The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

Feet have growing pains, you know. It’s true because our 5-year-said so. I asked him to put away his toys and his response was, “I cannot walk as I have too many growing pains in my feet.”

I get those around my waist. Odd.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese. Guest post and recipe from Jennifer Leal of Savor the Thyme.

Well, no need to expand your waist or feel any guilt with this grilled cheese recipe. After all, it’s made with some extra nutrients.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Start with fresh ciabatta or your favorite bread. Cut two slices (per sandwich) about 1/2 inch thick.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Grab your favorite prepared pesto or make your own.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Let the schmearing begin.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Did you schmear the pesto all over both pieces of bread? Please do so.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Grab your favorite type of olives and prepare to chop them up.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Chop up to your preferred size and scatter over the pesto on one of the slices of bread.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Now slice up that gor-gee-ous tomato into two or three slices, depending on the width of the bread, and layer over the olives.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Slice up your favorite cheese. Instead of staring at it on a super pretty plate, go ahead and stack them on top of the olives.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Still staring, eh? Please place them on the sandwich. (I know. It’s a pretty vision.)

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

That’s better. Top with the slices of tomato, then go ahead and heat up your panini press or indoor grill.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Spray both sides of the sandwich with olive oil or butter-flavored nonstick spray. Place that sweet sandwich on the press/grill and listen to the music-like sizzle. Allow to toast up until the sandwich is nice and brown.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Place the sandwich on the plate, cut in half and prepare to dig in.

Tasty Kitchen Blog Pesto, Olives and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Dang it, the little hands beat me to it.


Printable Recipe

Pesto, Olives & Tomato Grilled Cheese

See post on Jennifer (Savor the Thyme)’s site!
4.60 Mitt(s) 5 Rating(s)5 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 5

Prep Time:

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Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 1


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This is a less-guilt comfort food because you gain nutrients from the tomatoes and olives (but don’t tell anyone). Hal-le-lu-jah!


  • 2 slices Ciabatta/Bread
  • 1 Tablespoon Pesto
  • 1 Tablespoon Olives, Chopped
  • 2 slices Tomato
  • 5 slices Fontina Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Plug in/turn on your indoor grill or panini press.

Slice the ciabatta (or your favorite bread) into approximately 1/2-inch slices. Spread the pesto (make your own or use your favorite prepared pesto) all over one slice of the bread.

Chop up the olives (or buy them already chopped) and scatter them over the pesto. Lay the tomatoes on top of the olives and finish up the sandwich by placing the cheese over the tomatoes and top with the remaining slices of bread.

Spritz one side of the sandwich with olive oil spray, flip carefully and repeat. Place the sandwich on the grill/press and let the magic happen. Allow to cook until the bread gets all crispy and brown and the cheese is gooey. Flip and repeat if not using a panini press.


Jennifer Leal is a mom of two children ages 5 and 7. She lives in Rhode Island with her family and is the creator of the blog Savor the Thyme, which focuses on celebrating healthier food and family togetherness, all peppered with personality.



Comments are closed for this recipe.

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listysue on 7.15.2011

I am going to try that. It just looks yummy..

Kelly on 7.6.2011

I want to eat my screen, looks delicious!

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Cookin Cowgirl on 7.6.2011

Yum yum yum! I’m not a vegetarian, but I love meals like that one! :) Looks awesome!

AnnetteMary on 7.5.2011

Oh my I am drooling. This really looks good, but I so love ciabatta bread, tomatoes and pesto ,and cheese, ( olives I can take em or leave em) this hits a home run with me.

Amanda c. on 7.4.2011

We really don’t like olives, what could I use instead?

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Courtney Legenhausen on 7.2.2011

This is so yummy! I made it for lunch yesterday and had another one today:) It’s addictive!

Heather Clements on 7.2.2011

(Scraping jaw off floor and wiping up puddle of drool) That looks like heaven on a plate!

Taylor B. on 7.2.2011

This sandwich looks like everything I want in life and more.

Melanie on 7.2.2011

I’ll definitely be trying this one. Can’t wait for fresh tomatoes from my garden.

Zuda Gay Pease on 7.1.2011

Our little town has a big 4th of July celebration in the park. Many people have been working very hard all week to get the park cleaned up from a big storm that went through early Monday morning and took out many of the big old trees in our park(as well as all over town). So our community will be celebrating community, our country, and being very thankful that no one was seriously injured.

CarolM on 7.1.2011

OMG-This looks awesome and I am no where near hungry!

Robin Lundeen on 7.1.2011

I so want to make this sandwich, but there probably is NO basil to be found around here!!

PeasantFoodie on 7.1.2011

I love the pesto. I’ve always added tomatoes to my grill cheese, but oh…yeah I have some bread that is begging for some grilled cheese action.!

