Brown-bag lunches and sandwich nights at home don't have to be boring. Here's a mighty handful of supersatisfying sandwiches to kick off your menu: great portable food, loaded with flavor, healthy but still hearty.
Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the market, and this Herbed Chicken Salad Sandwich is a snap. That said, if you make the chicken salad a day or so ahead, the flavors will marry nicely as the filling chills.
Mix and Match: Try on a wedge of focaccia, and toast in a grill pan for a chicken salad panini. Or for a sweet touch, try on toasted cinnamon-raisin sandwich bread.
Indiana Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches with Creamy Corn Relish
This Midwestern signature sandwich traditionally features a deep-fried pork cutlet that sprawls like the Great Plains over a comically overmatched bun. Our pork is more modestly sized. But the flourish here is creamy-tangy corn relish that makes the sandwich pop.
NYC Melting Pot Reubens
We capitalized on the Big Apple's mash-up cooking, swapping sauerkraut for spicy Korean fermented cabbage. By using a smartly portioned mix of corned and roast beef, we lower sodium and make a sandwich you can enjoy without unhinging your jaw.
Breaded Fish Sandwiches with Mint-Caper Tartar Sauce
Spiking tartar sauce with mint and capers improves the classic fish sandwich deliciously. Cutting the fish into a square shape helps it fit the bun better. Be sure to use a sweet onion, and soak it in ice water so that you get the crunch but no harsh bite.
Mushroom Lentil Burgers
Make homemade veggie burgers in a snap with precooked lentils. Brown lentils can be substituted but tend to be more moisture-dense and may require additional breadcrumbs to help bind the burgers.
Open-Faced Chicken Sandwiches with Artichoke Pesto
Be sure to look for artichoke hearts that are canned in brine, not oil.
Open-Faced Prosciutto and Plum Sandwiches
Sweet fig preserves balance the tartness of the plums. Choose red or purple plums with bright, unblemished skin that are firm and plump to the touch.
Short Rib Cheesesteak Sandwiches
Pure hearty goodness: the richness of beefy short ribs napped in Dijon-spiked cheese sauce. You can find thinly cut boneless short ribs in many supermarkets, but especially in Asian markets, where this succulent meat is a popular choice for Korean barbecue and the Japanese dish sukiyaki. If you can't find presliced meat, freeze the short ribs for 30 minutes to firm them up; you'll get thinner slices.
Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Jicama Slaw
This quick, simple, and delicious tilapia sandwich will satisfy your weeknight hunger.
Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Pickled Squash and Romesco Mayonnaise
The satisfying snap of quick-pickled squash plays well with creamy-smoky red bell pepper mayo, peppery arugula, and savory chicken. Use a mandoline to get perfectly uniform, thin slices of squash. Or for delicate squash ribbons, shave the squash lengthwise with a vegetable peeler.
Caesar Salad Bagels
Maybe we're going too far, thinking of the toasty bagel here as a kind of oversized crouton for the light Caesar salad filling. Maybe not.
To brown-bag, pack sandwich components separately—the leaves and the cheese; a mixture of the dressing and pepper; and the toasted bagel. For the vegetarians in your crew, choose salad dressing that doesn't contain anchovies.
Mix and Match: Toss lettuce, cheese, pepper, and dressing together; tuck into a pita or a whole-wheat flatbread.
Steak Sandwiches with Pickled Onion and Herb Aioli
Herbs, garlic, and lemon juice combine with mayo for a sauce that makes the sandwich.
Steak Baguettes with Pesto Mayo
Grill the steak and toast the baguette over the same flame for a delicious charred effect. This sandwich holds up well, so you can pack it for lunch, fully assembled.
Mix and Match: Try also on a toasted Kaiser roll. Or pile high onto a toasted boule slice for an open-faced, knife-and-fork version.
Wasabi Salmon Burgers with Edamame-Cilantro Pesto
Tofu binds the ingredients together in this salmon dish. Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) yields a crisp crust on these juicy burgers.
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches
The classic Caprese salad of juicy tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and fragrant basil makes for a fantastic vegetarian sandwich. We've added grilled zucchini to up the game. Gooey mozza puts it over the top.
Mix and Match: Crunch is key with the bread, but you can sub in a crusty baguette.
