Celebrate National Sandwich Month with the Perfect Fillings and Toppings

August is National Sandwich Month and we’re sharing our favorite insights on how to revamp the ordinary lunch staple into a bite-worthy masterpiece.

Choosing a bread

Making great sandwiches starts with the foundation – whether it’s a crusty roll, whole wheat bread, a flavored flatbread, or any other bread base – the options are almost endless. Whatever makes your tastebuds tingle will be a great start for the fabulous fillings that go in between. Your bread doesn’t always have to be whole grain, either – the recent US Dietary Guidelines 2020-2025 recommends that half of your daily grains be whole grain and the other half refined grains. So enjoy that grilled cheese on a sourdough bread, a turkey sandwich on a multigrain roll, or a pizza on a flat bread. By choosing a variety of breads, you are providing a variety of nutrients such as folate, iron, B vitamins, and much more while creating a more delicious eating experience for everyone. 

The fillings

Are you a typical bread, meat, and cheese person, or are you do you have more gourmet taste? Do you have an adventurous palate or stick to the basics? Take all of these into consideration when “building a better sandwich.” The fillings, sauces, and toppings on your sandwich are what will keep bringing you back for that second bite. If you want to amp up your toppings, get creative with cucumber slices, cantaloupe ribbons, goat cheese or other cheese alternatives, or garnish with a bunch of arugula or fresh herbs. Other nutrient-conscious options include

  • substituting mayonnaise for avocado spread
  • make your own patties with bean, veggies, or lean ground turkey
  • whip up a homemade signature sauce.

The endless options of healthy toppings and fillings can add flavor, texture, and a bundle of nutrients.

Pairing flavors and textures

Sandwiches are versatile and provide a mixture of textures (crunchy, creamy, crispy, tender) and tastes (salty, sweet, savory). Consider adding nuts, fruits, or experimenting with sauces to create a one-of-a-kind flavor palate for your sandwich. Vegetables are also a great addition to sandwiches for added crunch, and since there is a veggie consumption deficit in this country, we need to take all opportunities to eat more.

Opt for In-Season Produce

The seasons are a great guide to follow when looking for perfect flavor and texture pairings and at more affordable prices.

  • For summer, consider adding fruits and veggies like sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, and strawberries.
  • In the fall, adding pears, brie cheese, and arugula to a turkey sandwich can bring a great crunch and hearty flavors. 
  • A saucy hot meatball sandwich sounds good in the winter but keep it to a smaller portion to leave room for a refreshing side salad.

Check out our video for more, great sandwich hacks. Happy National Sandwich Month!

The above information was contributed by Stacey Krawczyk, MS, RD, and Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, RD