Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month?!?! I feel like grilled cheese is a universally loved dish. Who can resist the allure of gooey cheese between two pieces of golden brown, crispy bread? I know I can’t. Today, in honor of Grilled Cheese Month, I’m sharing an easy to make arugula basil pesto grilled cheese!
Even though a grilled cheese is a relatively simple concept, I feel like nowadays there is so much more to a grilled cheese than simply bread and cheese. There are different cheese combinations, different breads, different added “extras” that make grilled cheese incredibly special. I feel like I see a creative new concept for grilled cheese every day.
I am a bit of a traditional person when it comes to my grilled cheese. Is it wrong that I just cannot quit the traditional grilled cheese and tomato soup combination? I enjoy an extra ingredient or two on my sandwich, but I really like the cheese to shine. So, for today’s recipe I decided to keep it simple. I whipped up a super simple arugula pesto to spread inside my grilled cheese. Arugula pesto, you ask? Why, yes! I’ve been a fan of making pesto with other greens like arugula, kale, or spinach lately. Simply having enough fresh basil to make fresh basil pesto is something I don’t always have access to. In this case, I LOVE the peppery bite of arugula, so using it as the base of the pesto (along with some fresh basil too) makes for a spicy pesto of sorts! I’m into it. Plus, if you pair it with some tomato soup you are in for a huge treat.
As a side note: I chose to make my pesto without nuts today. I love adding toasted walnuts or pine nuts if I have them on hand, but I didn’t have them. No worries! It makes for a nut free option. Feel free to toast a few walnuts, chop them, and add them to the food processor if you’d like to have them in your pesto!
The question I always ask myself when I’m making a grilled cheese is: how much cheese is too much? I’m sure there is actually an upper limit somewhere, but I like to lean towards it if possible. I mean…when you can get your cheese melty and gooey enough that when you bite into your grilled cheese, you literally get a huge string of cheese that droops out? That’s the dream, people. That is also why I used Havarti cheese in my arugula basil pesto grilled cheese today – it has such a great melting ability. Plus, the flavor is mild so it pairs really nicely with a lot of different ingredients! Try it out next time you’re making a grilled cheese. I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it.
- 2 cups fresh arugula leaves
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ shallot (about 2 tablespoons), chopped
- ¼ - ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- 8 slices Havarti cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- First, make the pesto. Add the garlic, shallot, arugula, and basil into the food processor. Pulse a few times, then slowly drizzle ¼ cup olive oil in as you continue pulsing. Add additional olive oil as needed to achieve desired pesto consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Next, lay the sourdough bread slices on a clean working surface. Spread the pesto evenly between 4 of the slices. Top with Havarti cheese, and then place the other bread slices on top.
- Add ½ of the butter to a nonstick pan. Heat over medium high until butter is melted. Carefully add the sandwiches to the pan (work in batches if needed). Cook about 3-4 minutes on the first side, until golden brown. Flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until both sides of the sandwich are golden brown and the cheese is melted through. If the cheese is not completely melted, you can top the pan with a lid and allow it to steam for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from the pan to a cutting board. Slice in half, serve, and enjoy!
My love of grilled cheese is seriously strong…and just in case you want some more of what I’ve made in the past, here are four other recipes I’ve created and enjoyed!
Because I know you can never get enough grilled cheese in your life, make sure you join in the Sunday Supper fun! Check out ALL of the ooey, gooey, delicious grilled cheese creations the gang is sharing today! A huge thanks to A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventues for hosting today!
Sunday Supper Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes
Not Your Average ‘Wiches
- Inside Out BBQ Ribs Grilled Cheese by The Freshman Cook
- Mozzarella Stick Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Life Tastes Good
- Potato Patty Grilled Cheese Bites by Sunday Supper Movement
- Ramen Grilled Cheese by Palatable Pastime
Protein Filled ‘Wiches
- Avocado Bacon Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Crazed Mom
- Bacon Cheddar Grilled Chip Butty by Tramplingrose
- Grilled Dill Havarti and Salmon by My World Simplified
- Grilled Liz Lemon Sandwich by Cricket’s Confections
- How to Make Reuben Paninis by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Shrimp and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Sprinkles and Sprouts
Sweet and Savory ‘Wiches
- Applewood Gouda and Pear Grilled Cheese by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Bacon, Apple, Brie Panini by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Monte Cristo with Fresh Blackberry Sauce by A Mind “Full” Mom
Veggie Loaded ‘Wiches
- Apricot Poblano Grilled Cheese Sandwich by My Life Cookbook
- Arugula Basil Pesto Grilled Cheese by Helpful Homemade
- Caprese Grilled Eggplant Roll Ups by Caroline’s Cooking
- Grilled Brie With Smoky Portobellos and Caramelized Onions by Simple and Savory
- Banana FluffaNutella Grilled Cheese by Soulfully Made
- Strawberry French Toast Grilled Cheese by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- The Ultimate Doughnut Grilled Cheese by Pies and Plots
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.