Toaster Oven Grilled Cheese Sandwich (10 minutes!)

A toaster oven grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect easy office lunch, late night snack, or treat for whenever you’ve got a gooey melty cheese craving. If you struggle with burning grilled cheese sandwiches on your stovetop, you’re going to love this foolproof toaster oven method!

Toaster oven grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with roasted broccoli.

Is there anything better than a grilled cheese sandwich?

The combination of buttery toasted bread and melty cheese is so comforting. Each bite feels like a warm hug. And some days, friend, you just NEED a good cheesy hug!

A grilled cheese sandwich sliced open on a cutting board

But why use a toaster oven to make your sandwich you ask?

Whenever I make a grilled cheese on the stove I always burn my bread before the cheese can melt.

It’s my own fault. I’m impatient and turn up the heat.

If you can’t help from fiddling with the heat either, then you’re going to LOVE making grilled cheese sandwiches in your toaster oven. The heat in your little oven stays consistent so your sandwich comes out perfectly “grilled” every time.

~ Keep scrolling for step by step photos & toaster oven tips after the recipe ~

Toaster oven grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with roasted broccoli on a plate.

Toaster Oven Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Yield: 1 Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

This isn't really a recipe but more of a method for making a custom grilled cheese in your toaster oven. From sliced apples to leftover roasted veggies, add any extra fillings you want!

Ingredients

  • 2 slices Bread
  • 2 teaspoons Butter, softened
  • 2 slices Cheese, about 1.5 ounces (we used Provolone)

Instructions

  1. Adjust toaster oven cooking rack to the lowest position. Place your empty baking sheet inside the toaster oven and preheat it to 425°F or 450°F on the “Bake” setting. (See Note)
  2. Spread the outside of each slice of bread with butter. Place one piece of bread buttered-side-down on a cutting board and top with cheese slices. Top with remaining bread slice, buttered-side-up.
  3. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the preheated pan. Place the sandwich on the pan and return to the toaster oven.
  4. Cook sandwich until the bottom is toasted and browned, about 4 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove the pan again, flip the sandwich with a spatula and return to the toaster oven for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the second side is browned and the cheese is melted.
  6. Cool slightly, then slice in half and devour.

Notes

Temperature: While 450°F works great for our toaster ovens and many others, toaster ovens do vary. So you might need to play around with the temperature and time a bit to find the perfect settings for your little oven. If your oven is known to run hot or you’re using a convection toaster oven, try adjusting the temperature down to 425°F or 400°F.

Rack Placement: If your toaster oven has multiple rack levels, you can give the middle rack placement a try and see how you like it.

Pan Color: A darker colored pan will toast your bread faster, adjust the timing as needed.

Bread Type: This recipe was created and tested using a hearty multi-grain bread. A soft and squishy sandwich bread that has more sugar in it will toast faster, for the best results lower the temperature and/or reduce the cooking time. 

Air-Fryer Style Toaster Oven: Use the Air-Fry setting with the temperature at 350°F. Add the sandwich to the air-fry basket and cook until browning on top, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip it and cook until golden and browned on the other side, about 1 minute more.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 Grilled Cheese
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12.5gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 640mgCarbohydrates: 23.5gFiber: 3.9gSugar: 3.6gProtein: 17.8g

Ingredients

Grilled cheese with roasted broccoli inside on a white plate.

While I usually keep my grilled cheese sandwich simple, I do like to use quality ingredients:

  • Hearty multigrain bread instead of stick-to-the-top-of-your-mouth squishy white bread. It gives the sandwich uber crispy edges and way more flavor.
  • For the cheese, thick slices of provolone or cheddar work great. Avoid shredded cheese, it will melt too quickly. If you want to use shredded cheese try this Toaster Oven Baked Grilled Cheese recipe instead.
  • If an only cheese sandwich feels too indulgent add some roasted sweet potato rounds (sounds strange I know, but it’s so good), garlicy toaster oven roasted broccoli (Broccoli + Cheese is always a delicious combo!) or add some fruit like in this Grilled Cheese with Apple and Havarti.
  • Last and best of all, only real butter – no margarine!

How to make Grilled Cheese in a Toaster Oven

Softened butter, bread slices, and cheese on a cutting board

I start by adjusting the toaster oven’s cooking rack to the bottom position aka the area closest to the heat.

