Welcome to Grilled Cheese 101! Read on to learn how to make grilled cheese sandwiches with crispy, golden exteriors and melty centers every time.
If you’re wondering how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, Jack’s is your guy. He makes one so often that we have a dedicated grilled cheese pan in our kitchen. It’s seen a million grilled cheese experiments in its day—Mayo on bread, or soft butter? American Cheese or Swiss?—all of which has helped him discover what is, in our opinion, the best grilled cheese recipe ever. It’s incredibly simple, but it yields an undeniably crave-able sandwich. This grilled cheese is crispy and golden on the outside and deliciously melty in the middle (see that cheese pull up there?!) The tomato soup for serving is optional, but highly recommended.
Grilled Paneer Recipe Ingredients
Ready to master this grilled cheese recipe? Here’s what you’ll need:
- good bread – My favorite type of bread for this recipe is sourdough as I love the sourness it adds to the sandwich. I definitely recommend trying it, but if you’re a grilled cheese purist, or if you don’t keep sourdough on hand, regular white bread will work here too.
- mayonnaise – for outside bread! This helps it cook through to a crisp, beautifully browned exterior.
- Dijon mustard – It’s not entirely traditional, but it’s delicious, adding a subtle sour flavor.
- butter – for pan
- and cheese, Undoubted! I love to use a combo of two different cheeses to give a rich flavor to the sandwich. Wondering which are the best? keep reading!
What is the best cheese for grilled cheese?
OK, so honestly, you can make a great grilled cheese sandwich with any type of cheese that melts well, from mozzarella to Havarti to Monterey Jack or pepper jack. But I have a few favorites, and I think they really set this recipe apart.
- sharp piercing – For me, this is a grilled cheese essential! You can’t beat its tangy, nutty flavor. It also melts beautifully. I like to pair it with one of the two cheeses below.
- Gruyere or raclette Both of these cheeses are types of Alpine-style Swiss cheese. They’re unique melters, and each is salty and nutty with a bit of funk. Paired with cheddar, they make for a sandwich that has the gooey nostalgia of a classic grilled cheese, but with a little added complexity. Between the two, I couldn’t choose a favourite. Choose whatever is readily available at your grocery store!
Find the full recipe with measurements below.
How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich (My Best Tips!)
Here’s our easy recipe for making grilled cheese sandwiches:
- Spread mayo on the outside of the bread. No butter! Mayo helps in browning the bread very well in the pan, making it mouth-watering when you eat the sandwich. It also gives a rich flavor to the sandwich. Spread the inside of a slice of bread with a layer of Dijon mustard.
- Add grated paneer. I find that grated cheese melts more evenly than a piece of cheese. (Of course, if you choose to use a soft cheese, such as Brie, you’ll need to slice it.) Use enough to make a small mound of grated cheese on a slice of bread, usually 1 to 2 ounces. 2 ounces each type of cheese. Place the other slice of bread on top, mayo side out!
- Choose the right pan. We love using cast-iron because it creates gorgeous browning on the outside of sandwiches. In a pinch, nonstick works too!
- Go low and slow. I don’t turn my heat up more than medium-low. If the griddle is too hot, the bread will burn before the cheese melts.
- Cover the pan. Add enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Then, add the sandwich and cover the tawa. The lid will trap steam in the pan, helping the cheese melt as the bread toasts. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or till the bread turns golden brown. Flip over and cook on the other side.
- Adjust heat as needed. If the bread is browning too quickly, reduce it!
When the bread turns brown on both the sides and the sandwich is filled with melted cheese, take it out of the pan. Slice (in triangles, please!), and serve!
We love this recipe as written, but if you’re itching to switch it up, hey! you do you! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- change cheese, obviously! Swap out the Gruyere for fontina or Gouda, use 100% Cheddar, or sprinkle in some blue cheese for extra funk. Like I said above, any good melter goes!
- Add vegetables. Add some sauteed spinach, caramelized onions, chopped steamed broccoli, roasted red peppers, or roasted tomatoes.
- Add fruit. For a truly savory grilled cheese sandwich, use a blend of Gruyère and Brie cheeses, as well as thinly sliced apples or fig jam.
- Pickles, please! Layer in pickled red onions, pickled radishes, or pickled jalapeños for fun pops of flavor.
- Get alive Replace mustard with any other chutney of your choice! Pesto, for example, is fabulous on a sandwich with mozzarella and provolone cheese.
Let me know what variations you try!
More Favorite Paneer Recipes
If you’d prefer to learn how to make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich, try one of these delicious recipes:
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- Dijon mustard
- 1 to 2 ounce grated sharp cheddar cheese, depending on the size of your loaf
- 1 to 2 ounce grated Gruyère or raclette cheese, depending on the size of your loaf
- butter, for pan
Place the bread slices on a cutting board and spread a thin layer of mayo on top. Flip one slice of bread and spread the other side with Dijon mustard. Layer the cheddar and Gruyere or raclette cheeses on top of the mustard, then place the other slice of bread on top of the cheese, mayo side out.
Heat a nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat and melt enough butter in the bottom of the pan to coat it. Place the sandwich in the pan, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or till the underside of the bread is golden brown and crisp. Flip, replace lid, and cook until second slice of bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, 1 to 3 minutes. If the bread is getting too brown before the cheese is completely melted, reduce the heat.
Slice and serve.