Turkey Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

When it comes to finding ways to use my leftover turkey, I like to take a complete departure from the flavors of Thanksgiving and create a whole new turkey experience. Well, my friends, this turkey experience should not be missed. This grilled sandwich is insanely good.

I  pick up these great big jars of pesto at Costco so since I’ve usually got it on hand, I’ve found lots of delicious ways to incorporate pesto into recipes. Combined with slices of ripe tomato and fresh mozzarella, it takes leftover turkey to a whole new place.

It’s important to use a substantial sliced bread for this very substantial sandwich. That Boudin bag up there holds something very special. Do you have a Boudin near you? I think it’s just a California thing but I hope for your sake, they decide to expand to the rest of the country. They feature sandwiches made on their San Francisco style sourdough breads, salads, and to die for soups. One recently opened a quick 10 minute drive from my house and I’m afraid that any chance of a carb free diet in my future has now been dashed. There’s no other way to say this – I’m a huge fiend for sourdough bread and I’ve been stopping over their almost weekly to buy their loaves all nicely sliced and ready to go. Their multi-grain is perfect for this meaty grilled cheese sandwich but you can use any sliced bread that is substantial enough to hold up to the meaty ingredients.

It’s easiest to put this together on a cutting board. Spread two slices of bread with a couple of tablespoons of softened butter or butter spread.

Flip one of the buttered slices over. A little butter will get on the cutting board but it’s going to be okay. I promise.

Spread a couple of tablespoons of pesto over the un-buttered side of the bread.

Add a couple of slices of red, ripe tomato.

Next comes the turkey. I would have put more but we have to grill this thing!

Top it off with as many slices of fresh mozzarella as needed to cover the turkey.

Place the other buttered piece of bread on top, buttered side up. We want both buttered sides facing out so they hit the pan and help the bread get a nice grill going.

Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and place it over medium heat. Carefully transfer your beast of a sandwich to the pan and let it cook for a few minutes, till it’s nicely golden brown on one side.

Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. Use a spatula and your other hand to carefully lift up the sandwich, turn it over, and guide it back into the pan. If some of the ingredients spill out, just place them back inside.

If you’ve got a panini press it would work great for this sandwich but a skillet is just fine.

So much better than your typical, tired leftover turkey sandwich. Let there be leftovers!

Turkey Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 sandwiches


  • 4 slices sturdy sandwich bread, sourdough or multigrain work well
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter or butter spread
  • 4 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped turkey
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced


  • Place 2 slices of bread on a cutting board and spread each slice with about 1 tablespoon of softened butter or butter spread. Flip one of the pieces of bread over and top it with 2 tablespoons of pesto, spreading out evenly over the surface of the bread. Top the pesto with half of the chopped turkey, a couple of slices of tomato, and finally, half the sliced mozzarella. Place the other slice of bread on the top, butter side up.
  • Repeat with remaining ingredients to assemble second sandwich.
  • Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Carefully place sandwich in pan and allow to cook till nicely browned on one side. Use a spatula to carefully lift up the sandwich and guide it with your other hand back into the pan to cook on the other side. If some of the ingredients fall out, just place them back inside. Cook until browned and cheese has melted.
  • Remove to a cutting board and slice in half. Repeat with remaining sandwich.


A panini press works great for this sandwich so use it if you've got one!




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4 thoughts on “Turkey Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

  1. Pingback: Gastrolux Cookware | From Valerie's Kitchen

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