Crisp, buttery, and oozing with cheese, this air fryer grilled cheese is a real crowd pleaser! You seriously can't beat the crunch.
The air fryer is so great for the crunch factor. Need proof? Try these air fryer chickpeas, or ultra crispy air fryer bacon. They are both unbelievably crispy!!
Another recipe that has blown my mind is air fryer grilled cheese. Admittedly, my first attempts were a little lacklustre, but with the right ingredients...holy guacamole! Absolutely mind blowing!
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Reasons you'll ♡ this recipe
- the crunch factor...it's seriously so good!!
- it's simple and easy- ready in 10 minutes or less
- classic and comforting flavors that are loved by all
Watch the video below to see how to make grilled cheese in the air fryer! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
- bread- I highly recommend using sourdough bread to make grilled cheese; I found shelf stable loaves/ pre-sliced grocery store bread to dry out a touch in the air fryer, whereas the good quality sourdough did not.
- cheese- you can get creative here! I used havarti in the photos above; go classic with cheddar, go for bold flavors with Swiss or gruyere, or try Monterey jack. You can also combine different types of cheese for new flavor combinations. Make sure you use a cheese that melts.
- butter- I recommend butter or margarine for that buttery flavor on the outside of the bread; I tried mayo and while the bread was nice and crispy, it was really missing the buttery flavor.
Step by step directions
1. Prepare sandwich- Spread butter or margarine onto two bread pieces. Turn one of the slices over and arrange the cheese on the non-buttered side. Add the second slice (butter side up) on top of the cheese.
2. Preheat air fryer- Set your air fryer to 350°F and allow it to pre-heat for 5 minutes.
3. Cook the sandwich- Add the sandwich into the basket using a spatula. Cook for 5-6 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the second side*. You want the bread to be golden and toasted.
*this cook time is for large slices of sourdough; depending on the bread you use, your cook time could be substantially less
TIP- depending on the air fryer model you use and the thickness/weight of your bread slices, you may want to secure your bread with toothpicks so it doesn't blow away. This was not an issue in either my Cosori XL air fryer or Instant Pot Vortex air fryer oven.
Grilled cheese works great in the air fryer; I did not have any issues with the top slice of bread blowing around, or the cheese splattering. With that being said, all air fryer models are slightly different, and you may wish to secure your bread with toothpicks.
I had several suggestions on Instagram to try mayo on my grilled cheese, however it wasn't to my taste; while it was exceptionally crunchy, it lacked the rich buttery flavor that I love on grilled cheese.
I recommend using 350°F; it's the perfect temperature that allows the cheese to melt and the tops of the bread to get golden brown.
Confused by all the air fryer models out there? Check out Which Air Fryer is Best for you.
Ways you could level it up
- vegetables- add avocado slices, tomatoes, fresh basil, grilled vegetables, sautéed mushrooms, or roasted red peppers
- meat- add sliced ham, bacon, chicken breast, thinly sliced steak, or deli meats
- cheese- Monterey Jack, classic cheddar, aged cheddar, Swiss, gruyère, mozzarella or havarti are all delicious choices you could play around with
- make it caprese style (like these quesadillas)
- add pesto
More easy air fryer recipes
- Air Fryer Gnocchi
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- Air Fryer Croutons
- Honey Garlic Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings
Did you make this? Tag me on social @sweetpeasandsaffron and be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe!
Air Fryer Grilled Cheese (SO crispy!)
- 2 slices sourdough bread good quality; see note 1
- 2 slices havarti or cheddar; see note 2
- 1 tablespoons butter or margarine
- Prepare sandwich- Spread butter or margarine onto two bread pieces. Turn one of the slices over and arrange the cheese on the non-buttered side. Add the second slice (butter side up) on top of the cheese.
- Preheat air fryer- Set your air fryer to 350°F and allow it to pre-heat for 5 minutes.
- Cook the sandwich- Add the sandwich into the basket using a spatula. Cook for 5-6 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the second side*. You want the bread to be golden and toasted.*this cook time is for large slices of sourdough; depending on the bread you use, your cook time could be substantially less
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