This Bell Pepper Sandwich is breadless and incredibly delicious. It's essentially ham and cheese panini with peppers in lieu of bread, making it both unique and gluten-free. And it's huge crowd pleaser.
This recipe is such a fun way to make a sandwich without bread.
As many of you know, since my (now 18-year-old! GASP!) son has Celiac Disease, I'm always trying to come up with new, awesome gluten-free recipes.
This Bell Pepper Sandwich is exactly that.
Bell pepper is the "bread," and it's delicious with the nut-like flavor of the Gruyère — melting beneath a slightly sweet slice of ham, peppery arugula, and tangy mustard.
A truly magical flavor combination.
And this beautiful recipe can be made inside of 20 minutes!
We've already mentioned some of them, but let's check out this list of all the things this bell pepper sandwich is, and can be called, shall we?
- A ham and cheese sandwich.
- A breadless sandwich.
- A grilled cheese sandwich.
- A gluten-free sandwich.
- A Keto-friendly sandwich.
- And a Panini sandwich.
And back in the day, when I used to create the longest recipes titles ever, I would've called it something like: Gluten-Free, Breadless, Grilled Cheese Bell Pepper Sandwich with Ham and Arugula. Ridiculous! 🤣
How to Make Them
You can make this on a stove-top grill or griddle, though if you have a panini press, it's the best choice.
- Cut the peppers into what will become the "bread" by cutting a bit off the top and bottom, and removing the membranes and seeds.
- Make a slit that goes only halfway through the pepper, on each side. This way, when it's pressed down, it will easily fold.
- Add the mustard, ham, cheese and arugula inside the pepper.
- Place the filled pepper on the bottom plate of the panini press.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then grill the sandwich.(More detailed instructions are below.)
The bell pepper sandwich is a fabulous lunch or dinner, and you can also cut it into small bites to have them as appetizers or hors d'oeuvres. They'd be great for a cocktail party this way.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- You can of course mix this up with your own favorite cheese, greens, etc. Swiss, Mozarrella, Cheddar, it's your call. Hard cheeses are typically best for this recipe. Spinach, chard or kale are some alternative greens you can use. Or fill it with anything else you like, tomatoes, bacon, turkey, etc.
- Not a fan of grainy mustard? Use whatever your favorite is.
- Vegetarian? Skip the ham and add a thin tomato slice.
Do you have to cook a bell pepper sandwich?
It's much easier to eat a bell pepper sandwich if it's cooked because the pepper becomes softer. That said, it's also okay to eat it raw. It'll still be delicious, just with a much crunchier texture. And in the case of this recipe, the cheese will be firm and not melted.
I hope you love and try a bell pepper sandwich!
More Breadless Sandwiches
Bell Pepper Sandwich
- 2 large bell peppers (about ½ pound each), washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces applewood smoked ham (or your favorite ham), thinly sliced
- ½ cup packed arugula leaves, washed and dried
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare the peppers. Slice about ½ inch off the tops and bottoms of the peppers, including the stems. Then use a paring knife to remove the seeds and membranes. You should be left with an intact pepper, with a fairly smooth inside surface and no top or bottom.Then make one slit, vertically, down each side of the pepper, that only goes about halfway thorough the flesh. This makes it easier to fold while in the panini press or on a stove-top grill or griddle. (It's not essential to do this step.)
- Assemble. Spread the inside of each of the peppers with about 1 tablespoon of the mustard, coating the entire surface. Then place about ¼ of the cheese slices on the bottom of each one. Follow the cheese with about ½ ham and ½ arugula. Then add the remaining cheese slices.
- GRILLWith a panini press: Preheat the press, and once it's ready -- most have a green light that'll go on, much like a waffle maker -- drizzle the bottom plate lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place one or both filled peppers on top, depending on the amount of space. Drizzle the tops with a bit more olive oil and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Close the press to grill. Most presses will take about 5 minutes. I lift the lid a bit when I think it's getting close to check. The peppers should be nicely marked from the grill, and they should be (about 50%) softer than when they went in. With a stove-top grill or griddle. Instead of closing the press, use a flat-bottomed, metal spatula to press down on the sandwich. Once the bottom is golden, very carefully flip the peppers and cook the other side, still pressing down with the spatula, until the cheese is melting and bottom is golden. (Kitchen tongs might be helpful for flipping, in addition to the spatula.)
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