Your favorite sandwich with a simple and delicious twist! Homemade pesto and artichoke hearts pair perfectly with melted cheese for an easy weeknight dinner.
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a super easy idea for busy weeknights, or make a perfect addition to soups and salads. When I want a big salad for dinner, I know the entire family will be on board if I pair it with a grilled cheese! I am always trying to find new and fun ways to change around grilled cheese, and the addition of pesto and artichokes was our latest variation. My kids LOVE pesto, so I knew they would be super excited with the addition to their grilled cheese.
I always keep a glass jar of homemade pesto in my fridge. It can come in super handy for several meals. It makes a simple pasta dish, spread for a sandwich, topping for baked potatoes, tastes delicious on grilled meat, or even great addition to sautéed or roasted vegetables. I am giving you my tried and true super simple recipe that only takes me a few minutes to make. It can last in the fridge for up to a few weeks! This particular recipe makes plenty for you to have extra and use for an upcoming meal or side dish. You will notice that I added pine nuts as “optional”. As much as I love pine nuts, I don’t always add it to my pesto because it can be hard to find and expensive. Be sure to use a little more parmesan cheese if omitting the pine nuts.
For this sandwich, it’s all about the bread and cheese! My favorite bread for a grilled cheese is sourdough, but feel free to use your personal favorite. I also love the way havarti cheese melts in a grilled cheese. It’s ooey, gooey, and melts perfectly! I always joke that a perfect sandwich is all about the bread and the spread. We covered those perfectly in this sandwich. Enjoy!
- Sandwich ingredients:
- 8 large slices of sourdough bread (or your own personal favorite)
- 8 slices havarti cheese (feel free to substitute your favorite here too)
- 3 tbsp butter, softened
- 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, removed from oil
- 1/3 cup homemade pesto
- For the Pesto:
- 4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 4-5 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 – 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
- Pesto directions:
- If using the pine nuts, use only 3/4 cup parmesan cheese. If not using, use up to 1 cup parmesan.
- Combine basil, pine nuts (is using), garlic, lemon, and salt in a food processor until the ingredients are well incorporated (15-30 seconds). Shut down the motor and scrape down the sides. While the motor is running, slowly add in olive oil, then cheese.
- The mixture should resemble a thick paste. If you would like a thinner pesto, feel free to add in more olive oil.
- Add pepper to taste.
- Pesto can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Sandwich directions:
- Heat up a large skillet to medium high heat.
- Spread pesto on the inside of each sandwich (approximately 2 tsp per side). Place 2 slices of havarti between two slices of bread, and add a few artichoke heart leaves.
- Butter one side of the bread, and place butter side down on the skillet. Lower heat to medium.
- Cook one the first side for approximately 5 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to butter the top slice before switching sides. Cook on second side for about the same time, or until cheese is melted.
- Cut in half and serve immediately.