Grilled cheese
A toasted square sandwich cut into two triangle halves, showing a cross-section. There is a layer of melted cheese in the sandwich.
Cross section of a grilled cheese
Place of originUnited States
Main ingredientsCheese, bread
Ingredients generally usedButter, margarine, mayonnaise
VariationsCheese dream
Other informationTraditionally served with tomato soup

The grilled cheese (sometimes known as a toasted sandwich or cheese toastie) is a hot cheese sandwich typically prepared by heating slices of cheese between slices of bread with a cooking fat such as butter or mayonnaise on a frying pan, griddle, or sandwich toaster, until the bread browns and the cheese melts.


The cheese dream, an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich, became popular in the U.S. during the Great Depression.[1] U.S. government cookbooks describe Navy cooks broiling "American cheese filling sandwiches" during World War II.[2]


A bowl of soup and a cut sandwich on a plate
A grilled cheese made with American cheese served with a bowl of tomato soup
A grilled cheese with sharp cheddar cheese, walnut bread and butter

A grilled cheese sandwich is made by placing a cheese filling, often cheddar or American cheese, between two slices of bread, which is then heated until the bread browns and the cheese melts. A layer of butter or mayonnaise may be added to the outside of the bread for additional flavor and texture. Alternatives may include additional ingredients, such as meat, peppers, tomatoes, or onions.[3]

A grilled cheese may also be made in a sandwich toaster, particularly in the United Kingdom where the dish is normally called a toasted cheese sandwich or cheese toastie.[4]


Some restaurants, food carts and food trucks in the United States specialize in the grilled cheese sandwich. The Grilled Cheese Grill restaurants were a combination of reclaimed vehicle and food cart restaurants that focused on gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches in Portland, Oregon.[5] The Grilled Cheese Truck is an American food truck company serving gourmet "chef driven" grilled cheese sandwiches.[6] The company started in Los Angeles, California, in 2009, and has since expanded throughout Southern California, Phoenix, San Antonio and Austin.[6] The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen is a restaurant in San Francisco, California, that specializes in the sandwich.[7]

Microwavable frozen toasted sandwiches are available in supermarkets in a variety of locations. One example is the McCain Micro Toastie, which was launched in supermarkets in the UK in 2002.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Marty Meitus (January 3, 1999). "Old faithful grilled cheese, a depression-era standby, has returned". Rocky Mountain News. During the Depression, when Sunday Night Suppers became a popular way to entertain, the cheese dream began to appear on dining tables from coast to coast.
  2. ^ Olver, Lynne. "Food Timeline — history notes: sandwiches". The Food Timeline. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
  3. ^ "50 Grilled Cheese". Food Network. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Naylor, Tony (March 13, 2014). "Break out the Breville: it's time for a toastie". The Guardian. Retrieved January 7, 2024.
  5. ^ Edge, J.T. (2012). The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America's Best Restaurants on Wheels. Workman Publishing Company. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-7611-7118-8.
  6. ^ a b Elliott, F. (2015). Los Angeles Street Food: A History from Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. American Palate. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-62585-516-9.
  7. ^ Wilkey, Robin (May 17, 2013). "SF's Grilled Cheese King On The Perfect Sandwich". HuffPost. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  8. ^ "McCain poised to launch first microwaveable toastie". Marketing Week. September 26, 2002. Retrieved June 27, 2022.