Guinea Grinder French Bread Pizza Recipe

OK, lest someone gets on my case for being politically incorrect, these sandwiches/bread pizzas have always been known as Guinea Grinders in Des Moines where I first ate them and where I figured out how to make them.  By the way, Des   Moines, Iowa has always had some outstanding Italian food stemming from the coal miners who worked there in the 19th and early 20th century.

guinea grinders in oven

This Guinea Grinder French Bread Pizza Recipe is a great weeknight or weekend dish which you pick up and eat with your fingers. And of course that means that there are fewer dishes to clean.

Recipe: Guinea Grinder French Bread Pizza Recipe

Summary: Guinea Grinders or Italian Bread Pizza are easy, fun, cheap and TASTY!


  • 4 French/Italian bread rolls or loaf cut in about 8” lengths & sliced in half
  • Tomato sauce—8 oz.
  • 8 oz. Mozarella cheese
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage (or 1 recipe meatballs)

guinea grinders meat browning


  • Slice rolls or bread.
  • Brown Italian sausage over medium heat (if using cased sausage, slit the casing and crumble the sausage into the pan.
  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Open tomato sauce and sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and basil into it (this’ll turn the basic tomato sauce into an inexpensive and good pizza sauce for about $.50–and I’ve seen Guy Fieri do this on his show too!).
  • Using a silicon basting brush, paint a real thin skim of oil (olive or canola) on the cut side of the bread/rolls, put on a cookie sheet and pop into the oven for about 3 minutes.
  • Remove rolls from oven and put about 1-2 tablespoons of the sauce on each roll.
  • Then using your fingers put a good, even amount of the meat on each half roll then cover it with the mozzarella.
  • Now, pop it all back into the oven for about 8 minutes (until the cheese melts and just starts to brown up).
  • Remove, let cool. Serve with salad.

Quick notes

If you use meatballs, cut them in half and put 3 half meatballs on each slice.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Italian

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

These are open faced sandwiches or you can call them bread pizzas if you want.  No matter what, they’re good!

guinea grinder with tossed salad

This is tasty stuff!  Kids love them because they’re pizzas on bread.  And, if you want, you can make them a sandwich just by topping one side and then slapping the other side of the bread on top when you serve!  Just don’t make it as crispy!

The Cheap Bastid Test:  Well, I get the bread for $1 for 5 rolls.  The sausage costs about $2.25, sauce $.50 and cheese about $2.00.  That’s $5.75 for 3 but and it’s a lot less than what you’ll spend at a pizza joint or even out of your grocer’s freezer case.

That’s the Cheap Bastid Way: Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful!

About Walter Blevins

My wife started to call me Cheap Bastid a while back because I enjoyed coming up with dinners that cost next to nothing--and making them taste good. Yeah, I love to cook. And I love to cook good food cheap. I'm not a chef and I'm definitely not anything close to a gourmet. I'm just a home cook who grew up in a home where cooking was from scratch and was a little bit Midwest and a little bit country. That's because my Mom was from Michigan and my Dad was from Kentucky. I started sharing recipes when my daughter called me in 2006 and asked for my recipe for Swiss Steak. That year for Christmas I put together a cookbook for my 2 kids called "Dad's Everyday Cookbook and Kitchen Survival Guide". And I heard back that they both use it regularly. It was full of basic recipes that I had cooked for them when they were growing up. I work hard at creating recipes that are original and creative and inexpensive. You won't find a foo-foo foodie approach to my recipes and style. I believe that it's OK for food to go up the side of a plate. Food is for eating--it doesn't have to be pretty. And I write about my cooking and my recipes so that I can share them. I hope you enjoy these posts. Leave me a comment--that you liked something or that you didn't, it doesn't matter. I'd love to hear from you.
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2 Responses to Guinea Grinder French Bread Pizza Recipe

  1. David E McClain says:

    Mel has to make a trip into town today and I’m going to get her to pick up what I need to try this dish. I have never heard of Guinea Grinders before and that picture looks delicious.

  2. Pingback: Meatball recipe

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