Artichoke and Pancetta Grilled Cheese

Artichoke and Pancetta Grilled Cheese from Zestuous

I am a fan of sandwiches, so much so that I’m a competitive sandwich gal.

In 2013, I competed in the World Food Championships with two of my signature sandwiches: A steak sandwich with asparagus slaw and Truffled Fonteenies (bite-sized grilled cheese). My grilled cheese placed 5th in the world. They’re so flipping good and fun to eat.

All of the excitement of the World Food Championships was captured on film and is now a TV show on FYI Network. I was hoping to have a little airtime, especially since I made homemade bread during the cookoff…but instead I only got a little snippet. Oh well. Still pretty cool, especially with hubby by my side.

There are a few more episodes left. See the full listing. Maybe I’ll show up in the finale as I’m cheering on my friends.

I’ve been creating some new sandwich recipes lately for the Mezzetta Make that Sandwich Contest. I’ve been using Mezzetta products for years because they are completely Zestuous.

Artichoke and Pancetta Grilled Cheese from ZestuousThe contest requires cooks to use two Mezzetta products to create a sandwich that is original, easy and of course tasty. And the winner takes home $25,000!!!

Lavash Roasted Pepper Cheese CrispMy first submission is a Lavash Roasted Pepper Cheese Crisp.

This sandwich is so unbelievable. It’s crispy, extra cheesy and the Mezzetta Peperoncini and Feta Everything Spread gives it a nice bite of heat. This sandwich is what Zestuous is all about. It’s creaminess with a kick.

Green Chili Turkey Enchilada SandwichMy second submission is a Green Chili Turkey Enchilada Sandwich.

I used a few different Mezzetta ingredients to create a homemade green chili enchilada sauce. I’m totally addicted to this sauce now. I’ve used it on eggs, chicken breasts and of course enchiladas. The sandwich is finished with some tortilla chips for crunch.

The only downside to food competitions is that I have to keep the full recipes for these sandwiches close hold. The rules don’t allow cooks to publish them.

So to make it up to you, I made another sandwich that I won’t be submitting. Hopefully, I’m not holding back the $25,000 creation.

The sandwich is really cheesy with a mix of fontina and asiago. It also has crispy bits of pancetta and a little spice from some Mezzetta products. I made it on brioche slices, which was soft and sweet. My husband said he would prefer it on plain white or wheat bread. I think it would be good on sourdough, too. Use your bread of choice and mix things up a bit.

Enjoy! Fingers crossed that one of my #MakeThatSandwich creations is a $25,000 winner.

Artichoke and Pancetta Grilled Cheese

Yield: 3 sandwiches

Artichoke and Pancetta Grilled Cheese


  • 5 ozs. diced pancetta
  • 1 6.7-oz. jar Mezzetta Roasted Artichoke Hearts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
  • 6 Mezzetta Italian Castelvetrano Whole Green Olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 Mezzetta Sweet Cherry Peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Danish Fontina cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded asiago
  • 6 slices bread

Cook the pancetta in a pan over medium-high heat, until crispy.

Place one tablespoon of the pancetta drippings in a small bowl. Whisk together with 1 tablespoon of the oil from the jar of artichokes, butter, salt and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano.

Place the cooked pancetta in a bowl with the chopped artichokes, olives, peppers, cheeses and 1/4 teaspoon oregano.

Divide the cheese mixture onto 3 slices of bread. Top with another slice of bread.

Place a clean pan on the stove over medium-low to low heat. Let heat for 5 minutes.

Brush with the top slice of each sandwich with the oil mixture. Place oil side down on the pan. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, until browned. Remove the cover. Brush oil on the top slice, and flip the sandwich. Cover and cook for 5-7 more minutes, until browned.

Serve warm.

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