Sun Dried Tomato Bacon Pesto Grilled cheese, pesto, Tillamook Medium White Cheddar Cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, crisp bacon and topped with pesto butter!
Two stacked sun dried tomato bacon pesto grilled cheese sandwiches with little basil leaves
I went to a Tillamook event one summer, years and years ago. It was honestly one of the best events that I have been to. It was very hands on with an awesome Grilled Cheese Cook-off and we were stoked to get to participate. There was pretty much every kind of ingredient that you could hope for with a grilled cheese; different breads, cheeses, spreads, and fillers. Awesomeness all around. It’s where the sun-dried tomato bacon pesto grilled cheese came from.
Let me back up for a moment. I happen to ADORE Tillamook. Their cheese is seriously some of the best.
Oh, and have you tried their ice cream?! I LOOOOVE Marionberry Pie. It. Is. Awesome.
I just got home from a trip with Tillamook to see the brand new creamery, dairy farms and even check out Feast Portland!
What a crazy fun week and I am so excited to share it all with you!

tillamook ice cream pints

What’s Your Favorite Tillamook Ice Cream?

At the Creamery tour I got to try Marionberry Cheesecake Ice Cream and a whole slew of other flavors and it was exactly as you’d expect, to die for!!!
I also love that Tillamook has been around for ages, but it is still all about family, friends, loyalty and quality even years later. I love a good company and I love them even more when they produce incredible food.
two sun dried tomato bacon pesto

A New Menu at the Tillamook Creamery

They also totally revamped their menu, but don’t you worry there’s still grilled cheese and tomato soup.
I had this moment while the bloggers were talking and trying the new menu and I couldn’t help but think about 10 years ago, we were just getting the blog started and really hoping that things would take off for us. We attended that grilled cheese Cook-off and I won with this sun dried tomato pesto bacon grilled cheese and I just knew I had to re-share the recipe and how far we’ve come.
baby calf at Tillamook dairy
On our trip we learned a lot more than just different flavors and combinations. We were able to take a behind the scenes look at what it is that makes Tillamook stand out from all the other cheese brands. Which by the way, it’s pretty amazing to be in Portland, Salt Lake City and see other places and have so many restaurants “tagging” Tillamook on their menu as the cheese they use.
So. Cool.

Cool Facts About Tillamook

  • Tillamook has dairy farms all right around the town so that the milk can come straight to the factory and be made into products within 24-hours vs other cheesemakers that have to ship milk in.
  • The Tillamook Creamery runs 24/7, meaning that someone is always working to get that cheese turned right on over to different products versus sitting and losing quality.
  • Tillamook has been rated with the one of the top dairy measures in the nation. The national Somatic cell count (SCC) average is 200,000, and Tillamook has been lower than 200,000 for 16 years. SCC is a measure of both milk quality and animal health, a lower SCC indicates better milk quality and animal health.  This means Tillamook is about 16 years ahead of their competitors in quality. 

Bloggers at Tillamook Creamery

Cool Facts Cont’d

  • Many cheese brands cut about 640- pound blocks of cheese. Now, think about that, by the time that thing cools in the center the outside has already cooled and begun aging. The brand cuts and sells smaller blocks that are now all over the place for age.
  • Tillamook produces their cheese in 42-pound blocks because that is the ideal size to consistently cool down the product.
  • By Federal Regulation Code, cheddar cheese can have up to 39% moisture, meaning that companies can add in a bunch of water or use lower quality dairy. Tillamook cheddars are much lower in moisture because they like to use more dairy components (fat and protein) to make creamier, better tasting dairy products! (Ice cream is another example of creamy versus crystalized product)
  • Tillamook cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream are just the best. Like really.

The New Tillamook Creamery

Tillamook Creamery

The new Creamery got a major makeover. It’s absolutely stunning. Don’t just buy cheese and ice cream, get your family out to the coast, see the stunning, misty mountains and rolling waves and then head out to the Creamery to see the cheese being made, learn about the process and eat gobs and gobs.
After the recipe we’ve shared a few more photos of the trip. It really was incredible and made us fall in love with the brand in an even better way.
I’d say I don’t know most things in this crazy world, but I do know that from the most simple grilled cheese to the most extravagant, there’s nothing like Tillamook. Give it a go for yourself, I’ve never been so confident in a brand.
Now let’s talk about the sandwich that won my family a year’s supply of cheese.

