Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese


The cheese that you use for your grilled cheese sandwich can make all the difference in the outcome of the sandwich. You can use just one kind of cheese or a combination of cheese to make a unique sandwich that is custom made to your liking. What is the best cheese for grilled cheese?

We’ll go over how to make the perfect sandwich, we’ll share the best recipe ever, as well as tips for how to make perfect grilled cheese.

starbucks crispy grilled cheese pulling cheese

What is Grilled Cheese?

Grilled cheese is a hot sandwich that is typically prepared with your choice of cheese between two slices of bread, then smothered in soft butter and cooked on the stovetop until the bread browns and the cheese melts. It can be served as the main dish or as a side to another dish.

And the Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese is…

Below are our top recommendations for the best cheeses for grilled cheese sandwich. We’ll describe each one for your benefit, but keep in mind that we recommend you choose at least one type that melts well such as Monterey Jack, American, Cheddar, or Mozzarella for making it the best.

Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack is a semi-hard white cheese made using cow’s milk. It is known for its slightly sweet and mild flavor.


American cheese is a processed cheese that melts easily. It has a salty flavor and is orange in color.

Colby Jack

Colby Jack cheese is a marbled cheese with orange and white colors. It is a semi-hard cheese and is very mild in flavor. It is mainly used in the US.


Cheddar cheese is a favorite among many people. It can be white or orange in color, is semi-hard and has a varying flavor depending on its variety. Sharp cheddar has a sharper flavor, whereas mild cheddar has a mild flavor.

starbucks grilled cheese ingredients


Brie is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk. It is white in color with a rind. The rind is typically consumed with the cheese. Brie can be made from whole milk or semi-skimmed milk.  

Pepper Jack

Pepper Jack comes from Monterey Jack cheese but is flavored with spicy chili peppers, bell peppers, and herbs. It’s white in color, with flex of other color coming from the added peppers and herbs.


Gouda cheese is a semi-hard cheese that’s made from cow’s milk. Gouda might be considered one of the most popular cheeses worldwide.


Havarti cheese is a semi-soft cheese made with cow’s milk. It can be melted, sliced, or grilled.


Provolone is considered an Italian cheese that is often used on pizza. It’s a nice, stretchy cheese. Some versions of Provolone are smoked.


Mozzarella is a white cheese that is often used on pizza. It’s a good melting cheese with a milder flavor.


Blue cheese is a semi-soft cheese that has a sharp, tangy flavor and is white in color, with specks of blue or green. Blue cheese can be eaten by itself, spread, or melted.  


Muenster cheese is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk. Muenster cheese is noted for its orange rind.


Swiss cheese is a white, pressed cheese with holes. It has a sharper flavor. There are literally hundreds of varieties of Swiss cheese.


Gruyere cheese is a hard Swiss cheese that is white in color. Its flavor is sweet, but slightly salty. It’s sometimes described as being nutty and creamy when young, but earthy as it ages.


Fontina cheese is a cheese made from cow’s milk that originated in Italy. It is semi-soft to hard in structure and is mild in flavor but is distinctly nutty and savory in taste.


Manchego cheese is made from Manchega sheep’s milk. It is firm in texture and is buttery in flavor. It is light yellow in color and contains a rind.


Asiago cheese is made from cow’s milk. It’s often used as crumbled or melted in sandwiches. Asiago cheese is mainly mild in flavor, but comes in several varieties.


Taleggio cheese is a full cow’s milk cheese. It is semi-soft and is ivory in color, with a slightly darker colored rind. Its flavor is mild, with a slight fruity tang.


Emmenthal cheese is a mildly hard cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a savory, mild flavor.

Choose a cheese combo

When you’re making grilled cheese and you want it to be the absolute best, make sure one of the kinds melts well. It will make all the difference in the outcome of your delicious sandwich.

starbucks grilled cheese buttered bread

And the Best Bread for Grilled Cheese is…

The most popular kinds of bread for grilled cheese are white bread and sourdough bread. But most any kind of bread is fair game. Just make sure that it’s sturdy enough to hold up to some significant melted cheese.

White bread
Sourdough bread
Wheat bread
9 Grain bread
Italian bread
English muffin bread
Rye bread
Brown bread
Potato bread

Tools You’ll Need to Make The Perfect Grilled Cheese:

If you’re serious about making good grilled cheese, these are the three most important tools you’ll need to make the best sandwich:

Cast iron skillet
Cheese grater

starbucks crispy grilled cheese pulling cheese

Tips for Perfect Grilled Cheese

Everyone wants to achieve grilled cheese perfection, right? Below are our tips to help you make a perfect sandwich.

