It’s hard to beat the comfort of a grilled cheese sandwich. I always loved the buttery crunch alongside a bowl of tomato soup when I was a kid, and I still do today! This apple grilled cheese recipe features a couple of new additions to this classic sandwich that boost it to a whole new level — both in taste and nutrition.
Even my kids love the sophistication of this Apple Grilled Cheese with Turkey and Pesto. The sweet, buttery, salty combination has just the right appeal for a great kid-friendly lunch.
Top-notch grilled cheese tips
A grilled cheese is a grilled cheese is a grilled cheese — I think NOT! Making an apple grilled cheese sandwich that stands above the rest requires a few components.
1. Quality bread!
My favorite bread choice is long ferment homemade sourdough! It’s airy, crusty, and full of life.
However, the bread can easily be adjusted based on nutrition needs, allergies, or preference. Don’t be afraid to use an almond flour based bread, rice bread, ezekiel bread, or a whole-grain gluten-free option.
2. Sharp cheese!
I’m all about using sharp cheddar for my apple grilled cheese sandwiches. I believe that a good cheese toast requires plenty of deep flavor.
With that said, it can also be fun to play with swiss, havarti, fresh mozzarella, or even brie cheese to change up the flavor profile.
3. Extra protein!
Sure, you get some protein in the cheese, but a little extra will help keep you satiated longer (and it tastes amazing). I love to add a quality roasted deli turkey to my sandwich, layered right on top of the cheese.
You could also opt for ham, salami, or even roast beef! Yum!
4. Something sweet!
Everyone loves a hint of sweetness, and a thinly sliced apple provides just the right dose. It also adds color, texture, and juiciness to the overall fixation of this grilled cheese.
But, if the apple doesn’t speak to you, you could try sliced pear, fig, or even tomato for this layer of the sandie!
5. Flavorful spread!
There’s nothing like a tried and true basil pesto to add depth of flavor. The garlic, herbs, olive oil and lemon offer a richness that puts a smile on my face everytime.
Arugula Pesto, Carrot Top Pesto, or Fennel Frond Dip would also be tasteful options to try. Or opt for your favorite mustard, smashed avocado, or hummus to spread on the underside of your favorite bread.
6. Plenty of butter!
It just isn’t a grilled cheese without plenty of butter! Don’t be afraid. A generous pat of grass-fed butter for each sandwich will do the trick and result in the crispy, comforting, golden crust we all long for.
Involve your kids!
Grilled cheese making can certainly be a family affair. Turning any meal into a food experience will engage kids of all ages and increase the likelihood that they’ll gobble up their food.
Here are a few things kids in the kitchen can help with (based on age, development, and experience) to make these Apple Grilled Cheese sandwiches.
- Gather ingredients
- Wash the apples
- Add ingredients to the food processor to make homemade pesto
- Slice cheese and apples if competent with safe knife skills
- Layer ingredients on the bread
Apple Grilled Cheese with Turkey & PestoPrint
- 8 slices of long ferment sourdough
- 6 oz cheddar cheese, sliced
- ¼ to ½ cup basil pesto
- 12 oz. roasted turkey, sliced thin
- 1 large apple, cored and sliced thin
- 4 Tbsp butter
- Lay 4 slices of bread on a large cutting board. Divide cheese evenly and place on each slice of bread.
- Top with about 3 oz. of turkey, and a quarter of the apple slices.
- Spread 1 to 2 Tbsp of pesto on the other 4 slices of bread and top each sandwich (pesto side down).