Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich {recipe}

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich

April is National Grilled Cheese Month, so we’re celebrating by posting a grilled cheese sandwich every day. This is No. 5. See all of our grilled cheese sandwiches >> here << .

After (re)discovering Green Goddess early last year, we’ve been obsessed, to the point that we even took the idea of Green Goddess herbs and made Summer Rolls. We thought we were brilliant when we thought we had come up with Green Goddess Grilled Cheese, but realized that another TasteSpotter had beat us to the green, herbaceous, garlicky punch…

We love PaniniHappy’s version with the green goddess herbs mixed directly into cream cheese, but ours is a little different. We made a fresh herb pesto with the standard Green Goddess herbs, plus a sneaky handful of kale (which is now going to be a staple condiment in our kitchen), spread it onto the bread, added sliced avocado, fresh baby spinach, and goat cheese. Mozzarella is what we already had, so we added that as the “melty” cheese.
Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich

based on all those gorgeous green goddesses out there…

makes 1 sandwich


2 slices bread (we used a white bread, but one filled with lots of different whole grains and seeds would be *awesome*)
2-3 tablespoons Green Goddess Herb Pesto (recipe below)
2 slices mild white melty cheese like mozzarella
handful fresh baby spinach
¼ avocado, sliced
2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
olive oil (and butter if you’re so inclined)


Spread about 1 tablespoon of Green Goddess Herb Pesto onto each slice of bread (2 tablespoons total, but if you’re sensitive, go light, the pesto is STRONG).

On one slice of bread, add 1 slice of cheese, sliced avocado, crumbled goat cheese, spinach, second slice of cheese, then top it with second slice of bread. Press together gently.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan over medium low heat. (If you want to use butter, add it to the oil and let it melt). Add the sandwich to the oil and cook until bread is golden brown. Press down on the sandwich lightly, then flip the sandwich over and cook until second side is golden brown.

Green Goddess Herb Pesto


1 clove garlic
1 (or 2 if you’re ballsy) anchovy fillet (in oil)
½ small shallot, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
handful chopped fresh Italian parsley
handful chopped kale
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped chives
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Pulse garlic, anchovy, and shallot in food processor until chopped. With the food processor running, add lemon juice, parsley, kale, tarragon and chives. (It won’t process very well yet, don’t worry).

Very slowly drizzle in olive oil until kale and herbs get sufficiently chopped and everything is the consistency of a pesto. You may need more or less of the olive oil depending on how big a “handful” of herbs is to you. You can also turn off the food processor and push herbs down the side of the bowl with a spatula every once in a while.

Season to taste with salt and pepper (You probably won’t need too much salt if you used 2 anchovies).

(This makes a lot, but you will use it all for other things. We added more olive oil to make it back into a salad dressing.)

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich

by Sarah J. Gim on April 5, 2012 · 121 comments

{ 121 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura April 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

This is absolutely gorgeous. Haven’t done much with kale as of late, this pesto is now on my list. Love the addition of tarragon.


Jennifer April 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm

This sandwich looks magnificent!


vickie cooper March 13, 2017 at 6:34 am

thankyou girl scout cookies and all the sandwiches

katherine April 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm

lucky me one of my russian kale plants survived the winter, heaviy mulched, and now produces a bush of little baby kale leaves which i have been having in a salad with diced honey crisp apple and blue cheese dressing / now i guess i will make some fancy pesto / i have already used kale instead of basil for some time / now i must go view the other grilled cheese sammies / i make a sage bread with a bottle of beer that makes a great grilled cheese too


Sue June 20, 2012 at 7:30 am

Would love your recipe for sage bread

sunday December 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Hello. Would also love that recipe. Please be kind and share.

Jacqueline April 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm

YUM, yum, yum! Love the colors and flavors of this sandwich. I’d say this is the best a grilled cheese can get!


chau taylor April 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm



Mariko April 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

What? It’s grilled cheese month?! April is now officially my favorite month.

Avocado and herbs in a sandwich. Perfection. Also very smart to stick the kale in there.


Sarah J. Gim May 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

between grilled cheese and diamond as the birthstone, april is pretty much the best month :)

what katie's baking April 5, 2012 at 10:09 pm

this looks so awesome. i’m going to make this tomorrow since i can’t eat meat! yum, thank you!


