Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

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Craving something quick and cheesy? Air fryer grilled cheese is the quick meal for you!

Made from a few slices of bread and your favorite melted cheese, grilled cheese in the air fryer is much easier to make than in the frying pan and is easier to clean up, too!

Crispy grilled cheese goes great with your favorite dipping sauce – like ketchup – or dipped in tomato soup!

grilled cheese cut in half on plate with dipping sauce behind
Air fryer grilled cheese is so good!

Recipe Tips/Substitutions

Before you set out to make grilled cheese in the air fryer, have a read through these recipe tips so that you can achieve the best results!

  • The type of bread you use might dictate the cooking time. A soft, white bread (like classic French bread or “toast”) may brown quicker than thicker rye or sourdough bread. So keep an eye on your grilled cheese when making it the first time.
  • The type of cheese you use needs to be a “melty” cheese – such as cheddar, marble, or Havarti. A “crumbly” cheese – such as Feta – won’t work because it doesn’t melt well.
  • Speaking of filling, you can also put a slice of ham or salami inside the grilled cheese if you want to change it up a bit.
  • You can spread either mayonnaise or soft butter on the outside of the bread. We like mayo because it’s already spreadable. If you want to use butter just make sure it can be spread. The bread will turn out a golden brown with both (we’ve tested both and both work well).

We use this air fryer for our recipes and it has been great.

Step by Step Instructions

If you’re wondering how to make grilled cheese in air fryer and would like step-by-step photos, have a look at this section.

Otherwise, you can skip below to the recipe card.

slices of bread on plate with mayonnaise spread on the outside
Spread the bread with butter or mayo.

First, lay two pieces of bread on a plate – they should be similar in size (if you’re using bread cut from a round loaf).

With a butter knife, spread half of the mayo or soft butter on the outside of one piece of bread. Then spread the mayo or butter on the outside of the other piece of bread.

Make sure to actually spread it on the side that will be the outside when assembling the grilled cheese later.

slices of cheese on piece of bread sitting in air fryer tray
Place the bread in the air fryer.

Place one piece of bread (mayo/butter side down) into the air fryer and place the slices of cheese on top of the bread.

The cheese should cover the bread but not be overhanging too much.

uncooked grilled cheese with mayo on bread in black air fryer tray
Add the other slice of bread.

Now place the other piece of bread (mayo/butter side up) on top of the cheese.

golden brown grilled cheese in air fryer tray
Cook the grilled cheese.

Close the air fryer and set it to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no need to preheat.

Cook the grilled cheese for approximately 9 minutes, flipping halfway (around the 4-5 minute mark). Cooking time can vary by air fryer and bread used.

grilled cheese on plate with ketchup behind
Look at that melty cheese ready for dipping!

When the cheese is melted and the outside is golden brown, remove the grilled cheese from the air fryer, cut it in half, and serve as is, with tomato soup or with dipping sauce!

Storage Tips

Air fried grilled cheese doesn’t really store that well. It really should be eaten fresh and hot out of the air fryer.

The longer it sits, the softer and soggier the bread will likely get due to moisture in the cheese.

What to Serve Air Fryer Grilled Cheese With

You can eat the grilled cheese plain or serve it with a dipping sauce.

Oftentimes, grilled cheese is served with ketchup or tomato sauce. Tomato-based things, in general, work really well with melty cheese and crispy bread.

Some people love their grilled cheese dipped in tomato soup – so give that a try if you haven’t before!

Related Recipes

If you liked air fryer grilled cheese, here are some other great quick meal recipes that involve bread!

grilled cheese on plate with ketchup behind

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese is easy to make and always tasty. Crispy on the outside and oh-so-cheesy on the inside, this grilled cheese serves great on its own or with dipping sauce – like ketchup!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 grilled cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bread, see notes
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or soft butter, more to taste
  • 2 slices cheese, melty

Instructions

  • Lay two pieces of bread on a plate – they should be similar in size (if you’re using bread cut from a round loaf).
  • With a butter knife, spread half of the mayo or soft butter on the outside of one piece of bread. Then spread the mayo or butter on the outside of the other piece of bread. Make sure to actually spread it on the side that will be the outside when assembling the grilled cheese later.
  • Place one piece of bread (mayo/butter side down) into the air fryer tray and place the slices of cheese on top of the bread. The cheese should cover the bread but not be overhanging too much.
  • Place the other piece of bread (mayo/butter side up) on top of the cheese.
  • Close the air fryer and set it to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no need to preheat. Cook the grilled cheese for approximately 9 minutes, flipping halfway (around the 4-5 minute mark). Cooking time can vary by air fryer and bread used.
  • When the cheese is melted and the outside is golden brown, remove the grilled cheese from the air fryer, cut it in half, and serve as is, with tomato soup or with dipping sauce!

Notes

  • The type of bread you use can affect cooking time. If you’re using white French bread, it’ll most likely be done earlier than when using denser rye or sourdough bread (which is what we typically use). Keep an eye on the grilled cheese towards the end.
  • For the outside of the grilled cheese, you can use either mayonnaise or soft butter. We like mayo because it’s always soft and ready to spread – but it’ll turn out basically the same with either spread (we have tested both in the air fryer).
  • Make sure you use a cheese that melts well. We like Havarti but cheddar or marble also work well.
  • Make sure to start counting the time from the moment you place the grilled cheese into the air fryer. Our air fryer automatically preheats and only starts counting down after it has done so. If yours is similar, keep that in mind!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 587kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 849mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.

Course Quick Meals
Cuisine American

2 thoughts on “Air Fryer Grilled Cheese”

  1. We are new to the Air Fryer world so we thought we’d try to do Grilled Cheese last night. It came out okay but I don’t think I’ll try this again. I found that the bread was very dry and crunchy, almost like eating bread crumbs, Maybe it would be better if the bread was smothered in butter instead of normal buttering. Cheese was melted and the ham was warm though. I like my grilled cheese more soft and chewy instead of stiff and crunchy. Air Fryer Grilled Cheese is not for us.

    Reply
    • Hi TT, Thanks for sharing your experience. That’s totally fair – we’ve also had experiences where we preferred a different method of cooking dishes instead of in the air fryer. As you said, smothering the bread in butter (or mayo) might not make it as crispy in the first place. Worth a shot so you know! /Eric

      Reply

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