These Are The Best Cheeses For Cheeseburgers

When you picture a cheeseburger, you probably imagine the classic style we've all seen somewhere in our lives: beef patty, onion rings, tomato, lettuce, and, of course, a melty slice of American cheese. But American, while certainly delicious and a standard pick, is far from the only cheese option you've got when you're assembling your cheeseburger!

Different cheeses will, naturally enough, add different flavors to your burger. They'll also boast different textures and a variety of melting properties. From the stretchy cheeses that turn your burger into an Instagrammable cheese pull extravaganze to oozy cheeses that drip onto your plate and infuse the burger with loads of flavor, the possibilities are nigh on endless. And while the classic burger is, of course, made with beef, many of these options pair just as well with a leaner turkey burger or veggie burger as they do with our old medium-rare standby.

So if you're looking for a way to change up this diner and cookout classic, look no further. We've got your cheese options on lock with these recommendations for the best cheeses you can put on your cheeseburger.

Blue cheese

Funky blue cheese is an ideal way to add some gourmet spin to your burger, so it's no surprise that it's a standby of bistro menus looking to bump their burger offerings up to the next level. This cheese, which is typically lined with veins of blue mold, has a uniquely piquant flavor. Its pungency marries exceptionally well with the rich flavor of the beef and truly elevates the burger. Plus, since it's so flavorful, you don't actually have to use that much cheese to get a proper blue cheese experience.

Given its rich aroma, blue cheese plays well with other strong toppings. If you want some hints for pairing with this funky cheese, consider pilling on some deeply caramelized onions, a hot Buffalo sauce, or savory bacon. It's no surprise that one of the best burgers Guy Fieri ever tasted on his Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives paired blue cheese and bacon, ending with a burger that the host deemed was "righteous" and a "grand slam."

It also helps to pay attention to the variety of blue cheese that you're selecting for your burger. Different blue cheeses will afford a slightly different flavor and texture to your final meal. Reach for some crumbly Roquefort if you want a truly powerful blue cheese, or opt for a slice of creamy Gorgonzola Dolce for a slightly milder, sweeter flavor and a truly melty texture.

American cheese

Sure, you may have seen it before, but know that American cheese is a burger classic for good reason! Due to how it's processed (and, okay, the fact that it's technically not considered cheese), American cheese melts beautifully without ever becoming stringy or congealed like many other kinds of dairy products. As a result, it's no surprise that American cheese features in many folks' favorite burger recipes. American is the cheese of choice for the Minnesota molten-heart classic that is the Juicy Lucy, according to Lifehacker. You've got to try really hard to make this particular stuffed-burger dish work with other cheeses, but American makes it beautifully easy to achieve the perfect cheesy center of a Juicy Lucy.

Of course, due to its processed nature, American cheese gets a bit of a bad rap. But it really shouldn't, at least not if you're consuming it in moderation. You just need to choose the best brand for you. Serious Eats got, well, serious and tried ten different brands to suss out the very best, so opt for one of their favorite options or choose a brand you love to make a classic cheeseburger that's sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


If a cheese's melting ability is your top criterion for whether it passes muster on your burger, then Swiss raclette has got the one for you. According to The Spruce Eats, this semisoft Alpine cow's milk cheese boasts a nutty flavor and a rich, lactic aroma. And, key to our purposes here, it was also basically designed to melt beautifully over a piping hot burger. 

In both Switzerland and France, raclette cheese is traditionally eaten as part of a dish that boasts the same name. To make it, a half-wheel of the cheese is placed on a special melting apparatus, and a spatula is used to scrape (racler, in French) the molten cheese onto plates of potatoes, pickles, and other charcuterie favorites. 

A slice of this cheese placed atop a burger will, unsurprisingly, melt just as beautifully as it does over anything else. Even better, it will also add a rich, nutty, and slightly funky quality to your burger. It's not the full, in-your-face funk of a really aged blue cheese, but it will still add a pleasant new twist to the meal. Consider pairing it with cornichon pickles for a touch of acidic crunch that hearkens to the original Swiss dish.

Swiss cheese

Did you know that the cheese we call Swiss is actually known as Emmental back in Switzerland? A classic of both Swiss and French cheesemakers, this holey cheese is mild yet nutty and slightly tangy. That makes it just about the perfect contender to stand in for American cheese on a rich, all-beef burger.

In addition to its delightful flavor, Swiss cheese is also a phenomenal melting cheese. In fact, it's a classic ingredient in Swiss cheese fondue. It does have the tendency to become stringy when heated, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you enjoy a good cheese pull when you take a bite of your burger. Swiss cheese creates phenomenal strings of itself for a super photogenic burger that's as delicious as it is fun to snap pictures of. What more could you ask for, really?

Pair Swiss cheese with other savory, umami-rich toppings like roasted tomatoes, pan-cooked mushrooms, or griddled onions that will add even more flavor to your burger. A touch of Dijon mustard on the bun really brings out the aromas of the cheese, too, so be sure to keep that handy as well.


Cheddar cheese is a super flavorful culinary powerhouse, with nutty, sharp, and salty tasting notes that make it another standard in the American cheese landscape. But can it stand up to the heat of a grill and melt properly over a burger?