TastefullyJulie April 6, 2012 at 5:43 am

Looks like heaven! Thank you for this.


Lauren April 6, 2012 at 6:14 am

I pray to green goddess…and now in a grilled cheese sandwich! My bf, the ‘King of Condiments’ will L O V E you for this!


Karen from SoupAddict April 6, 2012 at 6:14 am

You guys rock the green goddess party! To this day, I still use your green goddess dressing from last year – it’s a staple:


Sarah J. Gim May 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

aw, karen, thank you so much for saying that :) always good to find out that our recipes are useful :)

leaf (the indolent cook) April 6, 2012 at 7:07 am

That definitely looks like the green goddess of sandwiches! I almost feel a healthy glow just looking at it! ;)


Jeanine April 6, 2012 at 7:27 am

So gorgeous – I can’t wait to make this!


Mary April 6, 2012 at 11:07 am

Can’t wait to try this. I bet it would make a good quesadilla too. I’ve made pesto with cilantro instead of basil – I’ll be adding kale too now.


Sarah J. Gim May 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

mary: LOVE the idea of making it with tortillas into a quesadilla… then you could top it with fresh pico de gallo!

ATasteOfMadness April 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Oh my my. I’m a sucker for pesto. This looks to die for!


Aliyia April 7, 2012 at 10:29 am

This was AWESOME!


daisytengzhen April 18, 2012 at 6:25 am

this looks fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!so kind of you to introduce it!


beckie sweet April 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I LOVE green goddess. After trying the sauce my first time at the Melting Pot restaurant, I’m hooked. This recipe blends grilled cheese and the best sauce ever into one being and I absolutely must try this! Hope it turns out as well as your pictures make it seem.


Mary April 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm

My son and I made this yummy sandwich. It turn out great. Lots of great flavors.


Vicki Costa May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm

This sandwich looks absolutely AMAZING!!!! I will be making this for sure…Thank you!!!


Meredith Schneider May 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm

This looks amazing!! Yum! So gonna make some this week! All my favorite ingredients!


Maria May 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Hello, What a great sandwich!! I just made it, without the Pesto,(didin’t have all the Ingredients). even like that is extaordinary!! Thanks.


Kevin (Closet Cooking) May 8, 2012 at 4:32 am

That is one tasty looking grilled cheese!


Cheryl May 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I made this and it completely rocked my day!


Brandy May 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm

This came out delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe!


Laura May 10, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Great Sammie


susie t. gibbs May 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Wow just wow! I will be dreaming of this until I make it!




Blanca May 12, 2012 at 2:21 am

Love it! just one question: Can I ommit/substitute tarragon?


sarah December 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

Hey Blanca! Absolutely can omit the tarragon… just double up with something else like spinach or arugula (tarragon has a slightly licorice-y flavor, so not quite sure what you can sub for the same flavor, but leaving it out might be better if you don’t love that taste :) )

Shelly May 13, 2012 at 11:32 am

This sandwich was so delicious. I took a shortcut and bought pre-made pesto and since my husband doesn’t like goat cheese we eliminated it. I toasted it on fresh ciabatta bread and it was so yummy. It was so easy and delicious I am sure it will be made many many times again.


sarah December 12, 2012 at 10:40 am

Oh, if you don’t love goat cheese, you can leave it out, or if you simply can’t find any, you can always use a little bit of plain cream cheese…

Lisa May 13, 2012 at 11:09 pm

This looks awesome. I almost wonder if sprouts wouldn’t be a good addition. I shall try that and find out . :)


Sarah J. Gim May 13, 2012 at 11:11 pm

ooo…sprouts sounds gooood. wish we had thought of that when we first posted this! please let us know how it turns out!

Belles With Bite May 14, 2012 at 10:17 am

Green Goddess Pesto? Love it!!! Can’t wait to try.


Minoke May 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Awesome sandwich! Goat cheese is essential.. l0l :)


gingerslove May 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I tried this recipe and posted it on my blog.. i must stay i was intrigued by the color.. as green is my favorite color.. but OMGEEE it was so tasty i ate it for dinner then got up extra early the next day to cook it for my lunch.. it taste DEELISHIOSO even cold.. Love the texture and the taste.. superb.. it also helps with my new diet of eating healthy..


Kate May 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Oh man…I just made this for dinner tonight. I have to say, this was amazing! My husband was rather impressed. We will definitely be making it again soon! I would have paid for this sandwich at a restaurant, no question about it. Thank you so much for posting.