Hoisin-Glazed Salmon Burgers with Pickled Cucumber
Quick-pickled cukes give these burgers tart crunch. Panko and egg white hold the patties together. Use cilantro leaves on the burgers as you would lettuce for herby freshness.
Sautéed Greens, Smoked Turkey, and Provolone Panini
The crusty grilled exterior gives way to a cheesy, savory interior loaded with earthy kale. Even finicky eaters will find this a delicious way to get their greens.
Vietnamese Chicken Sandwiches
Lean chicken stands in for pork, yielding a light twist on this Asian-inspired sandwich.
Summer Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini with Balsamic Syrup
Serve this fresh, ready in 20-minutes panini with sweet potato chips or a simple green salad for an easy and complete meal.
Buffalo Chicken Panini
You don’t need a panini maker for this easy, 5-ingredient hot chicken sandwich. Using a cast-iron or heavy skillet to press sandwiches offers a similar sear and equally great taste.
Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders
Make these easy barbecue pulled chicken sliders by pairing shredded rotisserie chicken with homemade barbecue sauce for an easy weeknight meal.
Grilled Ham, Chicken, and Gruyère Sandwiches
This ham and chicken sandwich is ready to devour in no time. Enjoy with fresh fruit or a simple green salad for a quick and delicious meal.
Simple, Perfect Fresh-Ground Brisket Burgers
We loved the simple, flavorful patty we got from grinding inexpensive beef brisket. Ask for the flat cut of brisket for the leanest choice. Traditional condiments like ketchup and mustard are an option, but we found this burger so good on its own that all we added was cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches
This Cajun-inspired catfish sandwich is served open faced and topped with a creamy slaw packed with fresh cilantro.
Turkey, Apple, and Swiss Melt
Vary the fruit to suit your kids' preferences–use red- or green-skinned apples or pears.
Crusty, well-toasted bread; crispy pan-seared shrimp; and crunchy slaw make this sandwich worth every bite.
Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps
Make the most of summer's fresh vegetables and grilling by preparing these delicious wraps to take along on a picnic. Serve them with a side of potato or pasta salad.
Open-Faced Eggplant Sandwiches
Here's the key to a speedy dinner: While the eggplant broils, toast your bread slices in a toaster oven.
Parmesan Buffalo Burgers with Balsamic Ketchup
Ground buffalo has fewer calories and half the fat of lean beef but boasts big, meaty flavor. And slow-roasting tomatoes in balsamic ketchup intensifies their sweetness.
Beet and Brown Rice Sliders
These bite-size sliders will leave you satisfied and craving another. Good news: A serving size of these veggie burgers is two sliders.
Open-Faced Pimiento Cheese BLTs
Pimiento cheese is a Southern tradition. We add a little Parmesan to the standard cheddar-mayo mixture for extra savory depth.
Turkey Panini with Watercress and Citrus Aioli
Take your average turkey sandwich to the next level with a citrusy spread and a few minutes on the panini press.
Bacon and Egg Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Arugula
This upscale twist on the traditional breakfast sandwich features sweet, tender caramelized onions and peppery arugula. A fresh fruit salad would be a good accompaniment.
Cabernet-Balsamic Burgers with Sautéed Mushrooms & Onions
Grilled cheeseburgers get an irresistible upgrade with creamy blue cheese and caramelized onions spiked with jammy red wine and tart-sweet vinegar. A portion of the tender onions are mixed into the patties to help keep the lean beef moist.
Open-Faced Hummus Sandwiches
These open-faced sandwiches are a quick and easy pick for a filling lunch or light supper. Serve with a side of asparagus.
Chipotle Chicken Cheesesteaks
This sandwich packs in gooey cheese, smoky spices, and chunks of chicken for a comforting family-friendly dinner.
Serve fruit with this kid-friendly take on the classic croque monsieur.
Rosemary-Chicken Panini with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
This excellent sandwich is loaded with fresh flavor and is guaranteed to satisfy any appetite.
Chicken and Waffle Sandwiches
Breakfast meets dinner in this play on the Southern favorite.
Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwich
This sandwich is basically a riff on Hawaii's beloved lomi-lomi salmon, a salad of salted fish and tomatoes.
Sloppy Joe Sliders
Serve up mini versions of a weeknight favorite. Make the sauce ahead of time, if you like. Just reheat it and toast the buns to finish the sliders.
