This Cheese and Pepper Hero is basically a sauceless french bread pizza that can be enjoyed as a lunch or appetizer. French bread is drizzled with a little avocado oil and topped with mozzarella cheese, banana peppers, red onion slices, and black olives. It is delicious with a side of warmed homemade pasta sauce for dipping.
Almost French Bread Pizza
This Cheese and Pepper Hero is a recipe I acquired when I was attending weight watchers years ago. It was something that was given out to the group and I tried it and loved it so much I continued to make it over the years.
As I made this recipe over and over, I continued to change it and make it my own. I can't tell you if it fits the Weight Watcher points system anymore or how it would work on their plan, but it is still a recipe that I enjoy for lunch or light dinner.
1 loaf French Bread
Avocado Oil, this is a healthy option and I like the flavor it adds to the sandwich.
Mozzarella Cheese, I use part-skim mozzarella to help keep the fat in check.
Banana Peppers, depending on your spice tolerance, you can use mild or hot.
Sauteed Mushrooms, I like to use sauteed mushrooms because I love the flavor and cooking them beforehand keeps the water from releasing onto the hero and making it soggy.
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Slice a loaf of French bread in half, then cut each half in half again to make 4 quarters.
- Place the bread on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with avocado oil, then using the back of a spoon, spread the oil over top of the bread.
- Sprinkle each quarter of the bread with ½ cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Top the cheese with sauteed mushrooms, banana peppers, black olives, and red onion.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the bread is lightly toasted and cheese has begun to brown on top.
💭 Top Tips
- Make the sauteed mushrooms ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator up to 1 week to have on hand. This saves time for future recipes.
- Buy a french bread loaf that is long and not too wide. Or, make your own. But, make sure it is fresh.
- Skip the sauteed mushrooms, but slice the raw mushroom very thin. This will keep the water that releases from the mushroom at a minimum.
The versatility of this cheese and pepper hero is wide. There are many ways to adjust this to your own liking by swapping out ingredients. Below are some of my favorite ways to dress this recipe.
- Substitute olive oil for avocado oil.
- Instead of the mushrooms, banana peppers, and olives, top with sauteed spinach that is drained well and chopped artichoke hearts.
- Substitute any semi soft cheese that will melt well for the mozzarella. Great choices would be pepper jack, muenster, havarti, or gouda.
- Make this a vegan recipe by using a vegan cheese. This can be found in natural food stores as well as grocery stores in the produce area with the tofu and vegan meats section.
- Substitute naan bread, english muffins, or tortilla wraps for the french bread.
- Add a little more color by adding a few sliced grape tomatoes to the topping.
- Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
- Portobello Cheesesteak Sandwich
- Mom's Lentil Tostadas
- BBQ Vegetarian Chicken Pita Pizza
- Homemade Falafel Recipe
- Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese With Mushrooms
Cheese and Pepper Hero
- 1 small loaf french bread
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup banana peppers
- ¼ cup black olives
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup sauteed mushrooms
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut the loaf of french bread in half. Then cut the two halves in half. You will have 4 sections of bread. Drizzle the cut side of each bread section with ½ tbsp of avocado oil.
- Evenly distribute the cheese, mushrooms, banana peppers, black olives, and red onion slices over top of the oil drizzled bread.
- Bake the heros for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is lightly browned and crusty.