What is Pesto?

Pesto is a delicious sauce often made from basil, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese and pine nuts.

You can buy pesto from most stores these days, but I’d practically get on my hands and knees and beg you to make your own pesto. Store bought pesto is almost like store bought cookies, just not as fresh and wonderful.
Pesto is actually really easy to make, so you’re only going to take about 3 minutes more to make it.
I must be honest with you though, pesto is going to add to the calorie count. I know that seems obvious, but because it’s so full of herbs we consider it to be extra healthy, but that’s only half true.

two sun dried tomato bacon pesto

Why is Pesto so High in Calories?

Ingredients in your pesto such as the olive oil and pine nuts are a bit higher in calories, because they have a high fat content. What makes this food considered “healthy” is that the fat is unsaturated.

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

Bacon is almost always shown in a pan, sizzling away into perfection, but the truth is, pan cooking bacon is not the way to go.

If you really want to know how to cook bacon, start with your oven.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a pan with tin foil for ease of cleanup.

Place the bacon on the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes depending on how thick the bacon is.

two sun dried tomato bacon pesto

Sun Dried Tomato Bacon Pesto Grilled cheese

Here’s how it all goes down for a sun-dried tomato bacon pesto grilled cheese:

  1. You spread fresh pesto on two pieces of bread.
  2. Place cheese on one piece of bread, covering it completely.
  3. Lay bacon and sun-dried tomatoes on top.
  4. Add more Tillamook White Medium Cheddar cheese because at this point, it’s all over any way, so you might as well go for it.
  5. In a small dish, mix together softened butter and some of the pesto.
  6. Close the sandwich together and spread the bread with the pesto butter.
  7. Heat a skillet to medium heat and DO NOT add the bread until it is hot.
  8. Add the sandwich and cook until golden, meanwhile pesto-buttering the other side of the sandwich.
  9. Place a lid over the pan.
  10. Flip the sandwich and cook again until golden.

The Secret to a Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Did you catch our secret to a perfect sun-dried tomato bacon pesto grilled cheese sandwich above?

Sometimes your bread cooks faster than the cheese and you’re stuck with under melted cheese, but to cook it further would darken the bread too much.

The best solution is to stick a lid over the sandwich while it cooks, whether you do it on the first side or second doesn’t matter that much.

If you do it after flipping, once you remove the lid just flip the sandwich back to the first side to re-crisp that bread if needed. Just like a panini!

two sun dried tomato bacon pesto

Sandwich  RECIPES

Looking for more sandwich recipes? A good sandwich is one of my favorite things, so make sure you try our Honey Avocado Turkey Bacon SandwichFrench Dip Sandwich,  Triple Decker Club Sandwich or Lemon Dill Cucumber Sanwiches!  Oh and don’t forget our Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Panini!


When you try a recipe, please use the hashtag #ohsweetbasil on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured in our stories!  FOLLOW OH, SWEET BASIL ON FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER FOR ALL OF OUR LATEST CONTENT, RECIPES AND STORIES.

Sun Dried Tomato Bacon Pesto Grilled Cheese

3.95 from 19 votes
Servings: 2
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


Sun Dried Tomato Bacon Pesto Grilled cheese is, herby pesto, layered with Tillamook Cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, crisp bacon and then topped with pesto butter!


  • 4 Slices Bread, good quality white
  • 1/2 Cup Pesto, click to use our recipe
  • Cheese, Tillamook White Cheddar
  • 4 Slices Bacon, cooked
  • 1/3 Cup Tomatoes, Sun-dried, drained (oil packed!!!)
  • Butter, Tillamook, Softened


  • Place the pesto on each side of the bread. I like to really load it on.
    4 Slices Bread, 1/2 Cup Pesto
  • Add slices of cheese to cover the bread, cooked bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, more cheese and top with the other slice of bread.
    4 Slices Bacon, Cheese, 1/3 Cup Tomatoes
  • Take the softened butter and mix just slightly less pesto with it.
  • Spread over the outside of the bread and grill until melty!!


Leftover grilled cheese can be heated up in the oven so it is crisp on the outside but warmed through on the inside.


Serving: 1gCalories: 579kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 15gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 1163mgPotassium: 248mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1457IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 177mgIron: 3mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Fixing Lunch with Sandwich Recipes that Aren't PB&J

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