Ann on 6.30.2011

Holy Guacamole! That looks amazing!! I love grilled cheeses – but this takes it to a whole new level!

Erin on 6.30.2011

Oh my, I haven’t even tried this sandwich, and already I want to marry it.

Mary Beth|Cupcakes and Crinoline on 6.30.2011

Wow…that looks so tasty! p.s. I get growing pains around my hips ; )

katie o. on 6.30.2011

I cannot believe I clicked on this while I’m eating the saddest lunch ever. This grilled cheese has me wanting to lick the screen. Seriously.

Cheryl @ Mommypants on 6.30.2011

I so love my pannini machine. And ciabatta bread. And cheese. Sigh. I believe my rear end might have growing pains!

Jennifer (Savor) on 6.30.2011

alexis: for this recipe I used Fontina which was lovely. Gouda is also a great melting cheese and should work nicely.

Kate Thompson on 6.30.2011

Wow. I agree with the Holy yum comment!!

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alexisriley on 6.29.2011

Oh momma that looks good. Thank you for the gouda suggestion, I was going to ask what you used.

Carrie H on 6.29.2011

HOLY YUM! This looks incredible! Printing recipe now…

Jane on 6.29.2011

WOW!! This looks incredible. Seriously mouth-watering. Have to try it!!

felicia on 6.29.2011

I am definitely going to make this! It looks delicious!

Aggie on 6.29.2011

Oh this is so my kind of sandwich! those olives (tomatoes and cheese) are calling my name!

Carla on 6.29.2011

So hungry now! Nothing like a good sandwich =)

Jennifer (Savor) on 6.29.2011

Sarah, Stacy, Candita, Cheryl, Jen and Joanna -> Your Ladies are swell! pssttt….try it with gouda cheese. Gulp

Desiree Fawn on 6.29.2011

Now THIS I’ve got to try!! Yum :)

Candita on 6.29.2011

This looks so amazing, I am making it for lunch tomorrow. Also, I love the beautiful photos. It’s like any good cookbook, without the photos it’s just not the same. Excellent post!

Cheryl on 6.29.2011

Yummy! It’s on the “make this soon” list!

Jen on 6.29.2011

LOOKS DELICIOUS, Jenn! Can’t wait to try it. :)

Joanna @ Baby Gator's Den on 6.29.2011

That looks incredible! Can’t wait to make it! Thanks Jenn!

Stacy on 6.29.2011

I’m on my way to the grocery now… This and a salad for dinner tonight, easy peasy! Thanks Jenn

Sarah B on 6.29.2011

WOW!! That looks delicious! The gorgeous photos are making me drool! I am a huge fan of Pesto, Black Olives, And grilled cheese, but I never even considered combing those loves!! And you SHOULD open a Grilled Cheese restaurant! I’d be there daily, in spite of the growing pains around my waist!!

Jennifer (Savor) on 6.29.2011

Angela, you are welcome! Shall I open a fancy GC store?

Jennifer (Savor) on 6.29.2011

Applesaucy -> I would ask for fresh bread if given one food on a stranded island

Jennifer (Savor) on 6.29.2011

Bobbi, I used a store bought when I made this recipe (call me lazy that day) but here is one of my fav. pestos to make:

Jennifer (Savor) on 6.29.2011

Laurie & Lauren: I am blushing at your affection for my sandwich

Jennifer (Savor) on 6.29.2011

Michelle & Heather -> you caught me, I am a salt over sweet girl (dont sue me)

Jennifer (Savor) on 6.29.2011

Thank You Emily! pesto is a great addition to many sandwiches!

Angela B on 6.29.2011

This.looks.amazing! Thanks for taking a fancy restaurant sandwich and making it easy enough for me to make!

momof3 on 6.29.2011

I agree with you, Michelle. Maybe a few slices of prosciutto would really top it off and a tall glass of iced tea!

Katrina on 6.29.2011

What a panini! Great recipe.

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applesaucy on 6.29.2011

Oh man! I wish I could eat bread! That looks awesome.

Bobbi on 6.29.2011

Do you mind sharing your pesto recipe?? That sandwich is mouthwatering!!

Lauren on 6.29.2011

No way. That looks amazing. It’s all my favorite things in one!

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Lauren's Latest on 6.29.2011

Oh yum. That looks amazing.

Laurie O. - WI on 6.29.2011

Mouth is now watering…….. This is going in my recipe binder. Thanks!

Heather on 6.29.2011

Talk about grown up grilled cheese! This sounds like heaven between two slices of bread!

Michelle on 6.29.2011

this sounds like a nice and salty sandwich – i like the idea of olives, I would use kalamatas!