Quick and Easy Gizmo Sandwich Recipe

Greetings food enthusiasts,

In this recipe article, I am thrilled to introduce you to an iconic delicacy that will leave your taste buds tingling with satisfaction. The legendary “Gizmo Sandwich” is a popular dish that originated in the Midwest part of the United States, particularly in Minnesota and Iowa. This sandwich is no ordinary meal, it is a state fair favorite, and for many, it has become a tradition and a staple in their diets.

The Gizmo sandwich is a hearty combination of lean ground beef, hot and mild Italian sausage, green pepper, onion, garlic cloves, fennel seeds, and a handful of spices that give it its tantalizing flavor. All these ingredients are stuffed inside a soft and chewy hoagie roll and then drenched with a special sauce made from tomato sauce and herbs.

But what makes the Gizmo Sandwich so unique is its gooey mozzarella cheese topping that melts perfectly over the meaty mixture, creating a palate-pleasing blend of flavors at every bite. The result? A satisfying explosion of flavors that is hard to replicate with any other sandwich.

I am excited to share this iconic recipe with you, but more importantly, my hope is that after you try it out for yourself, you will understand why the Gizmo sandwich has earned its reputation as one of the most beloved sandwiches in America. So let’s get ready to recreate this famous dish together and savor every bite like we’ve never tasted before!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Gizmo Sandwich
Gizmo Sandwich

The Gizmo Sandwich Recipe is not just any sandwich; it is an explosion of flavors in your mouth. This sandwich is the perfect combination of spicy meat, melted mozzarella cheese, and fresh vegetables sandwiched between two soft buns.

What sets this recipe apart is the special sauce that gives it a unique taste that you won’t find anywhere else: fennel seeds and garlic cloves are mixed with olive oil to create a flavorful dressing that will make your taste buds dance.

If you’re a fan of state fair food or want to recreate the famous Gizmo Sandwiches from Iowa State Fair or Minnesota State Fair, then this recipe is perfect for you. It’s a hearty dish that will satisfy even the hungriest appetite.

Furthermore, the Gizmo Sandwich Recipe allows for customization based on personal preferences. You can use either hot Italian sausage, mild Italian sausage, ground beef, or a combination of all three meats. The recipe is versatile enough so that you can add more vegetables like onions and green peppers or swap them out for different ingredients altogether.

In addition to its great taste and flexibility, making this sandwich is also incredibly easy. Anyone can follow these simple steps to whip up their own delicious Gizmo sandwich at home.

Overall, there are countless reasons why you’ll fall in love with the Gizmo Sandwich Recipe. From its unique flavor profile to its ease of preparation, it’s a dish that will leave your taste buds singing with joy. So go ahead and give it a try – you won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

Get ready to gather the ingredients

Before you start making your Gizmo Sandwich, make sure you have all of the ingredients on hand. The key components are 1 lb of lean ground beef, 1 lb of hot Italian sausage (casings removed), and 1 lb of mild Italian sausage (casings removed). You will also need 2 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon fennel seed, 1 onion, chopped, and 2 green peppers. In addition, you will require a little bit of olive oil (1 tablespoon). Finally, make sure to pick up some mozzarella cheese for the ultimate gooey finish.

Here’s the complete ingredient list:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

Make sure to measure and pre-cut all the ingredients before beginning cooking to ensure an easy and efficient meal preparation.

The Recipe How-To

Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, it’s time to start making the Gizmo Sandwiches.

Step 1: Prep Work

The first step is to chop up 1 onion and 2 green peppers. Set them aside.

Next, remove the casings from 1 lb of hot Italian sausage and 1 lb of mild Italian sausage. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sausages with 1 lb of ground beef, using your hands to mix thoroughly.

Step 2: Cooking the Meat Mixture

Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in your meat mixture and begin to break it apart with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring occasionally as it cooks for about 10-15 minutes or until browned all over.

When fully cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove any excess grease/oil from the meat mixture.

Step 3: Adding Vegetables and Seasonings

Add your chopped onion and green pepper into the skillet with the meat mixture. Use your wooden spoon to stir and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until they have softened up nicely.

Next, add in 4 garlic cloves, minced, and sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of fennel seed. Continue stirring everything together for another minute or two until fragrant.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Reduce the heat slightly before adding in one can (15oz) of tomato sauce to the skillet/pot along with some salt & pepper to taste. Give everything one final good stir before reducing the heat down further and letting it simmer for another 5 minutes.

Step 5: Assembling your Gizmo Sandwich

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). On a baking sheet or roasting pan, place some sliced rolls open-faced style. Spoon cooked meat mixture onto each roll and top each sandwich with a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Place them on middle rack of preheated oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese has melted completely.

