A tomato pesto grilled cheese from Dunkin’ can be a tasty yet indulgent treat. With its gooey cheese, pesto spread and focaccia bread, this sandwich packs in a good amount of calories. Knowing the calorie count can help you make informed choices about how often and in what portions you choose to enjoy it. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of the calorie count and nutritional value of a tomato pesto grilled cheese from Dunkin’.
Calories in Dunkin’s Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese
According to Dunkin’s website, a whole tomato pesto grilled cheese sandwich contains 720 calories. This is based on the standard recipe featuring focaccia bread, provolone cheese, parmesan peppercorn spread and sundried tomato pesto.
Here is a breakdown of the calorie count:
The focaccia bread accounts for 250 calories in the sandwich. Dunkin’ uses a hearty, artisan-style focaccia with olive oil for their grilled cheese. Each order contains two slices of this thick, chewy bread.
A generous portion of provolone cheese is used, contributing 300 calories to the total count. Provolone is a mild, melty Italian cheese that gives the sandwich its gooey, indulgent texture.
Parmesan Peppercorn Spread
This savory spread adds a tangy, peppery punch while also ramping up the calories. It accounts for 110 calories in the tomato pesto grilled cheese.
Sundried Tomato Pesto
The vibrant red pesto features sundried tomatoes and brings creamy, herby flavors. It packs 60 calories into each tomato pesto grilled cheese.
So the cheese and bread provide the bulk of calories, while the spreads and pesto add additional calories on top.
Nutritional Value of Dunkin’s Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese
While high in calories, Dunkin’s tomato pesto grilled cheese does also provide some nutritional value, mostly from the cheese.
Here is the full nutritional breakdown for the whole 720 calorie sandwich:
Total Fat: 38g
Saturated Fat: 18g
Trans Fat: 1.5g
The high fat content comes mainly from the cheese and oil used for cooking. Saturated fat intake should be limited to 20g per day according to recommendations.
The provolone cheese contributes all of the cholesterol. The daily recommended limit for cholesterol is 300mg.
With nearly 2,000mg of sodium, this sandwich accounts for a majority of the daily 2300mg recommendation. The cheese, bread and spreads all contain sodium.
The focaccia bread is the main source of carbohydrates. The sandwich provides some fiber but minimal sugars.
You get a solid protein boost from the combo of cheese and bread. This supports maintaining and building muscle mass.
Vitamins and Minerals
Calcium: 52% Daily Value
Vitamin A: 15% DV
The cheese provides high amounts of calcium for strong bones. You also get vitamin A from the cheese for immunity and vision health.
So while high in fat and sodium, the tomato pesto grilled cheese also delivers ample protein, calcium, vitamin A and some fiber.
How Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese Fits Into a Calorie-Controlled Diet
At 720 calories, Dunkin’s tomato pesto grilled cheese provides over one-third of the average daily calorie needs. For a 2000 calorie diet, this single sandwich takes up 36% of your daily intake.
Some tips for enjoying this indulgent sandwich while managing your calorie intake:
- Order a small or half-size sandwich
- Opt for a salad instead of fries as the side
- Split the sandwich and fries with a friend
- Save the majority of calories for this meal
- Pair with a low-calorie beverage like black coffee
- Limit higher calorie extras like spreads and dressings
- Walk or exercise after eating to burn additional calories
Moderation is key when eating higher calorie menu items like the tomato pesto grilled cheese. Enjoy it occasionally as a treat alongside nutritious low-calorie choices for your other meals and snacks throughout the day.
Comparing Calories in Dunkin’s Grilled Cheese Options
Dunkin’ offers several grilled cheese sandwiches on their menu. Here’s how the tomato pesto version compares calorie-wise to the others:
Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese
Bacon & Tomato Grilled Cheese
The addition of bacon tacks on an extra 50 calories.
Ham & Cheese Grilled Cheese
Going for ham instead of bacon saves you 70 calories.
Plain Grilled Cheese
Sticking to the classic just cheese and bread cuts 120 calories.
So the tomato pesto grilled cheese is on the higher end for calorie content compared to Dunkin’s other grilled cheese options, but not terribly higher. The plain and ham versions are better picks for limiting calories.
How Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese Compares at Other Restaurants
To put Dunkin’s tomato pesto grilled cheese into further context, here’s how it stacks up against similar sandwiches from other popular chains:
Panera Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese
Panera’s take adds over 150 extra calories.
Starbucks Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese
Starbucks offers a nearly identical calorie count to Dunkin’s version.
McDonald’s Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese
McDonald’s sandwich cuts 70 calories compared to Dunkin’.
Subway Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese
Subway has one of the lowest counts for this type of sandwich.
The numbers can really vary depending on the ingredients and preparation methods used. Dunkin’s tomato pesto grilled cheese has a higher calorie count compared to some restaurants but is moderately lower than others.
Tips for Ordering a Lower Calorie Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese
If you want to enjoy the flavors of this sandwich while reducing the calorie load, here are some tweaks you can request:
- Ask for just one slice of bread
- Request less cheese and spreads
- Substitute turkey or ham for half the cheese
- Use thinner sourdough bread instead of focaccia
- Add veggies like tomatoes, spinach or avocado
- Order on a lettuce wrap instead of bread
- Dip in mustard rather than mayo-based sauces
- Opt for olive oil instead of butter for grilling
Even shaving off just 100-200 calories makes a significant impact and allows for greater flexibility with your remaining daily calories.
Dunkin’s tomato pesto grilled cheese packs a caloric punch at 720 calories for the entire sandwich. It derives most of these calories from hearty focaccia bread and generous amounts of melty provolone cheese. While high in calories as well as fat and sodium, the sandwich also provides ample protein and calcium. Enjoying this treat in moderation along with more nutrient-dense choices the rest of the day can allow this grilled cheese to fit into a balanced diet. Customizing your order by selecting lower calorie bread, reduced cheese and healthier spreads can further help cut the calories while still enjoying the signature flavors. What you pair this indulgence with for your side and drink also makes a big calorie difference. So savor the tomato pesto grilled cheese from Dunkin’ occasionally, order it with sensible customizations, and balance it out with lighter choices for your remaining meals. This effective approach keeps this higher calorie sandwich in perspective and allows it to be part of an overall healthy diet.