The Ultimate 10-Minute Grilled Cheese
Say hello to the ULTIMATE grilled cheese sandwich with gruyere, cheddar, & Colby Jack cheeses on buttery brioche bread! Gooey on the inside, deliciously crisp on the outside, perfect for dipping in tomato soup. I’ll walk you through how to make the BEST grilled cheese in just 10 minutes—including the best cheeses, breads, & fillings you can use to customize your sandwich.
What is the secret to a good grilled cheese sandwich?
As much as I enjoy a fancy gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, you don’t need tons of expensive ingredients to make an amazing grilled cheese! There are a few secrets I’ve found to making the perfect grilled cheese at home with just bread, cheese, & butter:
- Use a thick, fluffy white bread. The best grilled cheese calls for a soft yet sturdy white bread—that’s fluffy enough to crisp up nicely, and with a thick, satisfying bite. I think the best bread for grilled cheese is brioche because I love its subtly sweet flavor, but Texas toast is my 2nd favorite.
- Don’t skimp on the cheese! For the absolute tastiest, meltiest sandwich ever, I recommend making a 3-cheese grilled cheese with 3 different cheeses! On an average Tuesday, I’ll make a more basic grilled cheese with only 2 slices of cheese—that’s the minimum. But when I’m feeling more indulgent, I like to use 3 slices of cheese to get the most flavor, the gooiest texture, and an unbelievable cheese pull.
- Spread melted butter on the outside of the bread. This is perhaps THE most important step to make the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich with perfectly crisp, browned bread! Don’t use cold butter, or even softened butter. Melt salted butter & brush it onto the bread (not onto the pan) for the best result. You don’t need to butter both sides of each bread slice (although you can if you want)—just the outside where the bread touches the pan.
- Cook on a lower heat—not high heat. Start out cooking on medium to medium-low heat, so the cheese can melt properly while the bread browns, then turn it up slowly if needed. If the heat is too high, your bread will brown too quickly, before the cheese has a chance to reach maximum gooiness.
What is the best cheese for grilled cheese?
Honestly, the best cheeses to put on your ultimate grilled cheese are whichever ones you enjoy the most! Some people love American cheese—which is perfectly creamy & melty, but I’m not really a fan. My 3 favorite cheeses for a perfect grilled cheese sandwich are sharp cheddar, Gruyere, & Colby Jack because of their combination of flavors & top-notch meltiness. You can use similar cheeses to create your own custom combo:
3 Best Cheeses for the Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Quality cheddar cheese, either yellow or white. I like sharp or extra sharp for the flavor, but medium or mild cheddars tend to melt even better.
- A semi-hard white cheese like Swiss, Gruyere (which is also a Swiss cheese) or gouda. All of which are firm yet stretchy, and add a comforting, nutty flavor.
- An extra-melty cheese like Colby Jack (or other Jack cheeses), Provolone, Havarti, or Muenster. These vary in terms of their textures and flavors, but they’re all ultra-stretchy and amazingly melty cheeses that will give you a great cheese pull.
10-Minute Gourmet Grilled Cheese Ingredients
- Brioche Bread or Texas toast. If you don’t like a brioche grilled cheese, you can totally use any kind of bread you want—sourdough, rye, ciabatta, sliced white bread, etc.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese, yellow or white. Feel free to use a mild or medium cheddar if that’s what you like, or swap out cheddar for American cheese, Colby, or mozzarella.
- Gruyere Cheese, Swiss, or Gouda. A Gruyere grilled cheese sandwich is my personal fave, but Swiss is a close 2nd & great for melting! Choose a young or new Gouda for a Gouda grilled cheese, because aged Goudas won’t melt as well.
- Optional: Colby Jack Cheese, Provolone, Havarti, or Muenster. You can really use any Jack cheese—like Monterey Jack for a milder flavor, or Pepper Jack for a kick of heat. Feel free to swap Provolone for melty mozzarella (though I think it’s sort of boring flavor-wise). And be aware that Havarti and Muenster are both semi-soft cheeses, so they can get real melty real fast.
- Salted Butter. Don’t skip it, and remember to melt it before brushing it onto your bread! You could also brush mayonnaise onto the outside of your grilled cheese before cooking it—I just love and prefer the flavor of butter.
How to Make the Perfect Grilled Cheese on a Griddle
- Preheat Griddle. Whether you’re using an electric griddle or a pan over the stove, start by preheating it over medium heat. Since the perfect grilled cheese is best cooked over lower heat, it helps to preheat the griddle while you assemble the sandwiches.
- Assemble Sandwiches. For each sandwich, place 2-3 slices of cheese onto a piece of brioche, staggering the cheese slices so you cover the entire surface of the bread. Add any additional fillings if you want them, then add another piece of brioche on top.
- Brush on Melted Butter. Either melt salted butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan—you only need ~½ Tbsp per sandwich. Then brush the melted butter onto one side of each sandwich.
- Cook Grilled Cheese for 5-6 Minutes. Place the sandwich with the buttered side down onto the griddle. Let it cook for around 3 minutes over medium heat, until the bottom is golden brown. Brush more butter onto the top of the sandwich, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. (If needed, you can cover your pan with a lid to help the cheese melt more.) Your ultimate grilled cheese is done when the cheese is melty & gooey, and the bread is browned & crispy!
Check out my Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese video to see how I turn this quick grilled cheese into a 30-minute meal!
What can I add to my grilled cheese to make it better?
I think the most amazing grilled cheese can be the most basic—with just cheese and bread. But sometimes I’ll jazz up the flavors with classic sandwich fillings like pickles or tomatoes. Really, you can go as gourmet (or as wild) as you want to make your own fancy grilled cheese at home! Try some of these ideas:
- Classic sandwich fillings like tomato slices, pickles, mustard, or mayo.
- Meats like deli ham or turkey, cooked bacon, prosciutto, buffalo chicken, or pulled pork.
- Sauteed veggies like caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, or sauteed spinach.
- Fresh herbs like chopped basil, rosemary, sage, or thyme—or slather on some pesto.
- Sweet fillings like a drizzle of honey, sliced apples or pears, or fruit jams (i.e., fig jam, plum jam, raspberry or blackberry jam, prune jam).
- Wild card fillings like lobster, a fried egg, PB&J, tater tots, macaroni, or try a spaghetti grilled cheese!
The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Perfect Grilled Cheese
- 4 slices brioche bread, ¾-1” thick, (or Texas toast)
- 1-1½ Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese, (or white cheddar)
- 2 slices Gruyere cheese, (or Swiss, gouda)
- optional: 2 slices Colby Jack cheese, (or Provolone, Havarti, Muenster)
Optional Filling Ideas
- tomato slices
- electric griddle (or pan on stovetop)
- Heat a griddle or pan over medium heat. (You don’t want the heat too high, or else the bread will brown before the cheese can melt. If in doubt, go to medium-low and slowly increase the heat.)
- Place 2 or 3 cheese slices on a piece of brioche, along with any additional desired sandwich fillings. Add another piece of brioche on top to create a sandwich. Repeat to assemble as many sandwiches as desired.
- Melt butter in microwave or in a small saucepan. Brush melted butter onto one side of each sandwich.
- Place sandwiches buttered side down onto griddle over medium heat, cooking until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Before flipping, brush melted butter on the top side of each sandwich. Flip and cook another 3 minutes, until cheese melts and sandwich is browned and crispy. (Cook 5-6 minutes total.)
- Slice sandwiches if desired, serve hot, and enjoy!
- Yields 2 grilled cheese sandwiches.