There’s a reason why everyone loves sandwiches. You can stack them, slice them, stuff them, toast them, dip them, grill them, fry them, or fill them. Sandwiches are perfect for a quick meal, easy to handle, require minimal clean-up and the creative options are endless. With so many meats, veggies, spreads, and cheeses that you can stuff between two slices of bread, sometimes it’s good to go back to the basics and remember why we fell in love with sandwiches in the first place. Here’s a list of the ultimate best sandwich recipes for your adult lunch box.
Classic Italian Sub Sandwich
(From Tasting Table)
Whether you call it a hoagie, a sub, or a hero, the Italian is the ultimate sandwich. You can’t beat layers of cured meats, salty cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers all drizzled in an herby dressing in between soft bread. There’s a reason we call it a hero.
For the Pickled Cherry Pepper Spread:
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 garlic clove
- 6 (¼ cup) pickled cherry peppers
For the Red Wine Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ tablespoon parsley leaves, finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Italian Sandwich:
- 1 Italian hoagie roll
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ cup pickled cherry pepper spread
- 3 slices (1½ ounces) Genoa salami
- 3 slices (1½ ounces) mortadella
- 3 slices (1½ ounces) prosciutto di Parma
- 3 slices (1½ ounces) provolone cheese
- 2 slices (6 ounces) beefsteak tomato
- 2 tablespoon pickled pepperoncini peppers
- ½ teaspoon parsley leaves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon oregano leaves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon rosemary needles, minced
- ¼ cup iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinaigrette
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Make the pickled cherry pepper spread: In the base of a small food processor, add all of the ingredients. Pulse the mixture a few times until everything is puréed to a chunky consistency. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and reserve for later.
- Make the red wine vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking constantly to ensure that the dressing emulsifies. Season the mixture with salt and pepper; set aside for later.
- Assemble the sandwich: On a sheet pan, toast the hoagie roll for 5 minutes. Slice the roll lengthwise without going all the way through. Open the roll and spread the mayonnaise evenly on the top and bottom layers, followed by the pickled cherry pepper spread. Shingle the salami across the bottom half, followed by the mortadella, prosciutto, provolone, and tomatoes. Add the pepperoncini; sprinkle with the parsley, oregano, and rosemary; and spread the iceberg lettuce across the top. Drizzle with the red wine vinaigrette, then season with salt and pepper. Slice in half and serve right away.
California Veggie Sandwich
(From Bon Appetit)
Who says veggie sandwiches are boring? This stack is so packed with crunchy veggies, juicy pickles, and creamy cheese you won’t even miss the meat.
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 4 cups any combination shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, sliced red onions, and/or sliced mild fresh chiles
Dressing And Sandwich
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 6 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 2 ripe avocados, halved
- 6 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 6 cups mixed lettuce leaves, ribs removed if thick
- 8 slices multigrain bread, toasted
- ½ English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 2 cups sprouts
- Bring vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and 2 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, pack vegetables into jars. Pour brine over vegetables. Cover and chill until cool. Pickles can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.
Dressing And Sandwich
- Whisk buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons of oil in a large bowl until smooth; season dressing with salt and pepper.
- Scoop avocados into a small bowl; add 1 tablespoon. oil and lightly mash. Season with salt and pepper. Mash goat cheese with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another small bowl until softened and spreadable; season with salt and pepper.
- Add lettuce to dressing and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Spread avocado mixture over four slices of bread. Arrange lettuce over and top with cucumber, sprouts, and some drained pickles. Spread the remaining 4 slices of bread with goat cheese and close sandwiches.
(From Adventures of Mel)
The Philly Cheesesteak is the ultimate meat lover sandwich. Tender bites of sirloin, sauteéd peppers and onions, and melted provolone cheese are all cooked up in one skillet and loaded on toasted hoagie rolls and then covered in more cheese, of course.