Marta @ I love breakfast May 20, 2012 at 5:39 am

OMG, it looks so delicious.


Raquel Rusing May 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

Good morning! Great recipe. I integrated it into my Memorial Day weekend camping menu. See some other great meals to go with this one:

Thanks for the idea!


MHC May 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm

post on your delicious looking sandwich with picture!


Sarah May 25, 2012 at 9:06 am

grilled cheese


Liz G May 25, 2012 at 11:16 am

If you’re interested in nutritional info, this is with all ingredients as presented (like white bread, mozza, etc), and no butter:
1 Sandwich
Amount Per Serving
Calories 654.7
Total Fat 44.4 g
Saturated Fat 12.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 18.8 g
Cholesterol 49.4 mg
Sodium 1,215.1 mg
Potassium 366.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 43.2 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Sugars 6.4 g
Protein 20.8 g
Vitamin C 9.9 %
Calcium 43.4 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Mark S May 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Oh wow. You actually fry the bread? I was gonna make this for lunch to take to work but I don’t know how it’s gonna taste by lunch time, with all that olive oil leakin’ out.


sara May 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm

This sandwich looks amazing! Totally gorgeous, and looks super delicious. :)


sherie June 1, 2012 at 6:35 am

Want to try this


Sheryl Jones June 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I am going to try this for lunch. It looks delicious.
Thank You Sheryl


leslie gambee June 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Just made it for lunch, soooo good!


Shannon June 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I made these this weekend and they were DEEEEEELICIOUS! I used provolone cheese as my melty cheese and made basil pesto instead of the herb pesto. I made open faced sandwiches and grilled them in our little toaster/grill. I grilled the provolone on the bread first, took that out, added the pesto, avocado, fresh basil leaves, and the goat cheese, grilled it a little longer, and then DEVOURED 1 1/2 sandwiches. Wonderful sandwich.


nanacrow3 June 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

This looks and sounds delicious, can’t wait to make it.


Veronique @ Eatwell101 June 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

Very nice recipe. I’ve got to try this!


Comiendo en LA June 28, 2012 at 11:09 am

This is heaven!! Today I’ll buy the ingredients to make this!


MC White June 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

Just made this for lunch and added sliced tomato. Perfectly delicious!!! Reminds me of a sandwich I order at a local deli that is $$$. Thanks for this recipe!


villy July 3, 2012 at 11:23 am

Oooh my goodness, is this gorgeous or what…going to prepare it right now lol Big thanks for the recipe


beezers July 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Just made these tonight and they were absolutely amazing. Thanks for the recipe!


Nique July 12, 2012 at 5:43 am

Looks wonderful. Hmm. how would it be with arugula instead of spinach.


sarah December 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

Nique: Personally, i LOVE arugula, especially the wild kind that is super spicy/bitter, so that substitution sounds awesome!

david jackson July 13, 2012 at 11:37 pm

What a wonderful colour pallette and wonderful taste combination for your palate!!! And lets do mention the absolute happy alarm that goes off the first bite you partake of this ingenious sandwich!!!!!1


Danielle L. July 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I made this tonight for my husband & I, but made a quick pesto spread
With just fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper. I used havarti cheese in place of the mozz (already had It). IT WAS SO GOOD!! added a quick side of tomato
Soap-great quick dinner. I liked how I could add 2 green veggies in :)


sundance July 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm

it was delicious! the only thing i would change is to not grill with that much oil/butter… it became very greasy. but other than that it was great!


Ruth August 6, 2012 at 9:07 am

I would make the dressing but leave out the anchovies because I am allergic to all fish.


jennifer August 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm

This is the most amazing grilled cheese I have ever made!!!!