Soy-Marinated Pork Sandwiches
There's just the right amount of heat and sweet in these succulent pork sandwiches. Serve with a soba noodle salad.
Picnic-Perfect Lobster Rolls
This classic New England sandwich comes together in a snap if you purchase lobster tails and have them steamed at the fish counter.
Grilled Chicken Wraps
Make dinner tonight a wrap. Toss grilled, shredded chicken in a tangy mayonnaise mixture and wrap it up in flatbread along with a shredded cabbage and pickles.
Roast Beef Sandwiches with Watercress Slaw
Start with deli roast beef and a package of angel hair slaw to create a hearty roast beef sandwich that's perfect for a quick no-cook dinner.
Italian Meatball Sliders
Little burgers deliver big flavor in these Italian-inspired sliders. Marinara sauce replaces the ketchup and basil serves as a sub for lettuce.
Grilled Farmers' Market Sandwiches
The stack of grilled eggplant, red onion, and zucchini are quite a mouthful, but still tasty to eat.
Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi
The bread and Vietnamese filling—carrot and radish, cilantro, mayonnaise, and cucumber—are traditional in this vegetarian take on the classic. Prepare mayonnaise mixture and toast bread while the tofu and vegetable mixture marinate.
Out-n-In California Burger
Here is a crave-worthy, reasonable version of a fast-food icon. With a similarly addictive sauce, this tasty handful is made healthier with lean ground sirloin and lower-sodium, lighter cheese.
Arepas are corn cakes popular in Latin American countries. Look for arepa flour in the international food section of large supermarkets or in an ethnic market. Don't substitute masa harina or cornmeal for the arepa flour, which is precooked. Store the flour in an airtight container in your freezer to extend its shelf life.
Grilled Eggplant Pita Sandwiches with Yogurt-Garlic Spread
This sandwich is also delicious cold the next day for lunch—to prevent the pita from getting soggy, don't assemble until you're ready to eat. We like thick, tangy Greek-style yogurt in this dish.
Prosciutto, Fresh Fig, and Manchego Sandwiches
Prosciutto and fresh figs are a classic Italian combination. Here, along with Manchego cheese and fig jam, they create a sweet-savory sandwich that's simple yet memorable. Great ingredients make all the difference here, so look for a fine loaf of artisan bread and quality prosciutto.
This update on a traditional Cuban sandwich adds a spicy black bean spread and sweet mango, which balances the salty ham. If mango isn't your thing, use low-acid tomatoes.
Lamb Burgers with Cilantro Raita
The tangy, herby yogurt sauce (raita) stands in for mayonnaise on this blended burger. For more spicy kick, leave the seeds in the serrano chile.
For best results, choose salmon from the meaty center of the fish and avoid portions cut from the tail section (where the body starts to taper). Tail-end flesh contains more connective tissue than center-cut fillets. Use black sesame seed buns, if available.
Open-Faced Sandwiches with Ricotta, Arugula, and Fried Egg
You'll need a knife and fork to dig into these filling sandwiches that give a unique take on breakfast for dinner.
Spicy Chicken Shawarma
This chicken shawarma is a Middle Eastern version of a gyro and features thin slices of chicken mixed with yogurt and wrapped in pita bread spread with tahini. The sandwiches are then topped with fresh cucumber, tomato, and onion.
Italian Sausage Hoagies
The hearty filling of veggies and turkey sausage will get rave reviews from adults and kids alike.
Quick BBQ Sandwiches with Slaw
Pile the slaw on the sandwich for a crunchy contrast to the tender grilled pork. Serve with smoky grilled corn: Brush 4 ears shucked corn with olive oil. Grill 8 minutes, turning occasionally. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika. Serve with lime wedges.
Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
A new take on a familiar favorite pairs grilled cheese with a BLT for a luscious veggie-packed sandwich that feels like an indulgence. Serve with zesty dill pickle spears. If you have extra room in your budget, pair with a sweet-tart hard cider.
Lamb Sliders with Blue Cheese
These lamb sliders are an unexpected twist. We love the pairing of sweet caramelized onions and tangy blue cheese.
Tuna Salad Melt
You'll love this open-faced take on a classic tuna melt. Sustainable note: Solid white tuna is albacore, the most sustainable choice among varieties of tuna.
