A hearty fusion-flavored Vegetable Sandwich with Balsamic Glaze has been a go-to sandwich in my household for many years. This sandwich is filled with vegetables cooked in balsamic glaze, topped on sourdough bread, melted with pepper jack cheese, and a cream cheese spread made with fusion flavors.
My younger sister and I used to visit El Paso while our older sister, my brother in law, and my husband were in medical school. We always made it a point to visit the same restaurant: Ruli’s International Kitchen. They had an AMAZING sandwich there (one of the only vegetarian items at the time). We loved the sandwich so much that we created our own version of it when we craved Ruli's! Lunch times with this sandwich was always a hit! These sandwiches are ready in 20 minutes and are great as a weeknight lunch or meal.
What goes in a Vegetable Sandwich with Balsamic Glaze:
- Vegetables: mushrooms, spinach, bell pepper (I prefer red, yellow, or orange as they give a sweeter flavor), zucchini, onions.
- Balsamic glaze: before I discovered balsamic glaze, I used balsamic vinegar with these sandwiches. You can also just use balsamic vinegar, it just doesn't give the same sweeter flavor. I suggest using 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Other balsamic glaze substitutes you can use: cider or red wine vinegar and maple syrup or lemon/lime juice. Please don’t feel like you have to go and buy balsamic glaze!
- If you have balsamic vinegar but not balsamic glaze, you can make it by using brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Use 1 cup balsamic vinegar with ¼ cup brown sugar and simmer until it reaches a glaze consistency.
- Aromatics: Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Cream cheese spread: this includes cream cheese, soy sauce, and sriracha. This spread is what adds the fusion to the sandwich! Sounds weird but trust me on this one!
- Cheese: My favorite is Tillamook pepper jack cheese! I have also used Amul cheese and it tastes amazing.
- Bread: I love using sourdough bread for this sandwich. You can use any bread you prefer. The restaurant used ciabatta rolls. When I used to make this, I used to use any regular bread we had at home!
Tips for making this sandwich:
- I like to melt the cheese using a toaster oven. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can use a skillet, lightly cook both sides of the bread, and add cheese too one slice on medium low heat and cook until the cheese melts (like you would a grill cheese without closing the sandwich)!
- If you don’t like your sandwich too saucy, I’d decrease the balsamic glaze to 1 tablespoon. You can also use a slotted spoon to get rid of some of the excess sauce.
Other flavorful recipes you may love:
Vegetable Sandwich with Balsamic Glaze
- 1 loaf sourdough bread; or bread of your choice
- 4-8 slices of pepper jack cheese
For the Sandwich Vegetables:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion; chopped
- 2 cloves garlic; minced
- 2 cups baby bella mushrooms; chopped
- 1 colored bell pepper; chopped
- 1 zucchini; chopped
- 2 cups packed spinach
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze (see notes)
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
For the Cream Cheese Spread:
- 1, 8 oz container whipped cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
To prepare the vegetables:
- Heat oil in a medium non-stick skillet. Add the garlic and onions and cook until onions are translucent.
- Add mushrooms, zucchini, and bell peppers. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly soft. If you like your vegetables soggy, cook for a 2-3 more minutes. Add the spinach at the end and cook 1-2 minutes until just wilted.
- Add the balsamic glaze to the vegetables. Add Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
To prepare the cream cheese spread:
- In the cream cheese container or a small bowl, add sriracha and soy sauce. Mix with a spoon until well combined. Set aside.
To prepare the sandwich:
- Take two slices of bread and lay one cheese slice on one slice of bread (or cheese slices on both sides).
- Place the bread slices with the cheese in a toaster oven and toast until cheese is melted and bread is browned to your liking.
- Remove the toasted bread from the toaster oven. Add cream cheese spread to one side or both sides and top with the cooked vegetables.
- Close the sandwich and cut in half. Serve immediately!
- If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can use a skillet, lightly cook both sides of the bread, and add cheese to one slice on medium low heat and cook until the cheese melts (like you would a grill cheese without closing the sandwich)!
- If you don't have balsamic glaze, you can use a balsamic glaze substitutes such as cider or red wine vinegar and maple syrup; or lemon/lime juice. Please don’t feel like you have to go and buy balsamic glaze!
- If you have balsamic vinegar but not balsamic glaze, you can make it by using brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Use 1 cup balsamic vinegar with ¼ cup brown sugar and simmer until it reaches a glaze consistency. You can also just use balsamic vinegar, it just won't give the same sweeter flavor. I suggest using 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar and add another based on your taste preference.