Fabulous Zucchini Grinders


I made this up one day out of things I had on hand, and it turned out to be one of my favorite sandwiches ever. Sauteed zucchini pieces are coated with a zesty marinara sauce and topped with a generous helping of mozzarella cheese. These baked sandwiches are a great vegetarian version of the Italian grinder. They can also be made ahead of time, and heated just before serving.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
4 servings


Marinara Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 medium zucchini, cubed

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 4 (6 inch) French or Italian sandwich rolls, split


  1. To make marinara sauce, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat (see Cook's Note). Add garlic, basil and red pepper flakes; cook and stir for a minute or two until fragrant. Stir in sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour in tomatoes with their juices and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree until smooth in food processor or blender.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  3. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the zucchini in butter until browned and slightly tender. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

  4. Spoon a generous amount of the zucchini mixture into each sandwich roll. Cover zucchini with about 1/4 cup marinara sauce per roll. Top with a handful of shredded mozzarella. Close the rolls, and wrap individually in aluminum foil.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until bread is heated through, rolls are soft, and cheese is melted.

Cook's Note:

You can use about 1 cup of marinara sauce out of the jar if you don't feel like making this one. With premade sauce, these sandwiches are ready in about half an hour.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

339 Calories
15g Fat
37g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 339
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 729mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 27mg 136%
Calcium 450mg 35%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 504mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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