Toaster Oven Baked Grilled Cheese

Learn how to make a toaster oven baked grilled cheese sandwich. Perfect golden crispy bread and gooey melted cheese – no stovetop required!

Two sandwich halves oozing melted cheese on a piece of parchment paper.

Looking for a basic toaster oven ‘grilled cheese’ recipe? One that doesn’t require flipping the sandwich while it cooks AND has that perfectly crispy (not crunchy) texture you remember from your childhood?

Then this is the recipe for you!

It’s a mashup of the methods used in our original Toaster Oven Grilled Cheese Sandwich (preheating the pan) and this Toasted Caprese Sandwich (cooking open-faced and adding extra fresh fillings later).

The result is a classic-style grilled cheese with crispy golden bread and oozing plenty of melted cheese.

Bread slices, spinach, cheese, preserves, and mayo on a baking sheet.

What Ingredients Do You Need For A Grilled Cheese Sandwich?

To make a basic grilled cheese you only need bread + cheddar cheese + butter or mayonnaise.

But if you’re feeling a little adventurous try one (or all) of these upgrades:

  • Add a smear of fruit preserves or mustard.
  • Swap the cheddar for a spicy pepper jack cheese.
  • Toss on a small handful of fresh spinach just before serving.

Whether you keep things simple or get creative, you can’t go wrong with this easy toaster oven recipe.

Two sandwich halves oozing melted cheese on a piece of parchment paper.

Toaster Oven Baked Grilled Cheese

Yield: 1 Sandwich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes

A classic-style grilled cheese with golden toasted bread and gooey melted cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices Whole Grain Sandwich Bread
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Mayonnaise or Softened Butter*
  • 2 teaspoons Apricot Preserves (optional)
  • 1.5 ounces shredded Pepper Jack Cheese (about 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Baby Spinach (optional)

Instructions

  1. Adjust the cooking rack to the bottom position, place an empty sheet pan inside your toaster oven, and preheat to 400F on the BAKE setting.
  2. Spread one side of each bread slice with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Flip the slices over and spread with apricot preserves. Top with shredded cheese.
  3. Carefully remove the hot pan and add the bread slices, cheese-side-up. Return to the toaster oven and cook until the bread is browned on the bottom and the cheese is melted, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan, place spinach in an even layer on one slice of bread, top with remaining cheesy bread piece, and dig in!

Notes

* You may need more or less mayonnaise or butter depending on the size/type of bread used. You’re aiming for a thin layer, too much and your bread will be soggy and greasy instead of crispy.

For a vegetarian sandwich use cheese that lists microbial/non-animal rennet or enzymes on the ingredients list.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 Sandwich
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 16.3gSaturated Fat: 7.8gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 794mgCarbohydrates: 42.1gFiber: 14.2gSugar: 11gProtein: 18.9g
Grilled cheese sandwich split in half and pulled apart on a piece of white parchment paper.

How to Make a Toaster Oven Baked Grilled Cheese 

Step 1: Heat Up Your Pan

Small pan preheating inside a countertop oven.

Start by adjusting your cooking rack to the bottom position and sticking your pan in the toaster oven (or countertop oven) before preheating. Pro Tip: Make sure your bread slices fit in the pan side-by-side first.

Next, preheat your toaster oven to 400°F on the BAKE setting.

Step 2: Prep Your Slices

Bread slices spread with mayonnaise on a cutting board.

Lay the bread slices on a cutting board and spread each one with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Butter works great too but I like that you don’t have to wait for the mayo to soften and it adds a subtle tang.

Two slices of bread topped with preserves and shredded cheese on a cutting board.

Flip the slices over and spread with a little apricot preserves. This is totally optional, but if you’re using pepper jack cheese, the contrasting sweet and spicy flavors are delicious.

Lastly, divide the shredded cheese over each slice of bread.

Step 3: Bake Your Sandwich

cheese-topped bread slices on a small baking sheet inside a toaster oven.

Put on some oven gloves or mitts and carefully remove the hot pan. As you add the bread slices (cheese-side-up) you should hear a little sizzle when each one hits the pan.

Return the pan to the toaster oven and cook until the bread is golden on the bottom and the cheese is melted and bubbly (but not browned), about 6 to 7 minutes.

Melted cheese bubbling on bread slices inside a toaster oven.

Step 4: Assembly

Remove the pan from the oven and use a spatula to transfer the slices to your cutting board. Cover one cheesy piece with the fresh spinach, top with the remaining slice, and devour!

Grilled cheese sandwich halves stacked on wooden table.

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