Ah, summer, the season for turning off the oven and using the barbeque instead. Today, I’ve got the perfect grilled sammies for you. Grilled Zucchini Sandwiches with a creamy vegan spinach pesto are here! It’s time to harvest those zucchinis from the garden! So fire up the barbie and let’s get to the eating part!
my inspiration for these vegan sandwiches
I recently saw one of my oldest friends. She was telling me how she made these amazing sandwiches with pesto, grilled veggies, and homemade Foccacia. They sounded so life-changing, I knew I needed to create something similar in my kitchen. I wanted to keep the recipe somewhat simple and decided storebought bagels or bread would work for these vegan sandwiches. But if you wanted to make homemade bread, that would take this recipe to the next level. I chose sprouted bagels from Silver Hills Bakery as my base as I’ve been playing around with sprouted wheat lately and it hasn’t had any bad effects on my body. But that being said if you are gluten-free, my favourite bagel brand is O’Doughs, which you can find in most grocery stores in the freezer sections.
I made my own refrigerator pickled beets. I followed Belly Full’s recipe. They were simple to make and a MUST for these zucchini sandwiches. The pickled flavour compliments the smoky grilled flavours of the other veggies beautifully. If you want to save on time, you can simply buy pickled beets from your market. We grew beets in the garden this year, and they all sprouted at once so this was a good way to use the beets up!
here are a few reasons why I love these grilled zucchini sandwiches, so listen up!
- The flavour in these vegan sandwiches comes from the balsamic/oil marinade that the zucchini and peppers sit in for at least one hour. Mixed with the smokiness of the bbq- these veggies are the definition of flavour-packed. Each grill will be different but I found the zucchini and peppers only needed 5-10 minutes per side to crisp up perfectly.
- Let’s talk about the vegan spinach pesto. You always need a spread to go with a sandwich and I think this pesto really stepped up to the plate with these zucchini sandwiches. It’s simple to make as I used pretty basic ingredients. I did want it more on the thicker side so it would spread better, but if for some reason yours is a little too thick you can simply add a little water to thin it out.
- I love using veggies when they are in season. With these vegan sandwiches, you can use zucchini, beets, and basil from the garden. If your peppers are ready to harvest- well that is just a bonus. If you don’t have your own garden, or if you are missing some veggies, local markets always have a good haul and are usually my back up!
Needing more vegan sandwiches in your life? Try these recipes:
These grilled zucchini sandwiches are an easy weekend lunch or the perfect picnic addition. They are smoky, sweet, and zesty. Honestly, there are so many different flavours (that complement one another) that you can’t help but dive in for another bite before you’ve even swallowed your first one. Both the Picky Husband and my sister LOVED the flavours in these vegan sandwiches. We made them at home and then took them to the beach for a picnic. They truly hit the spot. It’s time to use up those zucs from the garden, and fire up the grill!
grilled zucchini sandwiches with vegan spinach pesto
- 1 medium zucchini
- 3 small red peppers
- 2 pickled beets (made my own- see notes)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup avocado oil (or oil of choice)
Vegan Spinach Pesto
- 1 cup spinach
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup oil (avocado or olive oil)
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- handful of basil (roughly 1/2 cup)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- sea salt to taste
- 2 bagel sandwiches
- sprouts to top
- If you are preparing your own pickled beets, follow the instructions from Belly Full’s sites (see notes for link). The time to make the pickled beets is not included in the recipe breakdown.
- Slice the zucchini into round coins, and slice the peppers in half removing any seeds. Add the balsamic and oil together and then pour over the zucchini and peppers in a container. Toss the veggies and let them marinate for at least 1 hour. Toss them occasionally.
- Once the veggies have marinated, heat up the barbeque on medium-high. Add the veggies onto the grill, spaced out nicely. Watch them closely and after 5-10 minutes. (depending on the grill) flip them over. They should be nice and toasted on the one side. Do the same for the other side then remove them from the grill.
- Prepare the vegan spinach pesto. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth. This pesto should be on the thicker side as it is used as the spread for the sandwiches. But if it is too thick add a little bit of water at a time.
- Prepare the sandwiches. You can toast the bagels if desired. Then add pesto to the top and bottom of the bagels. Add the grilled zucchini and peppers to the sandwiches. Top with the pickled beets, and sprouts.
- Best enjoyed fresh. If there are leftover veggies and pesto, store in sealed containers in the fridge for a few days.