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Roasted Portobello, Red Pepper, Arugula and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Here is comfort food at its finest. We’re talking crisped-till-golden rustic bread sandwiching snazzy flavors and meaty texture, all melting with fresh mozzarella cheese. One luscious roasted portobello, arugula, red pepper and mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich recipe coming right up.

Roasted Portobello, Red Pepper, Arugula and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese stacked

Last month I went ga-ga over a similar sandwich at a downtown Salt Lake patisserie café revered for incredible pastries as well as satisfying savories. A friend and I split their roasted portobello panini so we could later indulge in their flaky kouing aman, buttery cookies and eclairs!

If I do say so myself, my grilled cheese variation honors Les Madeleines panini in all good ways. This version is extra decadent because: a) it’s loaded with extra gooey cheese, and b) since I don’t own a panini press, my sandwich gets toasted in a large cast-iron skillet greased with tangy oil and vinegar and a good-for-the-soul dab of butter.

prepping mushrooms for Roasted Portobello, Red Pepper, Arugula and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

cheese for Roasted Portobello, Red Pepper, Arugula and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Roasted Portobello, Red Pepper, Arugula and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese recipe notes and details:

  • Crave this combo but eat gluten free? Stack the roasted mushrooms, red pepper, and arugula together with slices of mozzarella and pop in the oven until the cheese melts and holds everything together. Serve over hot polenta, or garlicky sage-seasoned white beans.
  • This recipe makes two (very filling) sandwiches so scrumptious you just might scarf it all down in one sitting. If you are not that hungry, reheat what’s leftover for tomorrow’s lunch.
  • Make it quicker and easier–marinate the mushrooms with purchased oil and vinegar dressing. If you prefer to whip up your own simple marinade, get inspired here, or here.

Roasted Portobello, Red Pepper, Arugula and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese on cutting board

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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P.S. Check out these portobello mushrooms stuffed with greens and veggies–here and here.

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Roasted Portobello, Red Pepper, Arugula and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese
Roasted Portobello, Red Pepper, Arugula and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese
You could no-problem scarf down a whole one of these yummy meaty gooey grilled cheese sammies in one sitting. On the other hand, because this recipe makes two (very filling) large sandwiches—ample food for 4 people—you might be reheating leftovers the next day.
  • 1/2 cup oil and vinegar dressing , homemade or purchased. (see note)
  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • Real Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 16 (1/4-inch) slices fresh mozzarella cheese (about 12 ounces)
  • Generous handfuls baby arugula
  • Purchased roasted red pepper
  • Rustic artisan-style bread
  • Unsalted butter
  1. Cut off the stem inside the portobellos. With a spoon, scrape out and discard the dark gills. Place the mushrooms in a shallow pan, tops down. Pour 2 tablespoons of the dressing in each mushroom cavity and turn them over a few times so all sides are coated with the marinade.
  2. Heat the oven to 350° F. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high flame. Add a tablespoon of oil and swirl the pan so the oil coats the bottom of the pan with a thin film. Slip the mushrooms into the pan, tops down. Sear 5 minutes, or until they take on a rich golden tan. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Turn the mushrooms so the seared side is up. Place the skillet in the oven and roast 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the mushrooms to a plate.
  4. Slice the bread 1/2 inch thick. You’ll need 4 (~8 x 3-inch) slices for this recipe. Cut the red pepper into 4 (2 ½ inch-wide) portions.
  5. Return the skillet to the stovetop over medium flame. Melt a small dollop of butter into the oil and vinegar marinade/mushroom juices remaining in the pan.
  6. Build the sandwiches. Arrange two slices of bread, each with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese. Top each slice of bread with 2 roasted mushrooms followed by 2 portions of red pepper. Scrunch as much arugula as you can manage over the peppers, and then top with the remaining cheese and bread.
  7. Place in the skillet, pressing gently on the tops for a minute or so. Cook 3 or 4 minutes, until golden. Carefully flip the sandwich to the other side and cook another 3 or so minutes, until the cheese melts and the bread is crispy golden.
  8. Cut in half. Serve with a green salad.
Recipe Notes

For the quick and easy marinate the portobellos in purchased dressing. I used Newman’s Own. Their oil and vinegar is the ONLY one in their lineup without added sugar!


  • Looks gorgeous Letty! I just made some Santa Barbara Pistachio Pesto that will taste good on this sandwich. Reply · 4 June, 2015

  • Kim

    Any suggestions on a substitute for the portobello? Maybe eggplant? Reply · 4 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Kim, Good idea–I’m sure eggplant slices would work instead of portobellos. Eggplant will absorb more of the marinade–plan to use more. Reply · 5 June, 2015

  • Yumbo! Reply · 5 June, 2015

  • That’s a mouthful! I’m sure the restaurant would be proud. GREG Reply · 7 June, 2015

  • Beautiful photos Letty! And I love the comfort food/ healthy combo here 😉 Reply · 9 June, 2015

  • Great photos, Letty! This is my kind of comfort food. I’m sure I could eat the whole thing- no leftovers for me! Reply · 9 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Thank Becky and Kelley–your comments make me happy! Reply · 9 June, 2015

  • It on my menu for the “girls” lunch at my house next week. They will love it. Reply · 11 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks for the comment Diane! Reply · 11 June, 2015

  • This is a sandwich that I could definitely get my mouth around! I’m not much of a sandwich eater, but this one looks quite irresistible. Reply · 11 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks MJ Reply · 12 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks MJ–glad you like it. Reply · 12 June, 2015

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