Our Homemade Quick Black Bean Burger
Serve this meatless black bean burger on a bun with hot sauce-spiked ketchup, spinach leaves, tomato, a slice of Monterey Jack cheese, avocado slices, and onion.
Grilled Tomato and Brie Sandwiches
These grilled tomato and brie sandwiches make the most of juicy, flavorful summer tomatoes. Serve with grapes or carrot sticks.
Steak and Fennel Sandwiches
If you're keeping track of fat grams, this hefty sandwich provides about one-third of your day's needs. We suggest using a jarred canola-based mayonnaise if you would rather purchase the condiment.
Slow-Cooked BBQ Fennel, Onion, and Pork Sandwiches
These pork sandwiches are a nod to low-and-slow Southern barbecue–using just a little bit of pork shoulder. And just like traditional pulled pork, the meltingly tender vegetables and pork are piled high on toasted buns, slathered with a Greek yogurt mixture, and topped with shredded cabbage.
Shrimp Salad Rolls
Superfast and easy to make, these shrimp salad rolls are a great way to eat more seafood during the week.
Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro-Lime Mayo
These reduced-fat chicken sandwiches feature chicken cutlets encrusted with tortilla chip crumbs, which yield a satisfying crunch. You can also use spicy chips for more heat.
Open-Faced Chicken Club Sandwiches
This flavorful sandwich will add brightness to your day. Serve it with fresh seasonal citrus or other fruit.
Pan Bagnat (Niçoise Salad Sandwiches)
These sandwiches take everything you love about a Niçoise salad and put it between two slices of a baguette.
Grilled Turkey and Ham Sandwiches
Update sandwich night with a hearty grilled stacker loaded with turkey, ham, veggies, and a Dijon spread.
Open-Faced Pastrami Omelet on Pumpernickel
The old-school deli-shop flavors of pumpernickel, pastrami, horseradish, and whole-grain mustard are irresistible–in a package much lighter than a full deli pileup.
French Toast Peanut Butter and Jelly
What kid (or grown-up, for that matter) wouldn't love this ooey-gooey sandwich? Serve the souped-up PB&Js with fresh fruit.
Chipotle Sloppy Joes
Add Mexican-inspired spice to this traditional family favorite. Serve with your favorite coleslaw for an easy side.
Middle Eastern Chickpea Miniburgers
Serve each burger on a whole-grain slider bun with lettuce, crisp radish slices, roasted red bell pepper, and canola-based mayonnaise. Two burgers per person!
Feta-Stuffed Turkey Burgers
A simple yogurt-based sauce and a rich feta-and-spice stuffing makes these turkey burgers stand out above the rest. Pair with sautéed zucchini.
Peanut-Sauced Chicken Pitas
Rich dark meat stands up to the robust peanutty sauce. To pack, combine chicken mixture, sprouts, carrot, and cilantro; put in a sealed container; and stuff into pita just when you're ready to eat. Look for satay sauce and chile paste on the Asian-food aisle of your super-market.
Mix and Match: Wrap the filling inside a whole-grain flatbread or piece of naan.
Cashew Chicken Salad Sandwiches
The Asian flavor of curry might seem strange for an American dish as old-fashioned as chicken salad, but the tastes marry perfectly. Cashews add crunch as well as heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
What goes better with a sandwich than a bowl of soup? Check out 100 healthy soup recipes.
Chicken Souvlaki Pitas with Tahini Sauce
If you can't find tahini, substitute an equal amount of peanut butter to make the sauce for these Middle East–inspired sandwiches. You can prepare the sauce and chicken ahead of time and stuff the pitas when you're ready to eat.
Italian Beef Sandwiches
If you can't find Italian rolls, substitute a sturdy bread that will soak up the juices in this moist, delightfully messy sandwich.
Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pitas
Greek yogurt has a thick, rich consistency similar to sour cream. Add honeydew melon and cantaloupe slices on the side.
Grilled Portobello, Bell Pepper, and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
Although you can cook the vegetables, bread, and tomato side dish in a grill pan, these sandwiches also come together quickly on the increased surface area of an outdoor grill.
Caprese Wraps with Chicken
Pick up a rotisserie chicken and assemble this hearty sandwich for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Classic Italian Panini with Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella
Use this panini recipe as a template, and customize it to your liking. Use hollowed-out focaccia or ciabatta, or try different herbs and cheese, for example.
