There is so much to love about this roasted vegetable sandwich! It combines tender and juicy oven-baked veggies with a creamy basil pesto spread and it is easy to make too. Makes for a delicious way to eat more healthy vegetables and it is so versatile, you can choose your favorite veggies to roast! Perfect for lunch, meal-prep and 100% vegan.
This is one of the BEST vegan sandwich we have had in a while: roasted vegetable sandwich with basil pesto!
The combination of juicy warm veggies roasted to perfection with a savory creamy pesto spread is, as you can imagine, a total success and absolutely delish!
I used to think that delicious vegan sandwiches were difficult to make, but now, I make them all the time! We especially love this veggie tortilla wraps with balsamic tofu or I'll make a mashed chickpea avocado sandwich during the week since it only takes minutes to make.
But there is something even more special about this Italian summer vegetable sandwich. It only takes 30 minutes to roast the vegetables and this recipe uses all your favorite end of summer seasonal vegetables, such as red pepper, eggplant, zucchini and portobello mushrooms. It is super hearty and satisfying, even meat eaters will adore it and ask for more.
You can obviously make this recipe all year around as well: roasting vegetables that are out of season or the ones that are under-ripe can help concentrate their flavor and improve their texture too.
Although prepping and cooking the veggies will take about 30-35 minutes, this recipe is actually pretty easy and versatile. You can easily swap the vegetables for any ones that you already have and also, if you don't like pesto, then simply use hummus or vegan cream cheese, it will work perfectly too!
Let me know if you gave it a try! ❤️
Why you will love this recipe
- Packed with nutritious vegetables
- Ultra flavorful and filled with appetizing colors
- Perfect meatless and vegetarian lunch or dinner
- Versatile and makes for great leftovers
- Can be meal-prepped ahead
- Great recipe to clean up your fridge
- Tender and juicy warm filling, simply the best!
- Naturally vegan and dairy-free
What vegetables should I use for roasting?
You can use a ton of different fresh vegetables to roast and use in sandwiches.
I like to use veggies that I can slice so it forms neat layers in between the bread, such as eggplant, red peppers, zucchini and portobello, but that is not essential at all and you can just roast and pile up any veggies, no matter their shape!
Vegetables you can use to roast:
1- At 400º for about 30-35 minutes:
- butternut squash
- red peppers
- sweet potatoes
- poblano peppers
- Roma tomatoes
2- At 400º for about 5-20 minutes:
- portobello mushrooms
- cherry tomatoes
The trick will be to adjust cooking time depending on the vegetables that you use and also depending on how thick you chopped or sliced them. You can check on them after 15 minutes and keep cooking until they are done to your liking.
Slice the veggies all about the same size and work in batches if necessary. You can use 2 baking sheets to match the veggies that cook for about the same time too. Some vegetables take more time to roast, such as carrots, eggplant and red pepper, so be sure to put those in the oven first!
Ingredients you will need
- A mix of vegetables to roast (see above). I used eggplant, red peppers, zucchini and portobello mushrooms and it made for a perfect mix of textures and flavors.
- Bread: The vegetables are quite moist even after baked, which means that they will likely release a little more moisture while standing in your sandwich. Choosing an earthy and fresh bread that can handle this will make a big difference. I used a simple sliced whole wheat bread from our local grocery store. Focaccia, ciabatta, wheat buns and baguette are all great options.
- Balsamic vinegar: drizzling a little balsamic vinegar over the veggies before roasting them really enhances their flavor, so try not to omit!
- Garlic: also boosts the flavor from the vegetables before baking them. Use as much as you want!
- Onions: ideally, use marinated onions, which are great in sandwiches to add a flavor and a crunch. There are tons of pickled onions you can get from the store or you can also make your own, it's so easy! I have a balsamic pickled onion and a lime pickled onion recipe that you can try.
- Sauce: this recipe is absolutely amazing with a pesto sauce. I made my oil-free vegan walnut basil pesto this time, but you can also get vegan pesto from the store. If you prefer, you can also use hummus!
How to make a roasted vegetable sandwich
Pre-heat the oven to 400º and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roast the veggies
While the oven is warming up, prep/slice the vegetables: slice the eggplant and zucchini in about ½ inch thick slices and halve and remove the seeds of the red peppers. Then, remove the stems and gills on the portobello mushrooms and then slice in thick sticks.
Place the eggplant and red pepper over one of the baking sheets. I like to spray a little oil and sprinkle some salt over the eggplant, but that's optional.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, flipping the eggplant halfway through (do not flip the red pepper so the skin roasts nicely).
Meanwhile, toss the prepared zucchini and portobello slices with the balsamic vinegar, garlic and a little salt. Place on the second baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until done to your liking.
Make the sauce
While the vegetables are roasting, then you can make the pesto sauce. For convenience, you can also buy pesto in your grocery store or simply use hummus.
When the veggies are done roasting, then toast the bread and spread some pesto on both sides. Pile up some of the roasted vegetables on one of the bread and top with a few slices of marinated onions. Close up the sandwich, slice in half and enjoy!
Other ways you can cook the vegetables
If turning on the oven is not an option, especially on a super hot summer day, then here are 2 other ways you can cook the vegetables:
- Grilled on the BBQ: what a perfect way to cook up your veggies in the summer! BBQ charred veggies are so flavorful and can add lots of character to your yummy sandwich. Heidi from Foodicrush has an amazing guide on how to grill vegetables, including the ones that I show case here, so check it out if you are planning on using your outdoor grill!
