Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese is the ULTIMATE grilled cheese combo. Juicy chicken wrapped in a homemade basil pesto, paired with sun dried tomatoes and stringy mozzarella – the perfect lunch ready and waiting! – Hungry now? Jump to Recipe
I know I said this about my cranberry bacon brie grilled cheese, but this is not a drill. I have officially found the greatest grilled cheese combo. Chicken – pesto – mozzarella – sun dried tomato – gimme. Just look at that cheesy goodness..
This recipe came about through a grilled cheese craving (always) and a rummage through the fridge to use up leftovers.
Voila, the most convenient grilled cheese you’ll ever make.
I actually had some shredded rotisserie chicken leftover from those buffalo chicken wraps I made the other day. That alongside the jar of homemade basil pesto I’ve always got lurking in the fridge, I knew I was on to something great.
Step one – chicken pesto.
When it came to the cheese, it totally had to be mozzarella.
Besides the fact it gives the perfect ‘cheese pull effect’, it actually partners with pesto really neatly for a couple of different reasons.
Firstly, unlike many different cheeses, when it’s heated it doesn’t produce a huge amount of oil. Pesto itself is already incredibly oily, so to prevent the grilled cheese turning into a brick of oil, mozzarella was the most sensible choice.
Secondly, it has quite a subtle flavour. I really wanted the flavour of the pesto to shine through, so it was important not to overshadow it with a strong tasting cheese.
The sun dried tomatoes also made perfect sense with the pesto. And again for me, someone who always has a jar of sun dried tomatoes that need using up, were incredibly convenient to use too!
From there it was just a case of chucking it all together!
How to make a Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese
1. Butter one side of each of your slices of bread and place butter side down on a pan, with the heat off.
2. Top with mozzarella, followed by your chicken pesto, topped with sun dried tomatoes, followed by more mozzarella and finished with a second slice of bread. Butter the top and turn on to a medium heat.
3. Fry until golden brown then flip. Cook until the cheese just begins to leak out the sides.
Okay my belly is rumbling all over again, let’s get a move on.
A chicken pesto grilled cheese is the perfect way to use up some leftovers and build the most delicious lunch in the process. Quick to make and packed full of flavour, this grilled cheese recipe is an absolute must!
How to make a Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)
Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese is the ULTIMATE grilled cheese combo. Juicy chicken wrapped in a homemade basil pesto, paired with sun dried tomatoes and stringy mozzarella - the perfect lunch ready and waiting!
- 4 Big Slices White Bread (fresh sourdough/tiger bread)
- 1.5 cups Shredded Chicken
- 1/2 cup (125g) Basil Pesto
- 2 balls Mozzarella (4.4oz/125g each), sliced into 16 total rounds
- 8 Sun Dried Tomatoes (patted dry if necessary)
- 4 spreads of Butter
In a bowl, combine your chicken and pesto. Place to one side.
Spread butter on one side of each of your slices of bread. Place butter side down on a pan with the heat OFF.
Spread half your mozzarella slices, topped with chicken pesto, topped with your sun dried tomatoes, followed by the other half of your mozzarella, finished with a slice of bread. Spread butter on top and turn on the heat to a medium.
Fry each side until golden and crispy. The centre should be hot and the mozzarella should just begin to leak out the sides.
a) Size and filling - These measurements are based on large thick slices of bread. Hence the 'mega' chicken pesto grilled cheese. Adjust accordingly if you are using regular sized bread or want a smaller portion.
b) Basil Pesto - Check out my homemade pesto recipe!
c) Mozzarella - Feel free to sub shredded mozzarella! In terms of using other cheeses, I can't guarantee the outcome. I use mozzarella for it's subtle and creamy taste, which doesn't overshadow the gorgeous flavours of the pesto and sun dried tomatoes. It doesn't produce as much oil as other cheeses, which is important as pesto is already quite oily. It also goes perfectly gooey once heated.
d) Sun Dried Tomato Oil - If you are using sun dried tomatoes that have been marinated in oil, it's important to remove as much of the oil as possible. Pesto is already quite an oily ingredient, so you don't want any extra added! Having said that, I wouldn't recommend washing them, just pat them dry. You want to keep some of the flavour.
Looking for more grilled cheese recipes? Check out my Cranberry Bacon Brie Grilled Cheese!