Italian Hoagie Style Pressed Picnic Sandwiches for #SundaySupper

Italian hoagie style pressed picnic sandwiches take any picnic from boring to fabulous in one simple bite.

Italian Hoagie Style Pressed Picnic Sandwiches

July is National Picnic Month, which is incredibly appropriate considering it is the warmest month of the year. And sure, maybe you don’t necessarily feel like slogging your goodies all the way to the beach in the oppressive heat. Or perhaps you aren’t into bugs and ants that undoubtedly swirl around any blanket or sheet you may lay down on top of a grassy area in your local park. If you put aside all the minor annoyances, however, picnics are awesome, especially if you can round up a great group of friends and family and encourage them all to bring their own fabulous dishes and drinks. 

I’ve wanted to make a pressed picnic sandwich for years but never had much reason to do so. And so this Sunday Supper event with Gallo Family Vineyards is basically the picnic of my dreams, the one I’ve truly been waiting for all year long. Gallo asked a few of us to come up with our best picnic wares to celebrate this month and I could not be more excited to see what everyone is bringing to the party. I of course brought the pressed picnic sandwich.

Italian Hoagie Style Pressed Picnic Sandwiches

Now, if you know me well, you may be wondering why I didn’t bring a traditional hoagie. Here’s the answer: I just can’t. I’m a stubborn Northesterner and I can’t handle the conversation that will ensure over hoagie vs. sub vs. grinder. To me, it is and always will be a hoagie. Lingo and jargon aside, the flavors of a traditional Italian hoagie do me in every dang time. I cannot resist spicy capicola, stacked provolone and all the trimmings. I think pressed picnic sandwiches are meant to be classy foods but hey, I gave it a Philly spin by filling that fancy sandwich with all my favorite Italian hoagie ingredients. It goes perfectly with Gallo’s Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep richness of the wine doesn’t overpower but perfectly compliments the sandwich. And their mini bottles are completely picnic-ready, easily fitting into your adorable basket that you’ve no doubt packed. If you aren’t a deep red fan, try their Pinot Grigio with this as well, either works perfectly! 

The fun part about a pressed sandwich – besides stuffing it in your face – is in the preparation. You layer all of your ingredients onto the bread, make sure to pile ‘em sky high. Place the lid on top and then press between some heavy books. It causes the sandwich to collapse a bit, become this tiny bite so packed with flavor, you’ll wonder how all of that deliciousness managed to be in one bite. Plus the pressed sandwich makes you look more dignified – no ingredients falling all over our shirt. Try one and eat with dignity!

Italian Hoagie Style Pressed Picnic Sandwiches

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Italian Hoagie Style Pressed Picnic Sandwiches


  • 1 large loaf of Italian bread
  • 2 Tbsp. hoagie oil (found in the deli at your grocery store)
  • 8 slices capicola
  • 8 slices Genoa salami
  • 8 slices ham
  • 8 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely sliced
  • 2 to 3 large lettuce leaves, chopped


  1. Begin by cutting your bread down the middle. Spread the hoagie oil over top of one half of the bread.
  2. Layer the capital on the bread, followed by the salami, ham and cheese. Top with onions and lettuce then place the second half on top.
  3. Wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap, then place a very heavy book on top (a dictionary works well). Let it sit for an hour, pressing the sandwich down.
  4. Place sandwich in the fridge until ready to slice and serve.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper posts for a full picnic menu!

Picnic Appetizers:

Picnic Main Dishes:

Picnic Salads and Sides:

Picnic Sweets and Desserts:

Logo EJG Primary - New 2015Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

BBQ Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Onions

BBQ turkey burgers with caramelized onions are THE burgers for this summer: saucy, sassy and tasty.

BBQ Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Onions

I am a big believer in the idea of every burger being topped with loads and loads of caramelized onions and cheese. The cheese seems obvious. People who eat hamburgers (read: my husband) are weird. But the onions, they are an acquired taste not everyone will love. They take time, an adjustment period. If you force them, your diners will rebel and likely throw the onions in your face. 

Maybe they won’t do that exactly, but people will gripe. 

It’s an important lesson I’ve learned over the years. You really can’t force foods on people. If they suddenly have a “Come to Jesus” moment with onions, then you’re golden. But the second you try and stuff caramelized onions in someone’s mouth – no matter how delicious and perfectly browned and slightly salty they are – they will hate them forever. It’s about coming to things on your own, of discovering their beauty and flavors at your own speed.

BBQ Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Still, I wish some people would just hurry up and have this enlightening food experience. I am really tired of serving up my caramelized onions on the side. For real.

I made these burgers a few weeks ago and have tried since then to come up with a clever Bob’s Burgers style name that would convey exactly how fantastic they tasted. The sweet and sassy BBQ sauce on a turkey burger, topped with not one but two slices of cheese and covered in a mountain of golden, caramel onions. It needed a cool name. Here’s what I came up with:

Nothing. I got nothing. Sorry. If you’re into cool named burgers, please shout out your suggestions or head over to this amazing Tumblr dedicated to all things Bob’s Burgers. In the meantime, I highly suggest you heat up your grill pan and get to cooking this burger. Please, share it with someone who is super into caramelized onions. They’ll thank you.

BBQ Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Onions


  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • salt
  • pepper
  • burger seasoning
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce of your choice
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • Optional: pretzel rolls, ketchup, tomatoes, lettuce


  1. Begin with the caramelized onions. Slice your onions into thin slices. Melt butter and olive oil together in a pan over medium high heat. Once melted, add in the onions and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Allow to cook for approximately five minutes, then add ¼ cup of beef stock. Cover and cook approximately 7 minutes until the onions have absorbed the stock.
  3. Add another ¼ cup of stock and repeat until all of the stock has been absorbed and the onions have cooked down and are caramelized. Remove to a plate until ready to use.
  4. Divide your ground turkey into fourths. Take each fourth and form it into a patty. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and burger seasoning.
  5. On a grill pan or griddle (you can use your grill if it is warm outside) over medium high heat, cook the burgers for approximately five minutes per side.
  6. With only an additional minute left, place the cheese on top and allow it to melt. Remove the burgers from the grill. Place them on top of your roll, top each with 2 Tbsp. BBQ sauce, a generous serving of caramelized onions and the other half of the roll.

