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Simple Summer Sandwiches

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, June 29, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

Whether it’s grown-up grilled cheese, halvies for your half-pints or picnic perfect pita pockets, mastering sandwich-making is a must if you want to keep meals simple but flavorful this summer. This is the time to incorporate seasonal stars like strawberries, cucumbers from the garden and grilling greats like summer squash, portabello mushrooms and swordfish.

Think outside of the lunch box too; sandwiches can make an easy and delicious dinner for the family or be served buffet-style for a crowd. Read on for a chance to share your favorite sandwich and be entered to win a $50 Whole Foods Market® gift card.

Here’s a hot tip for this season: save leftovers from the grill for easy sandwich solutions. (Whipping up new tasty creations with what’s on-hand has led to some of my all-time favorite sammies.) Take a look at these five simple sandwiches that really stack up without piling on too much time or cost if you use what you have handy.

  • Pita + hummus + grilled peppers + olive tapenade
  • Sourdough + bacon + lettuce + avocado + tomato
  • Flatbread + slices of chicken breast + buffalo sauce + blue cheese + julienned celery
  • Kaiser roll + grilled fish + coleslaw + pickled onions
  • Ciabatta + slices of grass-fed beef steak + grilled onions + feta crumbles

If you’re sandwiched between saving time and money and going all out on flavor this summer, grab these go-to recipes for stackables, wraps and pitas.


The Great Sandwich Stack-Up How does your homemade sandwich stand up to your neighbors’? Share your favorite way to build a super sandwich in the comments now through August 31 and be entered to win a $50 Whole Foods Market® gift card. The fine print: No purchase necessary.

Promotion ends August 31, 2012, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.