- Stove-top: For a quick and fuss-free way to cook your veggies, then you can also use the stove top. You will need to work in batches and even take out 2 pans at the same time to speed up the process. Simply cook the veggies until done to your liking flipping them a few times.
- This recipe makes 4 sandwiches. If you have more veggies, then roast them all and use the extra in pasta, over rice, as a side dish, etc, the next day. Roasting veggies is an amazing meal-prep staple!
- I didn’t include a step about salting the eggplant before cooking it. Honestly, I rarely do it! Salting eggplant before baking it can remove some of its moisture and helps concentrate the flavor. Here is a guide on how to salt eggplant before cooking it if you wanted to add that step. Nowadays, the varieties of eggplant aren't as watery as it used to be and it does not turn as mushy while baking anymore. And I like convenience, so I'll skip salting it every time it is not absolutely necessary!
- Don't slice your veggies too thin or they can turn soggy! Also, better to undercook them slightly than overcook them for a better texture.
What to serve with this recipe
Vegetable sandwiches go well with fresh green salads or pasta salads, especially this cilantro lime bow tie salad. Here are a few more great salad pairing ideas:
- Apple cider vinegar kale salad
- Zesty quinoa salad
- Cucumber beet salad
- Tuscan white bean salad
- Edamame crunch salad
- Vegan Waldorf salad
- Carrot cucumber salad
Also, serve with a nice cup of soup in the fall or winter. It would be perfect with a creamy tomato soup or also:
- Zucchini potato soup
- Cauliflower, leek and potato soup
- Carrot and celery soup
- Mexican bean soup
- Creamy broccoli almond soup
- Curried carrot, ginger and carrot soup
Pesto is perfect in this recipe! It really enhances the flavors of the veggies without overpowering the whole dish. But, if you don't want to use pesto, then look for a sauce that complements well the veggies you choose.
Here are a few sauce or spread ideas that would also work well:
- Vegan mayo
- Chimichurri sauce (check out my chimichurri bowl for the recipe)
- Gochujang aioli or chipotle mayo for some heat
- Vegan tofu cream cheese (for a yummy creaminess, but also a nice boost in plant-based protein)
- Cashew ricotta cheese
- Tofu spread
- Marinara sauce (might work better in a sub type of sandwich)
Also, I love adding some pickled onions, but there are other ingredients you can include, such as:
- Marinated jalapeño
- Roasted tofu
- Romaine lettuce
Once you assembled the sandwich, then I recommend to eat it right away. Overtime, the moisture from the roasted veggies can go through your bread and turn it soggy.
That being said, I highly recommend you to roast more veggies than you need! Simply keep the extra in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheat using the microwave.
You can then make more sandwiches the next day, but also, feel free to use the veggies differently, such as in:
- rice or pasta dishes
- grain bowls or buddha bowls
- tortilla wraps
- You can even blend the veggies with some roasted tomatoes to make a creamy vegetable soup or a healthy smooth pasta sauce!
More vegan sandwiches to try
- Beet and pickle sandwich
- Mashed chickpea and avocado sandwich
- Balsamic tofu tortilla wraps
- Tofu scramble breakfast sandwich
- Spicy buffalo tofu sandwich
- Vegan chickpea gyro
- Crusted tofu tortilla wraps
- Black bean and rice burrito wraps
- Vegan sloppy joes
- BBQ jackfruit wraps
- Vegan cucumber sandwiches
I hope you like this roasted vegetable sandwich recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Roasted Vegetable Sandwich
- 1 small eggplant - sliced in ½ inch thick rounds or slices
- 2 red peppers - halved and seeds removed
- 2 portobello mushrooms - stems and gills removed, then sliced in ½-1 inch thick pieces
- 2 small green zucchini - sliced in ½ inch thick slices
- 1-2 cloves of garlic - crushed
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
For the sandwiches
- Pre-heat the oven to 400º and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice the eggplant in ½ inch thick and also, halve and remove the seeds of the red peppers. Transfer on one of the baking sheet, spray some oil over and sprinkle some salt. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tender, flipping halfway through.
- Meanwhile, remove the stems on the portobello and scrape the gills off using a spoon. Slice in ½-1 inch thick pieces and transfer in a bowl or shallow dish. Also, slice the zucchini in ¼-½ inch thick and transfer to the same dish. Pour the balsamic vinegar over, add the crushed garlic and sprinkle some salt. Toss the veggies using your hands and transfer over the second baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender, flipping halfway through.
- Once the eggplant and red peppers are done, transfer the roasted red pepper in a bowl and cover. Then, let them rest and cool down for 5-7 minutes. Once done, simply peel off their skin and discard them.
- Toast the bread and spread some pesto over each slice. Layer the roasted veggies and add some pickled onions over. Close the sandwich with the second piece of bread, slice and enjoy!
- Once you have assembled the sandwich, then enjoy right away so the bread doesn't turn soggy from all the moisture from the veggies. That being said, you can roast more veggies than you need and keep the extra in an air-tight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave and reuse for more sandwiches or to add to pasta, rice dishes, in salads, tacos, etc.
- If you don't feel like using pesto, then you can swap for store-bought hummus, vegan cream cheese, vegan mayo or any sauce that you like.
- More sandwich filler ideas include romaine lettuce, tomatoes, marinated jalapeño, sprouts, etc. Check out the blog post for more ideas!