Kristen Mendiola / The Daily Meal; Shannon Kinsella / food styling
There’s just something about biting into a perfectly made sandwich during summer that never gets old. Whether it’s perfectly pulled pork on a roll you spent hours cooking or a grilled cheese you threw together in minutes, sandwiches never go out of style.
The best summertime sandwiches come together quickly or at least with little hands-on time — nobody wants to keep the stove on for longer than necessary as temperatures swell — and have a refreshing yet savory element to them. While curating our list of the best summer sandwiches, we debated whether or not each sandwich qualified and came to the conclusion that if they’re served between two slices of bread or tucked into a hoagie, they were added to the list. Sorry, but tacos and hot dogs need not apply.
Lobster rolls (and really any lobster recipe) perfectly encapsulate the essence of summer. Made with mayonnaise and lemon juice and served cold, this classic Maine-style recipe tastes just like a perfect New England beach day. Just make sure you know how to cook lobster tails first.
Tuna salad is a timeless lunch option and a great thing to make when you don’t want to fire up the oven. But that doesn’t mean we need to settle for the same old mayo-celery combo. Get creative and incorporate new ingredients like jalapeno, avocado and arugula for texture and flavor.
OK, so burgers might not immediately come to mind when you think about sandwiches. But it’s summer, and no foodie’s summer bucket list is complete without at least one burger cookout. Bring a little pulled pork inspo to the ground beef burgers by coating them in a homemade barbecue sauce and topping the whole thing with coleslaw.
If you want to ride the burger wave sans the red meat, try these spiced turkey burgers. This recipe has it all. But the real star? The mango chutney with its delicate balance of sweet, spicy and fruity flavors.
These open-faced sandwiches are easy to make and are absolutely irresistible during summer. Warm brioche bread is topped with lime-tossed shrimp, creamy avocado slices and spicy homemade chili mayonnaise.
This jibarito sandwich takes just 35 minutes to make but frying the plantains will test your home-cooking skills. Once you’ve mastered that step, the rest is easy. Use the plantains in place of bread and pile the sandwich high with skirt steak, onions and lettuce.
Use a mild white fish like haddock, tilapia or cod for this spicy fish and slaw sandwich. Coat the fish in a rub of cayenne, paprika, thyme, allspice and garlic powder. Once the fish is cooked, pile your sandwich high with homemade coleslaw and—bam!—you’ve got a restaurant favorite you can make at home.
Let's be honest, egg salad can be hit or miss. If you overdo the mayo, it gets soggy. Not enough mayo and it's too dry and eggy. Luckily, here’s a combination everyone can agree on. Avocado makes the hard boiled egg mixture perfectly creamy and the sriracha gives it a notable yet subtle kick.
This copycat recipe takes inspiration from Panera Bread. Loaded with rotisserie chicken, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese and red onion, this dish is almost like a caprese salad in sandwich form.
Banh mi sandwiches are a popular street food in Vietnam and are typically served with an assortment of meats. This plant-based take on the sandwich is stacked with marinated mushrooms, cucumber, cilantro and jalapeno peppers, making it a great dinner option for vegetarians.
Tuna salad is perfect for active meal preppers — it can last in the fridge for up to five days. This rendition that uses Greek yogurt and avocado is a go-to for people who have an aversion to mayonnaise.
Black beans are a great heart-healthy food to add to your diet. And they make an amazing base for veggie burgers that can be mixed with quinoa, onion and red pepper. Make the sandwich vegan by forgoing the mayonnaise or using vegan mayo!
When the lunch recipe rut kicks in, BLTs are a tried-and-true option. Once you’ve assembled the bacon, lettuce and tomato, why not take it up a notch? Lobster adds a sweet and tender element that effortlessly complements the fatty, salty bacon and bright veggies.
On those really hot summer days, sometimes nothing hits the spot like a cold ham-and-cheese sandwich. Whether you’re going to the beach, planning a picnic or just lounging around the house, these meat-and-cheese sliders will satisfy your sandwich hankering.
These salmon cakes bring the flavor of your favorite seafood joint right to your kitchen. Serve them on a toasted bun with some guacamole and you’ve got a salmon cake sandwich in just 10 minutes.
Pears and blue cheese may seem like an odd flavor combination but they’re really just a play on the classic sweet-and-salty dynamic we’ve seen time and time again. Use hot pepper jelly to add a welcome heat to this unique take on grilled cheese.
Seafood rolls are ideal for summer dinner parties when guests are craving something light but delicious. Use sweet langoustine tails and canned lump crab in place of lobster to save on money and time.
Crab sandwiches may not seem like stadium food, but this one was created by Chef Taylor Park for T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners. Next time you’re tuning into a game, make this dungeness crab sandwich instead of your everyday nachos and sausages.
Like any good pulled-pork recipe, this one requires that you let the meat slow cook for eight hours. Make it the night before and by morning, you’ll have a week’s worth of dinner in the Crock-Pot.
An ELT is like a BLT, but with one obvious caveat — it includes eggs instead of bacon. It’s a welcome substitute if you’re vegetarian or someone that hates dealing with bacon grease. The perfectly cooked egg with a runny yolk gives the sandwich such a rich, buttery appeal that you won’t even miss the B!
Good vegetarian grilling can be hard to come by, but this grilled halloumi and veggie sandwich will fix that issue. Halloumi has a higher melting point than other cheeses and its slightly spongy texture is elevated when placed on the grill for a few minutes. Top it with mushrooms and bell peppers to tie the whole sandwich together.
Sesame oil and ginger give this grilled chicken sandwich an Asian-inspired twist. Pile it with lettuce, avocado and red pepper and you’ve already perfected one of our best grilling recipes perfect for summer.
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