Mexican-style Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

The idea of a veggie sandwich to most carnivores is as appealing as nails on a chalkboard. However, with the right ingredients and proper seasoning, a vegetable sandwich has the potential to be just as good, if not better than one containing meat. The look on my husband’s face as I presented him with his dinner, this Mexican-style Grilled Vegetable Sandwich, was a look of doubt and disappointment. Although the sandwich looked appealing, he was not excited about what was between the bread. But once he sunk his teeth into the grilled zucchini, roasted red pepper, onion, avocado and bean spread on crispy ciabatta bread, his face changed to a look of surprise and delight. We were both happy with how tasty the Cooking Light┬árecipe turned out. I want to mention that there are a few different steps involved with making this sandwich, but to have a vegetarian meal that is both healthy and delicious, means it is worth the effort!

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Mexican-style Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Recipe source: Cooking Light Magazine, with a slight change

What You Need

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
  • 1 small red onion, cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
  • 1 (12-ounce) ciabatta bread loaf, halved horizontally, or 4 4-ounce individual ciabatta rolls
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 avocado, sliced

What To Do

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 11 minutes or until blackened. Wrap pepper halves in foil. Let stand 5 minutes; peel. Cut into strips.
  3. Place juice, oregano, oil, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground red pepper, and beans in the bowl of a food processor; pulse 5 times or until coarsely chopped.
  4. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange zucchini and onion slices on pan; grill 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1-inch-thick shell. Spread black bean mixture over bottom half of bread; top with zucchini, onion, bell pepper and avocado. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and salt. Top with top half of bread. Coat both sides of sandwich with cooking spray. Place sandwich on grill pan; top with a heavy skillet. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until crispy. Remove sandwich from pan; cut into quarters. If using individual rolls, divide ingredients evenly among the four rolls and grill individually. No need to cut into quarters.


I used a panini press instead of the grill pan to grill the sandwich. The original recipe used pepper jack cheese instead of avocado. You could make the substitution back if you prefer.



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