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Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

These Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches have melty cheese on the inside and buttery, perfectly toasted, golden brown bread on the outside. They’re the best classic grilled cheese ever, and they’re so easy!

Just when you thought grilled cheese couldn’t possibly get any better, along comes the air fryer and totally changes everything. How so? One simple word: CRISPY!

Since I got my air fryer several weeks ago (yep, totally procrastinated on that one), I have been recipe testing like mad so that I can find the best recipes to share with you all. Oh, the sacrifices I must make!

I will say that grilled cheese was not something I initially thought of making in the air fryer. I was skeptical about it, thinking I needed contact with a hot frying pan to get the crispiness. But I tried it anyway because…why not? And, holy cow, am I ever glad I did.

A frying pan may get your grilled cheese a little crispy, but an air fryer will get your grilled cheese super crispy. And, wow, does it make a big difference. It’s a total game-changer, folks!

Honestly, unless my air fryer is broken, I’m pretty sure I will never make grilled cheese in a frying pan ever again. I’m even making my beloved Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in the air fryer now.

If you’ve already got an air fryer, this recipe is a must-try. If you don’t have one yet but have been on the fence like I was, I say, if it’s within your budget, go for it. Recipes like this will make you really happy you did!

two grilled cheese sandwiches in an air fryer basket

Ingredients you need:

  • Bread (any kind; I use basic white bread most often)
  • Butter (softened)
  • American cheese (or any easy-melting cheese)

Here’s a look at how to make Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:

2 images; one of an air fryer with text that says preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; the other of buttered slices of bread on a cutting board with text that says evenly butter one side of 4 slices of bread
2 images; one of 2 slices of bread on a cutting board each topped with 2 slices of cheese with text that says put 2 slices of bread buttered-side down, top each with 2 slices cheese; the other of 2 assembled sandwiches on a cutting board with text that says top with remaining bread slices, butter-side up
two images showing how to make air fryer grilled cheese sandwiches
two images showing how to make air fryer grilled cheese sandwiches

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Butter the bread evenly and completely from end to end. Don’t leave any bare spots.
  • Use any bread you like.
    • Although I’ve never had an issue, if your bread is super lightweight, there is a chance that the circulating air can lift up the top pieces of bread and blow them around the air fryer. Check shortly after putting the sandwiches in the air fryer to see if this is happening.
    • To prevent this, you can put wooden toothpicks (no plastic) in each sandwich to hold the bread in place (just remember to remove them before serving). You probably will only need to use them while the first side is cooking. After that, the cheese will have usually melted enough to hold the bread on.
  • Use any cheese you like (as long as it’s one that melts well).
    • I think two slices of cheese are perfect here. Sometimes it’s tempting to add more, but if you add too much, you risk the bread getting too dark before the cheese melts all the way.
    • I like sliced cheese because it’s less messy and stays in place better when you flip, but you can absolutely use shredded cheese if that’s what you’ve got.
  • I tested this recipe using a 6-quart air fryer, and two sandwiches fit perfectly. If your air fryer is smaller, you may need to cook one sandwich at a time.
  • All air fryers are different, and all bread is different, so use the suggested cooking time as a general guideline. Keep an eye on the sandwiches and adjust the time as needed.
two halves of an air fryer grilled cheese sandwich on a white plate with another sandwich in the background

Of course, these are awesome served alongside some tomato soup for a delicious lunch or sandwich night dinner, but I think they go with pretty much any soup…or just a simple side of potato chips…or all by themselves in all their melty, gooey, super-crispy glory!

I hope you try this recipe for Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

These Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches have melty cheese on the inside and buttery, perfectly toasted, golden brown bread on the outside. They're the best classic grilled cheese ever, and they're so easy!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 2 sandwiches
Estimated Calories: 480

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bread, any kind
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 slices American cheese, or any easy-melting cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
    Note: If your air fryer doesn't have a preheat function, set it to 350°F and run it for 5 minutes to heat it up.
  • While the air fryer is preheating, assemble the sandwiches.
    Butter one side of each piece of bread with ½ tablespoon of the butter, making sure that you spread it right to the ends of the bread so that it is evenly coated and there are no bare spots.
  • Place two slices of the buttered bread on a clean work surface, buttered-side down, and top each slice of bread with 2 slices of cheese.
  • Top with the remaining 2 slices of bread, buttered-side up.
  • Place the sandwiches in the preheated air fryer in a single layer (don't stack), making sure to leave some space in between them for proper air circulation.
    Note: This recipe was tested using a 6-quart air fryer, and 2 sandwiches fit easily. If you have a smaller air fryer, you may have to cook one at a time.
  • Air fry at 350°F for 4 minutes.
  • Carefully flip the sandwiches over; air fry for another 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Although I’ve never had an issue, if your bread is super lightweight, there is a chance that the circulating air can lift up the top pieces of bread and blow them around the air fryer. Check shortly after putting the sandwiches in the air fryer to see if this is happening.
    • To prevent this, you can put wooden toothpicks (no plastic) in each sandwich to hold the bread in place (just remember to remove them before serving). You probably will only need to use them while the first side is cooking. After that, the cheese will have usually melted enough to hold the bread on.
  • All air fryers are different, and all bread is different, so use the suggested cooking time as a general guideline. Keep an eye on the sandwiches and adjust the time as needed.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

This post was updated on 8/25/21 with minor updates to the recipe and the step-by-step photos.

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