Pesto Cheese Toast

$5.80 recipe / $0.48 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 5 votes
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Pesto has been a champion ingredient in my kitchen for a while. Although it is a slightly more expensive item, a little bit goes a long way toward adding flavor to a meal. This Pesto Cheese Toast is a super simple treat that can be served as a party appetizer, a side with dinner, or even just a little snack. It’s kind of like garlic bread‘s fancier cousin. ;) 

Pesto cheese toast on a baking sheet with bread, tomatoes and cheese on the sides

What Kind of Pesto to Use

That’s the great thing about this tasty toast, you can use any kind of pesto you have or whatever you like best. You can use a basil pesto, a sun dried tomato pesto, a kale pesto, any kind! Today I’m using a Genovese pesto, which is a creamy basil style pesto. Other good affordable pesto brands that I like are Felipo Berio, Classico, and Alessi.

What Kind of Bread to Use

This recipe works great on any French or Italian loaf bread. You can slice the bread into traditional slices, like in the photos here, or slice the loaf in half length-wise, then slice the halved bread into slices like in my Homemade Garlic Bread recipe. It just depends on the bread to topping ratio that you prefer. If you want to get a little creative, you could also basically turn this into a pesto pizza by using small pieces of naan or English muffins instead.

What to Serve with Pesto Cheese Toast

Pesto cheese toast makes a great alternative to garlic bread with any pasta dish or something like Tomato Basil Chicken, but it’s also great served alongside a bowl of tomato soup. These cheesy little toasts also make a great party appetizer! You can even serve it with a bowl of warm marinara for dipping. But perhaps my favorite way to serve this is with a fried or scrambled egg for breakfast. You just can’t beat that egg-pesto-tomato combo!!

close up side view of pesto cheese toast on the baking sheet
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Pesto Cheese Toast

5 from 5 votes
Pesto cheese toast is an easy and delicious alternative to garlic bread. It's great for a party appetizer, snack, or side with dinner!
close up side view of pesto cheese toast on the baking sheet
Servings 4 pieces
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 20 minutes


  • 4 slices bread ($0.66)
  • 2 Tbsp pesto ($0.45)
  • 1 Roma tomato ($0.28)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella ($0.42)


  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread into ½-inch thick slices.
  • Place the slices of bread on the prepared baking sheet and spread ½ Tbps pesto over each piece.
  • Slice the Roma tomato into 8 slices, then top each piece of bread with two slices of tomato.
  • Finally, add a large pinch of shredded mozzarella to each piece of bread.
  • Bake the toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the toast is brown and crispy on the edges. Baking time may vary depending on your oven and the type of bread chosen, so keep an eye on them. Serve warm!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 7gFat: 7gSodium: 304mgFiber: 1g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Close up of one piece of pesto cheese toast being held in a hand

How to Make Pesto Cheese Toast – Step By Step Photos

A loaf of bread being sliced

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread into ½-inch thick slices. 

pesto being spread onto the bread

Spread about a ½ tablespoon of pesto onto each slice of bread.

sliced tomatoes on pesto bread

Slice a Roma tomato into 8 slices. Top each piece of toast with two slices of tomato.

shredded cheese being added to toast

Top each piece of toast with about 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella (or more if you like!). 

baked pesto cheese toast on the baking sheet

Bake the toast for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the outer edges of the bread is toasty!

Finished pesto cheese toast next to the ingredients and a yellow zig zag napkin

Serve and enjoy! I ended up topping mine with a little bit of freshly cracked pepper, but there’s so much flavor in the pesto that you don’t necessarily need that!

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  1. If I don’t make pizza or something pizza-esque every Friday, there’s a riot in my house. I love this for a light, simple finish to the end of the week. I serve it with a salad in my eternal struggle to get my family to eat their veggies. :P

  2. Hi, I’m just wondering is there any reason why you would not lightly toast the bread first in a toaster and then proceed with pesto, tomato and cheese? Thank you.

    1. No particular reason. :) You just need to be careful not to over toast so they don’t burn in the oven once covered with cheese and pesto.

  3. We’ve been growing bumper crops of basil the last few years, so I freeze in 2 cup quantities for a recipe I found on Pinterest, so I can make it all through the winter. This is a delicious way to use pesto and all the garden tomatoes still coming in. Thanks so much for a great recipe – can’t wait to try it!