it! I can’t wait to try this recipe with different cheeses and mayo instead of butter!5 stars

  12. Grilled cheese and tomato soup is my favorite comfort food ever! Thanks for all the tips to make the perfect one!5 stars

  13. I am hungry with the thought of this delicious sandwich. Lovely option to snack when craving cheese too.5 stars

    1. These are so delicious and grilled cheese sandwiches are totally my weakness Veena! Making these a dangerous snack…How many can I eat before I have to stop calling it snack? lol

  14. Grilled cheese is one of those simple dishes, but isn’t always executed properly. Your tips are foolproof. I definitely will try the open faced and mayonnaise on the outside as well instead of butter :)5 stars

    1. Thanks Heather! We are glad you think so too! Let us know how the mayonnaise tip works for you.

  15. You are right using mayo in place of butter really stepped this up! I loved it! Also never knew using cheap bread wasn’t the best to use. I can’t wait to make this again!5 stars

  16. Have you ever made them using homemade Pimento Cheese, on (either) Whole Grain or Oatmeal Bread…..pure ecstasy! Yes, the mayo on the outside of the bread makes it nice & crispy. I heard about this quite a while ago….it’s genius! There are SO many ways to make Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, and they’re all tasty & comforting. Gruyere Cheese, mixed with other cheeses also works very well. What a terrific, quick & easy dinner after a busy day, served with Tomato Soup and a side salad!

    1. Homemade pimento cheese sounds like such a tasty grilled cheese option Angelina! Yummy!