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Roasted Red Pepper, Feta, and Olive Grilled Cheese |

The list of foods I hated as a child was long and dramatic. I would balk at the site of an onion in my casserole, making sure everyone noticed my careful extraction of the offending vegetable. But my disdain wasn’t limited to onions. It also included peas, pickles, beets, mustard, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, grits, and kidney beans. (Do you feel sorry for my mother yet?)

I’ve grown to love (or at least tolerate) nearly every item on that list as an adult, but one childhood aversion still gets me: olives.

I don’t know if it’s their intense salty brine or their texture, but I’ve always struggled to like those little globed fruits (yes, it’s a fruit. So weird, I know).

Still, I keep trying them, hoping one day I’ll have a revelation. And guys? I finally did.

Roasted Red Pepper, Feta, and Olive Grilled Cheese |

I figured the best way to stop hating olives was to stuff them into something I’ve loved since childhood: grilled cheese.

And it totally worked. Inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean, I packed this grilled cheese with feta, roasted red pepper, mozzarella, and a store bought olive tapenade.

And, wonder of wonders, I loved it. This combination just worked. The salty olives played so perfectly against the creamy, tangy feta and sweet red peppers. And the mozzarella did just what I wanted it to-provide a neutral canvas and lots of melty cheese power.

I like to use mozzarella as a base for a lot of different grilled cheeses, but especially those with cheeses that aren’t great melters (like feta). In that case, mozzarella can come in and give you that irresistible gooey-string-of-cheese-that-won’t detach-from-the-sandwich-and-dangles-awkwardly-out-of-your-mouth effect. You know what I’m talking about it.

Roasted Red Pepper, Feta, and Olive Grilled Cheese |

So, we’ve got our cheese. We’ve got our olives. Now what’s missing?

Oh yes! The wine. For this pairing I chose the smooth, versatile Sauvignon Blanc from Gallo Family Vineyards. Not too sweet and not too dry, this white wine pairs well with soft, creamy cheeses like feta. It’s also a great match for mozzarella which is why I used it for the Mozzarella Pizza Fondue as well.

To celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month, the #SundaySupper team and I have paired up with Gallo Family to offer you a delicious array of grilled cheeses paired with wine. Because if warming up to olives is the second best thing about being an adult, enjoying a glass of wine with  my grilled cheese is the first.


For more pairing ideas and information on where to buy Gallo Wines, please check out their store locator  or like them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram.

Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.

Roasted Red Pepper, Feta, and Olive Grilled Cheese #SundaySupper
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 slices artisan bread
  • 4 Tablespoons olive tapenade
  • About 10 thin slices of roasted red pepper, patted dry
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 ounces feta cheese
  1. Heat a flat skillet over medium heat.
  2. Spread the butter on one side of each of the four slices of bread. Lay two slices of bread buttered side down on a plate so you can build the sandwiches.
  3. Smear 1-2 Tablespoons of the olive tapenade on each slice. Follow that up with a good sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. Then lay the red pepper slices on top of the cheese followed by the rest of the mozzarella. Spread the feta evenly over the non-buttered side of the remaining two slices of bread. Place them on top of the mozzarella to complete the sandwich.
  4. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side, or until sandwiches are golden and cheese is melted. You can cover the pot to help the cheese get extra melty.

Recipe by Neighborfood

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  • Karen @ The Food Charlatan April 6, 2014, 2:41 AM

    Love this Courtney! I too, hate olives, but I’m starting to (slowly) grow up 🙂 I’d definitely take them in this grilled cheese!

  • Renee Dobbs April 6, 2014, 6:58 AM

    It was a sandwich that got me loving olives too. In my case it was a muffaletta. It must be something with the combo of it and cheese.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 8, 2014, 10:19 AM

      Yes! Muffalettas are so good! I almost forgot about those. They used to make a muffaletta panini at the bakery where I worked and I could actually handle the olives in that too.

  • Cindys Recipes April 6, 2014, 8:03 AM

    Olives in grilled cheese vworks for me!

  • Family Foodie April 6, 2014, 8:32 AM

    Wow oh Wow!!! This looks fantastic and the addition of olives sounds amazing.

  • Marjory @ Dinner-Mom April 6, 2014, 8:42 AM

    Lovely! I think I could eat more than my share of olives in this version of grilled cheese!

  • Alice Choi April 6, 2014, 8:42 AM

    so glad you finally got over your dislike for olives. . I LOVE them. Like “pop them into my mouth like candy” love them. and love everything you have going on in this grilled cheese! delicious!!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 8, 2014, 10:18 AM

      I haven’t gotten to the plain olive love yet, but maybe some day. The Mr. definitely eats them like candy!

