Delicious Mediterranean grilled cheese made with homemade sourdough to switch up sandwich night. Frugal recipe the whole family loves, and a fun way to enjoy grilled cheese Greek style!
Gather round, grilled cheese lovers!
This Mediterranean Grilled Cheese Sandwich with basil pesto, roasted red peppers, feta, and provolone is the best grilled cheese sandwich evaaah!
When most people hear “grilled cheese,” they think “kids menu.”
Not any more.
This outside-the-box, grownup version of grilled cheese will win the hearts of kids and adults alike. Pinky promise.
It’s smeared with basil pesto and loaded with roasted red peppers, purple onions, spinach, olives, and feta – all swirled into a sea of gooey, melted Provolone cheese and stuffed between two slices of sourdough brushed with a garlic-butter-olive oil blend and grilled to a beautiful golden crisp!
Now that’s a sandwich, especially if you’re in love with anything Mediterranean like me (Greek quinoa salad, Greek pasta salad, and Greek couscous are all personal favorites) but this one takes the cake!
Plus, these sandwiches are easy to prepare and super satisfying, which means I can add a quick salad with my homemade Greek dressing, and dinner is done!
They’re meatless too, so that saves some extra money and cuts down on prep time!
Mediterranean Grilled Cheese
Besides being soul-satisfyingly delicious, this sandwich is also great because it’s:
- Frugal. Using simple affordable ingredients, including homemade sourdough and homemade pesto makes the cost of this sandwich much less than you’d get in a restaurant!
- Family-friendly. Even the kids will love this ‘grown-up grilled cheese sandwich!’
- Healthier. You’ll get a nutritional boost with the added vegetables like onions, spinach pesto, and roasted red peppers!
Ingredients for Mediterranean Grilled Cheese
- Large slices of sourdough bread, each cut in half
- Pesto (carrot top, spinach, or basil)
- Provolone cheese (or mozzarella)
- Sliced red onion
- Sliced black olives (Kalamata olives would also be great!)
- Roasted red peppers
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Baby spinach, chopped
- Butter, melted
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
What is the best cheese for grilled cheese?
I absolutely love the combination of the Provolone and feta cheeses in this sandwich. Mozzarella and feta would also be great! A classic grilled cheese will, of course, have sharp cheddar, but I prefer the former for this Mediterranean-style sandwich! YUM!
What can you add to grilled cheese?
As in this recipe, Mediterranean-style vegetables are a perfect addition to grilled cheese sandwiches. Feel free to add any kind of olive or greens that you have. Also, sun-dried tomatoes would be so good!
Is mayo or butter better for grilled cheese?
There are recipes where people like to spread mayonnaise rather than butter on the bread for grilling, but for this recipe, the olive oil-garlic-butter is simply wonderful!
How do you spice up your Mediterranean grilled cheese?
To add more kick to the vegetables in this sandwich, you can always sprinkle red pepper flakes onto the vegetables and cheese before grilling! Sliced hot peppers would be a nice addition if you like it really spicy!
How Do You Make Mediterranean Grilled Cheese?
- Spread pesto onto each piece of bread.
- Place Provolone on top of the pesto on each half-slice of sourdough.
- Layer the veggies onto one side of each sandwich.
- Flip the other half-slice onto ingredients.
- Melt the butter and whisk in the olive oil and garlic powder. Coat the top slice of each sandwich. Grill on the griddle.
What Can I Serve with Grilled Cheese?
Tips for Making the Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
There’s an art to making great sandwiches. Here are a few of my best tips for getting it just right every time!
- Choose a “thirsty” type of bread. Sourdough is my very favorite bread for grilled cheese – in addition to the health benefits of traditional sourdough, its light and airy texture soaks up the butter beautifully, giving your sandwich a beautiful, crispy surface. But wheat bread will work in a pinch.
- Choose a good melting cheese, and use plenty of it! Using the right cheese is a big part of getting that oozey melted center without burning the bread. Provolone, Mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, and Swiss all work well and are fairly budget-friendly.
- Don’t skimp on the butter. For the best color, texture, and flavor, you’ve got to use a generous amount of real butter, period. There’s just no getting around it. The good news is, real butter is healthy!
- Manage your heat.
- To get a perfectly golden crispy surface with a soft and melty cheese center, you’ve also got to control the heat. I heat the butter in the pan over medium heat just long enough for the butter to begin bubbling. When the sandwich hits the sizzling butter, it’ll get nice & crisp on the surface. Once the first side is golden brown, flip it, allowing the other side to crisp over medium heat as well.
- Once both sides are crispy and golden brown, turn the heat down to low and “tent” the sandwich loosely with foil to hold the heat in enough to melt the cheese without overcooking the bread. Flip back to the first side partway through this step to ensure even heating as needed.
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Mediterranean Grilled Cheese
Delicious Mediterranean grilled cheese to switch up sandwich night. Frugal recipe the whole family loves, and a fun way to enjoy grilled cheese Greek style!
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 whole sandwiches
- Category: Main Meals
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 8 large slices sourdough, each cut in half
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 8 slices Provolone cheese, each cut in half (Mozzarella could also be used)
- 1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion
- 1 small can (2.25 oz) sliced black olives, drained (Kalamata would also be great!)
- 6 oz roasted red peppers in olive oil, drained and sliced into smaller pieces if too large (Mine were mini red peppers and I sliced them into 2–3 pieces each)
- 3 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
- 1 large handful baby spinach, chopped
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Place a long sheet of wax paper on the counter, then lay all 16 half-slices of sourdough on the wax paper, with top and bottom slices lying open and facing one another as you build each sandwich.
- Spread 1/2 Tbsp pesto onto each half-slice.
- Place a half-slice of Provolone on top of the pesto on each half-slice of sourdough. You’ll continue to build the sandwich on top of the Provolone on one side of the sandwich.
- Layer the red onions, black olives, feta, roasted red peppers, and spinach onto one side of each sandwich.
- Flip the other half-slice of each sandwich with pesto and Provolone over on top of the slice holding all the toppings. You should now have 8 assembled sandwiches lined up on the wax paper.
- Now melt the butter and whisk in the olive oil and garlic powder. Use a pastry brush to coat the top slice of all 8 sandwiches with the garlic-butter-oil blend.
- Use the remaining garlic-butter-oil blend to brush the griddle/pan generously. (I use either my cast iron griddle or a heavy duty stainless pan)
- Heat the griddle/pan over medium heat until garlic-butter-oil just begins to sizzle. Be sure the garlic-butter-oil is spread around enough to cover the bottom of each sandwich (If you’re cooking in batches, be sure to reserve enough of the garlic-butter-oil for remaining sandwiches).
- Use a spatula to transfer the sandwiches, dry side down, to the hot griddle/pan. Turn the heat down to low-medium.
- My trick for getting the cheese to melt without burning the edges of the sandwich is to allow both sides of the sandwich to reach your desired level of crispy golden brown, then turn the heat down to low (or turn the burner off entirely) and cover it loosely with a foil “tent” for a few more minutes.
- If cooking in batches, place cooked sandwiches on a large plate covered loosely with foil to keep them warm until ready to serve.
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