The 6 Best Cheeses for Grilled Cheese

Époisses Grilled Cheese and Pepper Jelly Sandwiches
Photo: © CHRISTINA HOLMES

Whether it's a fall snack, an accompaniment to your favorite soup, or a perfect light lunch, it's easy to land on the decision to eat a grilled cheese. Slightly more difficult is choosing which cheese will make for the optimal sandwich. The best grilled cheese is just the right combination of gooey, creamy, and flavorful. Here are our top cheese picks for a top-notch sandwich.

01 of 06

Époisses

Époisses Grilled Cheese and Pepper Jelly Sandwiches
© CHRISTINA HOLMES

This savory grilled cheese sandwich from chef Vivian Howard features pungent Époisses, a soft French cow's milk cheese. It's paired with spicy-sweet pepper jelly and the contrasting crunch of toasted pecans, all nestled between slices of sourdough bread.

02 of 06

Cheese Curds

Grilled Cheese-and-Bacon Sandwiches with Cheese Curds
© FREDRIKA STJÄRNE

Cheese curds are small chunks of just-made cheese that haven't been pressed into a shape. They're milky and delicious in a grilled cheese like this one, which is spread with mildly spiced mayonnaise and topped with bacon and sautéed onions.

03 of 06

Gruyère

Day 20: Grilled Ham and Cheese with Strawberry-Red-Wine Jam
© CEDRIC ANGELES

Richly flavored and ultra-melty, Gruyère is a hard Swiss cheese that's delicious with both salty and sweet flavors. Try it with ham and strawberry–red-wine jam in this recipe.

04 of 06

Cheddar

The New American Grilled Cheese
© QUENTIN BACON

According to cheese expert Laura Werlin, after you bite into a grilled cheese, "the cheese should stretch out past your face as far as your arm will reach." Classic, extra-sharp orange cheddar is perfect for that. Try it alongside Monterrey Jack, andouille sausage, crunchy cornichons, and a smear of Dijon mustard in this recipe.

05 of 06

Taleggio

Knife-and-Fork Grilled Cheese with Honey
© Con Poulos

The fruity tang of Taleggio, a semisoft Italian cheese, provides a luscious foundation for a grilled cheese sandwich. Chef Chris Cosentino's simple version is made extra special with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of flaky salt and coarsely ground pepper.

06 of 06

Havarti

Grilled Cheese and Chorizo Sandwiches
© PERNILLE PEDERSEN

Havarti's key descriptor is often "buttery," so it's no wonder it makes such an excellent base for a buttery-crisp grilled cheese sandwich. In this recipe, smooth and creamy Havarti serves as the perfect counterpoint to spicy chorizo and pickled jalapeños, all accented by Pepper Jack.

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