These tender vegetable patties are meant to be soft. Prepare through step two the day before since the mixture is easier to work with once its has been refrigerated overnight and the flavors have had time to marry.
Chicken and Mushroom Panini
Gooey cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and earthy mushrooms join chicken for a tasty sandwich you can quickly prepare in a grill pan or panini press.
Fried Green Tomato BLTs
A Southern favorite, fried green tomatoes lend a delightful twist to this sandwich. The tomatoes take center stage over the bacon in this version.
Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Split Sandwiches
Don't be ashamed to love these old-fashioned kiddie favorites; they got our Test Kitchens' highest rating. With flavors of chocolate, peanut butter, and fresh fruit, they're a sweet lunch―and good for you too, with 9.4 grams of protein and 4.6 grams of fiber each.
Fruity Tuna-Salad Pita Sandwiches
These sandwiches taste great and pair protein with carbohydrates to keep your energy level up. You can substitute one (9-ounce) can of solid white tuna in water, drained, for the tuna steak.
Chicken and Roquefort Sandwiches
One serving of this entrée contains about one-fourth of your daily sodium allotment. We extend salty Roquefort cheese by mixing it with cream cheese as a spread. A 2-ounce portion size for bread also helps control sodium counts.
Roast Chicken and Cranberry Sandwiches
Chutney adds a pleasing sweetness to this new twist on the chicken sandwich. We prefer cranberry chutney, but any variety will do.
Steak Sandwiches with Worcestershire Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise, Worcestershire, and whole-grain mustard combine for a tangy, slightly smoky sandwich spread. Arugula is a peppery salad green. Substitute your favorite lettuce, if you like.
Egg Salad BLTs
Lemon juice and sour cream give a little bite to this classic egg salad, so it can better keep up with the crisp, meaty bacon on top. To make this recipe extra-fast, look for packaged hard-cooked eggs at the supermarket.
Beef, Orange, and Gorgonzola Sandwiches
Grilled flank steak with oranges and blue cheese combine in a sandwich that will make you the envy of coworkers when you open your lunch box. For the best results, use crusty rolls because they stay pleasantly crisp.
Roast Beef and Blue Cheese Wraps
A dressing of flavorful blue cheese, zesty horseradish, and creamy mayonnaise dresses up deli roast beef in this easy wrap that travels well. Feel free to experiment with other kinds of cheese as well; Havarti or Muenster work beautifully.
Roasted Red Pepper Spread Sandwiches
This spread has a similar flavor and texture to classic Southern pimiento cheese, but with far less fat and salt. Add some baked chips, cut-up vegetables, or a small salad for a nice lunch, or try the spread on crackers as an hors d'oeuvre at your next party.
Smoked Mozzarella, Spinach, and Pepper Omelet Sandwiches
Breakfast for dinner is a fun way to shake up your menu, and breakfast foods are almost always quick and easy. This 10-minute dish is no exception. We combine whole eggs and egg whites to give great flavor but keep fat in check, and use deeply flavored smoked mozzarella to add more depth.
Open-Faced Turkey Patty Melt
The traditional patty melt gets a makeover with ground turkey, but you can also substitute ground chicken or ground sirloin, if you prefer. Sweet, browned Vidalia onions top a cheesy pile of creamy ground turkey mixture. After a few minutes broiled in the oven, the open-faced sandwiches toast ever so slightly, creating the ultimate comfort food meal. Dijon mustard seals the deal and adds a flavorful kick to this elevated version of a deli sandwich classic. Pair sandwiches with zucchini oven chips, or your favorite homemade vegetable chip for a comforting crunch to eat alongside your sammie.
Falafel with Avocado Spread
The beauty of this Latin twist on the classic Middle Eastern falafel sandwich is its simplicity, and of course, flavor. Garnish with microgreens and sliced red onion.
Lobster Wraps with Lemon Mayonnaise
Flatbread replaces buttered rolls in this take on the New England classic.
Tuscan Tuna Sandwiches
With fresh basil, pungent onion, crunchy fennel, briny capers, and bright lemon juice, this tuna salad needs no mayonnaise to be absolutely delicious. Toasted bread is nice, but if you're in a hurry, skip that step; the tuna will be just as good.