Having a healthy sandwich for lunch or dinner paired with produce is a great way to create a protein packed, fiber filled, balanced meal. With there being so many different types of bread (wheat, sour dough, whole grain, rye), protein (turkey, ham, roast beef, chicken), sauces and toppings your possibilities are endless! Let’s dive into what makes a sandwich a great staple to weekly menu planning.
Sandwich Bread Ideas
Flatbreads, pita bread, sourdough, sandwich bread, ciabatta bread, wraps, bagels, bagel thins, english muffins, lettuce wraps, and baguettes
When selecting bread for the perfect sandwich, think about what kind of taste and texture you are craving. Are you looking for crunchy/chewy texture? Maybe a baguette would be the perfect choice for you. Are you seeking a more sour/tangy flavor? Then maybe sourdough would appeal to your taste buds. Or if you’re prepping for the week, maybe think of an option that will last the whole week. The base that you choose will make or break your sandwich experience, choose options that appeal to your senses and leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Big fan of hot sandwiches and melty cheese, if you don't have a panini press you are missing out!
Sandwich Protein Ideas
Chicken thighs and breasts, skirt steak, flank steak, turkey, ham, eggs, pork loin, tofu, tempeh, portobello mushrooms, tuna, canned chicken, bean spread, beyond ground beef
Focusing on a protein source will help you meet your nutrition needs and keep you full longer. To make an “easy high protein sandwich,” you may want to opt for simple protein sources like deli meat or canned chicken or tuna. If you enjoy prepping your proteins for the week, you can do a tasty steak chimichurri sandwich, OR dupe chick fil a grilled chicken sandwich (you can now buy the chick fil a sauce at the store). If you have canned or shredded chicken on hand, my greek yogurt chicken salad is a winner!
Pro Tip: If you want fresh deli slices, try a meat slicer at home.
Healthy Sandwich Recipe Ideas:
Grilled Chicken Sandwich:
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Healthy Sandwich Add-On Ideas:
Sauces/dressings: tahini sauce, tomato marinara, pesto, chimichurri, chipotle mayo, ranch, chick fil A sauce, buffalo sauce, salad dressing, BBQ sauce
Adding in a sauce to your protein packed, flavorful sandwich is another way to make your sandwich appeal to your taste buds. You can use something as simple as ketchup, mustard, chick fil A sauce, or make your own (there are so many different options!). Whether you decide to use a rich tahini sauce or a refreshing pesto, make sure to keep it separate from your sandwich until serving to avoid the bread from becoming soggy and unappetizing. Ask yourself what you wish your sandwich had: a more sweet flavor, or savory? Pick your sauce from there!
Get your hands on some Chick Fil A Sauce:
Vegetable Toppings for Sandwiches
Tomatoes, bell peppers, avocados, lettuce, dried cranberries, pineapple, apples, bean sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, banana peppers, jalapeños, onions, sun dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes
Here is where you get the chance to make your sandwich rich with micronutrients, and fiber! Adding vegetables to your sandwich is a great way to get an extra serving of veggies in, and will add color to your meal. You know what they say, keep your meals colorful. The more color that there is in your meals means that you have a variety of phytonutrients. These nutrients have been shown to have powerful antioxidant abilities which are key to preventing heart disease, and cancer. So this is your sign to load up your sandwich with a variety of fruits and veggies. If you’re not a “veggie on your sandwich” type of person, you can always add them on the side in the form of a salad.
Don’t like veggies on your sandwich? Try an easy side salad:
Key Takeaways for How to Build a Healthy Sandwich
Sandwiches are incredibly easy, packed with nutrients, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time making them. Just pick your ingredients, prep them, and assemble as you go for a quick, easy, nourishing lunch/dinner for your week.
Focus on having a carbohydrate, protein, healthy fats and fiber packed veggies!
Change up your ingredients or style of a sandwich/wrap. Don’t hesitate to try new things or recreate dining out options.