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Kale Pesto Grilled Cheese

Kale Pesto Grilled Cheese with Marinara Sauce

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Recipe Details


These ooey, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches use four (count 'em, four) types of cheese: shredded mozzarella, shredded provolone, fresh mozzarella, and Parmesan. They’re sandwiched between toasted brioche with a vibrant basil-kale pesto. Embrace your inner kid and dunk the sandwiches in the warm marinara sauce (that’s exactly what we did).


  • Vegetarian
  • Quick Cook

Quick facts

Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
By Chef Shanna

By Chef Shanna

Nutritional info

  • Calories 1090
  • Protein 33g
  • Total Carb 99g
  • Total Fat 64g

Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

Ingredients & Equipment

What we send

  • curly kale
    2 ounces
    curly kale
  • basil
    1/4 ounce
  • lemon
  • fresh mozzarella
    4 ounces
    fresh mozzarella
  • garlic
    1 clove
  • pine nuts
    2 tablespoons
    pine nuts
  • grated Parmesan cheese
    1 ounce
    grated Parmesan cheese
  • dried oregano
    3/4 teaspoon
    dried oregano
  • jar marinara sauce
    jar marinara sauce
  • brioche
    4 slices
  • shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese blend
    1 ounce
    shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese blend

What You’ll Need

  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • blender or food processor (optional)
  • 10" medium high-sided pan with lid
  • baking sheet


Cooking Steps

  1.  Prepare ingredients

    Prepare ingredients

    Preheat oven to 425ºF. Rinse all produce. Roughly chop or tear kale leaves, discarding long stems. Pick basil leaves, discarding stems. Halve lemon. Thinly slice mozzarella. Mince garlic.

  2. Make kale pesto

    Make kale pesto

    In a blender or food processor, combine pine nuts, kale, basil, half of garlic, 1 tablespoon water, and 2 tablespoons olive oil; pulse until smooth. Stir in half of Parmesan, 1 squeeze lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Set kale pesto aside until Step 4. Save remaining lemon to brighten a glass of water.

  3. Simmer marinara sauce

    Simmer marinara sauce

    Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium high-sided pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add oregano and remaining garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to medium high and add marinara sauce. Simmer, stirring, until warmed through and flavors have melded, 6-8 minutes more. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Remove pan from heat; cover and set aside until Step 6.

  4. Assemble sandwiches

    Assemble sandwiches

    While marinara simmers, drizzle olive oil over 1 side of bread slices. Arrange oil-side up on a baking sheet and bake until beginning to crisp, 2 minutes, then flip. Spread kale pesto over plain sides of bread slices and top with shredded mozzarella and provolone, then remaining Parmesan, then mozzarella slices. Return to oven and bake until cheeses are melted and bread is golden, 3-4 minutes more.

  5. Finish sandwiches

    Finish sandwiches

    Close sandwiches, pressing to adhere. Return to oven and bake until tops of sandwiches are golden, 1-2 minutes.

  6. Plate kale pesto grilled cheese

    Plate kale pesto grilled cheese

    Cut kale pesto grilled cheese in half on a diagonal. Divide marinara sauce between small bowls and serve with sandwiches for dipping. Dig in!

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