Shooter Sandwich (Perfect Picnic Sandwich!)

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shooter sandwich

Have you ever seen a sandwich so flat? Where a normal sandwich would be piled high with toppings, this sandwich happens to contain them all in one deliciously sized sandwich that is friendly on your jaw muscles.

While the weather wasn’t picnic-permitting this past weekend, I made the best of it and picnicked indoors… in front of my TV on National Geographic. That counts, right? Shooter sandwiches originally came about as a way to send a hearty, filling meal on British hunting parties because a compressed sandwich traveled much better than two slices of bread and some meat.

The sandwich didn’t gain popularity in the United States until the early 1990s and is traditionally served with beef – but in true Starving Chef fashion, I’ve decided to do away with tradition and make it however I want! Chicken and spinach (and a medley of other delicious vegetables) happened to be to my liking, and so in they went.

The Shooter Sandwich is a perfect picnic sandwich, but it can also be enjoyed as a hearty meal for any occasion. It’s easy to customize with your favorite ingredients, and you can get creative with the flavors. The key is to have a loaf of bread that you can hollow out to create a vessel for all the fillings.

ingredients for shoot sandwich

Here’s What You Need

  • Sourdough bread: The base of the sandwich, providing a sturdy and flavorful exterior.
  • Grilled chicken tenders: The main protein element, adding flavor and substance to the sandwich.
  • Tzatziki sauce: A creamy and tangy sauce that adds moisture and a refreshing flavor.
  • Yellow bell peppers: Adds a sweet and crunchy element to the sandwich.
  • Tomato: Provides juicy freshness to balance the flavors.
  • Cremini mushrooms: Adds an earthy and savory taste to the sandwich.
  • White onion: Adds flavor and aroma when sautéed with mushrooms.
  • Garlic: Roasted garlic adds a rich and savory taste to the sandwich.
  • Olive oil: Used for roasting the garlic and adding flavor.
  • Fresh spinach: Adds a vibrant green color and a healthy, fresh element to the sandwich.
  • Feta cheese: Adds a tangy and salty flavor to complement the other ingredients.
  • Parmesan cheese: Adds a nutty and savory taste to enhance the overall flavor.
  • Butter: Used for sautéing the onions and mushrooms, adding richness and flavor.
  • Fresh parsley: Adds freshness and a hint of herbaceous flavor.
  • Salt & pepper: Seasonings used to enhance the overall taste of the sandwich.

Let’s Get Started

To make the Shooter Sandwich, you’ll need to start by roasting a head of garlic.

head of garlic

Cut off the top of the garlic, wrap it in foil, drizzle with olive oil, and roast it in the oven until it’s softened and browned.

garlic wrapped in foil

While the garlic roasts, grill some chicken tenders until they’re fully cooked.

grilled chicken


Prepare a simple tzatziki sauce, traditionally served with lamb or beef gyros, and save some leftovers for the Shooter Sandwich.

tzatziki ingredients

Tzatziki sauce is traditionally served on lamb or beef gyros and is a staple in Greek cuisine. The night before I made this sandwich, I whipped up a super simple tzatziki recipe for some gyros, and decided to use the leftovers for the shooter!

Back to It

saute onions

Meanwhile, sauté onions and mushrooms until they become tender and release their moisture.

mushrooms with onions

Add in the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have begun to release their moisture.

empty bread

Once you have all the components ready, it’s time to assemble the sandwich. Slice off one side of the loaf of bread and remove the insides, leaving about 1 inch of crust to hold the fillings. Spread half of the tzatziki sauce on the bottom and sides of the hollowed bread.

bread with tzatziki

Layer in fresh vegetables like peppers and tomatoes, followed by the sautéed onions and mushrooms.

bread with tomatoes and peppers

Stuff in the grilled chicken, as much as you can fit, and add your choice of cheese and spinach.

Don’t forget to include the roasted garlic for an extra burst of flavor.

sauted veggies in bread

Spread the remaining tzatziki sauce on the bread lid and press it down tightly.

feta in bread

Next top with the cheeses.

spinach in bread

Followed by the spinach.

bread with garlic

Oops! Almost forgot about the roasted garlic! I had left it in the oven while I was cooking and meant to add it in with the sautéed veggies – luckily I hadn’t wrapped the sandwich for pressing!

stuffed bread recipe

Wrap the loaded loaf with parchment paper and several layers of tin foil to compress the sandwich. Place weights on top to press it for at least 4-6 hours, ensuring it becomes flat.

wrapped in parchment paper
bread wrapped in foil and parchment
harry potter and calvin and hobbes books

Since I happen to be a weakling, the heaviest things I could find around my house to press the sandwich were a few comic books, my thickest Harry Potter books, and my boyfriend’s engineering book.

weights on sandwich

He later took pity on my weakness and carried up some 50lb weights he had sitting around in the garage, which definitely seemed to help more so than my 30-odd-pound book weight.

flattened sandwich

The sandwich will need to be pressed for at least 4-6 hours to achieve maximum flatness. I removed the weight after about 5 hours because I was starving.

opened flattened sandwich

Once pressed, you can serve the sandwich hot or cold. If reheating, keep it wrapped in parchment and foil to retain the flavors.

