I am originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, home of the Cheese Frenchee, which is an amazingly delicious deep fried cheese sandwich. Having just bought an Instant Pot Vortex Plus air fryer, I decided to try my hand at an air fryer cheese frenchee version. The result was great! By the way, you can read my Instant Pot Vortex Review for more info on the air fryer. See that yummy fried cheese below? The Instant Pot Vortex cheese frenchee recipe was a major hit!
Cheese frenchees are also sometimes known or spelled as cheese frenchies or cheese frenchys.
About the Cheese Frenchee
When I moved to Illinois I was surprised to find that nobody had ever heard of a cheese frenchee. Apparently it really is just a Nebraska thing. The Cheese Frenchee originated from a drive in restaurant called Kings’ Food Host in Lincoln, Nebraska. King’s was my favorite as a child, and they made not just great deep fried cheese sandwiches, but also wonderful burgers and onion rings. King’s was eventually closed, but later reborn in part by a local fast food brand, Amigos/Kings, so the cheese frenchee made its return. A restaurant called Don and Millies in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska also makes cheese frenchees.
If you are looking for a more standard grilled cheese, try this Air fryer grilled cheese recipe from Katykicker. It is a bit simpler to make than the cheese frenchee here.
Air Fryer Cheese Frenchee Recipe
Normally, a cheese frenchee is deep fried at about 375 degrees. Using the air fryer makes it quicker and simpler. But, it still is a messy proposition as it involves dipping in a thick batter and rolling in corn flakes. Don’t expect a super clean kitchen with these! But I find the messy dipping kind of fun.
My original deep fried sandwich recipe called for using crushed corn flakes, so I stuck with that, but you can use Ritz crackers, panko, or other break crumbs. You can also make variations of the frenchee such as a ham and cheese frenchee or tuna frencheee.
Start off by mixing up a batter of egg, milk, flour, and salt. Then crush corn flakes by putting them in a baggie and running a rolling pin over them.
For the sandwiches, typically the crust is cut from the bread, although you can leave it on if desired. Add mayo or Miracle Whip (another Midwestern thing it seems) to the bread and two slices of American cheese. You want all of the cheese under the bread, so fold it in half or cut it as needed. Then slice the sandwiches into triangles.
Now comes the messy part! Coat the triangles with the batter and then roll them in the crushed cornflakes. It is messy, messy, messy! But sort of fun too! I find that using a spoon to help coat them makes it a bit easier, but ultimately you will have batter all over your hands.
Lay the cheese frenchees onto an air fryer tray and air fry for 6 minutes, turning half way. I preheated the Vortex to 375 for the recipe.
When done, remove and eat while the fried cheese sandwiches are still warm. Air frying makes them healthier because no oil is involved. Although let’s not kid ourselves here, these are still pretty decadent sandwiches. Not diet food by any means!
I was quite happy with the results of my air fryer cheese frenchee experiment. If you want to make these the regular way, deep fry them at 375 until golden brown.
- 6 pieces of white or wheat bread, crusts removed
- Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip to taste
- 6 slices of American cheese.
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup crushed corn flakes
- Preheat the air fryer to 375
- Spread Mayo or Miracle Whip on the bread
- Add two slices of cheese folded in half to each sandwich
- Cut the sandwiches into triangles
- Mix egg, milk, flour, and salt to form a thick batter
- Finely crush corn flakes and place in a separate bowl
- Dip the triangles into the batter, coating all sides
- Roll or dip the triangles in the corn flakes until fully coated
- Air fry on a vented tray for 6 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway though.
- Serve warm
This is a rather messy recipe! Be prepared for gooey hands. But it is worth it!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 1462mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 15g