Ricotta Pesto Grilled Cheese

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A pesto grilled cheese made with three types of cheese is the best kind of lunch.
A grilled cheese sandwich is easy enough to make. Who doesn’t like golden toasted buttery bread oozing with melty cheese? Bonus points if it has lacy bronzed edges because the cheese hit the pan.
pesto grilled cheese
I’ve made a million grilled cheese sandwiches in my life. With just as many types of cheese. This one has three kinds of cheese, juicy roasted tomatoes, and a quick pesto. It’s like your favorite pasta in grilled cheese form.
Before we dive into this pesto grilled cheese, let’s talk about the general method for making one.
For the longest time, I melted butter into the pan and added the bread. I mean it’s easier than spreading butter onto bread, especially if your butter is not so soft, but your bread is. But as usual, the easiest is not always the best.
So that’s rule number one in grilled cheese making — spread softened butter onto the bread.
Rule number two involves golden outside and melty, oozy middle. Which you don’t get either with high heat. Instead, you get burned crust and unmelted cheese. And where’s the fun in that?
To solve this, cook your grilled cheese over low heat and after you put the cheese on, cover it. It takes longer to do this, but the results are worth it, I promise.
For this particular sandwich, I used a crusty sourdough loaf with a filling of Parmesan ricotta, shredded mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, and homemade pesto. It’s not a sandwich for anyone on a diet, those looking for a fast lunch, or people that get angry about messy sandwiches (I know a few of those folks!)
pesto grilled cheese
pesto grilled cheese

Ricotta Pesto Grilled Cheese

This pesto grilled cheese is liking eating pasta but in sandwich form. Three cheeses, bursting tomatoes, and homemade pesto. What’s not to love?
4.72 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 1



  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 2 bunches fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts pumpkin seeds, or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 slices thick cut crusty bread
  • 1/4 cup full fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Toss the tomatoes with the oil and roast for 5-6 minutes, until bursting.
  • Remove and let cool.
  • Put the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended. Stream in the oil slowly.
  • Make the sandwich: Spread butter on one side of bread and lay face down on a cutting board. Spread with pesto. Top with mozzarella and tomatoes.
  • Spread the other slice with butter on one side. Mix the ricotta with the Parmesan and spread on the other side and sandwich the two slices together, butter side out.
  • Heat a skillet over medium low heat and add the sandwich to the pan.
  • Cover and cook for a minute or two, checking to see if the bottom is browned. When it’s browned, carefully flip. Cover and continue cooking until both sides are golden brown and cheese is melted, adjusting heat as necessary.
  • Transfer to a cutting board, cut in half, and enjoy with lots of napkins.
Nutrition information is only an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. View full nutrition disclousre.
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4.72 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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