Grilled Cheese Florentine

Every once in a while we take an unexpected turn here in our household. We venture down a path we haven’t traveled before and, more often than not, we find something new and enjoyable along the way. That’s what I decided to do last Saturday for lunch. Take a different path.

Saturdays are almost always “work days” around here. It’s the day we catch up on house work, yard work, and whatever else kind of work needs to be done that didn’t get done during the week because we were, well…working. And Saturday lunch is always a very casual, throw-together-whatever’s-in-the-fridge kind of affair. Usually sandwiches. Sandwiches with lots of cold cuts and cheese. But last Saturday, I just wanted something different. Something quick and easy, but not the usual cold cuts.

I saw this recipe for Grilled Cheese Florentine months ago in a new cookbook, Welcome to Claire’s, and have had it on my mind ever since. I just knew it would be fantastic. And I thought BeeBop would like it, too, even if there’s not a speck of meat to be found. And I was right! He thought it was delicious.

This sandwich is piled so high with good-for-you and good tasting ingredients that you might not even realize that it’s vegetarian. But if you did want to take it into carnivore territory, you could add a little sliced leftover rotisserie chicken. Yum.

Start by combining the spinach, red onion, diced tomato, garlic, and mozzarella in a large bowl. Toss it all together until it’s well combined. Drizzle on the olive oil, add a little salt and pepper, and toss again.

Grilled Cheese Florentine ready for the oven

Now, spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and line up your bread. Top two of the slices with half each of the mixture. Really pile it up high and don’t leave anything in the bowl! Top those with the other two slices of bread and pop it in the oven for between 7 and 9 minutes or until the spinach has started wilting and the bread is browning. Flip the sandwiches over and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes or until the second piece of bread has toasted.

Transfer each sandwich to a plate. Be sure to scoop up any of the filling that might have escaped in the oven and put that along side.

You’ll want to serve these sandwiches with a knife and fork.


Grilled Cheese Florentine
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A hearty vegetarian sandwich jam packed with tender baby spinach, juicy fresh tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onion.
Serves: 2 sandwiches
  • 2 cups, packed, washed and dried baby spinach
  • 1/4 medium red onion, sliced very thinly
  • 1 tomato, diced (juices reserved)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced finely
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices whole grain bread
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Combine the spinach, onion, tomato (and juices), garlic and mozzarella in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  3. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss again.
  4. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray (or line with parchment). Place two slices of bread on the cookie sheet and top each with half the spinach mixture. Place the second slice of bread on top.
  5. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the spinach is wilted and the bread is toasted. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes until toasted on the second side.
  6. Transfer to a plate and include any of the filling that has fallen out.
Serve this delicious sandwich with a knife and fork.

--Recipe from "Welcome to Claire's"

Other meatless sandwiches you might enjoy from around the internet:

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  1. Todd Stone says

    Lana, we’ve been really trying to eat healthier at our house, more fruits and veggies, less meat. This looks amazing! If I make it for our lunch, and my wife raves about how creative I am, can I just take credit and keep the brownie point all to myself?

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