5 Sandwiches You’ll Actually Want to Eat for Lunch

Upgrade lunch with these easy sandwiches featuring lunch meat, fresh produce and flavorful spreads.

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Everyone waits long enough for lunchtime each day, so shouldn’t the food be good? (Yes. It should.) Here’s a solution: Rather than bringing the usual sandwich or packing your kid the same old PB&J, try building some of these ultimate sandwiches. Bonus: All of the deli meat at Whole Foods Market is made without synthetic nitrates or nitrites.

Savory Turkey Sandwich

Serves 1
This easy take on a classic gets big flavor from spicy whole grain mustard and tangy pickled cabbage. Snipped chives are a fresher, brighter alternative to raw onion. You’ll need:

  • 2 slices sandwich bread

  • 1/2 tablespoon whole grain mustard, or to taste

  • 4 slices (about 3 ounces) sliced smoked turkey breast

  • 2 tablespoons pickled red cabbage

  • 3 or 4 snipped chives

Spread bread slices with mustard. Layer one slice with rolled turkey slices, pickled cabbage and chives. Top with remaining bread slice, mustard-side down.

Roast Beef Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Aïoli

Serves 1
This sandwich gets big flavor from a mix of smoky paprika and aïoli. Look for jars of aïoli in the condiment section or make your own easy version by whisking 1 small minced garlic clove with 1/2 cup mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon juice. You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons aïoli (garlic mayonnaise) or regular mayonnaise

  • Rounded 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 2 slices sandwich bread

  • 5 slices (about 3 ounces) sliced roast beef

  • Small handful baby arugula

  • 1/4 cup sliced roasted red bell pepper

  • Flaky sea salt, to taste (optional)

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)

In a small cup, combine aïoli and smoked paprika. Spread mixture on bread slices. Layer one slice with rolled slices of roast beef, arugula and roasted bell pepper and sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Top with remaining bread slice, aïoli-side down.

Tuna Sandwich with Radish and Lemon Mayo

Serves 1
Tuna packed in oil has a lot of flavor on its own, so you won’t have to douse it with a ton of mayonnaise. Better yet, this recipe uses lemon mayonnaise instead of the plain stuff for more depth. Lemon mayonnaise is available in the condiment section. Or make your own by whisking 1/2 cup mayonnaise together with 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. You’ll need:

  • 2 slices sandwich bread

  • 2 tablespoons lemon mayonnaise

  • 2 or 3 small butter lettuce leaves

  • 5 ounces wild albacore tuna in extra-virgin olive oil, drained and flaked

  • 1 scallion, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

  • 1 or 2 radishes, very thinly sliced

Spread bread slices with mayonnaise. Layer one slice with lettuce (press leaves down if needed), tuna, scallion and radish. Top with remaining bread slice, mayonnaise-side down.

Mozzarella and Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Pesto

Serves 1
A summer classic that’s great any time of the year: creamy mozzarella, a double-hit of basil from garlicky pesto and fresh leaves, and tender grilled vegetables. This sandwich is a good way to use up leftover veggies from a grilled meal, or pick some up from the prepared foods counter. You’ll need:

  • 2 slices sandwich bread

  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto

  • 3 thick slices (about 4 ounces) fresh mozzarella

  • 1/2 cup grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant or asparagus, cut in strips if large

  • Small handful basil leaves

  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

Spread bread slices with pesto. Layer one slice with cheese, grilled vegetables and basil, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired. Top with remaining bread slice, pesto-side down.

Ham, Cheddar and Avocado Baguette

Serves 1
Fiery sriracha mayo and avocado star in this update of your standard ham and cheese sandwich. Cucumber slices are an alternative to pickle chips. You’ll need:

  • 1 (4-inch) piece baguette, split

  • 2 teaspoons sriracha mayonnaise, or to taste

  • 4 slices (about 2 ounces) black forest uncured ham or slow-cooked ham

  • 1 slice (1 ounce) mild cheddar cheese

  • 5 thin slices cucumber

  • 1/4 avocado, sliced

  • Small handful microgreens or sprouts

  • Flaky sea salt, to taste

Spread baguette slices with mayonnaise. Layer one slice with ham, cheese and cucumber. Top with avocado, microgreens and remaining baguette slice.

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