They're portable, easy to make, good for any time of day, and these recipes all take 20 minutes or less. By: Jason Horn and Cooking Light staff
For smaller sandwiches like these, we prefer to smash the avocado into a spread before assembling so that no slippery slices are lost on the journey from plate to mouth.
Taking less than 15 minutes, this is a time-friendly recipe. It's also budget-friendly, as it stretches just half a pound of beef to feed six hungry people. The spicy bean-beef-and-tomato chili, served on a bun, might be sloppy to eat, but it's worth it. You can also serve just as easily in a bowl like regular chili (with corn bread, please).
A combination of turkey sausage and ground beef gives these burgers classic Italian flavor with less fat while also making firm patties that won't fall apart during cooking. Mozzarella and pasta sauce are the perfect meatball-burger toppings, while pasta salad makes a nice side.
Quick-grilled fish coated with Cajun seasoning has loads of flavor, and the creamy-spicy Dijon mayo on top kicks things up a notch or two, but the whole dish has just over 300 calories per sandwich. Use the spiciest, strongest-tasting mustard you can find for the best sauce.
Cuban sandwiches are a great way to deliver big, hearty flavor in a very short time. This recipe includes the traditional mustard, pickle, and Swiss cheese, but uses Hawaiian bread to add a little sweet contrast (if you're more traditional, use Cuban, Italian, or French bread). Then we add bacon for its salty crunch, and toast the sandwiches in garlic oil for even more deliciousness. Add sweet or hot peppers if you like.
Crusty Cuban bread is perfectly complemented with creamy mozzarella and a slice of juicy tomato. Serve with sweet potato chips or a simple green salad.
Watercress slaw gives the perfect amount of crunch in this roast beef sandwich. A crusty baguette is a must—satisfaction from the very first bite.
Didn't think pulled chicken was possible in less than 20 minutes? You'll become a believer once you try your first bite of this delicious sweet and savory sandwich. For a less sweet option, use sliced dill pickles.
We took the classic Philly cheesesteak and added mushrooms for an extra hit of savory flavor, while still keeping calories in check: This dish weighs in at just 384 calories per sandwich. Swiss, cheddar, or American are also fine cheese choices, and chicken breast can easily sub in for the steak.
This tasty dish is the ultimate replacement for a fast-food breakfast, but it's also a great portable option for a busy lunch or dinner. Ten minutes of cooking yields a perfect veggie-packed omelet, with a quick trip under the broiler to make it puffy and browned to perfection. You can easily make the omelet ahead, but don't assemble the sandwiches until just before eating.
This easy preparation can be used to make patties from shrimp, crab, or almost any kind of fish to shake up burger night. The toppings, bread, and sauce are easy to vary as well; try shrimp burgers with horseradish on Cuban sandwich bread, tilapia burgers with pesto mayonnaise on ciabatta, or make up your own combination.
Sloppy joes are beloved by kids, even picky ones, and are an economical way to feed a large crowd as well: They're perfect for almost any situation. A batch of these sandwiches comes together in just over 15 minutes and feeds 12, but you can easily halve or third the recipe for just the family, or double it for a party. If you want to shake things up, serve the meat mixture over rice or in baked potatoes instead of on a bun.
Ciabbata, with its robust crust and chewy interior, is the ideal bread for this quickly toasted sandwich. It's a picture of balance, with pungent blue cheese, sweet fig jam, and bitter arugula all contributing their flavors. This recipe is a good candidate to turn vegetarian as well; substitute grilled or sautéed slices of tofu or eggplant for the chicken.
You don't need a fancy machine to make a panini, just two skillets and about six minutes. This preparation, with sharp mustard and balsamic vinegar to balance the creaminess of the cheese, can be made with turkey, roast beef, or just about any cold cut instead of ham, and your favorite sliced cheese in place of the mozzarella.
The sweet spice of barbecue sauce and the smoky heat of chipotles come together to give every bite of this recipe huge flavor. The easy, creamy slaw cools the burn a bit for a nice balance. Sweet potato is a great side for these burgers, whether chips, fries, baked, or mashed.
Subtly sweet, crunchy pears are an excellent addition to any sandwich, especially when counterbalanced by a creamy, strong-flavored cheese as here. The seared tender flank steak turns the sandwich into a meal. Serve open-faced on flatbread or pita with a knife and fork, or try it on lightly toasted focaccia as a closed sandwich.
Using smoked turkey instead of corned beef cuts down on saturated fat, but everything else―Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, and rye bread―is pure deli classic. Toasting in the pan makes these warm and melty, but you can skip that step and save six minutes.