  • Jennifer Drummond April 6, 2014, 8:52 AM

    Roasted Red Pepper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches is one of my all time favorite things! I just love that you added feta! Your sandwich is just gorgeous!!

  • cupcakekalechip April 6, 2014, 8:54 AM

    Haha, when I was a kid corn = vegetable and bananas = fruit. And olives have to be “good” olives for me to est them now. But I bet stuffed into this sammie with so many other things I love, I would love them too!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 8, 2014, 10:18 AM

      Yeah, I was pretty much a green beans and strawberries girl. So I ate a LOT of them, considering it was the only veggie and fruit I really liked. We’ve come a long way!

  • Liz April 6, 2014, 9:00 AM

    My husband never grew out his picky food tendencies!!! But I keep working on him! We were both on the same wavelength today…and your sandwich looks divine!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 8, 2014, 10:17 AM

      Oh man! Keep up the good fight Liz! You make way too many amazing things for him to be picky forever. 🙂

  • Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious April 6, 2014, 10:38 AM

    “Melty cheese power.” I need that!

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog April 6, 2014, 10:41 AM

    Mmm, love this gooey sammie. Pinned.

  • Heather S-G April 6, 2014, 11:07 AM

    Oh my gosh, yum, this is just the perfect combo. I love olives (as witnessed by my grilled cheese today), so happy you found a way to enjoy them! 🙂

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 8, 2014, 10:16 AM

      Yes! I think I could get into your olive bread now that I’ve broken the olive aversion. That will have to be next on my list!

  • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons April 6, 2014, 11:35 AM

    I mean, I think the foods you hated as a kid are foods MOST kids hate, so I wouldn’t worry about it. And I too hated olives until just a few years ago. I slowly realized I was starting to like them when they gave just the right touch of saltiness to certain things. I love them most when they’re balanced with something sweet (like the roasted peppers) and something creamy (like CHEESE!)

  • cheri April 6, 2014, 2:05 PM

    Great combination. Love the way this sandwich looks. Each specific ingredient really adds a certain flavor to make this work. Delicious!

  • Melanie | Melanie Makes April 6, 2014, 2:42 PM

    So pretty! I love the pop of color from the peppers!

  • Betsy Cohen April 6, 2014, 3:23 PM

    Congrats on your revelation!!! You sure did come up with the perfect recipe to get over your olive aversion. 🙂

  • Shaina Wizov April 6, 2014, 4:50 PM

    I absolutely love this combination…sounds delicious!

  • Jennifer Miller April 6, 2014, 8:57 PM

    This sounds heavenly — and I’m glad you enjoyed the olives!

  • Joanne (eats well with others) April 7, 2014, 6:44 AM

    The.Boy also hates olives and it’s really cramping my style!! Must make this grilled cheese. ASAP. To “cure” him of his dislike. (And also because THAT MELTY CHEESE. Love.)

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 8, 2014, 10:15 AM

      I’m convinced it’s the cure. You might even be able to sneak them in without him noticing. Then you can just evil laugh under your breath while he devours the whole thing!

  • Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere April 7, 2014, 9:54 AM

    Beautiful grilled cheese! These flavors are amazing!

  • Constance April 7, 2014, 12:54 PM

    I love the cheerful peppers peeking out of the ooey gooey cheese! YUM!

  • Sarah|PickledCapers April 8, 2014, 5:56 PM

    The combination of a tangy cheese like feta and the everybody-pleasing meltiness of mozzarella is a real game-changer. Love all the other toppings too (i’ve always been an olive fanatic though).

  • littleredkitchen April 9, 2014, 5:22 PM

    I tortured my mother with my food aversions too. She didn’t care, she’d make it and I’d pick it out. Olives though, I always loved. My dad hates them, so I’d just steal his. Such a great sandwich with the briny feta, salty olives and complimented with that mozzarella!

  • Elisabeth April 10, 2014, 9:47 PM

    I had forgotten about your aversion to olives, Courtney. Glad to hear you have found a
    way to enjoy them. The sandwich looks fabulous. You do make me proud. 🙂

  • Katie April 22, 2014, 9:17 AM

    Oh my gosh; I am so with you! The list of food aversions I had as a child was also long; and now I eat almost all of those things. And love them. Avocados, asparagus, cucumbers, olives. I still don’t like berries (the seeds), but hey – you can’t win them all!

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