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Cooking school 101: Tamara’s guide to best-ever toasties

cheese toastie

Easy, quick and stuffed with cheesy goodness

There’s something irresistible about a toastie. The crunch of the bread. The satisfying stretch of the cheese. The comfort, the versatility and not to mention the ease — how quickly something so delicious can come together. Toasties really are the perfect comfort food. Discover the best toastie recipes to make as a comforting meal or snack, from the ultimate cheese toastie made with garlic bread to a gourmet jaffle with the lot.

Expert Tamara




“Toasties, toasted sandwiches, jaffles – or whatever you like to call them – are simple, tasty, and endlessly customisable. What are the best toastie fillings? What’s the best bread to use for a toastie? What should you butter your toastie with? And, most importantly, what's the best cheese for a toastie? There’s a lot to consider. No doubt you’ve heard (and tried!) plenty of tips for creating the perfect toastie. To minimise fuss and maximise flavour, I’ve rounded up my guide to making the best-ever toasties. Now get stuck in!”

- Tamara

Which bread is best to use for toasties?


Crusty loaves

Using flatbreads – such as Turkish bread, Lebanese bread or focaccia – is ideal if you like extra crunch. As the flatbread has a larger outer crust, your toastie will become crispy and crusty.


Sourdough is sturdy and flavourful. This versatile all-rounder also contains a little less water than other breads, so it should give you a nicely golden crust.


Thick brioche bread is best suited for simpler, lighter fillings or spreads. It brings richness and has a soft texture. Make sure you keep your eye on it, as brioche will toast faster than regular bread.

Sliced loaves

Sliced loaves are perfect when you’re using appliances such as jaffle makers, where fillings need a pocket and the bread is easily moulded. Sliced bread is also ideal when making toasties for kids, as it doesn’t have a hard crust and is easier for them to eat.

What’s the best way to butter a toastie?


Garlic butter

Spreading garlic butter on the outside of the bread before toasting will add extra flavour. Garlic can burn easily, so reduce the heat for the perfect golden exterior.


For a toastie with a deep, golden crust, spread mayonnaise on the outside. It has a higher smoke point than butter so it won’t burn as quickly, making it ideal for thicker breads or fillings that need more time.


Thick brioche bread is best suited for simpler, lighter fillings or spreads. It brings richness and has a soft texture. Make sure you keep your eye on it, as brioche will toast faster than regular bread.

Extra virgin olive oil

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or spritz of extra virgin olive oil cooking spray on the outside of the bread will turn it brown and crisp, but not as much as butter would.


Spread butter on the outside of the toastie to give it a golden, crispy exterior and rich flavour. Melted or softened butter is easier to spread, so melt your firm butter before use. 


Another way to boost your toastie’s flavour is to add parmesan. Butter the outside of the bread and sprinkle over parmesan before cooking for a crispy, caramelised result.

Which cheese is best for toasties?


Shredded cheese

For convenience, you can’t go past pre-shredded cheese. Try blends with a mix of mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan for a delicious flavour.

Semi-hard cheese

Cheddar, colby, gouda and gruyère give toasties great flavour. Slice or shred the cheese, then add it to sandwiches. The cheese will melt and ooze to perfection.

Soft cheese

Varieties such as feta, cream cheese, fresh mozzarella, bocconcini and goat cheese can be incorporated into your toasties, but some have a higher water content and will create steam or release liquid when toasted. Use them sparingly and, depending on the cheese, crumble or thinly slice them.

Hard cheese

Cheeses such as parmesan, pecorino, manchego and grana padano add a depth of flavour. Finely grate or shred hard cheese before using.

What makes the best toastie filling?



Chutney adds a combination of acidity and sweetness to toasties. Either spread it inside the bread or serve it on the side. Mustard adds a peppery hit from the ground mustard seeds, creating a flavour similar to that of mild horseradish.


The acidity of gherkins, cornichons, pickled chillies and other vegetables cuts through the richness of cheese while accentuating its flavour.

Fresh produce

To avoid a soggy toastie, pre-cook pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms – they release water and won’t cook properly inside the bread. Tomatoes, red onion, avocado, capsicum or leafy greens, such as rocket and spinach, can be added fresh. Also try leftover roast veggies.

Deli meats and proteins

Ham isn’t the only protein you can add to a toastie. Try roast beef, salami, shaved turkey, shredded cooked chicken, flaked or canned fish, pulled meats, cooked sausages, cooked bacon or even a sliced boiled egg.

What's the best way to cook a toastie?


Campfire jaffle iron

The main benefit of using a cast iron jaffle wand is that it doesn’t require electricity to operate, so it’s great for camping and outdoor cooking. Make sure the iron is well oiled for ease of cooking and a smooth release. Cast iron retains heat evenly, so it’ll produce golden and crisp toasties.

Air fryer

An air fryer will crisp and brown the bread evenly while also melting the cheese. The bread stays crisp and dry while the air flows around it. It’s also easy to check on the toastie without interfering with the cooking process.

Cast iron pan

Keep the temperature low for slow and even cooking results. The cast iron holds heat and crisps the bread evenly while slowly melting the cheese. You can also check the toastie’s colour with a simple lift.

Jaffle maker

A jaffle maker is perfect for cooking toasties with wetter fillings, such as bolognese, baked beans or macaroni and cheese, which need to be contained in a pocket. You’ll get crispy outer edges with a fluffier bread centre.

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