This turkey and pesto grilled cheese sandwich is an easy yet flavorful take on the classic. Adding sliced turkey, tomatoes, spinach and creamy pesto sauce packs extra nutrition into the sandwich while keeping the irresistible cheesy comfort.

Grilled cheese is a staple that never gets old. But switching up the fillings can keep it interesting. Turkey provides savory protein while pesto adds a pop of herby flavor. Together they complement the melted cheese wonderfully.

Ready in under 15 minutes, this turkey pesto grilled cheese is perfect for quick lunches or dinners. It’s easy enough for weeknights but unique enough for special occasions. Let’s look at how to make this flavor-loaded sandwich at home.

Ingredients for Turkey & Pesto Grilled Cheese

To make one turkey and pesto grilled cheese sandwich you will need:


  • 2 slices of bread – sourdough, multigrain, brioche etc.


  • 2-3 slices cheese – cheddar, Monterey jack, provolone etc.

Turkey and Vegetables

  • 3-4 slices deli turkey
  • 1-2 slices tomato
  • Handful of baby spinach

Pesto Sauce

  • 2-3 tablespoons prepared pesto


  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dried oregano or Italian seasoning (optional)

Butter or Oil for Cooking

  • 1-2 tsp butter or olive oil

Tools Needed for Preparation

You’ll need just a few basic tools:

  • Knife for spreading sauces and cutting vegetables
  • Cutting board
  • Small skillet or griddle
  • Spatula for flipping

Step-by-Step Instructions

Assemble the Sandwich

Start by assembling your uncooked sandwich:

  1. Lay one slice of bread on a clean work surface.
  2. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of pesto sauce evenly over the bread.
  3. Layer on turkey slices, tomato, spinach and top with cheese slices.
  4. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper and dried oregano if desired.
  5. Top with the second slice of bread.

Cook on the Grill or Stovetop

Transfer the assembled sandwich to a preheated skillet or griddle. Lightly coat the outside of the bread with olive oil or butter. Cook over medium heat until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is fully melted.

  • Place sandwich in the skillet and press gently with a spatula to compact it.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottom is browned. Flip sandwich over.
  • Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes until the second side is browned and cheese is melted.
  • Slice in half and serve immediately.

Tips for the Best Grilled Cheese

Use these handy tips for the perfect turkey and pesto grilled cheese every time.

Getting the Bread Crispy

  • Use soft bread like brioche or challah which crisps up nicely when grilled.
  • Butter or oil the outside of the bread to help it brown.
  • Press down gently with the spatula as it cooks.
  • Resist the urge to move it constantly so the bread browns rather than steams.

Melting the Cheese Perfectly

  • Use good melting cheeses like cheddar, Monterey jack or fontina.
  • Grate or thinly slice the cheese for quick melting.
  • Cover while cooking so thesteam helps melt the cheese.
  • Make sure to cook until cheese is fully melted and oozy.


Tailor this sandwich to your liking by tweaking the ingredients:

Other Bread Choices

  • Rye, multigrain, sourdough, baguette, ciabatta

Vegetable Additions

  • Avocado, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms

Meatless Version

  • Substitute turkey with extra cheese and veggies

Serving Suggestions

This sandwich tastes great on its own but can also be served with:

  • A side salad or bowl of tomato soup for dipping
  • Chips or potato wedges
  • Fresh fruit like apple slices

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

You can easily enjoy leftovers:

  • Allow sandwiches to cool completely before storing.
  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
  • Reheat in a skillet over medium low until warm throughout.
  • Or microwave 20-30 seconds until cheese is melted.

Nutrition Information

The turkey and veggies make this grilled cheese nutritious as well as delicious. One sandwich provides:

  • Calories: 437
  • Fat: 24g
  • Carbs: 33g
  • Protein: 28g

The History of Grilled Cheese

The humble grilled cheese has an interesting backstory. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Rome, where street vendors sold a bread and cheese dish called “cheese on toast.”

The modern version became popular in America during the 1920s. As commercial cheese and sliced bread became widely available, grilled cheese sandwiches gained traction as an easy, affordable meal.

During the Great Depression, grilled cheese became a staple budget-friendly food. It has remained popular ever since, becoming an American classic.

Why Grilled Cheese is a Classic Comfort Food

There are many reasons grilled cheese has enduring appeal and comfort food status:

  • Melty, ooey-gooey cheese – universally loved!
  • Crispy, buttery, golden bread
  • Nostalgic taste of childhood
  • Warm and filling satisfaction
  • Customizable with different ingredients
  • Quick, easy, and budget-friendly to make

Grilled Cheese for Any Meal

While grilled cheese may seem like a lunch staple, it can be enjoyed morning, noon or night!

  • Breakfast – Swap out bread for waffles or French toast
  • Lunch – The classic midday option, with soup or salad
  • Dinner – Heartier versions with veggies, meat, pesto
  • Snack – Cut into dippers for movie-watching

The Turkey and pesto grilled cheese is perfect for any meal. It’s quick enough for busy weeknights but feels gourmet.

perfect for Kids

Grilled cheese is a go-to kid favorite. This turkey pesto version is a great way to sneak extra nutrition into their diet. The pesto veggie flavor is mild enough for picky eaters.

Let kids help assemble their own sandwich. Cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Serve with raw veggie sticks and fruit for a balanced meal.


This turkey and pesto grilled cheese sandwich is truly gourmet comfort food. With its savory, nutty pesto flavor and melted cheese, it will satisfy any cheesy sandwich craving.

The pesto and turkey make it more nutritious than your average grilled cheese. Feel free to experiment with different ingredient combinations.

Keep extras handy in the fridge for quick lunches and snacks all week long. This new spin on a classic is sure to become a new family favorite.

Myra Henry created the Keto Taco Salad blog to share my favorite delicious low-carb recipes without sacrificing flavor. when i started the keto diet 2 years ago, I discovered a love for making healthy Mexican dishes like keto taco salads. My blog features easy keto taco salad recipes and tips for keto success.

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