Italian eggplant grilled cheese sandwiches feature all the flavor of eggplant parmesan, but take only 15 minutes to make. Plus they’re lactose-free, thanks to GO Veggie! smoked provolone slices!
A few months ago we were eating at a local restaurant when an item on the menu caught my eye: a roasted broccoli and mozzarella panini. I was seriously tempted, but I knew that amount of cheese would probably give me a terrible stomach ache and it wouldn’t be worth the calories anyway. I tucked the idea away in the back of my mind and figured I would make it at home with GO Veggie! lactose free cheese so that I could actually enjoy it.
Of course, by the time I got around to making it my plans for the sandwich had morphed into something quite different than the original. I switched the broccoli out for eggplant and decided that provolone sounded more interesting than mozzarella. Since I already had an eggplant parm sort of thing going, I decided to add sundried tomato pesto as a tribute to sauce.
You guys, this sandwich is AWESOME!
It’s warm and toasty and gooey and cheesy and has so much flavor! I’m a big fan of GO Veggie’s cream cheese (melted into my creamy tomato basil soup) and cheese shreds (used in my spicy broccoli triangles), but this was my first time trying the slices. I’m kicking myself for not trying them sooner, especially since this winter has been so brutally cold and there’s pretty much nothing better on a cold day than a bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.
The provolone slices melted really well (look at those layers of molten cheese!) and they have a great flavor with just a touch of smokiness. Plus, they’re only 40 calories per slice (half that of traditional provolone) with no saturated fat or cholesterol and double the calcium of cheese. Those are some pretty impressive stats, right?
It also passed the husband taste-test with flying colors: I handed Shawn a sandwich and he took a huge bite and said “WOW that’s a good sandwich!”
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 slices Italian sandwich bread
- 2 tablespoons butter or butter alternative
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 12 slices GO Veggie! smoked provolone
- 4 tablespoons sundried tomato pesto
- Heat a large skillet over a medium flame. Add the eggplant and cook 1-2 minutes per side, until soft. Remove from heat.
- Butter each slice of bread and sprinkle them with garlic powder. Flip 4 slices of bread over (so the buttered side is down) and top each with one slice of cheese and a quarter of the eggplant. Spread the sundried tomato pesto over the eggplant and top with the remaining cheese. Top with the remaining bread (buttered side up).
- Cook sandwiches over low heat for 3 minutes on each side, or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted. If necessary, place a cover over the pan for the last 3 minutes to help the cheese melt.