There is nothing like a little pesto and bacon with sautéed onions to liven up the classic grilled cheese sandwich and take it to the next level. Plus, grilled Cheese is a great meal in minutes.
For several years we would often have a relaxing Sunday afternoon preceded by grilled cheese with tomato soup for a low key after-church lunch. Over the years we gradually decreased the amount of bread we bought, until I finally quit buying it. We learned to eat bread-less lunches and meals.
Well, I recently mentioned in a weekly menu that last month Jonathan was helping a lady at Home Depot load her merchandise in her truck. She seriously had a truckload of bread, and blessed Jonathan with three loaves for helping her, including two loaves of Dave’s Killer Organic Bread-SCORE! Since we usually don’t buy bread (we make sourdough in some form about once a week, and it’s gone in a flash) the whole family was excited to have bread.
I had immediately plans for the bread: grilled cheese for dinner, French toast the next morning, with more grilled cheese for lunch on day three. But I didn’t want to make a plain old grilled cheese sandwich (although there is nothing wrong with that). I thought a basil pesto would be the perfect addition to the grilled cheese. And then add bacon. And then add sautéed onions. It sounded great to me and the kids, but Jonathan was a bit wary of the thought. He was at least willing to try one pesto grilled cheese, so I made him one sandwich with and one without. You know which sandwich he preferred?? The pesto grilled cheese, of course!!
Since then I found a sprouted 90% organic bread at Costco, so now on occasion I’ll buy a loaf of bread, and we’ll enjoy a little pesto grilled cheese sandwiches. When we don’t have bacon (we aim for no-nitrates/nitrites added), I’ve made the sandwiches with ham and/or meatless, too. No onions? No problem. Just omit them. I often stick lettuce, kale, or spinach into the sandwiches to increase our green intake. The recipe is totally flexible.
You can use store bought pesto or a homemade pesto. If you’ve never made your own pesto before, I COMPLETELY recommend making your own homemade pesto. It really is SOO easy to make, and you’ll open up your culinary world. The more sauces you can make on your own, the freer you’ll be in the kitchen.
I’ve provided a general recipe since this is mostly self-explanatory to put together. Sometimes I break out the little George Foreman Grill when I am making a lot and use it in conjunction with the cast iron skillet.
Bacon and Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- sliced bread (gluten-free if needed)
- butter, room temperature
- optional, cooked bacon
- cheese, sliced (I use raw milk cheddar cheese)
- 1 onion, sautéed with olive oil or grape seed oil
- optional, tomatoes
- Warm cast iron skillet on low to medium heat with a little butter, olive oil or grape seed oil.
- Slice cheese.
- Butter one side of each bread slice, and place buttered sides together.
- Spread pesto on the top plain side, topping with bacon and cheese.
- Place the bottom slice of bread with the buttered side on top.
- Place sandwich on skillet, flipping after 3 to 4 minutes, or until bread is golden, and cheese is melting.
- Grill other side for another minute or two, or until the cheese is completely melted and the bottom piece of bread is golden.
- Enjoy with a slice of tomato.
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