This simple portobello panini is stacked with portobello mushrooms, a homemade artichoke tapenade, and fresh arugula. Yum!
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 little button variety.
About my Portobello Paninis
Ten years ago (I feel so old right now), my husband and I lived in Wisconsin, down the the street from a farmers market. Every Saturday, we would buy two portabello 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.
The tapenade totally makes these sandwiches. Back in the day, I topped the mushrooms with cheese, but the tapenade adds much more flavor. It's just loaded with flavor.
These have quickly become one of my new favorite vegetarian sandwiches!
Recipe Tips & Variations
Using sturdy bread is a must! Between the mushrooms and the tapenade, there's the potential for your panini to get a little bit mushy. A hearty whole wheat or sourdough bread works well, and whatever you choose, make sure the slices are very thick.
Add some cheese. This mushroom panini is vegan friendly as written, and it's delicious that way. But if you only need it to be vegetarian, you can feel free to add some cheese. Swiss cheese would be a great choice, or try a sprinkle of feta!
Swap the spread. If the artichoke tapenade is not your jam, you can swap it for a homemade pesto I like to make these pesto cubes and store them for just such an occasion.
More Tasty Recipes
If you love these portobello paninis, be sure to check out these other delicious meatless ideas:
- Vegan Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
- Panera Inspired Caprese Panini
- Marinated Portobello Burgers with Creamy Pesto Sauce
- panini press or use a grill or a grill pan on the stovetop
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large portobello mushroom caps washed with a damp cloth
- ½ cup marinated artichoke hearts coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup roasted red peppers coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup kalamata olives coarsely chopped
- 4 thick slices of bread
- ½ cup 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.
- Coarsely chop the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, roasted red pepper, and olives. Toss ingredients together in a small bowl.
- 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 a 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.)