Easy to prepare and oh-so comforting, a sandwich is the go-to lunch for millions of Americans. Don’t let your midday meal get as stale as week-old gluten-free bread. Pile on the flavor with these allergy-friendly sandwiches. They’re stuffed with healthy proteins, vibrant veggies and DIY spreads.
High-quality cured meat, like prosciutto or soppressata, makes a lunch sandwich extra-special. These have more flavor than standard deli meat, so you’re satisfied with less. Sauerkraut provides tang, as well as gut-healthy probiotics. The fig spread gives this sandwich a rich, sweet flavor nuance.
Sauerkraut Shopping List
Wildbrine Red Beet & Cabbage Sauerkraut
This tangy, crunchy mixture of beets, cabbage and pears loads your sandwich with gut-friendly probiotics.
Not every product sold by every company listed is gluten-free or allergy-friendly. Read ingredient labels. When in doubt, confirm ingredients directly with the manufacturer.
Gluten-Free Sandwich Perfection
Here’s how to create a great sandwich from the bottom up.
For a bigger shot of nutrients, look for gluten-free loaves made primarily with whole grains like brown rice and gluten-free ancient grains.
Mix & Match
No sandwich should be one-dimensional. Aim to hit a few different flavor points, like salty, sweet, sour and spicy, and multiple textures, like crunchy pickled vegetables and creamy spreads.
A Toast to Toast
Toasting adds a depth of flavor to gluten-free bread and acts as a moisture barrier that helps prevent soggy sandwiches. Toasting is particularly important if you’re assembling sandwiches ahead of time.
Top & Bottom
Slather condiments or sauces on both the top and bottom slices of your bread for a more even distribution of flavor.
Think beyond the deli counter for sandwich protein. Options include slices of steak, chicken and other uncured meats you’ve cooked yourself, as well as beans, high-quality canned fish and eggs (if tolerated).
Aim to stuff your sandwiches with deep-color vegetables, including dark leafy greens, red pepper, carrots and tomatoes. These low-calorie veggies are nutritional standouts, rich in disease-thwarting antioxidants.
Dress to Impress
For brighter flavor, toss greens like arugula and spinach with a splash of oil and acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) before placing them on your sandwich.
Slice of Life
To keep your sandwich contents (like ketchup) from dribbling out when slicing, use bamboo skewers to hold the sides in place and use a sharp serrated knife to cut the sandwich down the middle.
Make-and-take sandwiches should be wrapped to keep all the contents together. To create less waste for a more environmentally friendly lunch, wrap sandwiches in a reusable cloth napkin and secure them with string. Alternatively, use a store-bought sandwich pouch made with organic materials. Malleable beeswax wraps, made by companies such as Abeego, will wrap around your sandwich snuggly and can be easily washed and reused.
If heat-sensitive items like meat or mayonnaise are involved, be sure to keep sandwiches thoroughly chilled.
More Interesting and Delicious Sandwich Recipes
Contributing chef Matthew Kadey, RD is a registered dietitian and food writer. He is author of The Muffin Tin Chef (Ulysses Press), The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook (Ulysses Press) and Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure (VeloPress).Yields 4 sandwiches
- 1 cup dried figs, tough stems trimmed
- 1 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 8 slices gluten-free bread, preferably toasted
- 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 cup raw sauerkraut
- 1 cup sliced roasted red pepper
1Place dried figs and apple cider in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Place contents of pan, along with lemon zest and mustard, in a blender or food processor container and process until mixture is just slightly chunky.
2Toss arugula with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
3To assemble a sandwich, spread about a quarter of the fig mixture on 2 slices of toasted bread. Top 1 slice with a quarter of prosciutto, sauerkraut, roasted red pepper and arugula. Place second bread slice, fig side down, on sandwich and slice in half.
4Repeat with remaining ingredients to make three more sandwiches.