- 2 pounds sirloin steak, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease*
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, minced
- 1 large green bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 12 slices provolone cheese
- 3/4 cup Cheez Whiz
- 6 hoagie rolls
- Thinly slice the steak, slicing against the grain and leaving the fat on the meat for both flavor and tenderness.
- Wash and prep the veggies, mincing both the garlic and mushrooms and slicing the onion and bell pepper.
- Sauté the garlic, onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper in the bacon grease for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set them aside.
- Add the meat to the skillet, along with the salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until the meat is almost done but not quite cooked through.
- Add the vegetables back in with the meat, stir, and let simmer until the meat is fully cooked. Be careful that the meat doesn’t cook so long that you dry it out. You want it to be done, but you also want it to be nice and flavorful, as well as moist and tender.
- Meanwhile, while the meat is simmering, toast the buns in a dab of bacon grease or butter on a griddle or in the oven.
- When the meat and buns are ready, assemble each cheesesteak. Spread a tablespoon or so of mayonnaise in each bun.
- If you want provolone cheese, put two slices of provolone on before you add the meat.
- Then add a generous helping of the meat and vegetable mixture.
- Finally, if you’d rather have Cheez Whiz, top it all off with Cheez Whiz
Banh Mi Sandwiches
(From Cooking With Lane)
For flavor and texture, a Vietnamese banh mi is a top tier. Made with pork, pickled veggies, and cilantro on a crunchy baguette. These sandwiches are easy, delicious, and addictive.
- Vietnamese or French baguette
- 1 teaspoon of Pork Liver Pate
- 2 teaspoon of Mayonnaise
- roasted red pork, cooked and sliced
- Vietnamese ham roll, thawed and sliced
- cucumber, sliced
- cilantro, chopped into 4-inch sections
- pickled carrots and daikon, drained
- 1 jalapeno, sliced (optional)
- Slice the bread lengthways.
- On one side, use a butter knife to smooth the pork liver pate and mayonnaise.
- Layer on the roasted red pork followed by the slices of Vietnamese ham roll.
- Next, layer in cucumber, cilantro, carrots and daikon, and jalapeno.
- Close the sandwich and serve.
Homemade Lobster Roll
(From Chef Christopher Kim)
Lobster rolls are the most expensive and delicious way to use a hot dog bun. Now you can get the Cap Cod classic sandwich at home using just six ingredients and two of those are just the bread and the lobster!
- Approx. 1 pound cooked lobster, cut into chunks (and cooled if cooked fresh)
- 4 hot dog buns (or fancy rolls, if you prefer), Toasted
- 4 lemon wedges
- 4 tablespoons mayo
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix mayo and celery.
- Portion out 0.25-pound lobster meat into each roll.
- Spread on mayo and celery mix.
- Drizzle butter over the top.
- Squeeze some lemon on there.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Read more: Lobster Roll Recipe
(From Cooking Classy)
This might be the most flavorful grilled cheese sandwich ever. It’s made with three kinds of cheese, fresh spinach, and zesty sun-dried tomatoes for a major upgrade to the kid’s classic.
- 2 oz. shredded unsmoked provolone cheese (or dice up deli slices)
- 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoon finely shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 small garlic cloves, minced (1/2 teaspoon)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups (lightly packed) fresh spinach
- 4 slices Sara Lee Artesano Golden Wheat Bread
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 3 tablespoon minced sun-dried tomatoes*
- 8 teaspoon butter, softened
- In a bowl stir together provolone, ricotta, parmesan, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
- In a medium pot bring 1/2-inch water to a boil then place a steamer basket in the pot.
- Add in spinach, cover with a lid and let steam until just wilted about 1 – 2 minutes.
- Transfer spinach to paper towels and fold paper towels over spinach to remove excess moisture.
- Butter both sides of bread slices with 1 teaspoon butter.
- On two slices of bread evenly layer spinach and basil.
- Then layer over ricotta mixture and sprinkle and lightly press sun-dried tomatoes into ricotta mixture.
- Top with remaining slices of bread.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add sandwiches, cover, and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 4 – 6 minutes.
