Vegetarian picnic rolls

Vegetarian picnic rolls

Chargrilled vegetables, cheese and bread

Vegetarian picnic rolls are vegetable and cheese-filled sandwiches that are perfect to take on a picnic.

Ideal for a tasty lunch to eat outdoors, these veggie picnic rolls are portable and delicious.

I ate one of these rolls as a picnic lunch on Golden Beach, Queensland. The background in this post’s photographs is beautifully blue Pumicestone Passage.

A quick and easy picnic recipe, simply fill crispy bread rolls with layers of:

  • Chargrilled eggplant, zucchini and yellow capsicum.
  • Juicy, fresh tomato.
  • Creamy bocconcini.
  • Fragrant fresh basil.

Wrap the filled rolls in clingfilm and chill them in the fridge for at least one hour. The result is a crunchy bread shell that is full of seasonal vegetables, cheese and fresh basil.

Italian-style vegetable sandwiches

These rolls are inspired by recipes for Italian/American muffuletta sandwiches. Traditionally a muffuletta sandwich consists of a large crusty loaf that is filled with meat, cheese and vegetables. The loaf would then be cut into quarters and served cold.

My version of this classic recipe uses individual sourdough rolls instead of one large loaf. Only vegetarian ingredients are used in my recipe and I include fresh basil and creamy bocconcini to add extra flavour.

You should make vegetarian picnic rolls because they are:

  • Seasonal: eggplants, zucchini, capsicums, basil and tomatoes are now in season (autumn).
  • Budget-friendly: inexpensive seasonal vegetables and bread rolls form this recipe.
  • Quick and easy: these rolls only take 15 minutes to prepare.
  • Perfect for a picnic: make vegetarian rolls in advance to take to a picnic.
  • Full of flavour: chargrilled veggies; fresh basil and crispy bread.

Vegetarian picnic rolls’ main ingredients:

  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Capsicum
  • Tomato
  • Bocconcini
  • Sourdough bread rolls
Vegetarian picnic rolls on a board, with sea background
Vegetarian picnic rolls. Pumicestone Passage, Queensland.

Tips for busy cooks

Instead of chargrilling your own eggplant, zucchini and capsicum, you could use store-bought chargrilled vegetables that are normally sold in jars.

I use sourdough bread rolls in this recipe but you can use whichever type of round bread roll that you prefer. It is best to choose a roll that is dome-shaped and that has a crisp exterior.

Serving suggestions:

  1. Picnic: pack these vegetarian rolls in a cool box and eat them on the beach.
  2. Lunch: these sandwiches can be eaten hot or cold as a tasty veggie lunch.
    Note: to eat them hot, put the rolls on a baking tray in a preheated 180°C fan oven for 5-7 minutes to warm the vegetables & melt the bocconcini.

A quick and easy lunch

Vegetarian picnic rolls are colourful sandwiches that taste even better when they are eaten outdoors.

Pack them in a lunchbox or cool box and eat them at the beach, park or anywhere else with a beautiful view.

Which type of bread rolls did you use for this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a comment and a recipe rating below – I’d love to hear from you.

Have you made this recipe? Tag @vegcoastcook on Instagram or use the hashtag #vegcoastcook so that I can see!

Need more veggie picnic ideas? Try this recipe next: vegetarian Scotch eggs.

Vegetarian picnic rolls

Vegetarian picnic rolls are crispy sourdough rolls filled with chargrilled veggies, bocconcini and fresh basil. Perfect for a picnic lunch.

Meal Type Lunch, Picnic
Cuisine Italian-Inspired
Keyword Vegetarian, Vegetarian picnic rolls
Chill in fridge 1 hour
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Veg Coast Cook


  • 120 g eggplant thinly sliced
  • 120 g zucchini thinly sliced diagonally
  • 80 g yellow capsicum flesh cut into 3cm x 3cm pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 sourdough bread rolls *see Recipe Notes
  • 4 tsp mayonnaise
  • 240 g truss tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 80 g vegetarian bocconcini thinly sliced
  • 20 g fresh basil leaves


  1. Heat a griddle pan on a medium heat. Chargrill eggplant, zucchini and capsicum for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and allow to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C fan. Cut the tops off the bread rolls to make lids and scoop out the middle of the rolls (*see Recipe Notes). Place the hollowed out rolls and lids on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. When the rolls are cool, spread one teaspoon of mayonnaise inside the cavity and lid of each roll. Fill the inside of the rolls with alternating layers of chargrilled vegetables, tomato, bocconcini and basil. Put the bread lids back on the filled rolls and wrap them tightly with clingfilm. Put them in the fridge and place a plate over them that is weighted down with something heavy like a tin of tomatoes or a heavy baking dish. Chill picnic rolls in fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.

  4. To serve cold: remove the rolls from the fridge and take off the weights and clingfilm. Slice a roll in half before serving.

Recipe Notes

*Sourdough bread rolls - I use round 10cm diameter sourdough rolls in this recipe but you can use whichever type of round roll that you prefer.

Leftover bread from the inside of the rolls can be used in another recipe like avocado egg with panzanella.

Made this recipe? Tag @vegcoastcook on Instagram or use the hashtag #vegcoastcook

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