Next, place your baking pan on the rack and preheat the toaster oven on the “Bake” setting. By preheating the pan you’re creating a mini griddle. This is your SECRET WEAPON for getting the bread crisped and golden.

Then spread one side of each bread slice with butter. Mayo works great too, we used it for this Toasted Caprese Sandwich.

Toasted Caprese Sandwich sliced in half on a piece of parchment.

To assemble your sandwich:

  1. Place one piece of bread (buttered-side-down) on a cutting board.
  2. Top with whatever cheese and extra fillings your heart desires. 
  3. Cover with the remaining bread slice (buttered-side-up).

Once you’re ready, remove the preheated pan using oven mitts or gloves. Watch out it will be very H-O-T.

Plop your sandwich down in the middle of the pan and return it to the toaster oven. A quick four minutes later the bottom bread slice should be lightly browned (it will get toasted more in the next step).

Browned and crispy grilled cheese on a cutting board.

Now, you’ve got to flip it!

Yep, like a traditional stove-top grilled cheese, you need to flip your sandwich. Otherwise, the other side won’t brown.

Carefully remove the hot pan again and flip your sandwich with a spatula. I don’t know why flipping a sandwich gives me such anxiety but if you’re like me, take a breath – it’s going to be fine, you’ve got this.

Pop the pan back in the toaster oven and three to four minutes later your sandwich will be perfectly toasted. Let it cool slightly, so you don’t burn your tongue, and then dig in!

Gooey grilled cheese sandwich slices stacked on a piece of parchment.

We also shared this toaster oven grilled cheese sandwich recipe on Food Fanatic.

11 Comments

  1. Hi Canette.
    I’m using a Cuisinart CTIA-130PC1 and following directions. Used butter on one with 3 slices cheese mayo with 4 slices cheese on 2nd.

    Definitely temp was too high on bake. I think Il try again st 400 degrees

    1. Hi Frankie,

      Thank you for leaving this comment! I had added some notes to the recipe card a while back regarding adjusting the temperature, etc. Thanks to your comment I noticed they had disappeared and have added them back in.

      If lowering the temp doesn’t work out to your liking, you might want to try a different setting. We’ve listed a few other methods and settings you can use for making a toaster oven grilled cheese in this post here: https://toasterovenlove.com/toaster-oven-grilled-cheese-recipes/

  2. I wrote down every step on making a grilled cheese sandwich. Can you tell me if this process will also work on a Cuisinart Air Fryer toaster oven that’s suppose to do everything?

    1. Yep, it should work in that toaster oven – just use the standard “Bake” setting for this recipe.

      If you want to try making one with the Air Fry function I’d recommend using an Air Fryer Grilled Cheese recipe as it may be different – temperature/time wise.

      Would love to know how it comes out!

      1. Turned out well in ninja foodi on air crisp, very, very crispy though like corners are almost like curtons. (Maybe try not preheat ing)
        Maybe thicker bread, or less time.
        Doesn’t seem to brown as much but still done and very crunchy.
        Great!!!

        1. Thanks so much for sharing how it went in the Foodi, Pam!

          I’ve been doing a little reading up on Air Fryers and it looks like you might want to drop the temperature a bit for grilled cheese (if you don’t want the edges so crunchy) to something more like 375 – here’s an easy Air Fryer specific recipe.

  3. I use mayo on the outside of the bread. It works just fine and even has bit of a tang that I like. Definitely will be trying your toaster oven method.

    1. Oooh, I’ll have to try your mayo method! A little added tang sounds like fun and would probably help to balance the richness of the cheese too. Love to know what you think of the toaster oven method 🙂

  4. Hi Brie, it looks yummy and I’ll be making it on the first cool day of autumn, when I can open the windows and feel a cool breeze. It’s been too hot to chew lately, with our extreme heat and temps as high as 109.

    So far the Texas power grid is handling the load, but if it fails, we are toast. Literally!

    Susan

    1. Hi Susan, I’m glad to hear you (and the Texas power grid) are hanging in there with these crazy temps! You’re so right, 109 is too hot to even chew 🙂 I’m about ready to consider popsicles an acceptable dinner, lol.

      Stay cool friend,
      Brie

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