- Flip and continue to cook until golden brown on bottom and cheese has melted through, about 2 minutes longer (reduce burner temp slightly as needed to prevent the bread from browning too much).
- Serve immediately.
( From NYT Cooking)
The tuna melt is a classic American sandwich. This recipe adds chopped cornichons and whole-grain mustard for a satisfying crunch and vinegary element with perfectly melted extra-sharp cheddar and golden bread for a homemade gourmet version of the diner dish.
- 3 (6-ounce) cans solid, water-packed canned tuna, drained
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup finely chopped cornichons or small kosher dill pickles
- 3 tablespoons minced red onion
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 packed tablespoon minced fresh dill (optional)
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 slices rye or sourdough bread, cut 1/2-inch thick
- 8 sandwich slices extra-sharp Cheddar (or 6 ounces shredded)
- 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, plus more as needed
- Place the tuna in a medium bowl and flake with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, cornichons, red onion, lemon juice, dill (if using), mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Depending on the size of your bread, spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup tuna salad on each of four slices of bread, heaping it in the middle slightly. Divide the cheese among the sandwiches, tearing and arranging the cheese to fit neatly. Place a piece of bread on top of each and generously spread the top piece of each sandwich with about 1/2 tablespoon butter.
- Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-low. Place two sandwiches, buttered-side down, in the skillet, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottom pieces of bread are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, spread the top of each sandwich with another 1/2 tablespoon butter. Carefully flip the sandwiches, turn the heat to low, and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, until the bottoms are browned and the cheese is melted. Repeat with the remaining two sandwiches and serve immediately.
Monte Cristo Sandwich
(From Striped Spatula)
This Monte Cristo Sandwich is sweet and savory comfort food at its best. French Toast meets a meaty grilled cheese sandwich in this classic French brunch indulgence.
- 3 slices farmhouse white sandwich bread, brioche, or challah (approx. 1/2-inch thick slices)
- 2-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (I use European-style, such as Kerrygold or Plugra)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup red currant jelly or seedless raspberry jam, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
- 2 slices Swiss cheese or shredded Gruyere (2 ounces)
- 2 slices ham (2 ounces)
- 2 slices turkey (2 ounces)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- pinch kosher salt
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
- Soften 1 tablespoon of butter and very lightly butter one side of two slices of the bread, and both sides of the third slice of bread. Spread Dijon mustard onto the unbuttered side of one slice of bread, and 1 teaspoon of jam or jelly onto the unbuttered side of the final slice.
- Assemble sandwich in the following order: 1 ounce/slice of Swiss/Gruyere on top of the Dijon, followed by the ham, the slice of fully buttered bread, turkey, 1 ounce/slice of Swiss/Gruyere, and the remaining slice of bread, jelly side down. Trim crusts, if desired.
- Loosely wrap the sandwich with plastic wrap and weigh it down with a grill press or skillet for 3-5 minutes.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together egg, milk, salt, and nutmeg. Dip the sandwich into the egg mixture, until some of the liquid, absorbs into the bread, but it isn’t falling apart.
- Melt together vegetable oil and remaining butter in a skillet (I like to use cast iron). Cook 3-4 minutes per side until the sandwich is golden and cheese is melted. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Heat remaining jam or jelly in a small saucepan or microwave until warmed. Dust sandwich with confectioner’s sugar, slice in half and serve with jelly on the side.
(From Carrots and Flowers)
Hearty, saucy vegan Buffalo Chickpea Sandwiches- the ultimate plant-based fast food hack. Simple ingredients and easy methods make this a perfect swap for Meatless Monday night dinner.
- 1 can chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + ⅔ cup for pan frying
- ⅔ cup bread crumbs
- 1½ cubes vegan chicken bouillon
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- juice of 1 lemon
- ⅔ cup gluten
- ½ cup flour
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Vegan Buffalo Sauce
- ¼ cup melted vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons cayenne based hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder (optional for more heat)
- 6 vegan sandwich buns
- romaine or green leaf lettuce
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes
- vegan ranch dressing
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, reserving the liquid (aquafaba) in a shallow bowl.
