Test Kitchen's Favorite Grilled Cheese

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

Our trick to getting this beloved sandwich just right? Slather the bread with a combination of butter and mayonnaise. The former imparts rich buttery flavor, while the latter ensures an uber-crisp exterior and perfect golden-brown crust. Serve with bowls of Creamy Tomato Soup.


  • 8 (½-inch-thick) slices sourdough sandwich bread, such as Pullman

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 6 slices American cheese (3 ounces)

  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)


  1. Arrange bread in a single layer on a clean work surface. Stir together butter and mayonnaise. Spread mixture evenly onto one side of every slice (1 scant tablespoon per slice).

  2. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium. Flip over bread on work surface (so it's plain-side up). Place 1 1/2 slices American cheese on 4 slices, and 1/4 cup cheddar on remaining 4 slices. Carefully sandwich together.

  3. Place sandwiches in skillet (in two batches, if needed). Reduce heat to medium-low; gently top sandwiches with a lid slightly smaller than skillet for even cooking. Cook, flipping once halfway through, until crisp and golden on both sides and cheese is melted, 7 to 9 minutes. Serve immediately.

    hands holding grilled cheese
    Sidney Bensimon
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