Chickpea Pesto & Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Hummus Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich 023


When I think about a grilled cheese sandwich, I always think of the Kraft commercial that used to play on television (maybe it still does) where the kids are pulling apart the sandwich, and there’s gooey cheese going everywhere. Unfortunately, this epitome of a grilled cheese probably consisted of two Kraft singles layered between slices of buttered margarined white bread–so not healthy! Remember when everyone ate margarine thinking it was the healthy alternative to butter? I’m glad the fat-free era is dead and gone–bring on the avocados and walnuts!


Fresh mozzarella is a creamy real cheese alternative to those plastic-wrapped slices. Plus, doesn’t this sandwich look super sophisticated? Its elegance is only matched by the taste. The chickpea pesto on this grilled cheese is a blend of hummus and traditional pesto; chickpeas replace the oil for a lower calorie and higher protein spread. I also used walnuts instead of pine nuts, because walnuts were on sale, and I’d have to sell a kidney to be able to buy pine nuts on a regular basis. The grilled cheese is layered with some extra greens too: spinach and avocado.  It’s all on hearty whole grain bread (I prefer to get bread that has 2 grams of sugar or less per slice, and not from corn syrup).


If you don’t have basil to make pesto, or you’re looking to save time, you can add dried basil, crushed walnuts, and lemon to store-bought garlic hummus. Cooked chicken goes great in this sandwich if you’re looking for a non-vegetarian meal. I added about two ounces of shredded chicken breast to my husband’s sandwich, because he’s more of a carnivore, but the sandwich has plenty of protein even without the meat.



{Chickpea Pesto & Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich}

A filling green grilled cheese sandwich with extra flavor from a chickpea-inspired pesto hummus.


Hummus Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich 030Servings: makes 6-¼ cup servings of chickpea pesto


Adapted from two recipes: High Protein and Oil-Free Basil Pesto & Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich


Ingredients for chickpea pesto

1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup loosely packed basil

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp water

1 tsp minced garlic

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ tsp unrefined salt


For each sandwich

2 slices whole grain bread

¼ of a medium avocado, sliced

2 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced thin

1 tbsp crushed walnuts

handful of spinach leaves



1. For chickpea hummus, combine all ingredients in a foods processor and blend until smooth.

2. To assemble sandwich, spread a serving (1/4 cup) of hummus on your two slices of bread. Layer spinach, mozzarella, and avocado on sandwich, and sprinkle with crushed walnuts.

3. Heat a non stick pan over medium-low heat. Toast sandwich until bread is browned, then flip over and brown the other side.


Nutrition info per sandwich: 520 cal, 29 g fat (9 g sat fat), 40 g carb, 26 g pro, 9 g fiber



Try this sandwich with my Fresh Roasted Vegetable Soup.

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