Low heat. Use low heat to cook your sandwich. Cooking grilled cheese to reach its golden perfection is kind of like cooking marshmallows over a campfire. Cooking them low and slow is the key to success.

Shredded cheese. Use cheese that is shredded finely as opposed to sliced cheese. This allows the cheese to melt evenly for a nice, melted cheese outcome.

Butter. Smother the outside of both pieces of bread with soft salted butter. This will help to achieve a nice crispy outside that’s perfectly browned.

Use steam to speed the melt. When you first place the sandwich in the frying pan, you can cover it with a lid to speed the cheese melt. You’ll want to remove the lid as soon as the cheese is melted to keep the sandwich nice and crisp.

Don’t stop with cheese. Consider other add-ins such as vegetables and herbs, protein, condiments and spreads to take your sandwich from basic to deluxe.

Open faced. To speed up the cooking process, you can cook the sandwich open faced, with the cheese side up, so that both sides cook at once, then assemble the sandwich before cooking it.

Lots of cheese. For the most delicious sandwich, don’t be afraid to heap on the cheese. Cheese is what makes it the best.

starbucks grilled cheese sliced

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Following is our recipe for a perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

How to Make Grilled Cheese

Achieving the perfect grilled cheese is quite an accomplishment, at least in our opinion. Creating that buttery, golden crispy crust on the outside, with the beloved ooey-gooey cheese on the inside is like no other. It’s all about the crust. 


2 slices of bread
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup shredded cheese


  1. Spread 1 tbsp of butter on one side of each slice of bread.
  2. With butter side down, add cheese and then fold the sandwich closed, leaving the cheese on the inside and butter on the outside.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, melt ½ tbsp of butter. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the sandwich. Cook for about 2 minutes, however the key is to attend to the sandwich closely to achieve perfection.
  4. Flip the sandwich to toast the reverse side once the cheese begins to melt and the down facing side begins to brown.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions for what is the best cheese for grilled cheese. If you have a question that’s not listed here, please feel free to drop it in the comments box below and we’ll respond to it.

What can I cook a grilled cheese on?

The best pan to cook a grilled cheese on is a cast iron skillet or griddle. There is no other that competes with the delicious result of cooking in a cast iron pan.

Is grilled cheese sandwich grilled?

A grilled cheese sandwich is not grilled on a grill, but rather in a pan. A toasted outside is achieved. For this reason, some folks prefer to refer to it as a toasted sandwich rather than a grilled cheese sandwich.

What is the best cheese for grilled cheese?

We’ve listed the best cheese choices for grilled cheese above. Use a combination of your favorite cheeses for the best outcome and customized sandwich. Be sure to choose at least one cheese that melts well for a good grilled cheese sandwich.

What’s better mayo or butter?

Butter or mayonnaise work fine for slathering the outside of your sandwich before cooking it. It’s what helps to make it that perfectly golden-brown color. We personally prefer salted butter.

Mayonnaise tends to taste like, well, mayonnaise. If you prefer the creamy flavor of mayo over butter, then that might be your choice spread. The takeaway here is that both achieve that perfectly golden aspect we all love, the difference is in the flavor.

What can I add to a grilled cheese?

There are so many add-ins that can be tossed in. In our opinion it’s what takes your sandwich from basic to gourmet. We have a list of herbs and veggies, protein, fruit, preserves, and condiment options here on this post, for variations on the classic grilled cheese.

What bread is best for a grilled cheese?

The two most popular bread types include white bread and sourdough bread. But most likely you can’t go wrong with the type of bread you choose. Just make sure it’s sturdy enough to withstand some delicious cheese. See above for our list of the best bread.

what to eat with grilled cheese

Serve Grilled Cheese With. . .

There are some things that are just a match made in heaven as far as what to eat with grilled cheese. From soups, to salads, to vegetables and fruits, to dessert, we’ve got you covered.

In our post titled What to Eat With Grilled Cheese, we list our top 16 recommended sides.

Reheating Grilled Cheese

After you make your sandwich to perfection, you might be looking for a way to reheat it.

We recommend using a griddle or a skillet for reheating it to perfection. The microwave can also be used but is not as desirable because it makes for a soggy outcome.

If you want to go into more detail about how to reheat grilled cheese, you’ll want to read our post here.

Final Thoughts

To make the most delicious sandwich, follow our tips for the best cheese for grilled cheese, as well as tips and recipe. Grilled cheese is so versatile and so widely loved by young folks and adults alike. It makes a great meal.

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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