Being able to make a great sandwich that is a full meal deal, in not just good for summer months (because little kitchen heat) but also great for busy weeknights. Other than the bacon (which you could make ahead of time for the whole week ahead), this can be ready pretty fast. These Turkey Bacon Grinders are a flavor packed filling sandwich that make for a great dinner.
So what’s a grinder? The special part of a grinder is a lettuce and onion mixture – ‘Salad’ – that is heavily coated in a mayo and vinegar dressing. It makes for an incredibly messy sandwich (at least 5 napkins!), but it tastes fantastic. It also means you can’t really make it ahead of time. It needs to be eaten right away before it sogs out. But if you ask some people – like my oldest and my hubs – that’s the best part! I like to make these sandwiches like an assembly line – building them all at the same time. So that they all get the lettuce mix right at the last and everyone gets a tasty sandwich. It requires spreading out on the counters, but it’s worth it.
The best bread rolls for this are Bolillo rolls. Most grocery stores have them in the bakery, fresh baked. They are usually shaped like small footballs and come in bags of six or twelve. Most shelf stable rolls will completely sog out before you can even say “Dinner time” let alone enjoy this sandwich. You want something with a chewy outer layer but soft on the inside. Telera rolls will also work, but a ciabatta changes it entirely.
Oven baked Bacon used to scare me, but I am a true convert. If you need to make strip bacon for a whole meal, then oven baked is the way to go. You need a half sheet baking try with a low rank that can hold the bacon flat. You also absolutely need parchment paper to limit the sticking. The grease from the cooked off fat helps a lot, but the parchment makes sure it doesn’t stick to the tray at all. You can also make up the package of bacon at the start of the week and just store it in a gallon zipper bag in the refrigerator for the rest of the week. This comes in super handy for burgers, sandwiches, or even crumbled up on your salad or over mac and cheese.
As I mentioned in the recipe – it’s best if you have some sandwich papers to wrap these grinders up in to serve. I like to wrap them up tight, let them sit for a minute then slice them in half. The tight wrap lets the sandwich sort of meld together and stay a solid bite for the duration. I usually serve these sandwiches up with a choice of chips that they can grab on their own or when I’m feeling extra (it happens a lot), I will add some potato salad in a little cup.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
Turkey Bacon Grinders
- 12 slices Thick Cut Bacon
- 2 Beefsteak Tomatoes halved and sliced
- 24 slices Deli Turkey
- 12 slices Provolone Cheese
- 6 Bolillo Rolls cut in half lengthwise
- ½ cup Pepperoncini sliced
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
For the Grinder Salad
- 3 cups Iceberg Lettuce shredded
- 1 Medium White Onion thinly sliced
- ⅔ cup Mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
- ¼ cup Pepperoncini Juice
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Oregano
- Preheat oven to 400degF.
- Lay strips of bacon flat on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Place baking rack over top of bacon (this prevents curl ups). Place in oven and back for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer bacon to paper towel covered plate.
- In a mixing bowl, add lettuce and onions. Toss to combine. In a smaller bowl, combine the rest of the salad ingredients (should be pourable dressing). Pour dressing over lettuce and onions. Toss to thoroughly coat.
- Start by smearing bottom half of roll with mayonnaise. layer on four slices of turkey, then two slices of provolone. The add two strips of bacon and 4 slices of tomatoes. Next add a portion of grinder salad topped with a few slices of pepperoncini slices. Place top half of room on and press down slightly down. NOTE it's best if you have a sandwich paper to wrap it up tightly. This helps it hold together.
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