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Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese halves stacked on a white plate

Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese

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This ooey, gooey Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese was a heavenly meal that got rave reviews from the pickiest husband around! 

Shake up the classic grilled cheese sandwich by adding pesto, roast chicken and peppers to your favorite melty cheeses.

Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese halves stacked on a white plate

Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese

Who doesn’t love grilled cheese? It’s my go-to dinner when Bill is out of town, though hardly gourmet as it’s usually just a grainy bread and cheddar cheese. When we visited my high school friend in LA after Christmas, she pulled out her panini maker and treated us to a lunch of pesto, chicken and Gruyere sandwiches.

The whole family gobbled  down those delicious chicken pesto grilled cheese sandwiches. I knew it was a winning combination with my first bite.

Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese view from above on a white plate with a basil garnish and a red handled fork

Tips for Making a Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I wanted to recreate those marvelous upscale grilled cheese sandwiches we ate with such abandon. Plus I couldn’t resist giving them my own twist. I added some Monterey Jack to the Gruyere plus roasted bell pepper slices for a pop of color.

Use your favorite cheeses or try this with thin slices of roasted ham instead of chicken.

Having no panini maker, I dug out my grill pan and impatiently waited for the cheeses to melt. Boy was the aroma intoxicating as the pesto warmed and the cheese oozed. The hubby asked for an encore, a sure sign these chicken pesto grilled cheese sandwiches were a home run hit.

If you like pesto, check out this Italian Pesto Burger, Pesto Pasta Salad, and these Easy Pesto Palmiers!

And you might like to take a gander at this Mediterranean Grilled Cheese that I whipped up for last year’s grilled cheese month!

Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese on a white plate on a floral napkin

National Grilled Cheese Month

Did you know April is National Grilled Cheese Month? Such a wonderful excuse to make loads of gooey, toasted, cheesy sandwiches.  I selected a Pinot Grigio to accompany my spectacular chicken pesto grilled cheese. I adore the fruity undertones of this varietal with hints of citrus, tart apple, and white peaches. Besides grilled cheese, this wine is lovely with salads, rich seafood, grilled poultry, and dishes featuring acidic ingredients like lemon and tomatoes.

For the red wine lovers in your house, a Pinot Noir is another winner. It’s berry nuances and subtle earthy flavors which pair well with roast chicken (it would also be perfectly delightful with my chicken grilled cheese), meaty fish and mushrooms. A medium-bodied dry wine with a smooth finish, it’s a terrific red to have on hand for that unexpected company.

Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese | An over the top grilled cheese sandwich

Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese

AnΒ  out of this world grilled cheese sandwich with chicken, pesto, peppers and two cheeses!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 1 sandwich


For each sandwich:

  • Two slices bread, hearty whole-grain preferred
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared or homemade pesto (more or less) depending on size of bread slices)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 slices cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken is a terrific shortcut)
  • 2 slices of roasted red bell pepper, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Butter one slice of bread and place it butter side down on a grill pan or saute pan. Spread pesto over other side, then layer with cheeses, chicken (sprinkled with salt and pepper to taste), and peppers, if using. Butter the second slice of bread and top the sandwich with the butter side up.
  2. Cook over medium heat till bottom slice of bread is browned and cheese is beginning to melt. Carefully flip and cook till the second side is browned and cheese is completely melted, adjusting burner temperature as needed.
  3. Slice in half and serve with your favorite Gallo wine.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 sandwich

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1172Total Fat: 74gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 354mgSodium: 1430mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 89g


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42 comments on “Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese”

  1. Liz, you had me at pesto! I love this collection of grilled cheese recipes. I am inspired by this week’s #SundaySupper.

  2. That’s my kind of sandwich! Delicious!

  3. Oh yummmm! I can see why this is a favorite at your home. Who can say no to ooey gooey chicken pesto grilled cheese? And with red wine? It’s a winner!

  4. Sounds great Liz! Basil seems to be the buzz word this weekend, I’ve been running into it (and it’s great fragrance) everywhere:@)

  5. I just planted a bunch of basil and this will be one of the things I make with the pesto.

  6. Comfort food at it’s best …. and oh, the wine!!!!

  7. What a nice sandwich.. chicken and pesto! Must be really delicious.

  8. I like any grilled cheese, but with pesto and chicken sounds awesome! Good pairing, too. I have a pinot gris on tap for a pesto dish tonight.

  9. Liz, this is the perfect grilled cheese!! love those grill marks! and Gruyere and Monterey Jack cheese?! love this!!!

  10. I love grilled cheese sandwiches.I love the pesto and chicken, such a great combination.

  11. Girl, this is one good lookin’ sammie. Pass that plate. Pinned.

  12. I have seen Pesto sandwiches on menus, but A) Have never ordered and B)I need to make one!! I love this combo!

  13. What a delicious looking grilled cheese and the pinot gri definitely complements it.

  14. Anything with pesto on it is a win!! Love this flavor combo, Liz, and your pics are beautiful!

  15. I just love chicken pesto! What a great combination and a beautiful sandwich!

  16. WOW does that look good Liz!! I can see why the hubs loved it so much πŸ™‚

  17. Sounds like a delicious sandwich! Love how you captured the melty cheese πŸ™‚

  18. Those are great grill marks! Sounds delicious, and the red pepper looks like a nice addition.

  19. I love grilled cheese. If I went out to lunch and this sandwich was on the menu, I would definitely buy it! Grilled pesto chicken? Yes please!

  20. Yes I love these flavors and textures. This is a memorable grilled cheese sammy. GREG

  21. Wonderfully made my friend. I could devour few for sure… Yummy recipe!!!

  22. I love this grilled cheese, the pesto is fabulous!

  23. My hubby would adore this as well! Me too!

  24. I love the flavor combination you have going on here…so tasty!!

  25. Grilled cheese and wine? Looks like a great match to me.

  26. This is just incredible!

  27. Lizzy,
    This is definitely an upscale grilled cheese. Given Bill’s hearty endorsement, you can’t go wrong. I love Pinot Grigio.

  28. Grilled Cheese perfection!

  29. There is nothing better than a really good grilled cheese sandwich. We love to put pesto in our panini, too!

  30. Looks perfect, and there is nothing better than having a glass of Pinot Grigio for lunch!!

  31. So cruel ! Looking your stunning sandwich before dinner is so cruel ! I would like taste it right now !!

  32. This sandwich looks so yummy! I would love one for a late lunch right now πŸ™‚

  33. I love this chicken pesto grilled cheese sandwich! Way to take grilled cheese sandwiches to the next level. And the pairing of Gallo Pinot Girgio is perfect!

  34. Gruyere AND Monterey Jack in these? That’s like the perfect combo of melty deliciousness!

  35. I love pesto…and chicken…and grilled cheese! AND I just got a panini press (/griddle/grill/waffle maker) for my bridal shower SO I must make this!

  36. YES! Grilled cheese IS the ultimate comfort food! Love it!

  37. I love the sound of a chicken and grilled cheese sandwich with a chilled glass of white. Great Sunday Supper!

  38. Dear Liz,

    When there is gooey melting cheese in a sandwich, I am sold. And Pinot Gris is definitely gaining popularity here in Australia as everyone has gone of Sauvignon Blanc.

  39. Mmmm! I’m going to try this on the grill!

  40. This is a winner all the way around for me down to the wine pairing! Yum!

  41. Gruyere and Monterey Jack are about the best white cheeses in the world! Great choices for a gorgeous grilled cheese sandwich =) And wonderful choice of beverage, too =)

  42. this sounds amazing…and the pesto just takes it over the top! YUM!

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