Darin Mecher says ...
My favorite homemade sandwich is as follows: Honey Oat Wheat Bread Hickory Smoked Lean Turkey Breast Harolds (or alternative) Spicy Pickle Slices (Dern hot!) Pepper Jack Cheese Slice Mustard I call it the "Tiki Room Turkey" sandwich.
06/29/2012 8:20:33 PM CDT
Daniel says ...
I have two go-to special sandwiches for when I get sick of the simple meat-and-cheese-on-storebought-bread-slices type of sandwich. - Curried tuna salad with apple and raisins, some sprouts, shredded carrot. Serve it on some homemade bread (I like focaccia). - Get a loaf of crusty bread (or for single serving, a toasted onion roll). Spread one side with mayo, the other with honey mustard. Fill it with slices of Tofurky or lean turkey/chicken, cheese is optional, spoon in some stuffing and cranberry sauce, serve it warm with honey mustard or gravy for dipping.
06/30/2012 6:51:04 PM CDT
nik says ...
My favorite super summer sandwich is a marinated and grilled portobello piled high with fresh crunchy cucumber slices and tomato slices, swiped with fresh pesto, all on a giant seed-kissed grill-crisped whole grain bun! Cheers!
07/01/2012 4:44:30 PM CDT
Talia says ...
My favorite summer sandwich is a simple one: whole grain bread, baby spinach, sliced avocado, squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, and sunflower seeds.
07/01/2012 11:44:48 PM CDT
Marianna says ...
I love making pesto chicken paninis with homemade pesto and tomatoes fresh from the garden.
07/02/2012 8:21:06 AM CDT
Shelly says ...
This is a great breakfast sandwich or snack sandwich. Toast whole wheat bread and spread with peanut butter. Grate a granny smith apple over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon. Yum!
07/02/2012 3:20:07 PM CDT
j.J says ...
Favorite sandwich starts with homemade potato bread. Then a garlicy caesar dressing as the condement. Whole Foods herbed roast beef from the deli case. Havarti cheese slices. Then some greens such as spinach or brocolini rabe or mustard greens or swiss chard. Served slightly toasted in a pan with butter. Yum!
07/02/2012 3:20:23 PM CDT
Kristen M. says ...
My kids love pressed sandwiches - we add pesto and fill the sandwich with quality meat and cheese (kid's favorite is provolone) from the deli. I don't mind splurging for good meat and cheese since the meal itself is economical. Sandwiches are great because they can be personalized. I like to add extras from the garden - fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs. My 2nd favorite sandwich is chicken salad using leftover roasted chicken. Mix together plain yogurt, chopped cold chicken, grapes, and nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans all work great). Season to taste and serve on a buttery croissant roll or fresh baked bread.
07/02/2012 4:08:25 PM CDT
Kat says ...
Tofu strips seared with sesame oil and garlic Shredded carrots Baby spinach Salt and pepper Tomato Wrapped in a tortilla with veganaise (olive oil kind)
07/02/2012 4:18:50 PM CDT
jessica B. says ...
chickpea salad (mashed chickpeas, goddess dressing, tahini, vegan mayo, celery, kelp flakes) on sourdough bread!
07/02/2012 4:27:26 PM CDT
Melinda says ...
I love a dressed up BLT in the summer - Toasted rosemary sourdough bread, mustard, tomatoes, bacon, baby spinach, sprouts, and havarti cheese. Yummy!
07/02/2012 4:40:52 PM CDT
Katherine says ...
My favorite sandwich is super simple. Slice a whole wheat pita in half and spread whole foods jalapeno hummus on both sides. I then layer sliced cucumber, red onion, green bell pepper, grated carrots, and spinach. And no sandwich would be complete with out a side of chips!
07/02/2012 4:43:16 PM CDT
sheri says ...
My 17 year old loves this one, sourdough bread spread with a basil pesto-mayo mixture (just mix basil pesto with mayo)( whole foods healthy mayo of course), put on sliced turkey meat, tomato and sweet onion slices, a slice or two of cheese (we used Havarti) Then put it in the oven until golden brown and melted.( Oven at 400 for 5-8 min or till melted.) Sprouts, spinach, and avocado can be added after it is melted. This is an amazing, extremely tasty and so easy sandwich!!
07/02/2012 5:50:27 PM CDT
Stephanie says ...
One of my favorite simple sammies is: Grilled chicken - cubed pesto grape tomatoes shredded parm mix it all together and stuff it into a toasted pita. Yum!
07/02/2012 8:47:42 PM CDT
Eric says ...
