MyPlate-Inspired Healthy Sandwiches

Our favorite MyPlate-inspired healthy sandwiches take on a variety of shapes, unique forms, and combinations of ingredients to help you enjoy eating healthy.

Nutritious Sandwich Options

Photo: Randy Mayor

Nutritious Sandwich Options

Cooking Light is working with the Partnership for a Healthier America and USDA’s MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to thousands of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov. Find recipes at http://pinterest.com/MyPlateRecipes/.

Sandwiches present a great opportunity to combine protein, vegetables, fruits, and grains into one delectable dish in no time at all. So, whether it is a sandwich or wrap, try adding vegetables or fruit, as opposed to heavy, sodium-filled condiments, for an equally-desirable (and often times unexpected) texture and taste.

First up, get salty flavor without going overboard on sodium. One serving of our Chicken and Roquefort Sandwiches 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.

View Recipe: Chicken and Roquefort Sandwiches

Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi

Photo: John Autry

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.

View Recipe: Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi

Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches

Photo: John Autry

Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches

This Cajun-inspired catfish sandwich is served open faced and topped with a creamy slaw packed with fresh cilantro.

View Recipe: Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches

Hoisin-Glazed Salmon Burgers with Pickled Cucumber

Photo: John Autry

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.

View Recipe: Hoisin-Glazed Salmon Burgers with Pickled Cucumber

Lamb Burgers with Cilantro Raita

Photo: John Autry

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.

View Recipe: Lamb Burgers with Cilantro Raita

Grilled Tomato and Brie Sandwiches

Photo: Randy Mayor

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.

View Recipe: Grilled Tomato and Brie Sandwiches

Soy-Marinated Pork Sandwiches

Photo: Nigel Cox

Soy-Marinated Pork Sandwiches

There's just the right about of heat and sweet in these succulent pork sandwiches. Serve with a soba noodle salad.

View Recipe: Soy-Marinated Pork Sandwiches

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

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.

View Recipe: Italian Beef Sandwiches

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders

Photo: John Autry

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.

View Recipe: Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders

Open-Faced Eggplant Sandwiches

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Open-Faced Eggplant Sandwiches

Here's the key to a speedy dinner: While the eggplant broils, toast your bread slices in a toaster oven.

View Recipe: Open-Faced Eggplant Sandwiches

Tuna Salad Melt

Photo: John Autry

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.

View Recipe: Tuna Salad Melt

Slow-Cooked BBQ Fennel, Onion, and Pork Sandwiches

Photo: John Autry

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.

View Recipe: Slow-Cooked BBQ Fennel, Onion, and Pork Sandwiches

Bacon and Egg Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Arugula

Photo: John Kernick

Bacon and Egg Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Arugula

This upscale twist on the traditional breakfast sandwich features sweet, tender caramelized onion and peppery arugula. A fresh fruit salad would be a good accompaniment.

View Recipe: Bacon and Egg Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Arugula

Roast Chicken and Cranberry Sandwiches

Photo: Randy Mayor

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.

View Recipe: Roast Chicken and Cranberry Sandwiches

Open-Faced Prosciutto and Plum Sandwiches

Photo: John Autry

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.

View Recipe: Open-Faced Prosciutto and Plum Sandwiches

Chicken Souvlaki Pitas with Tahini Sauce

Photo: Levi Brown

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.

View Recipe: Chicken Souvlaki Pitas with Tahini Sauce

Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey

Photo: Randy Mayor

Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey

These grilled cheese sandwiches are equally good for breakfast or dinner. Mixing honey with the goat cheese makes it easier to spread over the cinnamon-raisin bread.

View Recipe: Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey

Our Homemade Quick Black Bean Burger

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

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.

View Recipe: Our Homemade Quick Black Bean Burger

Steak Sandwiches with Pickled Onion and Herb Aioli

Photo: Nigel Cox

Steak Sandwiches with Pickled Onion and Herb Aioli

Herbs, garlic, and lemon juice combine with mayo for a sauce that makes the sandwich.

View Recipe: Steak Sandwiches with Pickled Onion and Herb Aioli

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Jicama Slaw

Photo: Nigel Cox

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Jicama Slaw

This quick, simple, and delicious tilapia sandwich will satisfy your weeknight hunger.

View Recipe: Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Jicama Slaw

Open-Faced Chicken Club Sandwiches

Photo: John Autry

Open-Faced Chicken Club Sandwiches

This flavorful sandwich will add brightness to your day. Serve it with fresh seasonal citrus or other fruit.

