Simple Pesto Grilled Cheese

sandwich stacked with melty cheese

This Simple Pesto Grilled Cheese is extra cheesy, loaded with pesto on buttery, crispy bread! It’s the best and most delicious comfort food when eaten next to a big bowl of soup.

Is there anything more classic than grilled cheese?! Probably not. The best comfort food, especially as we head into September, which is definitely for me, finally Fall! 

It makes me feel so cozy and happy – especially paired with a big warm bowl of soup. 

Pair it with a blanket, my favorite TV show (which is currently Psych, if you’re curious – I may be about 10 years behind but I’m obsessed!) then I have the perfect night! 

Why This Grilled Cheese is Exceptional 

Of course the classic grilled cheese is delicious on its own. Growing up as a kid it was the classic white bread, american cheese and margarine. And I can’t lie, it was delicious. 

But, hi, we are taking it UP A NOTCH TODAY! 

We have thick seeded bread loaded up with tangy sharp pesto topped with alllll of the melty cheese. 

hearty slices of bread with a layer of pesto on top.

Mind you, this is all sandwiched (pun intended) in between 2 perfectly golden brown buttery pieces of bread (yes, real butter!!) 

Combined together, it’s insanely savory, tasty, you will absolutely have cheese pulls as you take bites of this deliciousness. 

So let’s get into exactly what you need for it! 

Key Ingredients for the BEST Grilled Cheese: 

Thick bread of your choice – Using just normal white bread will most likely make the pesto bleed through the bread – you need a thick, hearty bread to make sure that the pesto doesn’t seep through! 

Salted butter – I feel like an explanation isn’t necessary here but salted butter adds to the savoriness of the dish and makes the bread perfectly golden 

Cheese – I think for this, a blend of sharp white cheddar and mozzarella work the best. The white cheddar helps stand up to the intense pesto flavor and the mozzarella is extra melty! Combined, they make the PERFECT grilled cheese! 

cheese on top of the bread with pesto

Pesto – You can absolutely make homemade pesto – I love this cashew pesto recipe. However, I developed this recipe to be super simple and quick – so, hello store-bought pesto and I have no shame about it! I love both the Aldi brand and the Barilla pesto. 

Your favorite soup to pair it with – I love a hearty tomato soup that you can buy in the store – doctor it up with a splash of heavy cream and fresh basil!

Best Grilled Cheese Making Tips

Spread the pesto on both sides of the bread! This will ensure that you get extra basil goodness. I used 1 tbsp per side of bread to make sure that I had that delicious flavor in each bite. 

bowl of tomato soup in background with parmesan cheese on top with two slices of grilled cheese in front

For extra golden crispy bread, make sure to butter both sides of the bread AND add a small bit of butter to the skillet. 

Use whatever type of cheese you think will go well with the pesto! You can use sliced, shredded..whatever you have in the fridge! The cheese that I used was pre-shredded and it worked well!

overhead shot of golden grilled cheese with black bowl of tomato soup and wooden bowl of parmesan to the side.

Make sure the skillet doesn’t get too hot! You want it on a medium heat – if the butter gets too hot too quickly, your bread will burn! And there isn’t much more disappointing in life than a burned grilled cheese, y’all! I’ve found that out the hard way. 

I found that the perfect crispiness level was achieved at cooking each side for about 3-4 minutes – but for me, I always make sure to use my spatula and carefully lift up the sandwich just to make sure the bread isn’t cooking too quickly! 

dipping pesto grilled cheese into the black bowl of tomato soup

Make sure to dip it in your favorite soup – I particularly love Tomato Soup here but I’m sure something like Broccoli Cheddar would be amazing as well! 

stacked sandwich with bite taken out of it on top of white marble board.

However you eat this delicious sandwich, I truly hope you enjoy it! XO – Haylie 

Did you like this recipe? Here are a few others you might like: 

Chicken Pesto Quinoa Bowl 

Cheesy Pesto Spaghetti Pie 

Chicken Pesto Meatballs 

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

5 from 1 vote

Simple Pesto Grilled Cheese

This Simple Pesto Grilled Cheese is extra cheesy, loaded with pesto on buttery, crispy bread! It’s the best and most delicious comfort food when eaten next to a big bowl of soup.

Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword easy grilled cheese, grilled cheese, homemade grilled cheese, pesto grilled cheese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 person
Author Haylie


  • 2 slices thick, hearty bread
  • 2 tbsp pesto (divided)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp salted butter (divided)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (can also use a combination of sharp white cheddar + mozzarella)
  • soup to serve with


  1. Add 1/2 tbsp of salted butter to 1 side of each slice of bread. To the other side, add 1 tbsp of pesto. Make sure the pesto is on the inside of the slice, as to not get it everywhere!

  2. To a non-stick skillet, add 1/2 tbsp of butter to the pan. Let it melt on medium heat. Add one slice of bread, butter side DOWN in the pan. On top of the pesto side, add about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (or a little extra if you want it SUPER cheesy). Add the 2nd slice of bread on top of the cheese, pesto side DOWN!

  3. Let cook for 3-4 minutes on one side, or until the bottom part of the bread becomes golden and crispy.

  4. Using a spatula, carefully flip the sandwich to the other side. Cook for 2-3 more minutes. If desired, add another pat of butter for extra goodness.

  5. When both sides are golden and crispy, the sandwich should be done! Serve with your favorite soup and eat immediately. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

NOTES: Don't let your butter get too hot or you bread will cook too quickly! 

I recommend 3-4 minutes per side of bread - but feel free to carefully check the bottom piece of bread using a spatula to make sure it doesn't cook too quickly. It should be golden and crispy!

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. It’s September again and I’m going to make this and your roasted garlic tomato soup. David is going to go crazy for this sandwiches. He first discovered pesto like 1 1/2 years ago and was almost mad that I hadn’t told him about it sooner 😜

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