I have seriously been in awe lately at how far vegan cheeses have come. Cheese is one of those foods that I still crave, and over the past couple of years I have found myself enjoying the non-dairy alternatives that’s out there #thankgodforthat Grilled cheese is always a super simple go-to, especially in the winter paired with tomato soup. It’s just one of those comfort meals that takes hardly any time to grill up, which is always a win. We aren’t really into the cooler weather here in Ohio yet, but September hit and my brain is ready for some grilled cheese!
I decided to kick it up a notch and add pea pesto to the sandwich, along with some vegan cream cheese, and tomatoes… and holy moly was this Pea Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich the bomb.
The pea pesto comes together so quickly, and is adapted from one of my favorite food blogs, Minimalist Baker. If you have leftover pesto, it makes such a nice dip for crackers or a spread on toast! These Pea Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are super filling too. One sandwich was plenty for me (when normally I would have one and a half to two sandwiches… hey don’t judge! haha). Not to mention, the pesto gives this grilled cheese sandwich a nutritional boost! It’s loaded with all kinds of good stuff to take grilled cheese to a whole new level (and it’s perfect to sneak some green goodness into your kids’ diet, wink).
Now I happen to like tomato in my grilled cheese, and I really think it’s fantastic in this particular grilled cheese sandwich, but feel free to omit if you’re not a tomato fan.
Now if you haven’t been introduced to vegan cheese, I’m here to tell you the good news! It melts, it tastes pretty darn close to real cheese, and it always takes care of that cheese craving I have. I’m so thankful for brands like Daiya, So Delicious, Kite Hill, and Violife… you guys rock my world. Seriously so grateful for these companies doing what they do. So are you ready to get your grilled cheese on?
Pea Pesto Grilled Cheese (Vegan + Gluten-Free)
- pea pesto (below)
- 5-6 slices vegan cheese (I used Daiya provolone style cheese)
- vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
- vegan cream cheese (I used Kite Hill chive cream cheese)
- 1 large tomato
- 4 slices gluten-free bread
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- 3 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- pinch pepper
Heat your skillet over low heat
**NOTE: I used low heat for these to allow longer time for the cheese to melt
Microwave your peas for 3 minutes in a bowl
Add the peas and all the other pesto ingredients to a food processor/blender and blend until smooth
Butter two slices of bread on one side, then place the butter-side down on the skillet
Top with vegan cheese, then tomato, then pesto
Butter the other two slices of bread on one side and on the other side, spread some vegan cream cheese
Place the vegan cream cheese side down over the pesto and grill your sandwiches until they start to turn golden brown, then flip and repeat
**NOTE: You made need to pop the sandwiches in the microwave to melt the cheese completely
Store any leftover pesto in the fridge and enjoy within a day or so on toast or crackers!
** Pea Pesto adapted slightly from Minimalist Baker