These sandwich alternatives are so flavorful, easy to make, and health-promoting, you’ll never want to go back to bland bread again! When we make mayonnaise ourselves, it only takes 2 minutes, but it makes sure we’re using healthy fats in our lunches.
Protein-based fillings are fast when we cook a little extra for dinner and then make our lunches from leftovers. The fresh vegetables used both as the ‘bread’ and fillings provide flavor, color, and health benefits for every meal. These bread-alternatives are very simple to make, and can be adjusted to what you have on hand.
Use the ideas below as a jumping off point for your own creativity!
1. Tomatoes Stuffed with Egg Salad
- Egg Salad (recipe)
Simple cut out the top of the tomato as if you were carving a pumpkin, scoop out the insides with a spoon, and stuff with your sandwich filling of choice. Here we use egg salad.
2. Hollowed Out Cucumber
- 1 Cucumber
- 1/4 cup filling (egg salad, etc)
Wash a cucumber, cut in half, and then slice the top 1/3 off. Use a tea spoon to scoop out the seeds, and fill with your filling of choice, egg salad used here but chicken salad, leftover meat, or even peanutbutter work well.
3. Grilled Portabello with Turkey
- 2 portabello mushrooms, grilled in a cast iron skillet with 1 teaspoon bacon grease or coconut oil
- Mustard and 2-minute mayonnaise
- salt and pepper (find salt and spices here)
- 2 slices nitrate-free turkey
- butter lettuce
Portabello mushrooms are sandwich-sized, and quickly grilling them brings out their mellow flavor. To grill, melt fat in a stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and rinse off any dirt. Once oil is melted, cook 2-3 minutes on each side, then remove with a spatula.
4. Apple Slices with Nutbutter
- 1 apple
The quick and easy re-adaptation of the classic PB&J, we just slice an apple crosswise, flick out the seeds, and spread with nutbutter. Top with another apple slice and enjoy!
5. Apple Slice with Bacon
- Apple slices, sliced crosswise
- 2-minute mayonnaise
- Avocado Slices
- Bacon (find bacon from pastured pork here)
A delicious apple salad in open-faced sandwich form, use apple slices topped with complementary toppings as a delicious and unexpected easy-to-eat meal.
Apple slices make delicious bases for open-faced sandwiches. Their sweet, yet neutral, taste complements all flavors- sweet to savory. These are also pretty appetizers that are sure to go fast at your next gathering.
6. Beef, Kimchi, and Bell Pepper Sea Weed Wraps
Who says we need to make sushi to use sea weed? This nutrient-dense sea vegetable sheet is available at higher-end grocery stores and makes a fantastic wrap with cooked (read: leftover) steak, probiotic-rich kimchi, and sliced bell pepper.
- Coconut oil or Bacon Grease
- Rib Eye Steak (find here)
- Nori Sheets (find here)
- 2-Minute Mayonnaise
- Orange or Red Bell Pepper
- Kimchi (recipe here)
In a cast iron pan, melt fat over medium-high heat and then sear the steak for 2 minutes on each side. Lower heat to medium-low and continue cooking until just pink in the center. Remove from heat. Allow to cool and then slice in thin slices.
Lay out nori sheets and spread the bottom 2/3 with a thin layer of mayo. Evenly cover the mayo with toppings, and then roll from the bottom up. Use a bit of water on the top edge to seal the sheet. Allow to sit for a minute, then slice in half diagonally.
7. BLAT (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato)
- Butter Lettuce
- 2-minute mayonnaise
- Bacon (find bacon here)
- Sliced Avocado
- Tomato Wedges
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper (find salt and spices here)
All the flavor of the classic sandwich, none of the carbs or allergens in bread. Lay out lettuce leaves, spread with mayonnaise. Top with cooked bacon, sliced avocado, and tomato wedges. Squeeze half a lime or a little bit of lemon over the wrap if packing, to prevent the avocado from browning.
8. Salmon Patty Wraps with Pesto
Spread a butter lettuce leaf with pesto, then add leftover salmon patty.
9. Simple Chicken Wraps
- Butter lettuce
- 2-Minute Mayonaise
- Sea Salt (find salt and spices here)
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- Cooked Chicken (leftover from making stock, or lemon pepper chicken is delicious)
- Yellow Mustard
This is just a classic chicken sandwich, in a lettuce wrap. Add pickles or kimchi for a probiotic boost.
10. Stuffed Avocados
- 1 Avocado
- Egg Salad or Chicken Salad
Halve avocado, remove pit, and then cross hatch for easy eating with a spoon. Top with egg, chicken, or tuna salad.