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We eat a lot of sandwiches. They’re quick and they’re easy. But they get boring if we don’t get creative. Today, we’ll deconstruct a sandwich, give you guidelines, and sandwich suggestions that are not boring.

For me, a soup and salad or a soup and sandwich makes a great meal.  For lunch the other day, I made tuna on a whole wheat sunflower bread.  I used a mustard-based relish with my mayonnaise and it was terrific.  I use a relish with mayonnaise with most of my tuna sandwiches. If I have a few minutes, I’ll add a slice of cheese, spread a little butter on the outside slices, and slap it on the griddle until the cheese melt.

Sand 2If I can add soup or a salad to a grilled sandwich, for me that’s a nice meal.

Sandwiches can be divided into four component parts: Breads, spreads, fillings, and garnishes.  We will briefly examine each.


I like the bulk and body of homemade breads, the goodness without a ton of preservatives.  We have over 100 bread mixes or bread helper mixes to choose from.

Your choice of bread is largely a matter of preference.  You can use sandwich loaves in white, wheat, or rye.  You can use hearty hearth loaves of sourdough, peasant, or pumpernickel.  You can use dinner rolls or sandwich buns.

Sand 3The bread should be thick enough and firm enough to support the sandwich.  A meat sandwich requires more support in the bread than does a cheese or egg salad sandwich.  Some breads need to be toasted to be firm enough to support the filling. Grilling them provides a firmer sandwich with support.

There should be a balance in quantity between the bread and the filling.  Tight crumbed breads can be sliced more thinly than open crumbed breads.

The flavor of the bread should complement but not overwhelm the filling.  A rye bread with caraway works well with a Rueben sandwich but may be overwhelming for a mild filling.

We have a great selection of spicy and cheesy breads if you own a bread machine or make your own bread. My favorite grilled cheese sandwich is made on Cheesy Jalapeno Bread . Italian Herb and Cheese Bread is great too.


Spreads such as mayonnaise, salad dressing, or butter are fat based and provide a barrier against moist fillings.  Without those spreads, tomatoes or pickles could turn a sandwich into a soggy mess.  Additionally, spreads add flavor and moistness.

  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressing
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Guacamole
  • Jellies
  • Commercial sandwich spreads


Sand 4

You can put whatever you want on a sandwich from peanut butter to meats.  Meats should be tender enough that you can bite through them without tearing the sandwich apart.  Thin sliced meats, “deli-sliced”, are much more tender and make ideal sandwich fillings.

The filling is the star of the sandwich.  Once the filling is chosen, breads, spreads, and garnishes are chosen to accompany it.


Garnishes add flavor and moisture to the sandwich.  They can range from vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes to pickled peppers, such as:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Sprouts
  • Pickles
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Fresh, sliced vegetables
  • Dips and spreads
  • Sliced fruits

Sand 5

Featured Sandwich Recipes

Thanks for joining us.  We hope these suggestions help.

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About the Author

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon.

Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and five beautiful granddaughters.