Sandwiches tend to be dominated by routine. If it’s not peanut butter and jam, then it’s mayonnaise and cheese or ham and mustard. Why not switch up your usual lunch options with a few simple and delicious sandwich fillings?
These simple recipes are perfect for picnics, school lunches or dinner on-the-go. Here are a few reasons to switch up the traditional for one of these sandwich fillings:
They are packed with veggies, perfect for getting a bit of extra vegetables into your diet.
Make-ahead sandwich fillings make lunches super quick and easy.
You can serve them on bread, toast, with crackers or in a wrap. Or if you want to skip the carbs, place a spoonful of filling on a piece of lettuce for a lettuce wrap.
By avoiding processed meat and cheese or sweetened peanut butter and jam, you get to control how much salt and sugar goes into your food.
These three simple and delicious sandwich fillings can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to a week. Get your kids involved with dicing, slicing, measuring and mixing—and make lunchtime a breeze!
Creamy Chickpea Salad
This veg-packed chickpea sandwich filling is a vegan or vegetarian alternative to chicken salad. It’s easy and delicious. Chickpeas provide plenty of protein and fibre. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about keeping your sandwiches cool. Using vegan mayo means the salad won’t go off in your picnic basket.
1 can (400 g) of chickpeas
2 stalks of celery
1⁄2 red pepper
1 slice of red onion (about 1 Tbsp diced)
1 medium-sized carrot
3⁄4 cup vegan mayonnaise
3 Tbsp cucumber relish
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1⁄2 tsp paprika
Drain the chickpeas and add them to a large bowl. Mash them by hand or with a potato masher, until all the chickpeas are roughly broken.
Finely dice the celery, red pepper and onion. Finely grate the carrot. Stir the vegetables into the mashed chickpeas.
Add in the mayonnaise, relish, mustard and paprika. Taste the chickpea mixture and add salt, if needed.
Refried Bean Molletes
Mexican molletes are typically served as a grilled open-faced sandwich. The bread is toasted, the beans are warmed and the cheese is melted. If you’ve got the time, I recommend serving your molletes this way. Regardless, this sandwich filling is delicious, even if grilling isn’t part of your lunch routine.
If you’re short on time, skip making the salsa and use 1 cup of store-bought salsa instead.
2 Roma tomatoes
3 spring onions
1⁄2 bunch of cilantro
1 Tbsp lime juice
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 can (435g) of refried beans
2 cups of grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
To make the salsa, finely dice the tomatoes and spring onions. Wash the cilantro and finely chop the leaves. Mix them into the tomatoes. Stir in the lime juice and salt. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary.
To make open-faced grilled sandwiches, start by toasting the bread under the broiler. When both sides are toasted, spread a layer of refried beans and top with grated cheese. Broil until the cheese is fully melted, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately with the fresh salsa.
For a refried bean sandwich filling, stir salsa into the refried beans. It’s a bit messy, but delicious served in a tortilla or a sandwich topped with a few slices of cheese and a piece of lettuce.
Cheese and Coleslaw
My husband lived on cheese and coleslaw sandwiches while we were in Ireland. It was really his favourite “instant” lunch option. Most grocery stores had several coleslaw options and extra old cheddar cheese was always available. It’s a great way to pack a lot of raw vegetables into a sandwich and it’s delicious served cold or grilled.
If you don’t have time to finely chop or grate the vegetables, substitute with a packaged coleslaw mix. Really, the most important part of this sandwich filling is the cheese. Old or extra old cheddar is perfect with the tangy and crisp vegetables.
1⁄4 head of cabbage
1 medium carrot
1⁄2 green pepper
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp pepper
Finely grate or chop the cabbage, carrot and green pepper. Mix the vegetables in a bowl with the mayonnaise, parsley, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
The mayonnaise in the coleslaw provides all the necessary dressing for this sandwich. Make sandwiches with thick slices of cheddar cheese topped by a hefty serving of coleslaw.