Grilled vegetables, melty provolone cheese, a thick layer of pesto, and crusty bread = my ultimate summer sandwich. I can’t fully express my love for this flavor combination because it’s UNREAL. You’ll just have to make these sammies for yourself to experience it!
It all starts with the grilled vegetables, of course. My mom makes the BEST grilled vegetables. There’s really nothing special about them, but they’re just SO delicious. They’re coated with a little olive oil, grilled, and then seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried oregano while they’re still hot.
The inspiration for these paninis came from an open faced sandwich my mom made for us growing up. Us meaning my brother and I, and she even made them for guests from time to time.
The open faced sandwiches consisted of a smear of pesto, these grilled veggies, and provolone. Then, you placed them under the broiler to melt and get all bubbly and golden, and voila! The open faced grilled veg sandwiches from my childhood.
The difference here is that I added more bread, and got it all crunchy and delicious in the panini press. Because carbs slathered in butter and grilled until crispy is a wonderful thing!
This makes a bunch of grilled vegetables, probably enough for six or so sandwiches, but they are so delicious leftover. I love throwing them into salads, on toast, as a side with dinner, or just eating them by themselves! Dipping them into more pesto is never a bad idea either.
I’m such a veggie lover.
The method for these is pretttty simple. Slather outsides of bread with butter. Slather insides of bread with pesto. Homemade or storebought is totally fine! Pile on the grilled veggies. Add two slices of provolone cheese. Top with other slice of bread. Grill it in the panini press or skillet if you don’t have one! Easy peasy.
These are totally perfect for Meatless Monday too!
Pesto Grilled Vegetable Paninis
These paninis are filled with grilled veggies, basil pesto, and melty provolone cheese! They're the most perfect summer sandwich the whole family will love!
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1'' strips
- 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1'' strips
- 2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 3 portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- olive oil
- dried oregano
- crusty bread, cut into ¾'' thick slices
- pesto (homemade or storebought!)
- sliced provolone cheese
- softened butter
Place all the veggies in a large bowl. Drizzle lightly with olive oil until coated. Grill veggies on an outdoor or indoor grill. The timing I find works for me is 8-10 minutes per side for the peppers, 4-5 minutes per side for the zucchini, 5-6 minutes per side for the portobello mushrooms, and the same for the onions. Use your judgement based on your grill and how toasty you like your veggies!
Preheat your panini press if you have one, to medium-high heat. If not, you can cook this sandwich in a pan just like a grilled cheese!
Once vegetables are all grilled, sprinkle with dried oregano, salt, and pepper to taste while they're still hot.
Spread outsides of bread with softened butter. Spread insides with a couple tablespoons of pesto. Lay on your grilled vegetables, followed by two slices of provolone. Top with the other bread half.
Grill panini for 6-8 minutes on the panini press, then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until bread is crusty, golden, and has grill marks. The timing can vary based on your panini press or pan!
*Sometimes, the onions can fall through the grill grates, so you can sauté these in a skillet until caramelized too! This makes a bunch of grilled veggies, probably enough for 6+ big sandwiches, so they're great for leftovers too!