Bring the exotic to lunch with these easy make-ahead wraps. Chicken and vegetables are cooked in coconut milk, peanut butter, and curry for the traditional flavors of saté with peanut dipping sauce. Packaged slaw mix adds nutrition and crunch. Pair a wrap with exotic chips like sweet potato, taro, or purple potato.
The gyro sandwich is a lunchtime favorite, but many restaurant versions are greasy and unhealthful. We use similar spices here, but replace ground lamb with sautéed pieces to save time, effort, and fat. With the easy cucumber-yogurt sauce, you've got a tasty Greek pita in about five minutes and with less than 400 calories.
Traditional chicken salad, made with light mayo and plain yogurt to keep it healthful, gets a boost from crunchy almonds and sweet, juicy pineapple in this recipe. Potato chips (much better for you if baked at home) are the perfect pairing for a simple make-ahead lunch.
This Cuban favorite is similar to a sloppy joe, but with much more sophisticated flavor. Ground pork is cooked with lots of spices (secret shortcut ingredient: pumpkin pie spice), as well as raisins, tomato, and olives for a great combination of tastes. Serve with black beans, or leave out the buns and serve with black beans and rice.
Lots of flavors―green onion, seasoned breadcrumbs, lemon, and Greek seasoning―make sure these burgers are anything but bland. The easy lemony spiced yogurt is also great with falafel, lamb, or really anything on a pita. Serve with a simple cucumber salad or flavorful couscous.
Don't skip pounding the chicken; it may seem like extra work, but it takes just a minute and makes for extremely tender and juicy meat that cooks extra quickly. A fast lime-cilantro mayo adds Mexican flavor to this sandwich, and focaccia is just the right combination of crusty and chewy.
A savory blend of salty and sweet flavors make the perfect pair between two slices of multigrain bread. Toast the bread in a pinch by arranging it on a baking sheet and broiling for three minutes.
Prosciutto and fresh figs are a classic Italian combination. Here, along with the cheese and 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. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to shave the Manchego, a Spanish cheese similar to pecorino Romano (which you can substitute).
This open-faced sandwich might be more commonly devoured with a fork and knife, but we won't judge you if you opt to lose the utensils. You won't be able to resist the combination of peppery arugula, creamy ricotta, and salty Parmigiano-Reggiano all topped with a beautiful fried egg.
Gooey provolone, white bread with a crunch, and refreshing citrus aioli--all in a turkey and watercress panini--make a mouth-watering combination. This hearty sandwich will not leave you with hunger pains, but it might just leave you wishing for one more bite.
Reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese takes the stage in this adaptation of a classic sandwich. Sautéed onions and peppers with a dash of adobo and chipotle chiles will make each fabulously indulgent bite anything but bland.
Fresh veggies coated in traditional Vietnamese flavors give this roast beef sandwich crunch. The signature crusty baguette that envelopes the filling offers the perfect contrast in texture.
Caprese Wraps with Chicken have all the components of a Caprese salad with the added protein of shredded chicken breast. All wrapped up in a multigrain flatbread, this hearty wrap is just as good on the go as it is when served in your dining room.
Our Sausage-Fennel Subs recipe is a finger-licking indulgence that won't leave you feeling guilty. On second thought, you might feel a little guilty that you didn't share it with anyone. With smooth provolone melted over sauteed onions atop chicken and sun-dried tomato sausage, who can blame you?
Forget the tartar sauce! These fish sandwiches pack in fresh flavors, requiring no high-calorie condiments. Pile the slaw on the Arctic Char, sandwich it between two halves of a Kaiser roll, and you might just have created your new favorite fish sandwich.
This sweet and decadent kiddie fave actually has a lot of nutritional benefit going for it. One 436-calorie sandwich provides 10 percent of a day's calcium and 4.6 grams of fiber, and is a good source of heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Also, it contains banana, strawberry, pineapple, peanut butter, honey, and chocolate. No wonder it received the Test Kitchen's top rating.
Mango chutney is more savory than sweet, with warm spices, onion, and vinegar. It adds a tangy note to the sandwiches, but you can omit it if you like. For extra toasty sandwiches, weigh down with a plate or heavy pan as they cook.
Transform deli roast beef from a mundane lunch staple to a dinner-worthy entrée with the addition of this garlicky broccoli rabe sauté.
Scooping out part of the bread in this simple version of pan bagnat allows for more tasty fillings and acts as a hull to collect flavorful tomato juices. Make breadcrumbs with scooped-out bread.
This quick five-ingredient entée transforms a favorite pizza combo into a melty grilled sandwich. To thinly slice fresh mozzarella with ease, freeze the cheese for about 30 minutes before cutting.
Fresh tarragon infuses this picnic-perfect chicken salad with lovely anise notes. However, feel free to separate part of the salad into a bowl before adding the tarragon for a couple of kid-friendlier servings.