Starbucks Grilled Cheese Recipe


It’s true–Starbucks makes one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches around. How do they do it? Isn’t grilled cheese just grilled cheese? What is Starbucks’ secret?

The secret to the Starbucks grilled cheese sandwich is the butter-parmesan crust. Starbucks also uses sourdough bread and a combination of mozzarella and white cheddar cheeses. 

Yes, you can make this sandwich at home. No fancy ingredients or equipment required–you probably even have most of the ingredients already. Want to save $6 and not have to wait in line? Read on for the best copycat Starbucks grilled cheese recipe. 

Starbucks grilled cheese

How To Make Starbucks Grilled Cheese

You don’t even have to go anywhere. You can do this in your PJs. You can make one for each member of your family and not spend $30 on bread and cheese. You can get your grilled cheese fix whenever you want. It’s easy but it might take a little practice. 

Just five ingredients are required, that’s it.

The ingredients below make one sandwich, but you can make as many as you like. If you have a very large pan, you can try to do more than one, but you will need to make sure you have even heat under your pan or skillet and can space the sandwiches at least an inch apart. 

You will also need a small bowl to mix your butter, a pan or electric skillet, and maybe a lid or cookie sheet to cover with (the lid is optional, but it will help melt your cheese). 

Starbucks Grilled Cheese Recipe

4 from 9 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: LunchCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





What makes the Starbucks grilled cheese so amazing? Here’s the secret–and you can make this at home.


  • 2 Tbsp 2 softened butter (must be soft enough to spread)

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Parmesan cheese

  • 4 slices 4 sourdough bread

  • 2 slices 2 mozzarella cheese (could be grated if that is what you have)

  • 2 slices 2 white cheddar cheese (could be grated if that is what you have)


  • Mix together your softened butter and parmesan cheese in a small bowl. (After you try this, you may never make grilled cheese without parmesan again.)
  • Spread your butter mixture on one side of each piece of sourdough bread.
  • Place one piece of buttered bread facing buttered side down and top with mozzarella and cheddar slices. You may have to trim the cheese to fit inside the bread, but just add the trimmed parts on top of the cheese slices. Then top with the other piece of bread, buttered side up.
  • Heat your pan or skillet to medium/low and add your sandwich to the middle of the skillet. You can cover it briefly to get the cheese to melt. After 1-2 minutes, flip the sandwich. It should be golden brown on the toasted side.
  • After both sides are toasted to a nice golden brown, remove from heat, cut and eat. Best served immediately.

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What Kind of Cheese Is Starbucks Grilled Cheese? 

Starbucks uses this combo of mozzarella and white cheddar, but that doesn’t mean you have to. You can experiment and come up with your own custom grilled cheese. 

Grilled cheese sandwiches are always better and more complex when they use more than one type of cheese. Use at least one type of cheese that melts nicely and isn’t too oily. Favorite melty cheeses include Fontina, Provolone, Havarti, American, Monterey Jack, Colby, and Gouda. 

Add another type of cheese for intense flavor. Yellow cheddar and Swiss are good flavorful options.

You don’t have to spend a lot on your cheese–even just regular deli slices will melt nicely and taste amazing. 

Can I Use Grated Cheese in Starbucks Grilled Cheese? 

Sliced cheese melts more evenly than grated cheese, though that doesn’t mean you can’t pile up some grated cheddar and mozzarella if that is what you have. Just try to make an even layer and make sure it is melted through the middle. 

Tips & Tricks

Watch the Heat

Make sure you keep your sandwich on medium to low heat. It takes some patience to melt all that cheese, but it’s worth it. Grilled cheese sandwiches can turn from nicely browned to burned in no time at all. 

Flip your sandwich when the first side is uniformly browned.

You can put a lid on the pan for a minute or so to melt the cheese, then remove it so the bread will brown. 

Don’t walk away from your sandwich! That’s a good way to end up with blackened grilled cheese. 

Use Great Bread

You can use any type of bread for a grilled cheese, though this will work best with a slightly heavy sourdough that is thick enough to hold up while the cheese is melting. 

What Type of Parmesan Do I Use for Starbucks Grilled Cheese?

Anything you want–you just want to add that extra tangy kick and crispiness to the outside of the bread. Pre-grated parmesan doesn’t melt super well, but it will work for this recipe if you don’t have a block of parmesan. You don’t need very much. 

What Can I Add to Starbucks Grilled Cheese? 

You don’t need to stop at just cheese. Add some ham or turkey, or maybe even some sliced tomato, avocado, or spinach. 


Can I Make Starbucks Grilled Cheese in an Air Fryer?

Definitely. The setup is the same. You will air fry at 400 degrees for a few minutes on each side. Make sure you watch your bread and turn it over when it is golden brown.

Can I Store a Starbucks Grilled Cheese?

If you must, yes, though they are best eaten right off the skillet. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag for a day or so. 

Other Starbucks Copycat Recipes

Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha

Starbucks Flat White

Starbucks Vanilla Syrup

Starbucks Spinach Feta Wrap

Starbucks Iced Coffee


Yes, you can make a Starbucks grilled cheese right at home. Get good sourdough, use two cheeses, and don’t skip the parm! It may be even better than the one you get at Starbucks. 

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