Main Dish/ Recipe/ Vegetarian

Pesto Grilled Cheese

August 20, 2018 (Last Updated: July 24, 2020)

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Sophisticated grilled cheese sandwich with Gouda, Parmesan, pesto and tomatoes! This delicious gourmet sandwich is perfect for lunch or a light dinner. 

Pesto and tomato grilled cheese sandwich stacked on a plate

I always know when summer starts to wind down. I don’t have to look at the calendar or even watch for cooler temperatures and other signs of fall.

Nope, for me I can tell summer is coming to an end when our county fair is over, I’m back at work getting ready for the school year, and our garden finally starts to produce tons of food! 

Fresh tomatoes, gouda cheese and pesto ingredients

Rod’s garden has been producing zucchini, basil, tomatoes, peppers, beans,  tons of cucumbers and a bunch of other produce. Rod and  I have separate gardens. Can you believe that!!! My garden area is a series of garden beds that we first put in when we built our house.

Rod’s garden is a bit further away from the house that we keep expanding. It’s where we have all our fruit trees, a patch of raspberries (one of two patches), 12 blueberry bushes and a huge space for his garden.

This year my garden consists of weeds (seriously, all my beds are nothing but weeds!) I started out with a couple of different types of lettuce and some garlic, but once that was done I didn’t replant. The weeds quickly took over and I just didn’t keep up! It happens sometimes.

Rod’s garden….well, his garden is definitely thriving and winning this year! Luckily I’m allowed to go to his garden and pick whatever I want –  at least whenever he isn’t home! Next year, I am going to step up my game and offer some serious gardening competition.

Making a tomato basil grilled cheese sandwich.

Garden fresh tomatoes

Every year Rod waits and waits and waits for tomatoes to ripen. He really doesn’t care for tomatoes you can buy in the store, but he loves garden fresh tomatoes.

He often hides stashes packages of homemade bacon in our deep freeze. He pulls them out when the tomatoes are ready and makes epic BLT sandwiches. This Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich now rivals those epic BLTs.

We’ve eaten these twice already this week! It’s a good thing Rod has lots of tomato plants (15 plants) with tons of tomatoes still coming! We are going to be eating lots of sandwiches!

What kind of cheese is best for grilled cheese?

For these sandwiches I used a combination of gouda and Parmesan cheeses. You could also use provolone cheese, cheddar cheese or a Monterey Jack cheese. 

Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese sandwich with Gouda and Parmesan Cheese

To make these sandwiches, you’ll need:

  • Good sourdough bread – it adds great flavor and the bread grills up perfectly
  • Basil Pesto – make your own or buy at store
  • Homegrown or local grown, vine ripened tomatoes 
  • Sliced Gouda cheese and shredded Parmesan cheese – the combination is perfect

Grilled Cheese Sandwich made with pesto, garden fresh tomatoes, Gouda and Paremsan cheeses.

What to serve with this sandwich?

These grilled cheese sandwiches pair perfectly with Creamy Tomato Soup, Homemade Potato Chips and Quinoa Salad. Don’t forget to whip up some tasty brownies for dessert too! 

Looking for another type of unique sandwich to serve for lunch? Try these Turkey Wraps

Don’t forget to PIN for later!

A grilled cheese sandwich with tomatoes and pesto.


 If you make this recipe, Iโ€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

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Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich made with pesto, gouda cheese, and garden fresh tomatoes.

Pesto Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese sandwich with pesto, tomatoes, Gouda and Parmesan cheeses.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 781 kcal


  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 2 tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 8 slices Gouda cheese


  • Butter one side of each slice of bread.
  • Place 4 buttered slices on a cutting board or baking sheet with the buttered side down. 
  • Spread pesto onto each of the 4 slices. Add tomatoes, Parmesan and Gouda cheeses. Place remaining bread on top with buttered side up.
  • Preheat a griddle or a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Place 1-2 sandwiches on griddle. Cook for 2-3 minutes until bottom bread is nicely browned. Flip sandwiches and continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes until other side is brown and cheese is melted throughout.  Repeat with remaining sandwiches. 


Calories: 781kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 34gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 1497mgPotassium: 382mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1566IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 585mgIron: 5mg
Keyword gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, Grilled cheese sandwiches, Pesto grilled cheese
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


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  • Reply
    Dawn @ The Kitchen and a Latte
    May 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    One of my daughters loves gouda and I showed her this so now it is “mom, when are you going to make this?” I am picky with grilled cheese, but this one I am sure I will like! I don’t like the traditional grilled cheese, I don’t like American cheese.

    Will have to try this after my next trip to the store ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      May 23, 2019 at 5:48 am

      Your daughter has good taste! I hope you enjoy this grilled cheese!

  • Reply
    Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
    August 26, 2018 at 7:39 am

    I love anything on sourdough – and pesto grilled cheese sounds so flavorful!! I would be so honored if you would share it (and some of your other recipes too) at our What’s for Dinner party!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    August 23, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    5 stars
    I’ll take the entire stack Kathy! My favorite kind of summer grilled cheese!

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    August 21, 2018 at 10:34 am

    5 stars
    Way to amp up a grilled cheese sandwich, my friend! Cheese, pesto and tomato? You can’t beat that combo! I could eat this one for any meal of the day and be a happy lady ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Nicoletta Sugarlovespices
    August 21, 2018 at 10:12 am

    5 stars
    Yummy! This is my perfect grilled cheese! Our tomatoes are finally ripening right now, so we can have a break from eating zucchini and move on to make great things with tomatoes including this wonderful grilled cheese!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    August 21, 2018 at 4:24 am

    This sammich is right up my alley, Kathy! I love that you and Rod have 2 different gardens. I get it, though. There’s never enough space, so why not just build another garden? Our garden is somewhere in between. The weeds are giving it a serious effort, but we’ve still managed to pull a bunch of zucchini and tomatoes out. We’ve been talking about BLTs lately, but now I want to try this pesto grilled cheese. The gouda + Parmesan combo sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    Fred G
    August 20, 2018 at 7:29 am

    5 stars
    Sounds great. Have to give it a try.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Now this is a sandwich I would eat, cause I’m not big on so much bread. But I absolutely love the ingredients! Pesto rules!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 20, 2018 at 6:54 am

    5 stars
    I can’t think of a better tasting sandwich! OH MYYYY!

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