Okay, I got this! Yes! So, first thing's first, you gotta have your favorite bread...I use Black Olive and Rosemary Bread Slices, which is great toasted and dipped in your favorite pasta, too! Anyway, spread liberally across that favorite bread some Organic Spectrum Mayonnaise. Sometimes I spread a little pesto, too, but that's if I'm really feeling like a treat. Next, stack 2-3 leaves fresh Romaine Lettuce. Then grab a Handful of Sprouts and throw em' on there, any kind...my homegrown ones are the best! (Find a cheap indoor sprout grower, you won't regret it) On top of the lettuce and sprouts stack a few slices of your favorite nitrate-free Turkey. I like Applegate's Organic Herb, but you know, smoked is good too. Add a Halve Red Bell Pepper instead of or in addition to the Turkey Meat. Then add 2-3 thick slices of a Vine Ripened Cluster Tomato. If you're out, slice Halve an Avocado. Or both, depending on how big you want to stack it! Tomato and Avocado slices also fit nicely into the Halve Red Bell Pepper if applicable. Crack Pepper and Sea Salt over the Tomato/Avocado slices. You're done! Mmmmm...I think I'm going to go make one right now!! In Summary: Black Olive and Rosemary Bread Slices (or your favorite) Organic Spectrum Mayonnaise Pesto (optional) 2-3 leaves fresh Romaine Lettuce Handful of Sprouts Turkey Slices (Applegate Organic Herb, or your favorite) Halve Red Bell Pepper (instead of or in addition to the Turkey Meat) 2-3 thick slices of a Vine Ripened Cluster Tomato Halve an Avocado (instead or in addition to the Tomato Slices) Cracked Pepper Sea Salt :)
07/02/2012 10:48:02 PM CDT
Sarah says ...
All time favorite picnic sandwich = Mom's Sit Sandwich! Combine all of the following ingredients, wrap it in saran, and sit on it to combine the flavors and flatten the sandwich. 1 large round loaf Sourdough Bread (cut in half horizontally & hollowed out) marinated artichoke hearts mayo sliced tomatoes thinly sliced salami thinly sliced turkey breast sliced provolone cheese 1 can sliced ripe black olives, drained 1 red onion, thinly sliced
07/02/2012 11:41:50 PM CDT
Stephanie S says ...
Smith Portobello Tastebud Explosion: Delicious toasted bread (whatever is on hand) Carmelized red onions & sauteed portobello slices (finished off in cooking pan with balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper) Provolone or swiss cheese (melted on top of red onion and portobello in pan) Pesto (or any herb spread) and a smidge of organic mayo smeared on toast Fresh greens of any kind (baby romaine, baby spinach, sprouts) Build that delicious baby and voila!! Sooooo good that even big meat eaters are satisfied.
07/03/2012 8:07:01 AM CDT
keith says ...
No matter the season, a well-made Reuben prob tops my list: Turkey Pastrami / Emmi Swiss / Kraut / Grain Mustard (OK, so it's not a real Reuben because i don't add Thou Isle dressing). In lieu of that, i'd go with Almond Butter and fresh figs in a homemade oat or buckwheat crepe.
07/03/2012 10:01:29 AM CDT
Mary says ...
Grilled veggies, such as, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant and red bell peppers on a baguette with mozzarella (or any melting cheese) is a favorite. And, as said above, BLTs are always good, especially when the tomatoes are in season.
07/03/2012 7:55:07 PM CDT
Judith Cooney says ...
My favorite breakfast sandwich is: 2 Slice toasted low sodium ezekial bread 2 Tbls fresh ground honey roasted peanut butter 1 Tsp wheat germ sprinkled on top 1 Tsp flax meal sprinkled on top Ground Cinnamon on top (as desired - more or less - I like lot) 1/2 sliced banana on top of that drizzle organic orange flower honey on top. Can cut in half and use one piece of bread.
07/04/2012 1:31:32 PM CDT
Tiffany says ...
I love to have my homemade brioche breakfast sandwich for breakfast! It's fairly simple: thick slices of homemade brioche, lightly buttered, sandwiching eggs, gruyere cheese, tomato and cucumber slices.
07/04/2012 7:44:21 PM CDT
lucy says ...
My favorite homade sandwich is: grilled turkey breast red onion tomato spinach on whole wheat bread with a drizzle of olive oil then put on the panini press!
07/05/2012 11:45:48 AM CDT
becca says ...
My favorite homade sandwich starts off with a fresh baguette.I add swiss cheese, mixed variety of grilled vegetables and of course, sliced salami!Just a quick buttering then off to the panini press!
07/05/2012 11:50:49 AM CDT
Monica says ...
I can't believe nobody's used cilantro yet (course I do also realize cilantro might not be on YOUR favorite list...gasp!!) My fab sammie is a version of the Vietnamese bahn-mi: crusty baguette portion (halved horizontally), mayo & a drizzle of srichacha sauce on both halves, cuke slices (fairly thick ones), meat is optional-I like chicken-can also use your favorite hummuamigos with a mix of shredded lettuce (romaine pers. fav) & shredded carrot tossed with a tsp of rice wine vinegar & about a tblsp of sweet chili sauce, & then top with fresh cilantro (I trim off most of the stems)--how much is totally up to you (I probably use a handful for a 6" bread section). That's it!! Tastes fresh & summery to me. You have GOT to try one :-D
07/05/2012 1:38:01 PM CDT
Monica says ...
Just saw my post-in-limbo. Can I just say that I don't remember typing in some of that info? Am giving credit 4 the weird to auto-correct and/or smart phone small keypad...really! I SWEAR it wasn't me, Mom!!
07/05/2012 1:43:16 PM CDT