Grilled cheese sandwiches just got easier this summer, thanks to meal prepping. With make ahead frozen grilled cheese, you can prep now and eat later. Fast, convenient, and just as delicious as fresh!
Did you know that you can meal prep grilled cheese sandwiches? It's true! And they turn out fabulously too. We've been meal prepping a lot lately, especially sandwiches becase they're so fast and easy.
Made with sliced cheese, butter, and bread, these grilled cheese sandwiches are exactly what you're looking for, but with the simplicity and speed we need. This prep today, cook tomorrow method has seriously been helpful to us and our busy schedules. When we're not in the mood for cheese, we opt for Frozen Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches.
🍯 Why This Recipe Works
- It's so convenient! I work from home, so having a simple lunch option that takes hardly any effort or time is fabulous because I can resume work quickly. This is practically a sanity saver during the summer months. Of course if the kids are home, i'll just make Sheet Pan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, because I can cook several at once.
- It's great for older cheeses. We aren't a household that eats cheese at every meal, and we often find packs of sliced cheese going moldy from aging before we can eat it. By prepping freezer grilled cheese sandwiches in advance, the cheese doesn't spoil, so we're technically saving money by NOT wasting food anymore. This is a great tip for Meal Planning on a Tight Budget.
- It tastes just as great as fresh. If you didn't know that this recipe was frozen prior to being cooked, I doubt you'd even notice. The chewy, crunchy texture is exactly what you know and expect from a grilled cheese, and the cheese is perfectly melty too.
Cheddar Cheese- You can use any sliced cheese desired, but we like our grilled cheese sandwiches with cheddar cheese or Muenster cheese.
Sandwich bread- Using sliced sandwich bread is preferred because it's evenly sized and thin, making it a lot easier to cook later.
Butter- Use some softened butter to make the bread golden and crispy when cooked later.
For specific ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card below.
You can use any sliced cheese or bread for this recipe, so feel free to make them unique or keep them as simple as you want.
I have not tried to spread mayo on the outside of the bread, so if you like your grilled cheese with mayo instead of butter, let me know how it turns out.
🔪 Instructions for Frozen Grilled Cheese
Step 1: Spread some softened butter on one side of the bread.
Step 2: Place the bread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, butter side down.
Step 3: Top with one slice of cheese. Note you can double the cheese, but heating it up may take longer.
Step 4: Place another piece of buttered bread over the top of the cheese, the butter side facing up.
Step 5: Freeze on the baking sheet for 2 hours or until solid. Transfer to an airtight container or gallon-sized baggie. They can remain frozen for up to 2 months.
Step 6: When ready to eat, place one frozen sandwich on a microwave-safe plate.
Step 7: Heat in the microwave for 15 seconds.
Step 8: Place onto a preheated skillet over medium heat and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until toasted to your liking.
Step 9: Repeat until all the sandwiches you want have been cooked.
Serve warm and enjoy!
📖 Variations - Cooking Methods
We've enjoyed these sandwiches so many times that we've tested out various cooking methods, and they're all pretty great!
This method is by far the fastest, and it is the one included in the recipe card. 15-30 seconds to thaw in the microwave before toasting on a skillet for a few short minutes, and you're done. You can skip the microwave part, but I find that it helps to prevent cold sandwich centers.
Note that this is NOT the same as making a Microwave Grilled Cheese.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil for easier cleanup. Not parchment paper- that makes the bread soggy!
Lay your frozen sandwiches on the baking sheet in an even layer and cook for 5 minutes. Flip over, and cook the other side for 3-5 minutes or until toasted to your liking.
To cook your sandwiches in an air fryer, lay your frozen sandwiches in the basket and cook at 360 degrees F for 8 minutes. Flip them over at the 4-minute mark to brown both sides.
🍴 Recipe Tips
You do not NEED to thaw the sandwiches beforehand, but you can if you want to. To thaw them in the fridge, place individually bagged frozen grilled cheese in the fridge and thaw overnight or for at least 4 hours before cooking.
When cooking from frozen, a quick trip through the microwave can help speed up the process, but it's optional. I think it works great with the skillet to prevent cold centers, but I've found no difference when using the air fryer or oven method as those cook more evenly and for longer times, so the sandwiches are fully cooked when finished.
Keep your frozen sandwiches in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Freezing them until solid on a baking sheet before storing helps to prevent a mess and keeps the sandwiches from clumping together if stored in the same container.
💭 Recipe FAQs
Yes! If you can separate slices of frozen bread, make this recipe as directed, simply using the frozen bread. You may find it even easier to spread butter since the bread is solid.
Yes, freezing grilled cheese sandwiches is very simple and easy. Perfect for meal prepping!
If using a skillet for cooking your sandwich, cooking it at medium heat works best because too low of heat, and you'll be waiting forever for the cheese to melt and the bread to crisp, but too high of heat and you'll burn the sandwich before the cheese can melt.
❤️ More Delicious Sandwich Recipes
If you tried this make ahead frozen grilled cheese, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and share your feedback in the 📝 comments section below. I would truly appreciate it!
Make Ahead Frozen Grilled Cheese
- 6 slices Cheddar Cheese ($1.11)
- 12 slices Sandwich bread ($0.72)
- 4 Tablespoons Butter, softened ($0.50)
- Spread some softened butter on one side of the bread.
- Place the bread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, butter side down.
- Top with one slice of cheese. Note you can double the cheese, but heating it up may take longer.
- Place another piece of buttered bread over the top of the cheese, the butter side facing up.
- Freeze on the baking sheet for 2 hours or until solid. Transfer to an airtight container or gallon-sized baggie. They can remain frozen for up to 2 months.
- When ready to eat, place one frozen sandwich on a microwave-safe plate.
- Heat in the microwave for 15 seconds.
- Place onto a preheated skillet over medium heat and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until toasted to your liking.
- Repeat until all the sandwiches you want have been cooked.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- Microwave: Fastest method. Thaw in the microwave for 15-30 seconds, then toast in a skillet for a few minutes. Thawing in the microwave helps prevent cold centers.
- Oven: Preheat to 450°F, cook for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Air Fryer: Cook at 360°F for 8 minutes, flipping at the 4-minute mark.
- Thawing is optional, but you can do it in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- Quick microwave thawing is recommended when cooking from frozen, especially for skillet cooking, to ensure no cold centers.