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Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese w/ Pesto, Asparagus, & Spinach

Vegetarian

Enjoy fresh spring vegetables like asparagus and spinach with this goat cheese grilled cheese sandwich with pesto. It’s simple to prepare in less than twenty minutes and vegetarian-friendly.

Three sandwich halves stacked.

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What’s to love about this recipe?

  • It features fresh seasonal veggies! April marks the beginning of asparagus season making it a great choice for this sandwich. And since spinach is a cool-weather crop early spring is one of the best times of the year to enjoy it, making it a great addition to this sandwich as well.
  • It’s simple! It takes less than 20-minutes to prepare this sandwich and it’s quite easy. It’s simply a matter of blanching the asparagus for a couple of minutes, whipping up the goat cheese mixture, assembling the sandwiches, and grilling them.
  • It’s vegetarian-friendly! As long as you choose a pesto that does not contain Parmesan cheese made with animal enzymes this sandwich is vegetarian.
Three sandwich halves stacked atop one another with plant and lemon halve in background.

Ingredients + notes & substitutions

Ingredients for grilled goat cheese sandwich (see recipe card).
  • Kosher salt: In order to soften the asparagus it is blanched. Adding salt to the water gives the asparagus some additional flavor.
  • Asparagus: Make sure to trim the rough ends off.
  • Goat cheese: It should be softened to room temperature so it’s easily spreadable.
  • Lemon juice: Both the goat cheese and the pesto have a tendency to be a bit salty – the lemon juice aids in balancing that.
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes: To spice things up a bit – not into that then skip it!
  • Pesto: In order for this sandwich to be vegetarian, you will need to make sure to choose a pesto that is vegetarian. Parmesan cheese, which is typically an ingredient in pesto, if authentic contains animal enzymes so make sure to check the label!
  • Red onion: In my opinion, a grilled cheese sandwich is not complete without onions.
  • Fresh spinach
  • Wheat or whole-grain bread: Wheat bread pairs really well with goat cheese and add a hint of sweetness. If you’re not a fan of wheat bread feel free to swap it for sourdough or any other bread of your choosing.
  • Butter: Or mayonnaise!

How do you make goat cheese grilled cheese w/ pesto, asparagus, & spinach? ( + tips)

  1. Fill a large pot with one inch of water. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the kosher salt stirring until dissolved. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Blanching the asparagus softens it a bit but allows it to remain a bit crisp too.
Blanched asparagus in ice water bath.

2. Heat a medium-large skillet over medium-low heat.

3. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, lemon juice, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes (optional).

Goat cheese mixture in a blue bowl.

4. Divide the goat cheese mixture between the four slices of bread then spread it evenly across them – set two slices aside.

5. Spread half of the pesto across one slice of bread and the remaining pesto across another slice.

6. Layer on the red onion, spinach, and asparagus.

Four stages of sandwich assembly.

Top with the two slices of bread that were set aside in step three, creating a sandwich.

Side by side of sandwich assembly.

7. Butter both sides of the sandwiches and transfer to the hot skillet. Cook for approximately three minutes on each side until golden brown. Adjust the heat as needed.

Pesto grilled cheese in a cast-iron skillet.

8. Remove from heat and serve warm.

How to store

Grilled cheese sandwiches are best consumed fresh. If for some reason, you do need to save one or part of one, however, make sure to store it in an airtight container for no more than a couple of days. According to treehuger.com you can reheat it in a skillet over medium-high heat by buttering it and cooking it for 2-3 minutes on each side with a lid on it.

Close up of stack of sandwiches.
Close up of goat cheese sandwich.

More sandwich recipes you may like:

  • Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese w/ Bacon Onion Jam: All the jalapeno popper goodness packed between two slices of buttery, grilled bread; melted cheddar and cream cheese, roasted jalapenos, and bacon onion jam. This sweet and savory sandwich is comfort food at its finest.
  • Chicken Caprese Panini: A summer favorite; this chicken Caprese panini includes grilled chicken, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, artisan bread brushed with basil oil, and a balsamic drizzle.
  • Spicy Kimchi Reuben: Fresh twist on a classic. This Spicy Kimchi Reuben is layered with corned beef, a spicy mayo kimchi mixture, and pepper jack cheese. Ready in just 15 minutes.

If you make this goat cheese grilled cheese w/ pesto, asparagus, and spinach I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Three sandwich halves stacked atop one another with plant and lemon halve in background.

Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese w/ Pesto, Asparagus, & Spinach

Yield: 2 sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes

Enjoy fresh spring vegetables like asparagus and spinach with this goat cheese grilled cheese sandwich with pesto. It's simple to prepare in less than twenty minutes and vegetarian-friendly.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 10 asparagus spears, trimmed 
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened to room temp
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pesto (see notes) 
  • 4 thin slices of red onion 
  • Small handful fresh spinach 
  • 4 slices wheat or whole grain bread
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot with one inch of water. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the kosher salt; stir until dissolved. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a bowl of ice water.
  2. Heat a medium-large skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Divide the goat cheese mixture between the four slices of bread then spread it evenly - set two slices aside.
  5. Spread half of the pesto across one piece of bread and the remaining pesto across another piece.
  6. Layer on the red onion, spinach, and asparagus then top with the two slices of bread that were set aside in step three.
  7. Butter both sides of the sandwiches and transfer to the hot skillet. Cook for approximately three minutes on each side until golden brown. Adjust the heat as needed.
  8. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Storage: Grilled cheese sandwiches are best consumed fresh. If for some reason, you do need to save one or part of one, however, make sure to store it in an airtight container for no more than a couple of days. According to treehuger.com you can reheat it in a skillet over medium-high heat by buttering it and cooking it for 2-3 minutes on each side with a lid on it.

Notes

    • In order for this sandwich to be vegetarian, you will need to make sure and choose a pesto that is vegetarian. Parmesan cheese, which is typically an ingredient in pesto, if authentic contains animal enzymes so beware!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1808Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 1718mgCarbohydrates: 279gFiber: 51gSugar: 5gProtein: 78g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

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