Grilled Cheese Toastie: Chicken, Red Pepper and Pesto Rosso

This simple recipe is the perfect upgrade of a grilled cheese toastie. Classic, (cheese and chicken), tasty, (Pesto Rosso) and with a bite (red pepper)… this recipe should be one of your favorite grilled cheese toastie variations. It is one of ours for sure! 

Because when you got things between bread in your head…

Recipe Inspiration

Hahaha… this is slightly awkward. When I was a student, one of our favorite recipes was pasta with Pesto Rosso, sour cream and chicken breasts. It was quick, cheap, delicious, looked fancy (for a student dish) and above all… It was ridiculously easy! So, with that in mind, I decided to dedicate one of our Toastie Recipes to this wonderful dish, between two slices of bread, of course!

Why We Love It

Despite its simplicity, this toasted sandwich is a little flavor bomb! Besides, we personally don’t use red pesto very often, even though it is so delicious and versatile and adds so much flavor to such a great variety of recipes! This recipe was therefore a great excuse to add some more pesto into our lives!

Another reason to love this recipe is because the many variations of it, which we will discuss further down below in this recipe. Keep reading!

Grilled Pepper

By grilled pepper we mean, grilled red peppers that come straight from a jar and jump right onto your sliced bread. Easy as that. Take the whole ones, not the ones that are cut into thin slices. The whole ones are a perfect sandwich size and therefore a match made in heaven with this toastie! 

Make sure to let all the liquid drip off, to prevent the bread from becoming soaking wet! 

Feeling culinary? Grill your own peppers! Cut the top off the grilled pepper (around the green thingy) and remove the seeds. Cut the pepper in a few similar sized chunks (as flat as possible). Sprinkle some oil on the grill and grill the pepper for about 5 minutes (or longer if you want it softer!). 

Gold Cheese

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese, please! For the alliteration’s sake, we decided to go with a classy Gouda (something old and ripened). This is not in line with the sophisticated student-pasta that I mentioned in the introduction, but works just as well (if not better!). 

If you liked the idea of adding sour cream to this toasted sandwich, you can use that instead of the cheese. Spread the sour cream on one slice and pesto on another. You could also mix them both before spreading them onto the bread. In that case, I would spread the paste on both sides, just because. 

Grilled Chicken

Deli meats, yay! Easy, simple, fast, cheap, delicious and perrrrfect for a grilled sandwich! We do recommend to go with a more sophisticated option, something organic, and to check the ingredients to make sure that the chicken is actually chicken. You could also opt for turkey. 

Feeling culinary yet again? Take a piece of chicken breast and cut it into the thinnest slices you are capable of. Grill them separately on the sandwich grill before you place them on the sandwich.

Perhaps you could season them with some salt, pepper and garlic powder, depending on your taste buds. Make sure the chicken is thoroughly done, because it will not cook much more on the grill. 

Keep in mind that using chicken fillets will require using a sandwich press instead of a toastie maker. It’s going to be a bit of a bigger sandwich and the toastie maker ain’t gonna like that!

Great Pesto Rosso (I wanted to maintain the alliteration) 

Pesto Rosso! The less popular version of the good old green pesto. It’s made out of sundried tomatoes, almonds, garlic and oil, and depending on your brand possibly some more stuff like nuts and lemon juice. It’s also super easy to make yourself (check out this deliiiiiiiiiiciously insightful recipe from Striped Spatula.).

Or hey, if you feel like doing things slightly differently, you can opt for using only sun-dried tomatoes and cutting them into smaller pieces for this recipe! (beware that they don’t fall off!) 

Vegetarian Version

Don’t want no chicken (legs)? GREAT idea! Swap the chicken for extra veggies like asparagus (those small, green ones), cherry tomatoes, or eggplants. All delicious when they are slightly grilled before assembling the toastie. You could also leave it out without replacing it with anything and this sandwich will still rock. 

Cream Cheese Version

Is this a Dutch thing? We used to eat cream cheese with everything! Cream cheese, sour cream, mascarpone, whipped cream, more cream cheese, cheese spread… 

Life as a student was great thanks to the mountains of creamy cheese we consumed. You can (and should) definitely try this sandwich with cream cheese instead of Gouda cheese. We are super curious to hear your favorite version!

Assembling Orders

The big risk of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich with chicken, Pesto Rosso and red pepper is that it will just make the bread soaking wet and ruin your entire experience. (Read: we’ve been there.) So stick to our recommendation: start with the chicken, then the cheese, next, the pepper, and finally the pesto Rosso.

Equipment Matters

The equipment that you will use for this toasted sandwich will highly depend on the ingredients that you are going to use. In our case, we used the traditional toastie maker, because we love it. 

Nevertheless, we ended up having to squeeeeeeeeeeeeze the press together in order to close it, and we really didn’t use any fancy ingredients (read: we used pre-sliced deli meat chicken, sliced cheese, and grilled pepper from a jar). 

Now, imagine using the fancier ingredients like real chicken breast and sundried tomatoes, you are going to need a sandwich grill. 

We went back to basics with this toastie: the Toastie Maker was the star of our show!

  • Tefal: Ultracompact Sandwich (Dedicated Toastie Maker)

YouTube Video

Want to see how easy it really is to make yourself some delicious comfort food? Check out our video! Hey, while you’re at it, leave a like and share your thoughts with us!

We Love To Hear From You!

Thoughts, suggestions, ideas to improve this toastie? Let us know! The Toastie Lab is here to answer all burning questions you might have on any toasted issue. Leave a comment on our YouTube channel, subscribe and hit the notification bell, or fill out the contact form on our website. 

Let’s create a loving community of toastie-lovers all over the world!

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Grilled Cheese Toastie: Chicken, Red Pepper and Pesto Rosso

  • Author: Toastie Lab
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


This simple recipe is the perfect upgrade of a grilled cheese toastie. Classic, (cheese and chicken), tasty, (Pesto Rosso) and with a bite (red pepper)… this recipe should be one of your favourite grilled cheese toastie variations. It is one of ours for sure!



  • four slices of bread 
  • 100 grams of sliced grilled chicken 
  • 4 slices of cheese
  • 2 (whole) grilled peppers (or one fresh red pepper to be grilled)  
  • 2 tablespoons of Pesto Rosso 
  • Butter to taste


  1. Take two slices of bread. Spread butter on both slices and flip over. 
  2. Spread pesto on one layer of bread. This slice will be the top layer.
  3. Place three slices of chicken meat on one slice of bread. 
  4. Add two slices of cheese on top of the chicken. 
  5. Place the grilled pepper on top of the cheese. 
  6. Place the pesto-ed slice on top of the pepper. 
  7. Carefully place the sandwich onto the grill or into the toastie maker. 
  8. Grill for about 5 minutes, or until done. 
  9. Remove carefully and cut diagonally. 
  10. Enjoy with extra ketchup! 🙂


  • Bread Tip: Spelt bread
  • Sauce Tip: Ketchup (optional) 
  • Preparation Time: Preheat the toastie maker while you assemble the toastie to speed things up. 
  • Category: Grilled Cheese, Comfort Food, Snack, Lunch
  • Method: Toastie Maker
  • Cuisine: Grilled Cheese Variation

Keywords: Grilled Cheese, Comfort Food, Chicken, Red Pepper, Pesto Rosso

Toastie Lab

Toastie Lab is the collective effort of Jack and Eveline. We love making, experimenting with, and eating toasted sandwiches.

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