- Mash the chickpeas with 2 tablespoons olive oil until no whole chickpeas are left, but still leaving some chunky pieces. Add the bread crumbs, bouillon, paprika, garlic powder, thyme, sea salt, and lemon juice. Mix with a fork or your hands until just combined.
- Sprinkle in the gluten. Knead the dough with your hands until gluten strings form, about 2-3 minutes. Add more gluten 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough feels too wet and sticky. Add a small amount of water or olive oil if it seems dry. Form the dough into patties using small handfuls of dough. Press the patty into a shape slightly larger than the size of your palm, about ½-inch thick.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the dredge ingredients. In a separate shallow bowl, prepare your buffalo sauce by combining the melted butter, hot sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, and optional cayenne. Whisk together until smooth.
- In a skillet on medium heat, pour enough olive oil to cover the pan by about a ⅓-inch about ⅔ cup depending on the size of your skillet. Working quickly so the oil doesn’t burn, coat the chickpea patties in the aquafaba, then dip them into the flour mixture. To keep your fingers from becoming too sticky, use a fork to transfer the patty from the aquafaba to the flour, then use a dry hand to sprinkle flour and coat the patty. Transfer the battered chickpea patties to the pan with a fork.
- Working in batches, fry each patty until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on both sides. When finished, transfer the fried patties to a plate lined with kitchen towels to drain the oil.
- Give the buffalo sauce a good whisk in case it separated, then lightly coat the chickpea patties in the sauce. Serve immediately on lightly toasted vegan buns with lettuce, tomato, and vegan ranch.
The patties tend to crisp up more on the outside than the middle. To make the middle crispier, make a finger-sized hole in the patty, similar to a donut, then batter and fry them as directed. This will help the middle get crunchy.
You can also crisp up the patties by frying them for 2 minutes on each side, then baking them at 350 F for about 20 minutes.
Read more: Vegan Guide
Italian Meatball Subs
(From Modern Honey)
The simplest sandwiches are sometimes the best. You can’t mess up a meatball sub as long as it’s got super tender and tasty meatballs braised in a tomato-y sauce topped off with melty cheese in a toasty baguette.
- 1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef (preferably 80/20)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 large Egg
- 3/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 3/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (high-quality)
- 1/4 cup Fresh Italian Parsley (diced)
- 24-32 ounces Marinara Sauce
- 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese (or more depending on taste)
- 4 Sliced French Bread or Sub Rolls
- Start with high-quality ground beef (preferably 80/20 which gives the right amount of fat for a juicy meatball). If you use 85/15, it will be a tad less juicy meatball). Mix ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, panko bread crumbs, fresh parsley, egg, and parmesan cheese in a bowl. I like to use my hands to get it incorporated together.
- Roll the meatball mixture into large balls, depending on the desired size. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the meatballs and cook for 5-7 minutes, turning once to brown on both sides.
- Meanwhile, make your homemade marinara sauce or heat jarred marinara sauce in a large pot. Once the meatballs have browned, remove from the oil and place in the pot of simmering marinara sauce. Let cook on low heat for about 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
- Cut bread in half, making sure not to cut all the way through. Spread butter over both sides of the bread. Put the oven on the broil setting. Heat until the butter is completely melted and remove from the oven. Watch carefully as it can easily burn.
- Place cooked meatballs and sauce onto the bread and generously cover with mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted about 2 minutes. Top with fresh Italian parsley and serve immediately with extra sauce on the side for dipping. If you want some extra spice, top with some marinated Italian peppers.