View Recipe: Open-Faced Chicken Club Sandwiches

Beef, Orange, and Gorgonzola Sandwiches

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

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.

View Recipe: Beef, Orange, and Gorgonzola Sandwiches

Quick BBQ Sandwiches with Slaw

Photo: Brian Woodcock

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.

View Recipe: Quick BBQ Sandwiches with Slaw

Fried Egg BLT Sandwiches

Photo: John Autry

Fried Egg BLT Sandwiches

Opt for focaccia without cheese or herbs, and choose one that doesn't look oily. Serve with a fruit salad of 1 cup blueberries and 2 cups strawberries.

View Recipe: Fried Egg BLT Sandwiches

Grilled Farmers' Market Sandwiches

Photo: John Autry

Grilled Farmers' Market Sandwiches

The stack of grilled eggplant, red onion, and zucchini are quite a mouthful but still tasty to eat.

View Recipe: Grilled Farmers' Market Sandwiches

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro-Lime Mayo

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.

View Recipe: Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro-Lime Mayo

Smoked Mozzarella, Spinach, and Pepper Omelet Sandwiches

Photo: Randy Mayor

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.

View Recipe: Smoked Mozzarella, Spinach, and Pepper Omelet Sandwiches

Italian Meatball Sliders

Photo: Nigel Cox

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.

View Recipe: Italian Meatball Sliders

Fruity Tuna-Salad Pita Sandwiches

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

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.

View Recipe: Fruity Tuna-Salad Pita Sandwiches

Chipotle Chicken Cheesesteaks

Photo: John Autry

Chipotle Chicken Cheesesteaks

This sandwich packs in gooey cheese, smoky spices, and chunks of chicken for a comforting family-friendly dinner.

View Recipe: Chipotle Chicken Cheesesteaks

Italian Sausage Hoagies

Photo: John Autry

Italian Sausage Hoagies

The hearty filling of veggies and turkey sausage will get rave reviews from adults and kids alike.

View Recipe: Italian Sausage Hoagies

Mushroom Lentil Burgers

Photo: John Autry

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.

View Recipe: Mushroom Lentil Burgers

Shrimp Salad Rolls

Photo: John Autry and Randy Mayor

Shrimp Salad Rolls

Superfast and easy to make, these shrimp salad rolls are a great way to eat more seafood during the week.

View Recipe: Shrimp Salad Rolls

Melty Monsieur

Photo: John Autry

Melty Monsieur

Serve fruit with this kid-friendly take on the classic croque monsieur.

View Recipe: Melty Monsieur

Curried Pork Salad Wraps

Photo: John Autry

Curried Pork Salad Wraps

If you can't find lavash, try lower-sodium flatbreads or sandwich wraps.

View Recipe: Curried Pork Salad Wraps

Breaded Fish Sandwiches with Mint-Caper Tartar Sauce

Photo: Romulo Yanes

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.

View Recipe: Breaded Fish Sandwiches with Mint-Caper Tartar Sauce

Berkeley Veggie Burger

Photo: Christina Holmes

Berkeley Veggie Burger

Big-time flavors from blue cheese and horseradish make this burger delicious.

View Recipe: Berkeley Veggie Burger

Tomato and Feta Toasts with Mixed Greens Salad

Photo: Johnny Autry

Tomato and Feta Toasts with Mixed Greens Salad

Utilize summer's bounty in this superfast, super healthy open-face tomato sandwich.

View Recipe: Tomato and Feta Toasts with Mixed Greens Salad

Great Plains Burger

Photo: Christina Holmes

Great Plains Burger

King Corn governs the Great Plains and probably always will. This burger delivers deep corn essence two ways. The first puts a happy soul-of-corn flavor right in the patty: Corn chips are crumbled into lean, free-range bison meat. Then there's a sweet, creamy fresh-corn mayo that brightens the whole thing up. Charred onion bolstered by smoky chile pepper heats and a wild whiff of sage completes the roundup of prairie gusto. -Robin Bashinsky, Recipe Tester and Developer

View Recipe: Great Plains Burger

Grilled Turkey-Plum Sandwiches

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Grilled Turkey-Plum Sandwiches

This tukey sandwiches loses the bland cold cuts, and upgrades to thick turkey cutlets, sweet plums, and fresh basil.