Remove baking sheet/roasting pan from oven, let cool slightly before slicing sandwiches into portions per serving size.

Serve immediately on their own or with a side of fries – perfect for enjoying as a snack / meal anytime!

Substitutions and Variations

The great thing about this Gizmo Sandwich Recipe is that there are plenty of ways to make it your own! If you prefer a milder taste, try substituting the spicy hot Italian sausage with sweet Italian sausage. Likewise, if you’re not a fan of beef, you could swap it out for ground turkey or chicken. For a vegetarian option, substitute the meat with portobello mushrooms or lentils.

If you want to get creative with the toppings, consider adding some diced tomatoes or sliced jalapenos for an extra zing. You can also experiment with different cheeses – shredded cheddar or provolone would be delicious alternatives to mozzarella. And if you’re feeling bold, switch out the special sauce with your favorite dressing or condiment.

Adding some extra vegetables like spinach, mushrooms or roasted red peppers will up the nutritional value and add flavor complexity to the sandwich.

There’s also the option to turn the Gizmo Sandwich into a sub or even a grilled cheese. Simply layer the ingredients onto a hoagie roll, or melt the cheese over the sandwich for added creaminess. You can even use this recipe as inspiration to recreate the famous “Baby Gizmo” from Carl’s Gizmos at the Minnesota State Fair.

No matter how you choose to customize it, this recipe provides an excellent base to make a variety of delicious sandwiches that reflect your unique taste preferences.

Serving and Pairing

The gizmo sandwich is a delectable and hearty meal which can be served in a variety of ways. This flavorful sandwich is versatile and pairs beautifully with a plethora of sides, making it the perfect meal for lunch, dinner or even game day.

One great way to serve the gizmo sandwich is to pair it with a simple garden salad or some roasted sweet potato fries for a well-balanced meal. The crisp greens and creamy dressing from the salad complement the spicy sausage as well as the gooey melted mozzarella cheese, while the sweet potato fries add an element of texture and crunchiness.

Another excellent option is to serve it alongside some freshly-made coleslaw or a plate of pan-fried vegetables. The creamy coleslaw provides a cool relief from the heat of the spicy sausage, while sautéed veggies such as bell peppers, onions and garlic add depth and flavor to this meaty sandwich.

If you’re looking to turn it up a notch and indulge yourself, try serving it with a side of onion rings or a loaded nacho platter for that extra crispy crunch factor. A cold beer would make an excellent pairing with this dish, but if alcohol isn’t your thing, consider serving it with an icy glass of lemonade or iced tea.

In conclusion, there are countless ways to serve and pair the gizmo sandwich depending on your taste preferences and dietary requirements. So go ahead, get creative and make this sandwich your own by trying out different combinations of sides and beverages – the possibilities are endless!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

The Gizmo sandwich isn’t only delicious freshly made – it’s also freeze-friendly! Whenever you make a batch, consider doubling the recipe to have some on hand for later. The sandwich can be stored in an airtight container, and it will keep well in the freezer for up to three months.

To reheat the Gizmo sandwich, preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350°F degrees. Remove your sandwich from the freezer and place it on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Wrap it loosely with extra foil to prevent the bread from burning before the inside is heated through. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.

If you’re short on time, you can also reheat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. However, keep in mind that microwaving can cause the bread to become soggy, so use this method only when necessary.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy leftover Gizmo sandwich is by turning it into a grilled cheese! Just slice the refrigerated sandwich into pieces, and layer them between two pieces of buttered bread with extra shredded mozzarella cheese. Cook as you would any grilled cheese!

With these tips, you can easily store and reheat your Gizmo sandwiches while maintaining their delicious taste and texture. Whether you’re looking for a quick workday lunch or a tasty meal at home, these sandwiches have got you covered!

Tips for Perfect Results

If you want your Gizmo sandwich to turn out perfectly, there are a few essential tips to follow. Here are some helpful suggestions for achieving authentic and savory results.

Firstly, make sure to use high-quality ingredients. Fresh garlic cloves, fennel seed, and mozzarella cheese will enhance the flavor of the sandwich. Select lean ground beef and Italian sausage with casings removed. The quality of ingredients is critical when it comes to the taste of the final product.

Secondly, be mindful of cooking times. Cook the meat slowly in a large pan over low heat because this ensures that it cooks evenly and retains its natural juices. Overcooking or undercooking the meat will adversely affect the texture and taste of the sandwich.

Thirdly, don’t skimp on the sauce! A great sandwich has a good amount of special sauce that enhances its overall flavor. The right ratio of sauce to meat can make or break the sandwich.

