Mediterranean Sandwich

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Easy, vegetarian Mediterranean Sandwich comes with a bit of a kick!  Pile fresh basil pesto, lots of veggies, and creamy feta cheese on some hearty bread.

Close-up view of the Mediterranean Sandwich, cut in half.

Mediterranean Sandwich

This sandwich is my sister’s specialty. She’s been vegetarian for the better part of a decade and this is one of her go-to meals. I finally decided to try her recipe and I’m hooked! We’ve had this sandwich on repeat for lunches lately, so I thought it was time to share it here.

She says she adapted it from Panera’s® Mediterranean Sandwich, which is one of her favorites. While the ingredients are a bit different than Panera’s, we wouldn’t want this sandwich any other way! The veggies get nice and tender, the feta melts down a bit into an amazing creamy layer, and the Sriracha mayo + pesto add loads of flavor to every single bite.

Process shots: make the special mayo by combining Sriracha and mayonnaise; Spread on one slide of bread, and put pesto on the other; add baby spinach to one slice and onion to the other for this Mediterranean Sandwich.

This sandwich lives up to its goal; it’s quick and tasty and it can be on the table ready to eat in about 10 minutes! True to the quick-prep theme of this Mediterranean Sandwich, we use prepared pesto. Of course, if you have some homemade or want to whip it up fresh, that will work great too!

Mediterranean Sandwich spreads

I recommend using freshly made basil pesto, not the preserved or jarred kind. You’ll find freshly made pesto near the fresh (not dried) pasta or in the produce section of the store. My absolute favorite on these pesto pizzas is Rana’s® Basil Pesto (not sponsored).  There is a good amount of pesto — 2 tablespoons per sandwich– which really gives these sandwiches loads of flavor.

The other side of the sandwich is spread with a Sriracha mayo. If you’re worried about the heat, you can reduce the Sriracha or omit it entirely, although I find it gives the sandwich a great kick and nice flavor. Keep in mind, though, that a little Sriracha goes a long way. If you’re sensitive to spice, add it very slowly.

Lastly, we’ve got feta which is not a spread per se, but as the sandwich is toasted, it melts down a bit into a nice, creamy layer. I use crumbled feta cheese, and while it seems like a lot goes into the sandwich, remember, it melts down along with everything else.

Mediterranean Sandwich veggies

  • Baby spinach: I like to quickly pull off the stems and rip apart big pieces of spinach so it’s not falling out the whole time you’re eating this sandwich.
  • Red onion: Very thinly slice the onion or give it a quick dice. A very thinly sliced red onion has less of a “bite” to it, but you can certainly leave out this veggie if you aren’t a fan.
  • Campari tomatoes: These tomatoes are known for their juiciness, low acidity, high sugar level, and non-mealy texture. They’re perfect for these sandwiches. Roma tomatoes or vine-ripened tomatoes will also work well. I like to add a pinch of salt and pepper here; a little goes a long way (remember the pesto is also salted).
  • Roasted red peppers: You can buy jars of roasted red peppers at the store; they are usually near things like pickles, capers and artichoke hearts. We love the soft texture and smoky flavor of roasted red peppers in this sandwich! Make sure to drain them thoroughly before adding to the sandwich or they will water down the bread.

Let’s talk bread

Any good, hearty, whole grain bread is idea for Mediterranean Sandwiches. My personal favorite is Dave’s Killer Bread® (not sponsored). It has a subtle sweetness and seed-coated crust with a hearty texture that holds everything together.

Process shots: Add spinach to one side of the bread and feta cheese to the other; add tomatoes and salt; add roasted red peppers; toast in a panini press.

QUICK TIP

This Mediterranean Sandwich is filling and fueling! That said, if you’d like to add in some additional protein, add in a layer of chickpeas or deli turkey.

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Mediterranean Sandwich

5 from 3 votes
An easy vegetarian Mediterranean Sandwich with a bit of a kick! Hearty bread is piled with fresh basil pesto, lots of veggies, and creamy feta cheese. This recipe is for one sandwich, but can be scaled to make as many sandwiches as you'd like!
Print Recipe

Mediterranean Sandwich

5 from 3 votes
An easy vegetarian Mediterranean Sandwich with a bit of a kick! Hearty bread is piled with fresh basil pesto, lots of veggies, and creamy feta cheese. This recipe is for one sandwich, but can be scaled to make as many sandwiches as you'd like!
Course lunch, Protein Shake, Sandwich, Vegetarian
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword Mediterranean Sandwich
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 sandwich (easily scaled up!)
Calories 493kcal
Cost $2.21

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces hearty wheat bread (I like Dave's Killer Bread)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil pesto (I like Rana's fresh basil pesto)
  • 1 tablespoon real mayo (I like Best Foods/Hellmans)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed baby spinach
  • 10 very thinly sliced red onion strips
  • 3-4 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 slices Campari tomatoes
  • Small sprinkle fine sea salt and pepper
  • 6 strips jarred roasted red pepper, well drained (See Note 1)

Instructions

  • SANDWICH SPREAD: Set out two slices of bread. Spread one side of one slice with the pesto. In a small bowl, stir together the mayo and sriracha (add slowly and to heat preference). Spread this mayo on the other slice of bread on one side.
  • FILLING: Gently press the baby spinach on top of the mayo and Sriracha to secure it in place. Gently press the thinly sliced red onion strips on the side with pesto to secure in place. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top of the red onion and gently press it in. Remember this melts down a bit, so don't skimp! Add the thinly sliced tomatoes on top along with a tiny sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the well-drained red pepper strips on top. Bring the sandwich piece with the spinach on top of the other.
  • COOK: Add sandwich to a panini press or electric grill. Alternatively, add to a dry skillet. For the electric grill: close the lid and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the bread is fully toasted with defined char marks and the cheese is melted. For a panini press: Add the sandwich and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until golden and cheese is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. In a skillet: Preheat a dry skillet to medium low. Add the sandwich, then set a pan on top to weigh it down. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: You can buy jars of roasted red peppers at the store; they are usually near things like pickles, capers and artichoke hearts. We love the soft texture and smoky flavor of roasted red peppers in this sandwich! Make sure to drain them thoroughly before adding to the sandwich or they will water down the bread.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 493kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.8g | Protein: 13.8g | Fat: 32.8g | Cholesterol: 30.8mg | Sodium: 942.6mg | Fiber: 7.9g | Sugar: 9.6g

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10 Comments

  1. My problem is that this recipe is too expensive. In addition to what I have in the house, I would have to buy: Sriracha sauce, pesto, spinach, roasted red peppers, and feta cheese. Your recipe would make a very expensive sandwich!

    1. Totally get where you’re coming from! The nice thing is, if you bought all the ingredients, you’d have enough to make many sandwiches over the course of a couple weeks so it would end up being a lot less per sandwich. If everything was bought to just make one sandwich, then yes that would be very pricy!

  2. 5 stars
    looking at this picture of your sandwich makes my mouth water. I am making this right away. I don’t feel that this sandwich is so expensive to prepare. Being Italian, I have these ingredients in my frig all the time. Its just a given.

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