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Mushroom Marinara Melt Sandwich

This hot sandwich is flavorful and satisfying with tender portobello mushroom strips nuzzled up against baby spinach, melty vegan cheese and steamy marinara tomato sauce. Vegan and a crowd-pleaser!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: dinner, entree, lunch, sandwich
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheese, dinner, easy, entree, lunch, marinara, melt, mushrooms, portobello, sandwich, tomato sauce, vegan
Servings: 1 sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 extra large portobello mushroom cap or 2 medium-sized caps
  • 1 slice vegan cheese (pepper jack used, mozzarella works too)
  • 1/4 cup vegan marinara sauce (any flavor)
  • 1 cup baby spinach (or another green or sprout)
  • 1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (balsamic would work too)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 large sandwich roll - or thickly sliced french bread, pita, wrap or toast.

Instructions

  • Prep your mushroom(s). Remove the stem and discard. Rinse cap in hot water and pat dry very well with a paper towel. Slice into thick finger-like strips, about 1/2 inch wide.
  • Bun: Warm oven to 400 degrees and place the roll or bun or bread inside. Cook just until the outside is crispy and insides are warm and soft. To prep the bun, slice it in half. I like to sometimes remove some of the soft bread inside the middle ("scooped") to make room for more spinach and mushrooms and sauce. Scooping is optional.
  • Warm a skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Cover with a lid and allow the mushrooms to cook and soften for two minutes. Lift lid. Flip mushrooms. Turn heat down to low and add one tablespoon of the vinegar. Shake pan a bit. Add the salt and pepper. Cover again and cook for another minute or so. Remove lid again. Flip again. The mushrooms should be very tender and dark black to brownish now. If not, allow to cook until the are very soft, but not wilted. You want them to retain their "meatiness" without being over-cooked. Add more pepper andvinegar if desired. The vinegar adds a sassy flavor to the mushrooms. Larger mushrooms can handle a bit more vinegar. Lastly, one minute before cooking is done, add the cheese. Push the cooked mushrooms together, packed tightly, and add the slice of cheese. Add one ice cube and cover the pan with the lid, allowing the steam to melt the cheese. Lift lid and turn off heat from stove. Set the pan aside, with mushrooms, to rest for a few minutes before adding tot the bun.
  • Warm the marinara either in the microwave or stovetop.
  • Assemble sandwich! Spoon marinara on both sides of the roll/bun. Press well into the bread, especially if you did not scoop the roll. Then add the baby spinach. Followed by the mushrooms. Using a spatula or large fork, lift the mushrooms from the pan to the bun, without disturbing the melted cheese too much. Then close up the sandwich by placing on the top roll/bun piece. Slice and serve warm!