Lighter Turkey Reuben for #WeekdaySupper

The Reuben is a classic sandwich that stands tall on its own two feet. But sometimes, we need a lighter touch. This lighter turkey reuben is the perfect healthier version of the original.

Lighter Turkey Reuben

For years, I’d heard people rave over reubens and never saw the draw. First, I hated rye bread. Second, sauerkraut is meant for hot dogs. Third, corned beef? Seriously, what was there to ever like about this sandwich? But as I grew up, my taste buds changed and I started wondering if I might, in fact, like a reuben. Still, I wasn’t ready to try it. More time passed and I found myself out for a birthday lunch at this great little hipster restaurant that has never steered me wrong. They had a reuben and I bit the bullet, ordering it.

After that, I became a woman obsessed. I couldn’t stop thinking about that sandwich. I ordered it at every place that carried it (some notably better than others but let’s be real. Everyone can’t be perfect). It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I wanted to make my own. But alas, I’m lightening and corned beef isn’t high on my list of things to eat. I made a few simple adaptations and ended up with a really great, lighter turkey reuben that packs the same flavor punch as its fattier counterpart. All the basics are still there: the rye bread, the sauerkraut, the Thousand Island dressing (just a lighter version) and the swiss cheese. I swapped out corned beef for smoked turkey and, dare I say, I like it better that way.

 Lighter Turkey Reuben

The key here is not to toast the bread but to cook this like a grilled cheese sandwich. Assemble all of your ingredients and put the rye bread cap on. Then, get just a little bit of butter and swipe it on your griddle. Plunk the sandwich down and cook that baby until it is golden and crisp and perfectly melted. Flip, repeat, stuff in face. I ate three reubens last week (on three different days so I feel ok about it). This sandwich, seriously. Love!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Lighter Turkey Reuben for #WeekdaySupper
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 3 Tbsp. fat free Thousand Island dressing
  • ½ cup sauerkraut
  • 4 ounces smoked turkey lunch meat
  • 2 slices swiss cheese
  1. Place two slices of rye bread on a clean, dry surface. Top each with 1½ Tbsp. Thousand Island dressing.
  2. Top with ¼ cup sauerkraut, 2 ounces of turkey and 1 slice of swiss cheese. Place the other slice of rye bread on top.
  3. Heat a griddle over medium high. Melt a small pat of butter, then place the sandwich on the griddle. Cook until golden brown, then flip and repeat until the cheese is melted and both sides are golden.

And be sure to stop and check out the rest of the Weekday Supper posts!

Monday – Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken by Recipes Food and Cooking
Tuesday – Sanma Teriyaki by A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
Wednesday – Turkey Reuben by Feed Me, Seymour
Thursday – Chicken with Lemon and Olives by eating in instead
Friday – Milk Poached Cod with Winter Greens by Nik Snacks


Sunday Supper Movement

Chicken Parmesan Panini

We had these chicken parm paninis for dinner recently and they were a big hit. Everyone enjoyed them and requested them again. I’d say that’s reason enough to test them out for yourself.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chicken Parm Paninis
Recipe type: sandwich, panini, fall, italian, quick and easy, lunch, dinner, kid-approved
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into 1" strips
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 6 slices thick, sourdough bread
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, soft
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Whisk the egg with a bit of water in a small bowl. Pour the breadcrumbs in a separate, shallow dish.
  3. Dredge the chicken pieces first in egg then in breadcrumbs, coating completely.
  4. Heat a sauce pan with ½ inch of oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, place the chicken pieces in and cook until golden brown on one side. Flip and cook until golden on the other, then remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Once the chicken has drained, place it on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through.
  6. While the chicken cooks, heat up the panini press.
  7. Take the butter and mix in the garlic until well combined. Slather some butter on each piece of bread.
  8. Take three pieces of the bread and line with 2-3 Tbsp. mozzarella cheese and 2-3 Tbsp. marinara sauce. Sprinkle on a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  9. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, lay 2-3 pieces on top of the bread. Top with the remaining three pieces of bread.
  10. Place on the panini press and cook until golden brown and cheese has melted, about 3 minutes.




Pepper and Onion Panini

I’ve been exercising a lot lately. I joined a walking group and it’s really kicking my butt. Yesterday, we “walked” for 2.3 miles. And by walked, I mean serious power walking. Uphill. It was tough but awesome.  And while tiring, it’s also energizing at the same time. I feel so pumped afterward.

Walking or power walking or jogging is great because it allows me to eat cheesy, gooey sandwiches. I just walk it off later. I consider this to be my “walking” sandwich. Mainly because it’s fast and easy when I’m crunched for time before meeting my group. Either way, it’s tasty. Double bonus. Quick and tasty. Always a winning combination.

Pepper and Onion Panini
Recipe type: dinner, sandwich, quick and easy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 2 thick slices of sandwich bread
  • 3 slices American cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. pizza sauce
  1. In a small sauce pan, heat butter over medium high.
  2. Toss in veggies and cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Heat up panini press according to manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Lay your bread on a flat surface. On one side, lay 3 slices of cheese. On the other side, spread your pizza sauce.
  5. Lay your peppers and onions on top of cheese. Place the sauce half on top.
  6. Cook in the panini press for about 2 minutes until cheese is melted.