The reality is that cheddar isn't quite as good of a melter as some other varieties of cheese. Indeed, if you're not mindful of how to use it, incorporating cheddar can render omelets or pasta bakes oily as the cheese begins to separate. And this holds even more true for older, aged cheddar, which is tougher to melt, given that the protein strands in it break down slightly with time. All told, if you top your burger with a slice of cheddar cheese, you might risk rendering the burger greasy instead of cheesy and delicious.

That's not to say that the cause is entirely lost if you love both cheddar and burgers, however. Cheddar cheese melts best when it's mixed with other ingredients in a roux or a béchamel sauce, as it often is for mac and cheese. But it can work on a burger, as long as you shred it! According to PopularAsk, shredding cheddar cheese makes it far easier to melt, and as long as you serve your burgers to order (that is, you serve it up before the cheddar congeals and thickens as it cools) you'll be rewarded with a very tasty burger indeed.

Monterey Jack

A common substitute for cheddar, mild Monterey Jack is a Mexican cheese that's especially well known for being a good melter. You'll often find it sold either plain or infused with some wonderfully hot chiles, which lends your burger a spicy kick and is often termed "pepper Jack". Pair pepper Jack with other flavorful toppings like bacon, grilled onions, or even more chiles to bump your burger up to the next flavor level (assuming you're fine with a bit of heat, depending on the exact type of cheese). You can also smother the burgers with mild salsa or rich, cooling guacamole to balance out the heat of the cheese itself and to lend even more Mexican flair to the burgers.

Thanks to Monterey Jack's phenomenal melting properties, it is sometimes paired with even more flavorful cheeses to reap the best of both worlds. Per AllRecipes, Colby Jack and Cheddar Jack are two such Franken-cheeses that blend the aromas of Colby and Cheddar with the meltiness and relatively mild heat and flavor of a classic Monetery Jack. Those such cheese are really a match made in heaven, especially for burger fans.


Taken on melting abilities alone, halloumi cheese might not seem like it's the best cheese for a cheeseburger. After all, halloumi is quite famous for not melting when heated. Instead, when it's cooked in a pan or on a grill, this cheese retains its squeaky texture. That holds true even when it's subjected to especially intense methods, like searing or deep-frying. But don't disregard halloumi as an entrant in the burger cheese canon — there's a method to this madness!

Given its ability to hold together exceptionally well under extreme cooking conditions, halloumi makes an excellent vegetarian replacement for the patty in your burger. It, therefore, turns a cheeseburger into, well, a burger made from cheese. And if you're really serious about enjoying your cheese, what's not to love about that prospect? All told, whether it's pan-seared, grilled, or deep-fried, this Mediterranean cheese makes a phenomenal veggie burger base.

Halloumi burgers are delicious on their own, but the mild cheese also benefits from a bit of help when it comes to additional ingredients. Grilled mushrooms, peppers, or tomatoes help kick the flavor of these burgers up a notch. Halloumi can also benefit from being basted in a marinade that's either savory or sweet. For instance, a bit of lemon juice and olive oil adds a simply delicious note with plenty of freshness, while a sticky pomegranate molasses lends a uniquely sweet and savory flavor that you'll surely love.


Unlike halloumi, feta is a great melting cheese, thanks to its comparatively high water content. Now, you won't be getting any cheese pull here, but you will get a puddle of delightful funk thanks to this sheep's milk cheese's rich, tangy flavor. It's also extremely versatile, willingly softening atop or within a burger but also blending nicely into a creamy cheese sauce that you can smear on the bun before assembling the burger.

Use feta to add a bit of an unusual flair to your burgers: paired with creamy guacamole or stuffed into the patties for a molten surprise, feta is a welcome change to the classic burger setup. And since it plays so well with lamb, feta is the perfect accompaniment if you want to swap out the beef for slightly gamier meat with a more distinct taste. Pair those burgers with herbs like lamb-friendly mint and parsley for even more flavor. Want yet more flavor? Consider topping those burgers with some oil-packed sundried tomatoes for a touch of umami that will skyrocket your burgers to another flavor universe.


The standard soft French-style Brie cheese is pretty darn melty at room temperature already, so it should come as no surprise that it works especially well on a cheeseburger. With a nutty, oftentimes mushroom-like taste, this cheese from just outside the capital city of Paris packs a truly flavorful punch. If you want a savory cheese with darn near incomparable melting qualities, then you should really consider throwing a bit of Brie on top of your next burger.

While Brie can certainly top a burger all on its own, it's also fun to pair it up with some other flavor combinations. Pairing Brie with sweet figs or cranberries or even some savory, slightly peppery scallions lends your burger a delightful gourmet flair. And a Bried-topped burger plays wonderfully well with the richness of a good slice or two of bacon.

A word to the wise: no matter how much you heat it, Leaf reports that the rind of Brie cheese won't ever melt. Bon Appétit notes that it is safe for you to eat, however, and a bit of rind here can add a really nice textural component to your burger. But if you'd prefer the pure meltiness of the oozing center of a wheel of Brie, then be sure to trim off the white rind before adding it to your burgers. If nothing else, those bits of rind with some Brie attached make a nice little snack for the hardworking chef!