Toasted Cheese vs. Grilled Cheese

The names “toasted cheese” and “grilled cheese,” used for a warm cheese sandwich, are often used interchangeably, depending on where in the world you are from. However, the two sandwiches are more different than you might think. Here is the real difference between toasted cheese vs. grilled cheese.

Grilled cheese is assembled as a sandwich and buttered on both sides of the bread, then cooked on a griddle or in a pan. Toasted cheese is two slices of bread and cheese, and it is cooked open face in a toaster oven or under a broiler.

What is the Difference Between a Toasted Cheese and a Grilled Cheese?

Aside from the methods of cooking and the ingredients involved, the main difference between a toasted cheese and a grilled cheese is the name. Most Americans call the sandwich a grilled cheese, while in the UK it is usually called a toasted cheese. The sandwiches are essentially the same, with a few ingredient/cooking differences.

How to Make Both Sandwiches

How to Make a Toasted Cheese

  1. For a toasted cheese sandwich, you take two slices of bread and the amount and type of cheese desired.
  2. Put your cheese on one slice, and place both slices next to each other on the baking sheet.
  3. You then toast your sandwich, open faced, in a toaster oven, until each slice of bread is golden-brown, and your cheese is melted.
  4. Assemble your sandwich and you’re good to go!

How to Make a Grilled Cheese

  1. For a grilled cheese sandwich, you’ll need two slices of bread, the amount and type of cheese of your choice, and butter.
  2. Butter one side of each slice of bread and put your cheese on one slice of bread.
  3. Assemble your sandwich with the butter sides out, then place your sandwich in a pan or skillet over medium heat.
  4. Using a spatula, flip your sandwich to the other side when the bread is golden-brown on one side.
  5. Cook until the second slice of toast is golden-brown as well.
  6. Plate your sandwich, and you’re all done!

What to Expect with Each Sandwich

While the basic concept of a grilled cheese and a toasted cheese is the same, there will be some slight differences in flavor and texture.

Toasted Cheese

Made without butter, your toasted cheese will not be as oily as a grilled cheese sandwich would be. The bread will also be a bit drier. Toasted cheese sandwiches can be made with any variety of bread and cheese, but they are usually just those two ingredients.

Grilled Cheese

Since both slices of bread are buttered before cooking, your toast is not as dry as a toasted cheese sandwich would be. The butter for a grilled cheese sandwich is used so your bread does not stick to the pan or skillet.

In addition to butter, bread, and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches can have other ingredients added to them. Some people add tomatoes to their grilled cheese sandwiches or serve them with tomato soup.

What to Serve with a Toasted/Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Since both sandwiches are very similar in taste and texture, there are similarities between what you can serve alongside your sandwich. Here are some side options.

  • The most common side for a toasted or grilled cheese sandwich is tomato soup. Tomato soup complements the toasted bread and the melted cheese, and it can be used to dip your sandwich in.
  • To add some vegetables into your meal, you can make a side salad to go with your sandwich. Grilled cheese sandwiches are greasy, so a healthier side is a good option.
  • Marinara sauce can be used as a condiment for your sandwich if you have a jar and don’t want to whip up tomato soup. Marinara sauce is thicker than tomato soup, but it is used as a dipping sauce for mozzarella sticks and the like, so it will go well with a cheese sandwich, too.
  • Jam, jelly, or a marmalade can be a good addition to your sandwich. Depending on the type of cheese you use, there are jams that will pair well, and the sweetness will mix well with the savory of the toasted/grilled cheese.
  • Coleslaw is another classic side. Usually served with hot dogs or hamburgers, toasted/grilled cheese sandwiches are very similar, and coleslaw is good healthy, savory side.
  • A fruit salad will add some sweetness to your meal, complementing the toasted sandwich well.
  • French fries or sweet potato fries work as well, if you want extra carbs.