Fourthly, consider grilling or toasting the sandwich. Grilled cheese gives an extra dimension to the melted mozzarella cheese and enhances the flavors overall. Toasting the bread helps lock in all the flavors, making every bite an explosion in your mouth.

Finally, practice! No one becomes a master at anything overnight. Don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t come out perfect on your first attempt. Practice makes perfect so keep trying until you get it right!

Following these tips can help you recreate famous Gizmo sandwiches from State Fairs in Minnesota or Iowa in your own kitchen. You’ll have scrumptious sandwiches worthy of Carl’s Gizmos or even Andrew Zimmern’s taste buds in no time!


As you prepare to make your own gizmo sandwich, you may find yourself with some questions or uncertainties. Below are some frequently asked questions and their answers to help guide you through the recipe.

What’s in a gizmo sandwich?

The perfect fair food, according to my taste buds, is the Gizmo – a handcrafted sandwich filled with ground beef and Italian sausage, drenched in a secret red sauce, and smothered with melted mozzarella cheese. The sandwich is prepared from scratch on-site, making it a unique and satisfying option for any food lover. It’s like a torpedo shaped bundle of bliss that leaves you craving for more.

How do you make a gizmo?

To create a collection of specific nodes, choose the desired nodes for the gizmo. Next, select “Group” option located in “Other” section of the Toolbar. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut Ctrl/Cmd+G. To help with organization, it may be beneficial to rename the group. This can be done by updating the name in the title field within the Group properties panel.

What are the 5 basic ingredients used for sandwich?

If you want to make a sandwich that stands out from the crowd, then you must begin by selecting a loaf of freshly baked whole-grain bread. To give it an extra kick, you can add a special ingredient, such as creamy hummus. Sliced cucumber and juicy tomato are key components that add freshness and crunch to the sandwich. Finally, you can opt for a low-fat cheese to keep the dish healthy but still satisfying.

How to make a really good sandwich?

When preparing a dish, it is essential to use ingredients of the highest quality to create an incredible taste. Adding sauces and spreads further enhances the overall flavor profile. Including vegetables not only adds flavor but also brings a healthy component to the dish. It’s important to remember the appropriate pairings when creating a recipe. Experimenting with various cheese options can bring a unique satisfaction to each bite. Similarly, trying different types of bread adds depth to the dish. Adding a touch of sweetness can elevate the taste experience to the next level. Finally, piling on thinly-sliced meat in a balanced proportion is the secret to creating an unforgettable dish.

Bottom Line

To conclude, the Gizmo Sandwich Recipe is truly a classic and iconic Midwestern fare that has captured the hearts and palates of the region’s residents for generations. From its humble beginnings at the Iowa State Fair to its widespread popularity across Minnesota, this sandwich has become a staple favorite that brings joy to all who taste it.

With easy-to-find ingredients and simple preparation steps, recreating the famous Gizmo Sandwich in your own kitchen is now within reach. Impress your family and friends with this mouth-watering recipe, be it for game day celebrations, weekend barbecues or intimate get-togethers.

Let’s not forget about the flexibility and versatility of this sandwich recipe – from swapping out beef for turkey or chicken or experimenting with different cheese varieties like cheddar or provolone. You can make this sandwich uniquely yours while still enjoying its irresistible taste.

So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try and we guarantee that you will fall in love with the Gizmo Sandwich just as much as we did. Make sure to share your experience recreating this state fair delicacy on social media using #GizmoSandwichChallenge and tag us @recipefoodcom to see how you put your spin on one of Minnesota’s best-loved sandwiches.

Gizmo Sandwich

Gizmo Sandwich Recipe

Had to attempt to duplicate a hot selling MN State Fair vendor sandwich! This is close -- hope you enjoy the slight switch from a sloppy joe/meatball and/or loosemeat hoagie!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 15 Mins, Easy, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Meat, Pork
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Calories: 679.3kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage or 1 lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • pizza sauce, of choice
  • sliced mozzarella cheese
  • hoagie roll


  • Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until slightly translucent.
  • Add fennel seeds - saute for a minute.
  • Add meat and brown.
  • Once mixture is combined and browned - spoon mixture into hoagie bun.
  • Top with desired amount of pizza sauce.
  • Add sliced cheese - enough to cover all meat and edges of bun.
  • Broil until cheese is melted.

Your own notes


Serving: 194g | Calories: 679.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.3g | Protein: 43.3g | Fat: 51.5g | Saturated Fat: 18.1g | Cholesterol: 141.8mg | Sodium: 1446.6mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 2.2g

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