Helpful Tips & Tricks

  • Choose a sturdy bread: Opt for a sturdy bread like sourdough, ciabatta, or a dense French loaf to ensure it holds up well when filled and pressed.
  • Properly wrap and press the sandwich: Ensure the sandwich is tightly wrapped in parchment paper and foil to maintain its shape while pressing. Apply enough pressure using weights or heavy objects to compress the sandwich evenly.
  • Prevent sogginess: To prevent the bread from becoming too soggy, layer the ingredients strategically. Start with a layer of tzatziki sauce to create a barrier between the bread and moist ingredients. Place the vegetables, chicken, and cheeses in the center, and top with spinach.
  • Adjust ingredient quantities: Feel free to adjust the ingredient quantities based on your preferences and the size of your loaf. Just ensure that the fillings are well-distributed and packed tightly.
  • Customize with your favorite ingredients: Don’t be afraid to customize the sandwich by adding your favorite ingredients. Experiment with different vegetables, cheeses, or even meats to suit your taste.
  • Serve hot or cold: The sandwich can be enjoyed both hot and cold. If reheating, keep it tightly wrapped in parchment and foil to retain moisture.
  • Use a serrated knife to slice: When ready to serve, use a sharp serrated knife to slice the sandwich. This will help cut through the crust and fillings without squishing them.
  • Get creative with accompaniments: Serve the Shooter Sandwich with a variety of side dishes like oven-baked corn on the cob, garlic asparagus, or a refreshing salad to complete the meal.
fourth of july recipe lunch

Serve alongside some baked corn on the cob, garlic asparagus, and a nice big ol’ glass of American lemonade. I wish I would have been able to take this meal outside and enjoy it properly, on a picnic blanket, in true 4th of July fashion.

But even if it hadn’t been pouring all weekend, the temperature has barely made it about 60 degrees and the ground is so wet the mosquitos have been having a wild time procreating in the drain pipe behind our apartment.

But if none of those things prevent you from having a picnic, then by all means, this sandwich is best enjoyed outside!

lunch for 4th of july

Whether you’re picnicking or enjoying it at home, the Shooter Sandwich is a satisfying and versatile option. Feel free to experiment with different fillings and make it your own.

Happy eating, hungry people!

pinterest shooter sandwich

Shooter Sandwich (Perfect Picnic Sandwich!)

The Starving Chef
Create a flavor-packed Shooter Sandwich with grilled chicken, tzatziki sauce, vegetables, and cheeses, all pressed together in a crusty sourdough loaf for a perfect picnic or anytime meal.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Press Time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours
Course Lunch, Sandwiches, To Go
Cuisine American, Sandwich
Servings 6



  • 1 loaf sourdough bread
  • 7 grilled chicken tenders
  • 1 cup tzatziki sauce (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup yellow bell peppers chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato chopped
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms sliced
  • ½ cup white onion chopped
  • 1 head garlic for roasting
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (or garlic powder) minced


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut off the top of the head of garlic and wrap it in foil. Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. Roast in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the garlic cloves have softened.
  • Grill the chicken tenders for about 3-4 minutes per side, then set them aside to cool.
  • Chop the onions and mushrooms. Sauté the onions in 3 tablespoons of butter until tender. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until the mushrooms release their moisture and the onions start to brown. Remove from heat.
  • Cut open the sourdough loaf and remove the bread from inside, leaving about 1 inch of crust/bread around the sides. Set aside the excess bread.
  • In the bottom of the bread bowl, spread half of the tzatziki sauce, followed by the chopped yellow peppers and tomatoes.
  • Next, add the sautéed onions and mushrooms, roasted garlic cloves, and grilled chicken tenders. Top with fresh spinach. Spread the remaining tzatziki sauce on the lid and press it down as close to the cut as possible.
  • Wrap the loaf in parchment paper and then tightly wrap it in foil. Place it in a location where weight can be added on top. Apply 40-60 lbs of pressure for 4-6 hours. The longer it's pressed, the better the results.
  • (Optional) After the 4-6 hour period, unwrap the sandwich and place it, still wrapped, in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for 25-30 minutes to melt the cheeses.
  • When ready, remove the wrapping from the loaf and cut it into individual slices. Serve alongside oven-baked corn on the cob and enjoy, preferably outdoors!


  • Before adding the lemon juice, open and stir the Greek yogurt to prevent curdling. Stir in the lemon juice, chopped fresh dill, and minced garlic (or garlic powder). Refrigerate the sauce in an airtight container for at least 1 hour.
Keyword bread, chicken, sandwich
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