Simple, satisfying sandwiches are perfect for summer picnics and easy dinners, like this fried chicken sandwich that stars in our new menu. Read on for our best tips to take your homemade sandwiches to the next level, plus some of our favorite recipes to try this sunny season — minimal heat required.
- Match soft to soft and sturdy to sturdy. Use thin slices of bread for lighter ingredients like eggs, cheese and vegetables, and pair dense breads like bagels and baguettes for bolder ingredients that can stand up to them. Also, consider flavor profiles. A French-style sandwich with ham and butter begs for a baguette, and a grilled cheese is best on soft loaf bread.
- Pare down. You don’t always need two slices of bread — an open-faced sandwich can be healthier and more flavorful, as you can achieve a higher toppings-to-bread ratio. Too much bread? Dig out a little bit of the inside from a loaf or bun to make room for fillings.
- Give it some heat. Toasted bread tastes delicious, but it also gives some structure to soft fillings like egg salad or pulled pork. Even if you’re not toasting, it’s a good idea to warm the bread slightly so it’s easier to eat.
- Spice it up. Mayonnaise, mustard and pesto and herb spreads are go-tos. But to add flavor and change the style of the sandwich, play around with harissa, sriracha, smoked paprika and curry powder, too.
PROTEINS & TOPPINGS
- Keep it simple. Don’t feel the need to pile on toppings and meat; a little can go a long way. Choose high-quality fresh and cured meats, vegetables and cheeses, and you’ll be rewarded with the best flavor. Also, stick with a theme and just a handful of ingredients (more isn’t always better).
- Think texture. The interplay of different textures can make a sandwich. Chicken is relatively thick and sturdy, so it will benefit from a layer of gooey, melted cheese. Tender pulled pork needs a tangy crunch from slaw, and crispy bacon perfect contrasts with creamy avocado.
- Try new toppings. Don’t get stuck on the same lettuce, tomato and sprouts every time. Look for jarred items in your refrigerator like roasted peppers, relish or chutney, and sundried tomatoes. Play around with different vegetables, like a variety of greens or grilled squash and eggplant.
When it’s time to assemble, the order of ingredients matters. Keep condiments and cheese close to the bread, and looser ingredients that need containing on the inside. You’ll have a perfect bite every time.
This classic combo has staying power, thanks to thick, juicy tomato slices, crunchy bacon and buttery avocado.
|Nicoise Salad Sandwiches
Take the components of a traditional Nicoise salad — tomatoes, tuna, olives and hard-boiled eggs — and turn them into a satisfying sandwich for a lunch on the patio.
|Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Slow-roasting a tough cut of pork in the oven yields fall-off-the-bone tender meat, perfect for an old-fashioned barbecue sandwich. Don’t forget the coleslaw for a little crunch.
|Smoky Steak Sandwiches with Peppers and Onions
Use your grill to cook every part of these sandwiches, filled with juicy steak, bell peppers, red onions and provolone cheese.
Bring sandwiches to the brunch table with this combination of herbed cream cheese, sliced vegetables, smoked salmon and toasted bagels. Line everything up and let guests assemble their own.
This warm, cheesy sandwich is piled high with deli staples like corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, and creamy Russian dressing.
|Egg Salad Sandwiches
One bite from an egg salad sandwich can take you back to childhood. To bump up the fresh flavors, play around with different herbs like tarragon and chervil.
|Grilled Meatball Sandwich
This beefy, saucy sandwich can get a little messy, but that’s part of the fun. Arugula pesto makes a tangy, peppery contrast to meatballs.
|PB & Banana Sandwiches
This variation on the PB&J trades in sliced bananas and honey for grape jelly. It’s a perfect choice for a lunch box.
|Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Crispy bacon strips, two kinds of melted cheese, and a quick sear in a fry pan take this sandwich to the next level.