Pinchin' Pennie$ in the Kitchen: 7 Steps to Creating a Sandwich

(FN1756, Reviewed June 2022)

Sandwiches are a quick easy meal that can be made anytime and be packed with anything you like, such as vegetables, protein, and fruit. This publication offers 7 steps to creating a sandwich as well as cold and grilled sandwich ideas you can make at home.

Lead Author
Lead Author:
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist
Other Authors

Allison Dhuyvetter, Dietetic Intern, NDSU (former)

Web only
Publication Sections

1. Choose a base for your sandwich. Place one slice of bread on a plate.

  • 2 slices whole-grain, rye, sour dough or 12-grain bread; whole-wheat sandwich thins; English muffins; bagels; pita pockets; or flatbread

2. Pick a spread. Using a butter knife, apply to one slice of your bread. You also can leave your bread dry and move on to the next step.

  • 1 tablespoon margarine, guacamole, basil pesto, mayonnaise or mustard

3. Choose one or two protein foods to place on top of your spread or base of your sandwich.

  • 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 ounces cooked fish
  • 2 to 3 cooked meatballs
  • 2 ounces cooked chicken, pork or beef
  • 1 scrambled, fried or chopped,hard-cooked egg
  • 2 ounces sliced turkey, roast beef or chicken
  • 2 ounces canned chicken, tuna or salmon
  • 2 ounces marinated/cooked or fried firm tofu

4. Add your favorite low-fat cheese (optional).

  • 2 tablespoons sliced, shredded or crumbled pepper jack, Swiss, mozzarella, cheddar, feta, blue cheese or dairy-free cheese options (soy)

5. Pile on fruits and veggies! Choose one or more.

  • 1 lettuce leaf
  • 2 thin tomato slices
  • 3 thin cucumber slices
  • 1 tablespoon black or green olives
  • 3 small pickle rounds
  • 2 to 3 slices white, yellow or red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 3 to 4 strips of red, green or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped banana peppers or jalapenos
  • 1 tablespoon chopped grapes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons pineapple chunks
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries or raisins
  • 6 banana slices

6. Place the remaining slice of bread on top and enjoy!

7. Or grill your sandwich. If your sandwich isn’t overflowing, you can spread olive, canola or vegetable (soy) oil on the outsides of both slices of bread and grill in a skillet on the stovetop until golden brown.

Quick tip: Thinly slice vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes to help prevent your sandwich from overflowing
and make it easier for you to eat.

Quick tip: Pack “wet” ingredients such as tomatoes, pineapple, condiments and salad dressings in separate
containers when making sandwiches that will be eaten later to prevent your bread from becoming soggy.
Add them right before you eat.







Vegetables or Fruit

Chicken Salad

Ciabatta roll

Plain Greek yogurt

Cubed cooked chicken and chopped pecans or walnuts


Chopped celery, chopped red grapes

Loaded Veggie

Whole-wheat sandwich thins


Roasted red pepper hummus

Crumbled feta cheese

Lettuce or romaine leaves, chopped red onion, cucumber slices, tomato slices

Cheddar and Apple

Whole-grain bread

Honey mustard

Turkey, ham or bacon

Sharp cheddar

Apple wedges

Roast Beef

Pita bread

Horseradish, mayonnaise

Roast beef


Onion, arugula, cucumbers

Fish Fillet

Whole-wheat hamburger bun

Tartar sauce

Breaded baked tilapia, halibut or cod


Shredded lettuce, shredded carrots







Vegetables or Fruit

Egg and Cheese

English muffin


Fried egg and turkey or lean ham


Sliced green peppers, onions, spinach leaves

Dessert Sandwich


Nutella or honey

Peanut butter

Crumbled feta cheese

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or banana slices

Italian Panini

Ciabatta roll


Salami or seasoned firm tofu


Red and yellow peppers


Sour dough bread

Basil pesto



Tomato slices, spinach leaves


Plain bagel

Mayonnaise or vegetable cream cheese



Lettuce, avocado, tomato

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist

Allison Dhuyvetter, Dietetic Intern, NDSU (former)

For more information about nutrition, food safety and health, visit this website: www.ag.ndsu.edu/food

For more information on this and other topics, see www.ag.ndsu.edu


NDSU encourages you to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license. You may copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this work as long as you give full attribution, don’t use the work for commercial purposes and share your resulting work similarly. For more information, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/agcomm/creative-commons.

County commissions, North Dakota State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. NDSU does not discriminate in its programs and activities on the basis of age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information,
marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off-campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to current employee, or veteran status, as applicable. Direct inquiries to Vice Provost for Title IX/ADA Coordinator, Old Main 201, NDSU Main Campus, 701-231-7708, ndsu.eoaa.ndsu.edu. This publication will be made available in alternative formats for people with disabilities upon request, 701-231-7881.