As an adult I still LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches! Like LOVE!!! It's definitely a treat and not part of our weekly meals but when we do have them, we like to make them worth it! I like to dress it up every now and then with this delicious spicy pesto! Keep scrolling for other ways to use this delicious pesto recipe.
See recipe/pictures below for the chicken grilled cheese version of this delicious sandwich!
Pesto is so easy to make and you can use ingredients you have on hand. I almost always have pine nuts in the freezer but I haven't had a chance to restock recently so I used walnuts for this recipe. It still works great and tastes delicious! You can also substitute spinach for part of the basil if you don't have enough basil or just want to hide some veggies. You won't even notice the spinach!
We have SO much basil right now and I have been finding some really great ways to use it in food food and drinks! Check my Instagram highlights for some easy drink recipes!
We came back from a 3 day vacation to find our basil plant loaded with perfect leaves that were ready to use so of course I had to make pesto! I added fresh jalapeno to this recipe- also from our tiny little porch garden.
If you have some grilled chicken breast on hand (I like this one from costco- http://www.gourmetboutique.com/tru-grill-chicken-strips/) I highly recommend making a spicy pesto chicken grilled cheese! So delicious and filling, I made this one for my husband but ended up eating it myself!
I sauteed some bell pepper strips, onions and mushroom slices. Added chicken and a little bit of spicy pesto to the pan, mixed well and then layered it with 2 delicious different cheeses!
Some other delicious ways to use this pesto:
- Pasta or pasta salad
- Sandwich spread
- Roasted Vegetables (delicious on potatoes)
- Salad dressings/topping
- Use it as a spread on bruschetta
- ... seriously the possibilities are endless!
Favorite cheeses for grilled cheese:
- Muenster (sliced from deli)
- Pepper Jack
- Monterey Jack
Spicy Pesto Grilled CheeseCourse: Entrees
Grilled cheese sandwiches- the ultimate comfort food! I like to dress delicious spicy pesto! It's the perfect adult version of grilled cheese!
- Spicy Pesto
1 cup basil leaves - packed
¼ cup walnuts (chopped)
3-4 cloves of garlic
½-1 fresh jalapeno
3-4 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt (adjust per taste)
1 teaspoon lime juice (optional)
¼ cup grated romano or parmesan (optional for grilled cheese, I only add cheese to pesto if I'm using it immediately upon making it for pasta)
- Sandwich ingredients
Grilled chicken breast (optional)
Bell peppers (thinly sliced)
Onion (thinly sliced)
Any other veggies you have on hand!
- For pesto- combine all ingredients (except oil) in a small food processor. Pulse until ingredients are well combined and have a crumbly texture. Scrape down sides as needed and pulse again.
- Slowly add oil about 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse. Scrape down sides as needed. Once you get a paste/spread consistency give it a taste and add salt if needed. Remove from food processor into a small bowl and set aside.
- If you're using bell peppers, onion, or any other vegetables then saute them with a little bit of spicy pesto to your liking and set aside. Do the same if you're using chicken.
- Build your grilled cheese sandwiches- spread pesto on one or both slices of bread and add cheese, grilled chicken or any veggies.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Using either butter or my personal favorite- avocado oil spray coat one side of the sandwich bread and put it that side down on the preheated skillet. Cover for just 1-2 minutes or so (this will help the heat stay inside so that the cheese can start melting). Remove lid and set aside.
- Drop the temperature to medium low. Spray oil or spread butter on the top side of the sandwich and flip. Cook until sandwich is golden brown and cheese is melted.
- Remove from heat, cut in half and serve!