Open-faced, grilled, or piled high with fillings―serving these sandwiches is no gamble.

Legend has it that the Fourth Earl of Sandwich concocted the first meat-on-bread meal in the mid-1700s so he could eat without having to leave the gambling table. The name stuck and so did the idea. Sandwiches are still quick to make, easily portable, and very easy to eat while otherwise engaged, which is why they're more likely to be found in your everyday lunch pail than at the blackjack table in Vegas. But there's no need to limit sandwiches to the noon hour. Serve them up hot and full of goodies, and you've hit the jackpot for dinner.

Tuscan Seared-Tuna Sandwiches, seasoned with reosemary, garlic, and marinated artichoke hearts, for instance, can be ready in just 16 minutes. Classic Monte Cristo Sandwiches, with their characteristic sweet-and-savory flavors, will satisfy even the hungriest and thriftiest appetites. The form is flexible, too―from open-faced Onion-Smothered Chicken Sandwiches that call for cutlery to meatless Eggplant-and-Portobello Mushroom Melts that you can eat like hamburgers. There are lots of choices, but the odds of picking a winner are in your favor every time.