Julie September 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Just made this for dinner. Absolutely perfection of the combination of favors. It also passed the meat-eating boyfriend test. Said he loves it! I just made brownie points thanks to this sandwich!


elulsemom September 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm

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toni morton September 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm

This is such a yummy sammie… couldn’t just eat one. But I’m a latina so I like mine spicy- I changed it up a bit. I tried it with pepper jack, pickled jalapenos (chiles en vinagre), and Publix five grain bread- They were AWESOME. Also, if you use the pre-made kind of pesto- drain some of the olive oil, or it’ll over power the whole thing. Thanks for the recipe :)


temi paul September 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm

looks healthy..would be good on rye


Rachel September 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

OMG! This sandwich is AMAZING! I came across your recipe on Pinterest, and seriously, it is one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. The only things I did differently: I used spicy guacamole instead of sliced avocado, and I omitted the anchovy in the pesto to make it completely vegetarian. I made 1 sandwich last night, and I have already made 4 more today (2 for me and 2 for my boyfriend). THAT’S how good it is! My boyfriend says he will never eat a plain grilled cheese sandwich again :)


Cristina Pierce October 3, 2012 at 6:24 am

Now this is my kind of sandwich! Delicious and so healthy at the same time. Thank you for sharing.


Kim Wiley October 4, 2012 at 10:51 am



MarySue M October 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Loved the sandwich! I used some of the “left over” pesto in a wrap with leftover turkey, goat cheese, apples, cucumbers, and dried cranberries. It was amazing! Also on whole wheat pasta with turkey and topped with grated parmesan. Yum!


Brianna October 15, 2012 at 8:14 am

Could you replace the kale with spinach or basil???


Sarah J. Gim October 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

absolutely! in fact, basil is probably the best since there’s already baby spinach… :) diversify your greens!

Sabrina October 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm

This looks so good! I featured your recipe in my newest blog post. :)

Here it is:


Amber DeGrace October 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Fantastic recipe! I added about a tsp of honey to the pesto and it cut some of the bitterness. Will make this again!


sarah December 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

Hey Amber! Thanks for the tip on the honey! Good call on adding some sweetness for overall balance…

Alice November 16, 2012 at 10:10 am

Yes. Everything about this recipe – YES YES YES! Love it! Drooling. Only problem is the workday just started, so how will I get through this day!?


Annie Ayerst December 12, 2012 at 1:19 am

As a vegetarian and foodie, this is a perfect combination of ingredients! Love it and sharing with my veg-head friends. Thank you!


sarah December 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

You’re welcome! (Though you’d have to make the pesto sans anchovy to make it completely vegetarian!)

Heather December 12, 2012 at 2:29 am

Is this still good without the pesto? I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be delicious…I’m trying to learn some new recipes and be a bit more adventurous in my cooking, but I’m not ready for pesto level yet! Mostly because I don’t have a food processor and I’m scared of anchovies!


sarah December 12, 2012 at 10:32 am

Heather: I am sure it would be fine without the pesto, though it wouldn’t have quite the same flavor kick since the pesto has garlic and all those herbs.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can also:

1) buy pesto, which would taste slightly different since that’s mostly basil and pine nuts, or
2) just very finely mince all the pesto ingredients, minus the anchovy since you’re shy about them :) it will be more of a salsa verde rather than a smoother pesto, but the same flavor!

Good luck! Bon appetit!

sarah December 12, 2012 at 10:35 am

p.s. if you do use store-bought pesto,make sure to drain some of the olive oil before spreading on the bread as per toni’s suggestion above

lynn @ the actor's diet January 2, 2013 at 10:29 am

i vow to eat a lot more pretty grilled cheese sandwiches in 2013!


Liz Stark January 7, 2013 at 2:22 am

This is seriously the best grilled cheese variety/recipe, EVER.


edna January 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I would use the vegan mozzarella and whole grain bread add a few spices and of course use the kale and spinach
wow can’t wait to make it this weekend


Bev N January 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm
Stache January 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm

MMMmmmm just made this for lunch and it was fantastic!!!


Cassandra February 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Please send news to my email, Please love the food ideas


Chandra March 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm

OK, here’s what I did: I made the pesto, tweaking the the seasoning a bit by using 4 anchovies (gasp!) and 3 tsp. lemon juice. I also used dried tarragon and green onion tops rather than chives because I hate spending money on those expensive packages of fresh herbs at the grocery store. I guess I added too much olive oil so that my pest was a little thin, so in a stroke of genius, I threw into the food processor about 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds. O-M-G, I could eat this stuff with a spoon. So good.
In order to make the sandwich a cold one that I can take to work, I just spread the pesto, on one bread (used the seedy kind), spreadable goat cheese on the other, sandwiched in the avocado, and that was it. Very good lunch sandwich. The pesto was not overpowering at all. Just make sure to check your teeth for kale after eating ; -)


Celeste March 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm

This sandwich was delicious! I used a low-fat provolone cheese and whole grain honey oatmeal bread. I think I could eat this everyday.


