Fill your Lunchbox with Sandwich Ideas

Tired of PB & J? Has baloney worn out its welcome? Are you bored with the same old, same old? No wonder! Studies show that most of us use the same recipes and eat the same foods over and over again, bringing on boredom and dulled taste buds.

But convenience is no excuse. The sandwich has been around since 1762, which has given us plenty of time to come up with a few new ideas for lunch. Think outside the bag – the lunch bag, that is!
A sandwich is basically anything you can stick between two pieces of bread. You don’t have to stay with the traditional meat, cheese, condiment combo. Change things up: Add fruit. Try a new bread. Let your imagination run wild.

Check out our Lunch Box Recipes book for more help on packing kids lunches.
These sandwich ideas for kids and adults are sure to shake you out of your brown bag blues.

Fill your Lunchbox with Sandwich Ideas

  • Tuna salad on white bread is standard, but try it on toast with shredded carrots for crunch (and Vitamin A!). 
  • Almond butter with sliced banana packs a protein punch, but tastes like dessert.
  • Grilled cheese doesn’t have to be just American cheese. Try cheddar with sliced apples and grainy mustard. 
  • Another alternative to plastic-wrapped cheese is grilled Monterey Jack with thinly sliced pear. 
  • Grilled Swiss with avocado and sour cream. Yes, sour cream. If you can find alfalfa sprouts, they are great stuffed in here, too. 
  • Cinnamon raisin bread with leftover roast chicken is a surprisingly good combo. 
  • Ham with apple butter. Very autumnal and very tasty. 
  • Leftover turkey on cranberry nut bread. Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to try this one. 
  • Goat cheese and fig jam, which are both readily available at most neighborhood supermarkets. 
  • Leftover steak with fresh spinach leaves, fresh mozzarella and chipotle mayo. 

More Sandwich Ideas

  1. Hummus, tomato and diced cucumbers rolled up in a lavash (flat bread) or stuffed in a pita.

  2. Fresh mozzarella and raspberry jam panini. Mmmm. Warm and melty. Sweet and salty.

  3. Ham on a blueberry muffin. Kids love this.

  4. Leftover grilled chicken on a biscuit with American cheese, mayo and pickle.

  5. Leftover grilled chicken on a triple berry muffin with chipotle mayo. The berries and the chipotle play off each other nicely.

  6. Ham salad on an apple cinnamon muffin. Remember those apple cinnamon Jiffy muffin mixes? You can mix up a batch of “homemade” in minutes – for pennies!

  7. Roast beef and tomato on leftover garlic bread. Why not. It really is a good way to use up the brad and tastes amazing!

  8. Banana bread with Nutella. Warning: Nutella, a hazelnut-chocolate spread, is addictive. You may just eat the entire jar with a spoon.
Don’t forget that grilled sandwiches and paninis taste just as good cold. Anyone that is perpetually packing their lunch for budget-conscious or health-conscious reasons needs a little shake up now and then.

7 More Sandwich Ideas

  • Corn muffin with turkey, Monterey jack and jalapeno jelly. You can also use leftover corn bread.
  • Fill a wrap or a pita with ham and homemade pineapple salsa or sliced pineapple.
  • Give turkey lunchmeat a new lease on life with cream cheese and thinly sliced cucumbers on a toasted bagel.
  • For more bagel ideas, try using up leftover grilled vegetables from last night’s dinner and a smear of cream cheese.
  • Sliced tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella on a whole wheat English muffin with olive oil. Caprese fans unite!
  • Leftover beef or chicken stir fry rolled up in a wrap.
  • Leftover chicken with pesto on a bakery roll will make anyone want to brown bag it.

New recipes for sandwiches and ideas for lunch can help you reignite your taste buds and please your palate – and save money!

More Lunch Resources

Packing Kids Lunches
What to pack in your lunch
Beyond a Sandwich - Non-Sandwich Ideas