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Recipe | Grilled Portabella Panini with Artichoke Tapenade

Grilled Portabella Panini With Artichoke Tapenade

Grilled Portabella Panini with Artichoke Tapenade [Close]
I kind of feel like a hypocrite posting this grilled portabella panini recipe because I always make fun of the way portabella mushrooms are the default filling for vegetarian sandwiches. The reasoning is usually, “portabellas are so meaty–they’re the steak of mushrooms!” Um, yeah. Despite this, I actually do like portabella mushrooms. Not because they’re meaty, but because I love mushrooms in general and giant ones are much easier for sandwich-making than the button variety.

Ten years ago (I feel so old right now), my husband and I lived in an apartment across the street from a farmers market and every Saturday, we would buy two portabella mushroom caps and I would marinate them in balsamic vinegar and olive oil all afternoon and then we’d have them in sandwiches for dinner. Not surprisingly, after two summers of grilled portabella sandwiches every Saturday, we eventually got burnt out on them. But now enough time has passed that I thought we could revisit the marinated portabella sandwiches, with one major change: artichoke tapenade.

Artichoke Tapenade
The tapenade totally makes these sandwiches. Back in the day, I topped the mushrooms with cheese, but the tapenade adds much more flavor. The only downside is that between the mushrooms and the tapenade, there’s the potential for your panini to get a little bit mushy. Using sturdy bread is a must! A hearty whole wheat or sourdough bread works well, and whatever you choose, make sure the slices are very thick.

Grilled Portabella Panini with Artichoke Tapenade

Grilled Portabella Panini with Artichoke Tapenade

A portabella panini made with fresh arugula leaves and homemade artichoke tapenade.
Prep Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large portabella mushrooms washed with a damp cloth
  • 1/2 c. marinated artichoke hearts
  • 2 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes chopped
  • 1/4 c. roasted red pepper
  • 1/4 c. kalamata olives
  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/2 c. arugula washed and dried
  • olive oil mister or cooking spray


  • Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large, shallow dish. Place mushrooms in dish, cover, and refrigerate for three hours, flipping mushrooms over halfway through.
  • Spray grill with olive oil and heat to 350 degrees. Place mushrooms on grill and grill until tender, about 8 minutes (depending on the type of grill you're using). Wipe grill clean.
  • Combine artichoke hearts, tomatoes, red pepper, and olives in food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Spread artichoke mixture onto 2 slices of bread. Place grilled mushrooms onto bread (you may have to slice them in half to get them to fit) and top mushrooms with arugula. Top with remaining bread slices.
  • Spray grill with olive oil. Place sandwiches onto grill or panini press and spray tops with additional olive oil. Grill until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. (If you don't have a grill that cooks from both sides, you'll have to flip the sandwiches after about 10 minutes.)


Serving: 1sandwich
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  • Reply
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    March 8, 2012 at 9:25 am

    That’s it. I’ve been putting off my arugula hunt for weeks but I need to commit and find it. The only place I saw it was wilted, packaged and pathetic looking at the local grocery store. Is it technically an herb or lettuce because they had it in herbs. Thanks for giving me a mission for the weekend!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Well, I know you shop at Trader Joe’s and they sell it there! That’s where I got mine. 🙂 Weird that they had it with the herbs–usually it’s in with the bagged salads. It’s easy to grow in containers too!

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    March 8, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I have to admit that looks amazing, but it’s the texture of mushrooms that keep me from enjoying them.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      A lot of people feel that way! I think they’re like cilantro–when you don’t like them, you really don’t like them.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Oh, oh ohhhhhh. Swoon. Drool.

    Artichokes are so perfect. Why in the hell haven’t I tried more recipes with them?

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      I don’t know–I love them! I’m trying to grow them this year, fingers crossed.

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    March 8, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I’m the same way – I’ve avoided portabellas for fear of being a cliche. Love the idea of serving w/ tapenade! Gotta pull out the panini press & give it a go!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      Yeah, most of the portabella sandwiches I’ve had are pretty boring. It’s not that I don’t like them, but I get tired of that always being the only vegetarian thing on menus!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Wow. Looks so good. I haven’t had a portabella mushroom sandwich in ages. This one looks like it would be worth the wait. I love artichokes!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      It’s definitely worth the wait–when you marinate the mushrooms, they taste so much better!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    That sandwich looks perfect with the grill marks! I just discovered last summer how good portobello mushrooms can be when you marinate and then grill them on the BBQ. Putting them into a sandwich with that tapenade sounds delicious!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 9, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Now you’re making me impatient for summer so I can start grilling outdoors again! I think grilling them really works well because you can get the liquid out of them. I’ve tried roasting portabellas a few times and I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, but they end up being a soggy mess.

      • Reply
        March 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm

        Me too! I don’t think I’ve tried roasting them, so I’ll keep your advice in mind and stick to other methods!

        • Reply
          The Type A Housewife
          March 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm

          Well, if you do get around to roasting them and they turn out well, let me know your secret. 🙂

  • Reply
    Small Footprints
    March 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I’m vegan but … good food is good food. Portabellas are great and I think that a lot of vegetarians call them a steak replacement because they are a good source of protein. I just call them yummy … and this recipe looks wonderful! So thanks for sharing it … I’m definitely trying it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Raquel @ Ovenmitts Vegan Blog
    March 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    OMG I can’t tell you how much I want to eat this right now! I’m just getting into portabellas and I can;t get enough of them! I’ll be careful not to burn out though 🙂

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 9, 2012 at 7:48 am

      Just don’t eat the same portabella sandwich every Saturday for two years like I did and you’ll be fine. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Need to try. I LOVE mushrooms. I could eat them every single day… and I’ve never once made a sandwich out of them (as the main or ‘meat’)…. how in the world did I make it so long?

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 9, 2012 at 7:45 am

      Oh, you need to do it! 🙂 And I’m with you, I could eat mushrooms everyday too. Have you ever tried roasting them? SO GOOD!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

    This looks super good!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I can just imagine how much flavour is packed in those paninis, they sound delicious! I only recently discovered a love for mushrooms and have since been trying them in lots of dishes – this will have to be added to the list to try!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 11, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      I hope you like them if you make them! I tried adding as much flavor as I could since I was skipping adding cheese and the tapenade definitely worked well.

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    March 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Yum! I love mushrooms, so this would be a perfect sandwich for me.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Great recipe. I made it this evening and it’s absolutely delicious. I’ve been wanting a great sandwich/panini recipe ever since I went vegan. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Johanna @ Mama Chocolate
    March 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    This looks delicious! I am really starting to love mushrooms, and I love panini sandwiches, so I am definitely trying this!

  • Reply
    Toni @ Red Carpet Mama
    March 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm


  • Reply
    Rachel (teacher-chef)
    January 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    This looks amazing, think I might throw some eggplant sliced on here as well – looks great 🙂

    • Reply
      January 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      Eggplant would definitely work well with these flavors!

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