Annabelle P April 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I can’t not wait to make and try this! Love grilled cheese but with all the yummy green stuff, this maybe my new comfort food :)


Diana April 10, 2013 at 12:01 am

Do u know maybe how many calories that amazing sandwitches have?


Connie Willson Finateri May 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

Could you please send me your recipe for Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Or do you have an online recipe club I could join. I just have to have it for my recipe file.

Thank You very much……. Connie


Eve June 3, 2013 at 10:09 am

I made this for lunch today. Didn’t have whole wheat bread, so I used a whole wheat tortilla wrap instead. I also had to substitute the goat cheese with feta cheese. Nonetheless, it tasted great! I’ll have to make it again sometime when I have the original ingredients.


Katlyne June 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Green Cheese Sandwhich Recipe


Beth June 23, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I just made this! It was delicious and very rich, going to make it again soon.


Alex August 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Big taste! Avocado, goat cheese, and mozzarella mix for a deliciously creamy sensation and the pesto gives the sandwich a nice kick. Ridiculously easy and a must try!


Beth January 2, 2015 at 3:24 am

Ooo oooo oooo. So delicious. I tried Trader Joes, Cilantro dressing, the next time I made this. ( 3 gm fat/2tbs). Yummy too! You’ll find the dressing in the refrigerated section, near the prepared salads etc.


Anjali @ Vegetarian Gastronomy January 8, 2015 at 4:46 pm

I absolutely love this green panini sandwich! tThe only changes i made was to use 1 slice of mozzarella and use my basic basil pesto recipe! Yum! and super quick to make!


depotdevoid April 16, 2015 at 10:06 pm

This looks AMAZING! It’s got a number of ingredients I’m sure my family would hate, but really appeal to me. I’m hoping to try it out next time I’m left to fend for myself some weekend afternoon.

FYI, I found this posted, completely unattributed, at elitedaily. I had to poke around on google before I could find your website. I might recommend some sort of a watermark on future images you post? At least that way, when the thieves come a-stealin’, people will be able to see the original source.

Keep up the good work, I’ve bookmarked your site!



Ana Amaya April 20, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Great sandwich! Love the pesto, all family was amazed with the flavors


Loei January 14, 2016 at 3:11 am

I made this sandwich with a few changes for my parents…..OMG delicious. Probably never make plain grill cheese again. Thank you so very much for sharing!!!❤


Brigitte Laporte Darbans April 29, 2016 at 12:31 am

J’aurais aimé avoir la traduction en français. merci


Brigitte Laporte Darbans April 29, 2016 at 12:33 am

I’ll like to have French traduction of this sandwish


TheHelpingKitchen May 29, 2016 at 3:29 am

Thanks for a great article, great recipe


Norma June 5, 2016 at 2:35 am

I’ve try this recipe and love it. It’s great for me


Nicki Escudero July 18, 2016 at 8:49 am

I made this last night, and it was amazing! Thank you so much for the great recipe! :-)


Shannon Koller August 1, 2016 at 6:47 am

Sounds great, but no kale for us. I may put some spinach leaves in it. Love all the herbs!


Cappi November 29, 2016 at 5:07 pm

My daughter made this a few months ago and it is AMAZING. I am actually making it tonight. I may substitute Arugula for the spinach.


Elise nudel January 6, 2017 at 7:41 pm

Looks so good


Mary Mentzer May 16, 2017 at 7:51 pm

Great i will do it for my breakfast tomorrow, thanks for your bread recipe!


MEAl5 November 13, 2017 at 11:56 pm

I will try this recipe. Thanks shaina for share this lovely recipe


peafur January 24, 2018 at 11:30 pm

would be good on rye


homespiration November 15, 2018 at 8:49 pm

Thank You very much……. Connie


theresa November 26, 2018 at 10:23 am



phoenix July 26, 2020 at 3:24 am

Great recipe! I made it according to your recipe and the taste is great! Everyone in the family likes it, it makes me happy. Thank you


Janelle March 27, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Anise is a great licorice-flavor. Fennel is fairly close as well. I was wondering about leaving out the anchovy.


Samantha March 28, 2016 at 11:06 am

I left out the anchovy, and it’s perfect!


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