What’s the Best Cheese For Grilled Cheese? Here Are Our 6 Favorites

Top priority: must be meltable!

<p>Radoxist Studio/Getty Images</p>

Radoxist Studio/Getty Images

Grilled cheese never goes out of style — a kids’ menu mainstay that adults love, too. It’s not only nostalgic, but also endlessly riffable, with more adult versions like this Parmesan-crusted version, or this broccoli-and-Cheddar-filled number. When making any grilled cheese, the most important decision is what type of cheese to use, and we have several suggestions for you. So, what’s the best cheese for grilled cheese? Keep reading for our six favorite cheeses for the classic sandwich, and why we think they reign supreme.

Related: How to Reheat Mac and Cheese So It Stays Gooey and Delicious

These six cheeses are our picks for the perfect grilled cheese, with meltability and flavor at top of mind.


Cheddar is a classic choice for grilled cheese, and for good reason. You can buy Cheddar anywhere, and it melts well for a perfectly gooey center. Go for a mild, buttery Cheddar, or a bold, tangy sharp Cheddar, depending on what you prefer. We love a sharp Cheddar grilled cheese on multigrain bread, with thin slices of green apple for a juicy crunch.

Smoked Gouda

If you love a hint of smokiness in your food, try smoked Gouda in your grilled cheese. The Dutch cheese has notes of caramel, and pairs well with sweet, jammy caramelized onions. Balance out the richness of a smoked Gouda grilled cheese with a pile of peppery arugula. 

Related: 19 Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipes That Are Downright Delicious

American Cheese

This choice might be divisive, but we love American cheese in a grilled cheese. An American cheese grilled cheese on white bread reminds us of an old-school diner, and it’s exactly what we want to dip in a bowl of tomato soup. Plus, American cheese melts beautifully, and its mild flavor goes with everything.


Feeling classy? Go for Gruyère in your grilled cheese. Gruyère is a Swiss cheese with a rich, nutty flavor and creamy texture, and it just tastes luxurious. We recommend coarsely grating the Gruyère so that it melts evenly and quickly. Try it in a grilled cheese on sourdough bread with sliced ham and whole-grain mustard, and serve it with a green salad for a simple, elegant lunch.

Monterey Jack

Creamy and mild, with a subtle tang, Monterey Jack is a reliable choice for a grilled cheese. It melts easily, and goes with a range of toppings. Add it to a grilled cheese with turkey, bacon, and avocado for a filling, satisfying lunch. Potato chips on the side are a must!

Related: The Surprising Ingredient You Should Add to Grilled Cheese


Originally from Italy, Fontina is a cow’s milk cheese that we love in a grilled cheese. As it melts, its sweet, nutty flavor intensifies and its texture becomes velvety. We like a Fontina grilled cheese with thinly sliced pear, or prosciutto and fig jam.

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