Photo: Oxmoor House

The grinder is a specialty served at the Iowa State Fair, home to some of the nation’s richest and most waist-expanding treats. Still a hefty meal-in-one, this rendition takes a lighter approach. We cut the size in half (always a good place to start) and substituted fresh mushrooms for some of the fatty meat.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 sandwich)
Recipe from Oxmoor House

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Recipe Time

Total: 25 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 322
  • Fat: 17.4g
  • Saturated fat: 6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 6.5g
  • Protein: 23.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 22.7g
  • Fiber: 3.8g
  • Cholesterol: 57mg
  • Iron: 3.7mg
  • Sodium: 740mg
  • Calcium: 567mg


  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/2 pound ground sirloin
  • 1/2 pound 50%-less-fat breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups lower-sodium pasta sauce
  • 2 top-split white-wheat hot dog buns
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)


  1. 1. Place mushrooms in a food processor, and pulse until finely ground. Reserve.
  2. 2. Heat canola oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sirloin and sausage. Cook until golden brown, breaking up meat with a spoon, about 5 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add onion to pan and reduce heat to medium-low; cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
  3. 3. Preheat broiler.
  4. 4. Add mushrooms and red pepper, if desired, to the pan, and mix well. Cook until mushrooms are darker in color, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Add pasta sauce; stir to blend. Return cooked sirloin mixture to pan; bring sauce to a simmer and cook 2 minutes.
  5. 5. Divide mixture among buns and top with mozzarella cheese. Broil in oven or toaster oven until cheese melts. Serve warm.
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