Smart Shortcuts Bring Big Flavors to This Grilled-Portobello and Pesto Sandwich

Cooking from scratch isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, there are some dishes where store-bought doesn’t compare to homemade, like fresh pasta or hot-from-the-oven chocolate-chip cookies.

Most of the time, though, a semi-homemade approach gets you the best results in a fraction of the time. It’s a tactic that food blogger Palak Patel of The Chutney Life puts to good use in this grilled-portobello-mushroom and pesto sandwich. She sears the portobello mushroom on a grill pan for that fresh, smoky flavor, but opts for smart shortcuts like jarred roasted red peppers and store-bought pesto to save herself time.

Though this sandwich recipe is completely vegetarian, big, bold flavors make it feel hearty and satisfying. Pepperidge Farm® Whole Grain 15 Grain Bread starts the recipe off with a good source of fiber and a toothsome, hearty flavor. Then, Patel sears portobello mushroom caps on a grill pan until they’re tender and juicy. Adding roasted red peppers brings a smoky sweetness to the sandwich, while the creaminess of fresh mozzarella balances everything out.


Here’s where Patel’s best kitchen trick comes into play: instead of wasting precious time mixing up her own sauces, she relies on store-bought pesto and balsamic glaze to dress her sandwich. Herbaceous, garlicky pesto gets spread right onto the bread, while sweet and tart balsamic glaze puts the finishing touch on the roasted veggies. Smoky, sweet, savory, creamy — this sandwich really hits every flavor profile, even though it comes together in just 10 minutes.

Grilled-Portobello and Pesto Sandwich

Yield: 1 sandwich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

– 1 portobello mushroom
– 2 teaspoons olive oil

– Garlic powder, to taste
– Dried oregano, to taste
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– 2 slices Pepperidge Farm® Whole Grain 15 Grain Bread
– 1 tablespoon store-bought pesto
– 2 slices fresh mozzarella
– 1 roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped
– 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze

1. Wash and dry the portobello mushroom, then remove the stem. Drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.

2. Heat a grill pan to medium high. Once the pan is hot, add the mushroom top-down and sear. Flip the mushroom several times, cooking until the mushroom cap feels tender and has noticeable grill marks, about five minutes. Transfer the cooked mushroom cap to a cutting board and slice thinly.

3. Toast two slices of bread, then spread one side with store-bought pesto. Lay the sliced mozzarella on top of the pesto, then layer on the sliced mushrooms and roasted red pepper. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, top with the second piece of bread, and enjoy.

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