Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun

Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun

Italian Beef Sandwiches
Italian Beef Sandwiches
Photo: John Carruthers

The temperatures are climbing, the birds are singing, and more and more Americans are flashing their COVID-19 vaccination cards on Instagram. Yes, readers, it’s springtime, and life may soon return back to semi-normal. (Assuming continual vaccination, social distancing, and masking efforts to stave off the dreaded virus variants.)

For a lot of us, semi-normal life means a gradual return to office culture—which means stepping away from our homemade pancake lunches and re-entering the realm of the portable feast. Enter the mighty sandwich, the two-handed nosh that offers salvation to office workers everywhere. But as we eventually ease back into cubicle life, we’re leaving the damp PB&Js and wilted lettuce wraps in the Before Times. And while we may still be weeks away from reuniting with our desk cacti, it’s never too early to start preparing. Read on for our favorite sandwich recipes for a low-effort, flavor-packed lunch or dinner.

Note to desktop users: If you’d like to view this story in a scrolling layout, you can narrow your browser window. You can also click “List Slides” at any time to see the full list and navigate to particular recipes.

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Chili Crisp Ramen Omelet Sandwich

Chili Crisp Ramen Omelet Sandwich

Illustration for article titled Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun
Photo: Allison Robicelli

Is it simply too unorthodox to kick off this list with a sandwich that swaps bread for... dried ramen noodles? You’ll be glad we did. This recipe lets you satisfy your craving for instant ramen, grilled cheese, and TikTok cooking hacks all in one tidy package that packs a flavorful punch and keeps you full all day long. Plus, you’ll have fun learning the folding and flipping techniques, and even if you mess up the first few times, the results will still be delicious. Get the recipe for the Chili Crisp Ramen Omelet Sandwich here.

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Iron Range Porketta Sandwiches

Iron Range Porketta Sandwiches

Graphic of porketta sandwich on cornfield background
Graphic: Karl Gustafson

Over time, Italian porchetta, which is made of pork belly and loin, became American porketta, a humble pork shoulder marinated with garlic powder and fennel seeds, slow roasted until it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender, shredded into fat chunks, and piled high on a crusty roll. Interested in a hearty luncheon? Get the recipe for Iron Range Porketta Sandwiches here.

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Homemade Italian Beef Sandwiches

Homemade Italian Beef Sandwiches

Illustration for article titled Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun
Photo: John Carruthers

As a Chicago-based operation, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include a recipe for a classic Italian Beef sandwich. At its core, the Italian Beef is a thin-shaved hot roast beef cooked with jus, sometimes served with giardiniera or roasted sweet peppers, slipped into a sliced French bread roll. The sandwich is then either splashed with or dunked in the beef gravy, depending on your preference. No matter how you prepare yours, Italian beef isn’t right unless you swipe a forearm across your juice-coated face at some point and go “mmmmmmmm.” Get the recipe for Homemade Italian Beef Sandwiches here.

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Bocadillo de Calamares

Bocadillo de Calamares

Calamari sandwich with shrimp
Photo: A.E. Dwyer

The bocadillo de calamares is a certifiable thing in Madrid, with several bars/cafes specializing in just that snack. It’s often consumed with a caña—or little beer. Channel the relaxed vibes of the country that invented siesta, and enjoy yourself: you’re about to eat one damn good sandwich. Just make sure you lean into the lemon aioli. With so few ingredients in this bocadillo, it’s a key feature. Get the recipe for Bocadillo de Calamares here.

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Chicken a la King Heroes

Chicken a la King Heroes

Chicken hero on blue background
Graphic: Natalie Peeples

Have a bit of history for lunch: this hero is adapted from the original recipe that was printed on the brochure for the long-gone Brighton Beach Hotel. The sauce is traditionally made with Sherry, but if you don’t have any on hand, another fortified wine like vermouth or Marsala will work perfectly. This is another one that works great for dinner, and then as leftovers for lunch. Get the recipe for Chicken à la King Heroes here.

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Schnitzel Schliders

Schnitzel Schliders

Illustration for article titled Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun
Photo: Stacey Ballis

If you love schnitzel as huge portions on a plate, you will also love smaller pieces of schnitzel on soft little buns with a schmear of sauce for an acidic bite and richness. Make them in large batches for parties or just as a little treat for yourself. Get the recipe for Schnitzel Schliders here.

