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Bring this fully-loaded sandwich stuffed with eggplant, zucchinis, mozzarella, pesto and more to your next picnic.

Loaded Picnic Sandwich

prep time15Min


serving time6


  • Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 or 9 inch) round crusty bread loaf

  • 2 small zucchinis, thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 1 large eggplant, thinly sliced lengthwise

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 (8 oz) jar pesto or 9 Tbsp (preferably with Parmesan)

  • 2–3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained

  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced or shredded


  1. Method:

  2. Heat a grill pan to medium-high and grease lightly. Working in batches, grill the zucchini and eggplant until cooked through and grill marks form on both sides. Season with salt and pepper as you grill. Reserve.

  3. Meanwhile, cut off the very top of the bread loaf and scoop out the bread until you’ve achieved a hollow center. Using a small spatula, spread the pesto all over the inside of the loaf including the top piece.

  4. Start layering the sandwich, placing a layer of eggplant, zucchini, spinach, cheese and continuing until you’ve used all the fillings. Place the top of the bread back on the loaf and wrap in tin foil. Bring loaded loaf to a picnic as is, or place in a 350ºF oven for about an hour, until cheese is melted through and the sandwich is warm. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

Loaded Picnic Sandwich




Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox


- This may look like it took hours to make but this is one of the simplest picnic dishes you're ever gonna find. All my favorite flavors jam packed into this one little loaf. Let's do it. So we're gonna start off by grilling some nice seasonal vegetables on our grill. I've just brushed a little bit of oil on a grill pan. And we're just gonna grill this up until we have some nice char marks on there. I'm gonna brush the other side with a little bit of oil as well, just so it's all ready for when we flip it. So I'm just seasoning with a little bit of salt and some pepper. And then we flip, we'll do the other side as well. Those are the little char marks that you're looking for. Alright, in the meantime we're gonna start with our loaf of bread. So I just have a round loaf here, you could use square, totally up to you. I just found a little loaf at the market. So all I'm gonna do here is just create a little circle. This is really fun. And pull it open. And we're basically gonna pull out all this bread. We don't want it in this sandwich because we're just gonna load this little shell with all of our vegetables. You wanna basically hollow it out. Even the top, you could get rid of some of this. Alright, these are done. Let's remove these to our plate here. Now let's start building our sandwich here. Alright, so we are going to use some pesto, and I bought a pesto that has Parmesan in it 'cause that's such my favorite. I'm obsessed with Parmesan. You want to use regular pesto you can do that as well. The Parmesan gives a really good extra flavor. So we're gonna use all of this. I know it seems like a lot but it's a big loaf here and you're gonna serve a nice amount of people. Alright so that's all set and then your little hat over here, a little top. Don't wanna forget about him. Alright, cool! We're gonna start by layering all of our vegetables. So we're gonna start with some zucchinis. And you're basically just gonna put them in here next to each other. You're gonna line them all up. And we have some eggplant. I'm just gonna cut these eggplants in half, they're a little bit big. And now I have some frozen spinach that I've just wrung out all the water from. You don't have to cook it 'cause we're gonna pop this in the oven anyways. Don't even worry about it. And just keep pressing everything down. You want this to be really, really loaded and packed in there. And we have our queso. This is a nice, fresh mozzarella. There's nothing better than fresh mozzarella. So much better when it's fresh. Alright, and let's layer it one more time. More zucchini, make sure you get it in all those corners. And let's do some more eggplant. Cut it a little bit. Ooh! Alright, and some spinach. One last time. One final layer of mozzarella. Bam, that looks so good. And then you just top it with your little cover and press it down. Alright we're gonna grab some foil now, cover it up nice and tight. So we have some tinfoil and right on there. Okay, we're gonna go pop this in the oven at 350 degrees until it's nice and melted and we'll cut into this and I'll show you how gorgeous it looks. Let's go. This is so nice and toasty. Oh! Check it out. Oh, hot and melty! I just love when all the cheese melts. I just think it's so much better. Let's get into this guy. So it's gonna cut like a wedge. We'll see all those yummy vegetables in the center. Alright let's see what this looks like. Oh! Can you see that? The cheese has melted through. You have those layers and layers. It looks so gorgeous. And this is fully packed and loaded. This is the whole meal right here. And this looks so good. Look at all these vegetables in here. This is your full meal. You have your carbs, you have your vegetables, and you have nice big smiles on your faces all summer long. I hope you guys make this and happy picnicking. Bye guys.