(From Spruce Eats)
One of the most quintessential Middle Eastern foods is the falafel sandwich. A warm pita bread stuffed with crispy hot falafel balls, surrounded by cool and crunchy diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, and drenched with nutty tahini sauce. This version is better than any halal street carts or food truck you’ll find.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 pita bread loaves
- 18 cooked falafel balls, homemade or store-bought falafel mix
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium cucumber, unpeeled and diced
- 1 medium white or red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 3 sandwich pickles, sliced, optional
- Tahini sauce, homemade or store-bought, to taste
- Gather the ingredients.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle to medium-high heat. Coat with olive oil and heat a pita round for 2 minutes on each side. The pita may begin to brown a little. Repeat with the remaining pita rounds, making sure to cut the top part to reveal the pocket after heating.
- Stuff each pita round with 3 falafel balls and a spoonful each of diced tomatoes and cucumber. Top each with sliced onion, chopped parsley, the optional pickles, and a generous drizzle of tahini sauce.
- Falafel, as they are typically made, are vegan, but check the label if you’re using store-bought mix as some use egg as a binder. Here are some suggestions to spice up your falafel sandwich or to add different flavors and sauces:
- Use a dill tzatziki sauce instead of the tahini sauce for a creamy and refreshing addition. For dairy allergies, try a soy-based tzatziki sauce.
- Add some crumbled feta to add some tang and creaminess into the sandwich.
- Add a spoonful of tabouleh salad to the pita for flavor and texture.
- Make pitas with baba ganoush, roasted vegetables, and hummus.
- Make a dressing with 1/2 cup of full-fat Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of olive oil, the juice of a lime, 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup of parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend all of the ingredients and use this herby sauce for the sandwich.
(From Cuban Food Market)
There only one way to make a real Cubano and that’s with soft, sweet Cuban bread, heaps of heavily seasoned pork roast and sliced ham alternating between layers of Swiss cheese and sour pickles cemented together with yellow mustard and a garlic butter schmear.
- 1 loaf of Cuban bread
- 3/4 pound Sugar Cured Ham Sliced Thin
- 3/4 pound Pork Roast
- 1/2 pound Swiss Cheese Sliced
- 2 Dill Pickle Sliced thin
- Cut Cuban bread into 7 to 8 inches long sections and slice lengthwise.
- Spread mustard on both halves and pile the ingredients, for each sandwich, as follows (do not alter the order): 1 slice dill pickle, 1/3 of the ham, 1/3 of the roast pork, 1/3 of the Swiss cheese, and top with another slice of dill pickle. Close the sandwich and spread a bit of butter on each side of the bread crust.
- Place on a sandwich press. Heat until the cheese begins to melt.
- Serve while still warm.
(From A Dash of Dolly)
This Turkey Day twist on the classic Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme is a sandwich to truly be thankful for. Plus once you master the art of the crunch wrap, you can stuff it with any fillings you choose.
- 4 burrito-sized flour tortillas
- 4 tostadas or tortilla chips
- 4 taco sized flour tortillas (optional)
- leftover stuffing or dressing
- leftover turkey sliced or shredded
- cranberry sauce
- leftover mashed potatoes
- sour cream
- shredded iceberg lettuce
- diced tomatoes
- leftover gravy
- Lay your burrito-sized flour tortilla down on a flat surface Add a scoop of stuff to the center and flatten it out a bit.
- Next, add the turkey pieces and then spread the cranberry sauce on top. Top the bottom half with the tostada.
- Smear some sour cream on the tostada and then place a scoop of the mashed potatoes on top. You can add additional leftovers here like corn, greens beans, mac & cheese, etc.
- Add the shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.
- If the inside of the crunch wrap is exposed, top everything with a taco-sized flour tortilla and then pleat the burrito-sized tortilla over the whole thing. (You can also cut smaller circles from the extra burrito-sized flour tortillas to fit the exposed circle.)
- Add the crunch wrap to a preheated skillet over medium heat seam side down. Heat until golden brown, flip and repeat.
- Air fryer method: Brush both sides of the crunch to wrap with oil. Place in air fryer basket seam side down and cook for 3-5 minutes at 400° F. Flip and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cut the crunch wrap supreme in half and serve with gravy.
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