Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes:
The Classic Recipe and Some Variations

I've come across some fancier grilled cheese sandwich recipes, but for quick comfort food, you just can't beat the simple and classic method.

grilled cheese sandwich

There are four tricks to making the perfect sandwich with these grilled cheese sandwich recipes:

  • Slice the cheese thinly so that it melts quickly, before the bread is over-toasted.

  • Ensure that you have nice soft butter on hand. If you don't, making a grilled cheese sandwich can be an exercise in frustration! The bread will tear when you try to spread cold butter on it. Plan ahead and leave the butter out of the fridge so that it can soften.

    I've tried softening the butter in a pan on the stove, but it always melts, no matter how carefully I watch it!

    If you haven't planned ahead and you don't have soft butter on hand, don't despair! There is another method. (See "Tips", below.)

  • Don't have the heat too high, or the bread will burn - but don't have it too low, or the cheese won't melt. Once you've made these sandwiches once or twice, you'll know exactly where to set the burner dial on your stove.

  • Watch carefully and remove the sandwich from the pan when it is exactly ready.

I use Cheddar cheese, not the plastic wrapped cheese-like slices.

Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • whole wheat bread

  • in the fridge or freezer

    • butter
    • Cheddar cheese

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a butter knife
    • a non-stick skillet (I use cast-iron)
    • a spatula

  • Nice to have but not necessary

    • a cheese slicer (if not, cut the cheese thinly with a sharp knife)

    The recipe

    2 slices whole wheat bread


    thinly sliced Cheddar cheese

    Heat a skillet over medium heat.

    Butter both slices of bread.

    Place one slice of bread, butter side down, in the skillet.
    Lay the cheese slices on the bread, covering it completely.
    Place the second slice of bread, butter side up, on top of the cheese.

    Use a spatula to press the sandwich down gently once or twice, and to lift the sandwich so you can peek at the bottom.
    When the bottom is golden, turn the sandwich over and cook the other side.


    • Use your favorite bread in place of the whole wheat bread.

    • Use another meltable cheese instead of Cheddar. Swiss or mozzarella would work well.

    Ideas for making this recipe your own; more grilled cheese sandwich recipes

    • Add your own ingredients on top of the cheese slice before you put on the second slice of bread. A thin slice of deli ham works well, or a thin slice of tomato, or both! How about some fried onions? Some cooked bacon? Some very thinly sliced apple?

    • Spread the bread (the in-side, with the cheese, not the out-side where the butter goes) with a bit of salsa, or mustard, or barbecue sauce.

    • Serve the sandwich with something tasty on the side - like a dill pickle, or some homemade oven fries, or some raw vegetables.


    • Cover the skillet with a lid. This will keep in the heat and help the cheese melt faster. Don't forget to peek regularly, though, so that you can remove the sandwich as soon as it is ready.

    • If you don't have soft butter on hand, use this method in any grilled cheese sandwich recipes:

      • Make the sandwich as usual, but without buttering the bread.
      • Place a pat of butter in the warm skillet.
      • When the butter has melted, place the sandwich directly in the pool of butter.
      • Cook as usual.

      If you enjoy these grilled cheese sandwiches recipes, you may also like these other sandwich recipes: