Grilled cheese sandwiches are the ultimate anytime meal. They’re great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and are sure to please any kid (or a kid at heart). You can customize them however you like, whether you’re more into a classic cheddar on white or an amped up version with funky cheese and all the fixings on an artisanal loaf. And best of all, they hardly need a recipe and can be made in minutes.
So how do you make a better grilled cheese? Start with quality ingredients. Read on for our top recommendations and advice on how to reach the pinnacle of gooey, melty perfection every time.
Putting Together Your Grilled Cheese Sandwich
1. Choose & Prep Your Bread
For grilled cheese sandwiches, you’ll want bread that meets two criteria: it should have a not-too-holey texture and not be sliced too thick. Other than that, you can go with whichever variety you like. For a more traditional sandwich, our Just FreshDirect All-Natural White Bread is a reliable go-to. But if you’re in the mood for something more adventurous, you can try a whole-grain loaf, like Brooklyn Mills Sourdough Spelt or Whole Grain Peasant Bread.
Once you’ve chosen your bread, you’ll wanna grease one side of each slice, so that you can get that perfect crispy, golden texture once it’s in the pan. Simply spread on a layer of softened butter (don’t be shy!)—we’re fans of rich, European-style butters like Kerrygold. Or you can also use mayonnaise, which creates great browning and adds a touch of tangy flavor.
2. Choose a Cheese (Or Cheeses!)
Make sure you choose a cheese that has good meltability. You’ll wanna stay away from very dry, crumbly, aged, or fresh cheeses (like Parmesan, feta, or mature goudas). Semi-firm cheeses like cheddar or Swiss, are great candidates as are oozy, gooey soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert.
If you’re slicing your cheese from a wedge or block, make sure to cut it thinly to encourage even melting. But to ensure even more meltiness, try grating your cheese on the coarse holes of a grater (or use a pre-shredded cheese, like Organic Valley mozzarella)—the smaller pieces will melt even more quickly.
3. Choose Your Add-Ins
They’re optional, but some veggies, fruit, or spreads will take your sandwich up a notch and make it feel like more of a complete meal. A handful of Satur Farms arugula or a big schmear of pesto or chimichurri will add some fresh green flavor to break up the richness of the cheese. Or for a fun sweet and savory contrast, try sliced apples or pear. And don’t be afraid to get creative with what you’ve got in your pantry—pickles, jams, or potato chips are all prime candidates.
4. Grill, Baby, Grill!
Once you’ve chosen your ingredients and stacked them into a sandwich, all that’s left is a bit of hot action in a pan. Keep the heat on your stove at a bare medium low—if it’s too hot, you’ll burn the bread before the insides are completely melted. Add a little bit of butter to the pan to ensure that everything stays greased. Then place your sandwiches inside and press down gently to ensure complete contact. If you’re cooking over a setup that heats the pan unevenly, like gas, you may want to rotate the sandwiches a few times to ensure that the bread is grilled nicely all over. Flip halfway through, repeat on the second side, and serve while still hot!