Cheddar, Manchego and Sundried Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese

I made Cheddar, Manchego and Sundried Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese on a bit of a whim (although grilled cheese at my house is never entirely unexpected :-)). Sometimes interesting things result when you open the fridge and explore a little. A little jar of sundried tomato pesto caught my eye and I immediately thought of the fabulous Cowgirl Creamery chipotle pesto grilled cheese I had up in San Francisco a week or so ago. Matched with tangy, buttery sharp cheddar and my favorite sheep’s milk manchego, the combination is a lot like grilled cheese and tomato soup…which is a pretty awesome combination. 🙂

And, yes, my “good camera” is still in working order, and I promise I’ll use it again soon. But to be honest, it’s spur-of-the-moment, ooh-I’ve-got-to-capture-this Instagram pics like the one above that are speaking to me most these days. No setup, no tethering, no styling, no light bouncing…just good food, shared. That’s where I’m at right now. I hope you enjoy them too!


Cheddar, Manchego and Sundried Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese

Recipe by Kathy Strahs,

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 panini


  • 1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 pound manchego cheese, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 8 slices rustic sourdough bread, sliced from a bakery loaf
  • 4 tablespoons sundried tomato pesto


  1. Heat the panini press to medium-high heat.
  2. Toss the cheddar and manchego together in a small bowl, combining the cheeses well.
  3. For each sandwich: Spread butter on two slices of bread to flavor the outside of the sandwich. Flip over both bread slices and spread sundried tomato pesto on the inside of each. Top one slice of bread, on the pesto side, with 1/4 of the cheddar-manchego mix. Close the sandwich with the other bread slice, buttered side up.
  4. Grill two panini at a time, with the lid closed, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. Amanda wrote:

    Yum, sounds amazing!! Your photo is gorgeous!! 🙂 Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Posted 4.18.13 Reply
  2. You had me at “Sundried Tomato Pesto!” 😉

    Posted 4.18.13 Reply
  3. kita wrote:

    We don’t make grilled cheese nearly enough in my house. I want this sandwich so bad right now!

    Posted 4.19.13 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      You need to come to my house – we make grilled cheese way too often! 🙂

      Posted 4.19.13 Reply
  4. I love pesto! This grilled cheese sounds fabulous, Kathy!

    Posted 4.20.13 Reply
  5. Carolyn wrote:

    Chipotle Pesto cheese sounds awesome…as does your lovely grilled cheese combo here!

    Posted 4.22.13 Reply
  6. This might be the perfect sandwich.

    Posted 4.22.13 Reply
  7. Jeanette wrote:

    My kids love sundried tomato pesto although I’ve never made grilled cheese with it. Love those spur of the moment pictures – I’m with you lately, simpler photos of food I’m cooking right now!

    Posted 4.22.13 Reply
  8. This is absolutely mouth watering! This is the ultimate grilled cheese 🙂 I

    Posted 4.22.13 Reply
  9. Oh yes sundried tomatoes sounds perfect with the cheddar and manchego!

    Posted 4.23.13 Reply
  10. Sun dried Tomato Pesto.. yes please..

    Posted 4.24.13 Reply
  11. Boy is this a delicious looking grilled cheese!

    Posted 4.25.13 Reply
  12. Ryan wrote:

    Where does one get or how can Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto be made?

    Posted 5.19.13 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      I found mine at the grocery store, next to the oil-packed sundried tomatoes.

      Posted 5.19.13 Reply