The Perfect Pairings: Discover the 7 Best Cheeses for Your Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Discover the perfect cheeses for your ham and cheese sandwich

A ham and cheese sandwich is a timeless classic that satisfies your craving for a delicious and filling meal. While the combination of ham and cheese is already a winning duo, choosing the right cheese can take your sandwich to a whole new level of flavor. In this article, we explore the seven best cheeses for a ham and cheese sandwich, each offering its own unique flavor and texture.

1. Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese, a favorite in the United States, is a hard cheese with a slightly tangy flavor. It is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and comes in a variety of forms, including blocks, slices and spreads. Cheddar cheese pairs perfectly with ham, especially honey-glazed ham, adding a creamy texture and complementing the savory flavors. For an enhanced experience, choose an aged variety of cheddar for a more intense flavor and firmer texture.

2. Swiss Cheese

When it comes to cold ham and cheese sandwiches, Swiss cheese is an excellent choice. The sharp flavor of Swiss cheese nicely complements the saltiness of the ham and cuts through its fatty parts. Two popular Swiss cheeses, Emmental and Gruyère, are known for their exceptional flavor and melting ability. The holes in Swiss cheese help capture the flavors of the ham, creating a more flavorful pairing.

3. Brie

Brie, a popular French cheese, has a soft, rich and creamy texture with an earthy and slightly tangy flavor. When paired with smoked ham, the earthiness of Brie cuts through the saltiness, creating a delightful balance. As Brie ages, it develops a stronger flavor and becomes more aromatic, adding character to your sandwich. Its buttery texture makes it a classic choice for cold ham sandwiches.

4. Provolone

Provolone, an Italian cheese made from full-fat cow’s milk, has a semi-firm, grainy texture. It has a mild, slightly tangy flavor that pairs well with a cold ham sandwich. Provolone melts easily, making it a great option for those who prefer a warm ham and cheese sandwich. Its subtle sweetness balances the saltiness of the ham and complements meats such as salami, mortadella and prosciutto.

5. Havarti

Havarti, a semi-soft cheese native to Denmark, has a springy texture and a mild buttery flavor with hints of sweetness and acidity. It adds creaminess and sweetness to your ham sandwich without overpowering the other flavors. Havarti can be sliced, grilled or melted, making it a versatile choice for a variety of sandwiches.

6. Gouda

Gouda, a semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands, offers a range of flavors from mildly sweet and buttery to nutty and caramelized. The age of the cheese determines its flavor and texture. Aged Gouda adds an extra layer of flavor to your ham sandwich, while younger Gouda is softer and melts easily. Smoked Gouda is also an option for those looking for a smoky flavor.

7. Blue Cheese

For a bold and distinctive flavor, consider using blue cheese in your ham and cheese sandwich. Blue cheese is aged with Penicillium cultures, resulting in its characteristic blue-green veins or mold spots. It has a salty and pungent flavor that cuts through the richness of the ham. Adding fresh lettuce and sliced tomatoes to your blue cheese and ham sandwich can further enhance the flavor.
These seven cheeses, cheddar, Swiss, brie, provolone, havarti, gouda, and blue cheese, each bring their own unique qualities to a ham and cheese sandwich. Don’t be afraid to experiment and mix different cheeses to create a flavor combination that suits your taste buds. Whether you prefer a cold or warm sandwich, there is a cheese that will enhance your ham and cheese experience. So the next time you’re making a ham and cheese sandwich, consider these cheeses to take it to the next level of deliciousness.


What makes cheddar cheese a good choice for a ham and cheese sandwich?

Cheddar’s strong flavor complements the savory flavor of the ham, adds a creamy texture, and balances the sweetness of the bread.

Why is Swiss cheese recommended for cold ham and cheese sandwiches?

Swiss cheese has a pungent flavor that pairs well with the saltiness of the ham and cuts through its fatty parts, creating a delicious combination.

What makes Brie a good cheese for ham sandwiches?

Brie’s soft, rich and creamy texture, along with its slightly earthy and tangy flavor, adds depth to the sandwich and complements smoked ham perfectly.

What makes Provolone a popular choice for ham and cheese sandwiches?

Provolone’s mild and slightly tangy flavor pairs well with cold ham, and its melting ability also makes it a great option for hot sandwiches.

Why is Gouda a recommended cheese for ham and cheese sandwiches?

Gouda cheese offers a range of flavors, from mildly sweet to nutty and caramelized, which adds complexity to the sandwich. Aged Gouda adds an extra layer of flavor, while smoked Gouda adds a smoky twist.