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Fried Brains Sandwich

Fried Brains Sandwich

Crispy brains sandwich on fluffy bun
Photo: Dennis Lee

Fried brain sandwiches are a Midwestern specialty, with its epicenter in the St. Louis area. While they might sound off-putting, they’re actually custardy and extremely rich, with the satisfying crunch of the fry batter. Flavorwise, it’s a much milder version of liver. A sandwich this decadent doesn’t need extra fat like mayo, so you’ll want something acidic or crunchy—like a pickle, maybe a squeeze of lemon juice, or a squirt of mustard. You’ll be eating like a zombie in no time. Get the recipe for our Fried BBBRRRAAAIIINNNSSS Sandwich here.

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Snoop Dogg’s Fried Bologna Sandwich

Snoop Dogg’s Fried Bologna Sandwich

Illustration for article titled Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun
Photo: Gwen Inhat

We scored this recipe from Snoop Dogg himself, and it’s a doozy. The sandwich is really just an elevated grilled cheese, albeit one with three slices each of meat and cheese. But the frying technique pulled the whole thing together, and the barbecue chips added a welcomed crispy texture. But one word of caution: this meaty, carby sandwich does not make for the best workday meal, unless you can nap during your commute. Get the recipe for Snoop Dogg’s Fried Bologna Sandwich here.

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Hawaiian-Inspired Hot Dogs

Hawaiian-Inspired Hot Dogs

Illustration for article titled Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun
Photo: John Carruthers

Whether or not you consider a hot dog a sandwich, our assortment of Hawaiian-inspired dogs are each fantastic lunch options to enjoy on a lazy Saturday. Try our pineapple-papaya dog, lean into the funk of a Shiitake Furikake, or honor your inner bachelor with a Flamin’ Hot Funyuns-topped wiener. Get the recipes for our Hawaiian Hot Dogs here.

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Elvis Presley’s Peanut Butter-Banana-Bacon Sandwich

Elvis Presley’s Peanut Butter-Banana-Bacon Sandwich

Illustration for article titled Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun
Photo: Gwen Inhat

Elvis and his kitchen staff were definitely on to something with the inspired combo of salty and sweet, and textures both crunchy and smooth. Warmed-up banana is a surprisingly almost perfect fodder for crispy bacon, with the peanut butter functioning as a binding agent. You can see why the peanut-butter-bacon-banana trifecta has also been utilized in “Elvis”-branded everything from pancakes to ice cream. Get the recipe for Elvis Presley’s Peanut Butter-Banana-Bacon Sandwich here.

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French Toast Grilled Cheese

French Toast Grilled Cheese

Illustration for article titled Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun
Photo: Dennis Lee

This sandwich is one of the easiest things to cook in the whole world; in fact, this barely counts as cooking. It’s a recipe that any mother of picky kids can appreciate, and it might just help your own fussy eaters clean their plate at mealtimes. The sandwiches must be sliced into four triangles each, because sandwiches are at their maximum comfort level and deliciousness when they are eaten as tiny baby triangles. Get the recipe for French Toast Grilled Cheese here.

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Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Illustration for article titled Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun
Graphic: Jimmy Hasse

We’ve got two recipes for this classic sandwich: the iconic and much beloved version served up at Augusta National golf course each year during the Masters Tournament, and a slightly updated version with a bit more kick to it. The biggest difference between the two is that one leaves the Wonder Bread soft, while the other toasts it to add a little texture. Whatever your speed, we’ve got a tangy, cheesy sandwich for you. Get the recipe for Pimento Cheese Sandwiches here.

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Potato & Egg Sandwiches

Potato & Egg Sandwiches

Illustration for article titled Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun
Photo: Allison Robicelli

In Red Hook, Brooklyn, there’s a legendary sandwich shop by the name of Defonte’s. You could find potato and egg sandwiches in any neighborhood settled by Italian immigrants, but Defonte’s has the best one, and this recipe is an homage to its simple brilliance. It’s cheap, it’s filling, and best of all, it can be made by absolutely anybody regardless of their skill level. Make a big pan of these and save the leftovers for several meals in a row. Get the recipe for Potato & Egg Sandwiches here.

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Francesinha

Francesinha

Illustration for article titled Our best sandwich recipes make both lunch and dinner a lot more fun
Graphic: Rebecca Fassola

You could best describe Francesinha as a Portuguese croque madame. It’s two pieces of thick bread filled with interchangeable meats, pushed on a panini press, completely draped with cheese, and then topped with a thin sauce made from beer and tomatoes. This is a working-class European sandwich, and no matter which meats you choose or which modifications you make, it might just be the best thing you cook this year. Get the recipe for Francesinha here. 

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