Sandwiches are the epitome of convenience, but their simplicity often leads to uninspired creations. If you're eager to elevate your sandwich game, you're in the right spot. Explore our top 10 tips for crafting unforgettable sandwiches and unleash your creativity to craft culinary masterpieces.


For more inspiration on what to put in your sandwich, check out our easy sandwich filling ideas, sandwich fillings for kids, and our best-ever vegan sandwich recipes.

1. Build your sandwich intentionally

Two pastrami sandwiches on top of each other on a plate pierced with a toothpick with a gherkin and pickled onion

Mastering the art of sandwich assembly is a form of “sandwich science.” Thoughtfully layering your ingredients ensures that each component shines, delivering flavour and texture with every bite.

Here's a suggested layering technique from bottom to top:

  • Begin by spreading your condiments on the bottom slice of bread
  • Layer the densest vegetables, such as pickles, followed by lettuce and tomato
  • Add the cheese
  • Place the meat
  • Finish by spreading another layer of condiments on the top slice of bread

The condiments provide a sturdy base for the vegetables, preventing them from slipping out. Meat and cheese complement one another, so it makes sense for them to be next to each other. Plus, positioning the condiments with the meat ensures their flavours meld together.

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Of course, there are other layering techniques. Some may prefer to intersperse the vegetables throughout the sandwich or position lettuce as a garnish on top – it comes down to personal preference.

Listen to our podcast on our food team’s favourite ways to construct a Christmas sandwich.

2. Try different types of bread

Two loaves of sourdough bread next to a ramekin of butter

While certain breads pair well with different fillings – like smoked salmon & cream cheese on a bagel, or a cheese & ham toastie using sourdough – the key to a satisfying sandwich lies in using a bread you enjoy. Focaccia, with its robust texture and olive oil-infused flavour, is a standout choice for sandwiches, particularly when paired with Mediterranean ingredients like mozzarella, tomato or charcuterie meats. For picnics, opt for loaf that travels well, ensuring wetter ingredients are placed away from the bread to prevent sogginess.

If you’d like to try your hand at making your own loaf, read our guide on all you need to know about bread, before diving into one of our easy bread recipes.

3. Incorporate sauces and spreads


Condiments such as mustard with ham or chutney with cheese enhance the flavour of a basic sandwich. Not only are they inexpensive, they also have a long shelf life. You can easily whip up homemade versions, too.

Here are a few of the best sandwich condiments you might like to try:
Mayonnaise or garlic mayonnaise
Dijon mustard
Quince jelly
Barbecue sauce

Explore condiment options to elevate your sandwich game. Try one of our chutney recipes to infuse sweetness into your traditional cheese sandwiches. If you prefer something sweet, like the classic peanut butter and jam combo, why not craft your own homemade jam?

4. Layer the vegetables

Pickled cucumbers in a jar and mug next to a slice of sourdough topped with sausages and the pickles

While the ham & cheese sandwich is a classic, don't overlook the pivotal role of vegetables in crafting an exceptional sandwich. Whether you opt for pickled cucumbers with dill & spice or the savoury sweetness of caramelised onions, incorporating vegetables adds something more refreshing to your sandwich.

Samuel Goldsmith from our cookery team says, "I love using ripe tomatoes in a sandwich as it adds such a fresh flavour. I don’t love it when the tomato juice makes the bread soggy, though, so I try to put it in between two fillings and not next to the bread."

Embark on a culinary adventure with our collection of vegetarian sandwich recipes, featuring flavourful meat-free fillings. Explore pickle and coleslaw recipes to add to your everyday sandwiches.

5. Use quality ingredients

Man behind a deli counter serving a female shopper

Prioritise high-quality ingredients within your budget, such as vine-ripened tomatoes, particularly when they're in season. Remember, quality ingredients can elevate a simple sandwich, so you won't need lots of ingredients to make your sandwich taste better.

Use our helpful seasonal calendar to know when ingredients are at their best.

6. Try new pairings

Elvis sandwich

When selecting toppings for your sandwich, consider how they harmonise with each other in both taste and texture. You might have heard of a peanut butter and banana combo, but have you tried an Elvis sandwich, which adds the salty tang of bacon into the mix?

Samuel Goldsmith from our cookery team's favourite pairings:
Ham & cheese
Monte Cristo
Cheese & pickle
Brie & cranberry
Bacon & chicken
Cuban sandwich
Egg & cress
Cream cheese & cucumber
Smoked salmon & cream cheese

Discover more pairings in our collection of sandwich recipes.

7. Get creative with your cheese


Expand your cheese horizons beyond mild cheddar and try soft or pungent varieties. Trade in ordinary supermarket slices for exquisitely aged selections that elevate your sandwich.

Our resident cheese aficionado and magazines editor, Keith Kendrick, shares his expertise on leveraging cheese to its fullest potential in sandwich creations. "Toasties are the way to go. Use a good bread – sourdough is ideal – not the pre-packaged, pre-sliced cotton woolly stuff you find in supermarkets. Then, choose your cheese. Hard or semi-hard that are great melters, such as cheddar, lancashire, red leicester, cheshire, gouda and Alpine-style cheeses. One of the best melters, used by Matthew Carver, owner of The Cheese Bar and The Cheese Truck, is Ogleshield. Then, the rest is limited only by your imagination. Matthew’s book The Cheese Life (co-authored with Patrick McGuigan) includes toastie recipes for cheddar, raclette & onion; brie & mushroom duxelles; Lancashire, chorizo & jalapeno salsa; red leicester, ham & chilli jam; and the adventurous stilton, back & pear chutney. The method for all is simple and straightforward: brush one side of each bread slice with melted butter; flip the slices over and assemble your filling on the unbuttered side; place the sandwiches in the pan, buttered-side down; cook for 3-4 mins, pressing down with a spatula; flip the sandwiches and cook for a further 3-4 mins until the cheese is oozing."

Explore a range of healthier cheese options with our guide to the top healthiest cheeses. If you're a fan of melted cheese and its culinary magic, dive into our selection of the top melted cheese recipes.

8. Pile on the meat

Ham, turkey and cheese toasted panini

Opt for thinly-cut slices of meat to maintain a balanced handheld meal. Thick slabs of ham or turkey can overpower the sandwich's delicate balance.

Thinly cut slices allow for the inclusion of multiple meat varieties, adding depth to your sandwich experience. For instance, in our Monte Cristo sandwich or Cuban sandwich. While thick-meat cuts have their place, particularly in our crispy chicken & smashed avocado baps, opting for thinly sliced varieties often has a better result.

9. Add a little sweetness

Jar of chilli jam with a teaspoon balanced on top

Try sweet and spicy chilli jam in your sandwich, which pairs beautifully with mature cheddar or thick-cut ham. Elevate your meaty fillings by marinating or glazing them, like with our honey-glazed ham or jerk chicken, while a delicate drizzle of honey goes well with soft cheeses.

10. Boost it by grilling it

Mango chutney campfire cheese toasties

There's an undeniable touch of luxury to a toasted sandwich, whether it's a perfectly pressed panini or a classic toastie. Opting for cheeses that melt beautifully under heat can elevate your creation's texture and flavour. Ingredients like lettuce may not fare well, however, as they tend to wilt under the heat.

If you want to take your heated sandwiches to the next level, it might be worth investing in one of the best sandwich toasters.


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