How to Make a Cheese Frenchee, aka a Deep Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Updated: Apr. 28, 2024

Nebraska's secret is out! Let's talk deep-fried grilled cheese—aka Cheese Frenchee.

Just when you think things couldn’t get cheesier than Texas Roadhouse Rattlesnake Bites or crispier than KFC Fried Chicken, Nebraska goes and does the unthinkable: deep-fried grilled cheese.

Known as a Cheese Frenchee, these crumb-coated, golden triangles of cheesy bliss have Nebraskans doing the happy dance. Meanwhile, the other 49 states are simply jealous that they didn’t think of this “golden” idea first.

Don’t miss these other top recipes from Nebraska.

What Is a Cheese Frenchee?

A Cheese Frenchee/Frenchie is, at its core, a deep-fried grilled cheese sandwich with a crispy, crunchy coating. While this sounds like some crazy State Fair food invention from recent years, this heavenly deep-fried treat has been enjoyed in Nebraska since the 1950s.

The sandwich was first served at a King’s Food Host in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Cheese Frenchee got its name because of its (unrefined) resemblance to France’s Croque Monsieur.

Today, you can find Cheese Frenchees on the menu at several Nebraska fast-food eateries across the state including Don & Millie’s and Amigos/Kings Classic.

How to Make a Cheese Frenchee

Yield: 1 sandwich

Ingredients

 Cheese Frenchee Lauren Habermehl For Taste Of Home

  • 2 slices thick-sliced bread (such as Texas toast)
  • 2-3 slices American or cheddar cheese
  • 4 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cornflakes, crushed
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying

Directions

Step 1: Assemble

assemble Cheese Frenchee Lauren Habermehl For Taste Of Home

Spread 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread. Then, on one piece of bread, place a slice of cheese on top of the mayonnaise. Top with the other slice of bread to make a sandwich.

Editor’s Tip: Feel free to adjust the amount of cheese to suit your tastes. We found that 2 slices of cheese were fine, but 3 slices were cheese heaven.

Step 2: Trim

 Cheese Frenchee Lauren Habermehl For Taste Of Home

Using a sharp knife, trim the crusts off the sandwich on all sides. Then, cut in half diagonally so you have two triangle-shaped halves. Set aside.

Fill a deep fryer or Dutch oven with 2-3 inches of oil and preheat to 350°F.

Step 3: Mix and Prep

 Cheese Frenchee Lauren Habermehl For Taste Of Home

While the oil preheats, whisk together the egg, flour, milk and salt until a smooth batter forms. If the batter seems too heavy, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time. In a second shallow bowl, add the crushed cornflakes.

Step 4: Dip

 Cheese Frenchee Lauren Habermehl For Taste Of Home

Taking half of the sandwich, dip the triangle into the batter, evenly coating all sides.

Step 5: Coat

 Cheese Frenchee Lauren Habermehl For Taste Of Home

Next, dredge the batter-covered sandwich in the cornflakes, pressing the crumbs gently onto all sides of the sandwich.

Step 6: Fry

 frying Cheese Frenchee Lauren Habermehl For Taste Of Home

Carefully lower one half of the sandwich into the hot oil. Deep fry the sandwich until golden and crisp on all sides, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet to cool. Repeat with the second half of the sandwich.

Editor’s Tip: We recommend flipping the sandwich once halfway through frying for a Cheese Frenchee that is perfectly golden on all sides. Here are more tips to help you deep fry at home.

Step 7: Devour

Serve warm while the cheese is still melty and gooey. Enjoy!

Tips for Making a Cheese Frenchee

 Cheese Frenchee Lauren Habermehl For Taste Of Home

What cheese goes on a Cheese Frenchee?

No need to get fancy here. Cheese Frenchees served in Nebraska keep things simple with classic American cheese singles (e.g., Kraft) or good old-fashioned cheddar cheese.

If you want to deviate from the standard recipe, you may get inventive with other cheeses. Just know that the sandwich may not get approved by The Official Nebraska Cheese Frenchee Council (we wish that was a real thing).

What kind of bread should I use?

Thick-sliced bread with a little heft is key for the perfect Cheese Frenchee. Since the crust is removed, a Texas toast-style bread (from the bread aisle, not the frozen garlic bread) will hold up best after being battered and fried. Thin slices of soft white bread run the risk of becoming smooshed or soggy, so give your Frenchee a little insurance and go thick with your bread slices.

How do I make a great crumb coating?

For breading that won’t fall off or allow the cheese to escape, go for a combination of super-fine crumbs as well as larger pieces. The finer crumbs fill in all the nooks and crannies, while larger flakes add tons of great texture and crunch.

How do I avoid a soggy Cheese Frenchee?

After frying, the best way to keep your Frenchee crispy until ready to serve is to let it drain and cool on a wire cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. Don’t drain on layers of paper towels or a cutting board. Doing so will trap moisture under the sandwich and not let air circulate—causing the bottom side of the sandwich to become sad and soggy.