View Recipe: Grilled Turkey-Plum Sandwiches

New England Turkey Burger

Photo: Christina Holmes

New England Turkey Burger

Surf-and-turf sings a New England tune: Stick a few hunks of Maine lobstah on a beef patty and call it a day. But beef and lobster don't really belong together in a bun. I wanted something simpler, more basic and true to the region where I spent my college years. Turkey is a healthy choice and the essence of New England tradition. Caramelized onions simmer in hoppy Sam Adams beer, while shaved Vermont cheddar adds tang and richness to the meat. -Hannah Klinger, Contributor

View Recipe: New England Turkey Burger

Pacific Northwest Burger

Photo: Christina Holmes

Pacific Northwest Burger

Salmon is sacred in the region, but don't grind it, please. No fish cake beats a fillet hot off the grill, nicely charred and glazed outside, almost sushi-tender within. Watercress—the peppery green I was eating way before arugula vogued in local markets—is quintessentially Pacific Northwest. Asian flavors are beloved, so the mayo is ginger-tinged. For crunch and tang, there's a quick pickle of fresh, thin-sliced radish. This luscious treat takes me right back home. -Scott Mowbray, Editor

View Recipe: Pacific Northwest Burger

Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon and Sriracha

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon and Sriracha

Look for precooked eggs, such as Eggland's Best, in the dairy section of the supermarket.

View Recipe: Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon and Sriracha

Greek-Seasoned Steak Sandwiches

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Greek-Seasoned Steak Sandwiches

Serve these hearty sandwiches with a side of crisp carrot and celery sticks and light ranch dressing for dipping. Make breadcrumbs with the parts of pita you cut off by pulsing in a food processor; freeze for a couple of months.

View Recipe: Greek-Seasoned Steak Sandwiches

Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Let veggies in on the grilled cheese action with this gooey sandwich recipe.

View Recipe: Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Meatball Subs

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Meatball Subs

These meaty, saucy, two-napkin sandwiches are destined for heavy dinnertime rotation.

View Recipe: Meatball Subs

Cheesy Chicken and Pepper Subs

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Cheesy Chicken and Pepper Subs

Serve with crunchy vegetable sticks, a simple tossed salad, or steamed green beans.

View Recipe: Cheesy Chicken and Pepper Subs

Chicken Salad Melts

Photo: Becky Luigart Stayner

Chicken Salad Melts

For a touch more sweetness, substitute halved grapes for the apple. You can also chop the apple and add it to the salad mixture.

View Recipe: Chicken Salad Melts

 

Lamb and Red Pepper Pita Sandwiches

Photo: Jason Wallis

Lamb and Red Pepper Pita Sandwiches

Folding feta into the lamb mixture adds a salty tang to the patties. Also, use a gentle hand when forming the patties so they keep their texture.

View Recipe: Lamb and Red Pepper Pita Sandwiches

Shorty Shrimp Po'boys

Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Shorty Shrimp Po'boys

Grab a shorty! Our smaller-scale sandwich is truly satisfying, especially with pickle chips and kale.

View Recipe: Shorty Shrimp Po'boys

Picadillo Sloppy Joes

Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Cindy Barr 

Picadillo Sloppy Joes

Turn this into a family-friendly meal and substitute diced green or red peppers for the pickled jalapeños. Whip up these Sloppy Joes in just 40 minutes by grilling the onions, toasting the buns, and preparing the salad all while the beef mixture cooks.

View Recipe: Picadillo Sloppy Joes

 

Mini Philly Cheeseburgers

Photo: Jason Wallis

Mini Philly Cheeseburgers

These cheesy sliders are a family-friendly hit and ready in just 20 minutes.  

View Recipe: Mini Philly Cheeseburgers  

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Photo: Randy Mayor

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

When a rich cheese mixture is slathered on whole-grain bread and sautéed in olive oil, the result is a glorious silky, ultra-cheesy sandwich.

View Recipe: Ultimate Grilled Cheese  

Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Photo: Randy Mayor

Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Soft, buttery avocado amps up the irresistible gooeyness of this grilled cheese. Tomato brings a bright, acidic contrast to the richness of cheese and avocado. Firm, ripe tomatoes will perform best--giving off some, but not too much, juice as the sandwich grills.

View Recipe: Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Sandwiches

Photo: Colin Clark

Grilled Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Sandwiches

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.

View Recipe: Grilled Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Sandwiches

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