15 best afternoon tea sandwich ideas
Put together an afternoon tea spread to impress with our best sandwich recipes and fabulous filling ideas. We've got classic flavours like cucumber and ploughman's with modern twists
Put together a mouth-watering assortment of sensational sandwiches for your afternoon tea spread. From delicate finger food to open-faced sandwiches, satisfying stacks and chunky rolls, we have something for everyone.
Get to grips with every part of your menu and select your favourites from our afternoon tea recipes to fill your plates. We have it all covered; from scones and sweets to savoury bites and drinks.
Top afternoon tea sandwich tips
- Getting ahead of the game with your sweet selection is a good idea, but don't assemble your sandwiches too early, as they will go soggy or dry out before you get the chance to sample.
- You can prepare any mixed fillings in advance and leave in the fridge until you're ready.
- Providing a meaty, veggie and a vegan option is the best way to cover all your bases.
- Mix up your presentation by providing open-faced sandwiches, stacked club sandwiches and delicately sliced finger sandwiches.
Best ever afternoon tea sandwich ideas
1) Cucumber and herb triple-deckers
Give the classic soft cheese and cucumber a facelift with a sprinkling of chives and refreshing mint flavour. With a couple of simple ingredients and some snazzy presentation, turn this standard sarnie into something special. Prefer to stick to the traditional? Try our soft cheese & cucumber fingers.
Find more inspiration on using cucumbers: perfect for salads, sandwich fillers and summery drinks. Check out our cucumber recipes.
2) Green club sandwich
You just can't beat a club. This hearty sandwich is chock full of creamy hummus, slices of avocado and sweet cherry tomatoes. With a handful of peppery rocket, this versatile veggie sandwich is filling and packed with texture. Try using red pepper hummus for a flavourful mix-up.
For more inspiration on stacked sandwiches, check out our club sandwich recipes.
3) Caprese sandwich
Load slices of pillowy focaccia with pesto, mozzarella, rocket, red onion and tomato. A super simple sandwich that involves no cooking, it’s a great crowd-pleaser – plus it’s vegetarian. Ideal for an afternoon tea or a lovely day out in the sun.
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For more great ideas on vegetarian suitable picnic foods, try our vegetarian picnic recipes.
4) Coronation egg mayo sandwiches
Combine two confirmed classics to create a sandwich worthy of any extensive afternoon tea selection. Bring the classic curry flavours to a traditional egg mayo and use Greek yogurt to balance out the korma paste spices.
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Make the most of this highly versatile and budget-friendly ingredient with our egg recipes.
5) Egg & bacon brioche soldiers
Bring some bold flavours to the plate with these chargrilled finger sandwiches. Inspired by brunch flavours, our crispy bacon and egg brioche sandwiches are charred to perfection and served with plenty of butter.
If you prefer to be more traditional and keep sandwich and brunch separate, try our brunch recipes.
6) Ploughman's scones
Feel like pushing the boat out? Fill freshly baked cheddar scones with slices of apple, your favourite chutney or pickle and a snippet of cress. We used apple, tomato and chilli chutney to bring some sweetness and a little heat to these golden scones.
Check out more scrumptious scone recipes.
7) Mini salt beef bagels
We love a sophisticated nibble that's substantial and full of flavour. These fiery salt beef bagels are ideal finger food, and really look the part on an afternoon tea stand. The combination of crunchy radishes, wafer thin salt beef, smooth crème fraîche and mustard is a winner.
Discover more fantastic finger food recipes.
8) Beetroot, hummus & crispy chickpea sub sandwich
Need a tasty, easy vegan option? Load a sub with homemade hummus, beetroot, chickpeas and salad to make this filling vegan sandwich. Devour it all when hunger strikes or divide into more dainty bites perfect for an afternoon tea.
Check out more vegan sandwich recipes or try our vegan afternoon tea recipes for the perfect plant-based afternoon set up.
9) Carrot and raisin sandwiches
Take some inspiration from a well-loved spring bake and turn it into a savoury sandwich with a dollop of hummus and some chopped mint. You can prep the filling the day before and leave in the fridge until you're ready to use. Both kids and adults will dive into these brilliant bites with gusto.
Check out more healthy recipes that kids will enjoy with our kids healthy lunch recipes.
10) Mozzarella meatball subs
Are you a fan of an excellent saucy burger? Why not try this tasty sub – a winning alternative filled with meatballs and mozzarella that melts as it cooks, all basted in a rich tomato sauce. A little messier to eat, but a tasty afternoon tea addition.
For other recipes using the mighty baguette as a base, try our baguette recipes.
11) Fish finger hot dogs
This twist on a classic fish finger sandwich will be an easy family favourite. Try Paul Ainsworth's trick of lightly salting the cod to firm it up before cooking – it's a game-changer.
For more family friendly fish recipes that don't break the bank, try our budget fish recipes.
12) Katsu sandos
Take some inspiration from Japan and try our cheat's version of the katsu sando. Pile crunchy, colourful slaw, crispy pork and a quick tonkatsu sauce onto white bread for the ultimate savoury treat. The textures and flavours are spot-on.
For more recipes inspired by Japan, try our Japanese recipes.
13) Panuozzo sandwich
These pizza inspired baguettes are a fantastic option for afternoon tea as they’re quick and easy to make. The use of homemade pesto adds a lovely personal touch and is extra flavoursome, plus it will trick guests into thinking these sandwiches are super impressive.
14) Steak & spring onion sandwich with miso mayo
This sandwich makes the most of miso, using white ‘sweet’ miso for the mayo and dark miso for the steak. It is rich in umami flavour. Place the filling on a lightly warmed, crispy ciabatta for a satisfyingly crunchy bite. For those heat heads, add a whole chilli to the miso mayo, and for those with a milder disposition, deseed and adjust as necessary.
Steak is a highly versatile ingredient, try our steak recipes for inspiration on different serving ideas.
15) Spiced prawn cocktail subs
These spiced prawn cocktail sandwiches are perfect for any afternoon tea or picnic. The mix of sweet and spicy from the mango chutney and curry powder is perfectly balanced, and you can assemble it right before serving for maximum freshness.
For more inspiration on how to enjoy prawns, try our prawn recipes.
Even more fab sandwich fillers inspiration
Want some simple filling options you can make with storecupboard ingredients? For a satisfying veggie option, try our cheesy apple slaw or a Marmite, cheddar and cucumber combo. Make a decidedly grown-up spread with our salmon smash or creamy smoked mackerel sandwiches.
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What's your favourite sandwich filling? Leave a comment below...
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