Ciabatta bread topped with pesto, melted fontina cheese, sliced tomatoes, and fresh basil, simple yet delicious. This Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a refreshing twist to the classic grilled cheese sandwich.
I’ve been craving a grilled cheese sandwich for awhile now. But melted cheese between two slices of buttered bread didn’t seem enough to fulfill my cravings. I wanted something extra, something soo good that my mouth waters just thinking about it. I wanted something fit to be a meal. So why not take it up a notch and add fresh ingredients to give this grilled cheese sandwich a healthy-ish twist?
Each bite of this grilled cheese sandwich is so tasty and refreshing. Filled with slices of fresh cut tomatoes, the strong fragrance and taste of basil, pesto, and melted cheese, how can you resist? I definitely can’t. From the crunchiness of the bread, whether toasted or set on a grill, to the juicy tomatoes, this sandwich has so much flavor and texture. Comfort food with a healthy twist.
It’s super easy to make! Just put all the ingredients together, smush them down, and grill/toast the sandwich until the cheese has melted.
I decided to finally use my electric indoor grill to make this sandwich, but if you don’t have any sort of grill, that’s okay too. You can just place the sandwich into a toaster oven to make the bread crunchy and melt the cheese. You can even add a little oil or butter in a skillet and make your grilled cheese sandwich that way. It’s really up to you. Whatever that’s most convenient for you.
First, take two slices of bread. You can use French bread, white bread, ciabatta bread, or any other favorites of yours. I used fresh ciabatta bread from Panera Bread since I wanted to try the new location near my house. I bought a whole loaf and cut the bread slices myself, around 4×4 inch per slice.
Spread pesto on each side of the bread. I used my own fresh pesto, but you can use store bought ones if it’s more convenient for you. I spread 2 tablespoons on each side. You can add more pesto for additional flavor.
Cut half a tomato into thin slices and place it on one slice of bread.
Place fresh basil leaves on top of the sliced tomatoes. About 1/8 – ¼ cup if you want to be exact. But a small handful works too.
Slice cheese as thinly as possible and place it on the other slice of bread. I used fontina cheese for this recipe, but fontina has a slightly sharper flavor. If you prefer a lighter taste, you can use mozzarella or one of your favorite cheeses for this sandwich. Depending on how cheesy you like your sandwich, you can add more or less cheese.
Place the two slices of bread together and press them down.
If using a grill, heat the sandwich until it becomes slightly brown and the cheese has melted, about 3-4 minutes.
You can also toast the sandwich in the toaster oven or brown them in a skillet. It’ll take just a few minutes to brown the bread and melt the cheese.
Sounds simple enough, right? It’s perfect for a quick lunch or even dinner. Soo tasty!
Slice the sandwich in half, and serve the sandwich warm.
If you try this recipe or any of my other recipes, I’d love to see photos. Tag your photos with #cookingwithawallflower, and I’ll be sure to look for them!
- 2 slices of ciabatta bread (or bread of choice)
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- 2-3 oz fontina cheese, sliced (or mozzarella cheese)
- Half a medium tomato, sliced
- A small handful of basil leaves (8-10 large basil leaves)
- Spread pesto on both slices of bread. Place thinly sliced cheese on one slice of bread. Place sliced tomatoes and basil leaves on the other slice of bread. Put the two sides together and press the sandwich down.
- Grill or toast your sandwich until the bread turns crunchy and brown and the cheese has melted.
- Slice the sandwich in half, and serve the sandwich warm.