Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

$2.23 each
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.75 from 4 votes
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If you’ve never made an Air Fryer Grilled Cheese, get ready for the crispiest and gooiest results ever! My secret is to mix softened butter with Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese and then spread it on the outside of the sandwich. This one step creates an unforgettable thunderous crunch that gives way to the dreamiest pillow of molten cheese.

Air fryer grilled cheese being pulled apart on a white plate.

Tips for making grilled cheese in an air fryer:

  • Use sliced cheese instead of shredded. The air circulation in an air fryer is very strong, and shredded cheese won’t stay on your bread as well as heavy slices.
  • Butter the outside of your bread slices from crust to crust. Full coverage is the only way!
  • Don’t press down on the sandwich when flipping it, which will destroy the airiness of your bread.
  • Try not to rush the process. Make sure to get five minutes on each side for the most unctuously melted cheese and crispy bread combo.

What type of cheese is best for grilled cheese?

Classically, you make grilled cheese with a few slices of American. But feel free to choose your own adventure. Any good melting cheese will work just fine. For the best results, use room temperature cheese, which melts faster and doesn’t separate into greasy clumps. My top 5 in no particular order:

  • Mild or Sharp Cheddar
  • Swiss
  • Provolone
  • Brie
  • Muenster

Please note that extra-sharp cheddar did not make the cut. Though it’s a delight, extra-sharp cheddar has a low water content because it’s aged, and the older cheese gets, the dryer it becomes.

Is there a type of bread that’s best for a grilled cheese?

Undoubtedly (because cheese can be heavy) you need sturdy slices of bread with a tight crumb. Just make sure they aren’t more than a half-inch thick because the cheese will take forever to melt. Bread with an open crumb (a lacy pattern of irregularly sized holes) can be challenging to work with because the cheese escapes through the craters. Especially great choices include:

  • Brioche
  • Rye
  • Ciabatta
  • Country Bread
  • Sourdough

Can you reheat a grilled cheese in an air fryer?

An air fryer is the PERFECT tool for reheating grilled cheese. It generates warm air that circulates all around your sandwich, crisping up even the doughiest bread and re-melting your cheese with ease. Cook for two minutes per side, and insert a butter knife into the cheese. If the knife blade is hot to the touch when you remove it, you are good to go!

What to serve with grilled cheese?

While Tomato Soup is a classic side, it isn’t the only thing that tastes great with an air fryer grilled cheese. If you’re looking for some fantastic dishes to pair with your sandwich, try an Herby Potato Salad, Simple Sauteed Vegetables, Summer Sweet Corn Salad, or Jerk Seasoned Collard Greens.

Air fryer grilled cheese being pulled apart by two hands.
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Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

4.75 from 4 votes
The secret to the crunchiest, gooiest, air-fryer grilled cheese EVER is first mixing softened butter with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese and then spreading it on the outside of your bread. You can't get results like these from a pan!
Air Fryer Grilled Cheese on plate, split down middle.
Servings 1
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes



  • First, combine the room temperature butter, grated Parmesan, and Italian seasoning in a bowl. Then, spread the butter mixture over one side of each piece of bread, from edge to edge.
  • Place the sliced cheese between the two pieces of bread, buttered sides facing out.
  • Preheat the air fryer (if yours does not have a preheat setting, let it run for about four minutes at 400ºF).
  • Finally, place the sandwich in the air fryer basket. Cook at 350ºF for five minutes, then flip and cook for 5 minutes on the other side, or until golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted through. Slice and serve.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.



*If you do not have sourdough bread, any hearty bread will do. Softer bread may require less time in the air fryer.


Serving: 1sandwichCalories: 639kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 29gFat: 45gSodium: 1077mgFiber: 2g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Air Fryer grilled cheese stacked on white plate.

How to Make Air Fryer Grilled Cheese – Step by Step Photos

Parmesan butter mix in ramekin.

Combine the room temperature butter, grated Parmesan, and Italian seasoning in a bowl.

Knife spreading parmesan butter on bread.

Spread the butter mixture over one side of each piece of bread, from edge to edge.

Cheese slices for air fryer grilled cheese on top of one slice of bread with a second slice of bread next to it, on a cutting board.

Place the sliced cheese between the two pieces of bread, buttered sides facing out.

Grilled cheese sandwich in an air fryer basket.

Preheat the air fryer. If yours does not have a preheat setting, let it run for about four minutes at 400ºF. Once preheated, place the sandwich in the air fryer basket.

Air fryer grilled cheese in air fryer basket.

Cook at 350ºF for five minutes.

Air fryer grilled cheese on a spatula over an air fryer basket.

Once the sandwich has cooked for 5 minutes, flip it on the other side, and cook for five minutes more, or until both sides are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese is melted through. Slice and serve.


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  1. How do you keep the top slice from getting sucked off the top and burning in the beginning? They’re very good if you can get past that step, but it happens every time. It starts smelling burnt after 30 seconds, then I have to put the slice back on.

    1. Hmm, we didn’t have that issue, but maybe you can try some toothpicks or placing something like a plate on top at first?

  2. That was the most amazing thing in my life. As a family of grill cheese lovers this is ultimately the best way to make a grill cheese. The parm and Italian seasonings mixed made the taste over the top!!! Paired my with tomato soup. I can eat this meal every single day of my life!!!

  3. This was absolutely delish! So easy and fast. Best grilled cheese I’ve ever had!! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. OMG! This was so delicious and crunchiest Grilled Cheese I have ever ate. I used Multigrain breads instead of simple bread and combined grated mozzarella cheese with butter, Italian seasoning and a little bit of chilli flakes because I like it hot;) next time you should try to add some chilli flakes if you like it spicy.

  5. I made this with Aldi’s Artisan Bread (they didn’t have Brioche or sourdough). I needed a little more butter. OMG, they were delicious! My daughter (22) said they tasted like “grilled cheese on garlic bread.” (Maybe there’s some garlic in the Italian seasoning?) Anyway, I used Muenster and sharp cheddar and made two sandwiches at a time since they fit in the air fryer. They were super crunchy on the outside and gooey in the middle. Will be making again!!

  6. This came out ok for me. I followed the recipe, but I was not able to get both sides golden, after letting it cook for a longer time. :(

  7. I just want to say, you have the absolute BEST ideas! And I have some cheese and a fresh loaf of sourdough just ready for this recipe. It looks delicious. Thank you for doing what you do!