Best Christmas sandwiches to buy 2023: M&S, Pret, Starbucks and more
We’ve tested the best festive sandwiches on the high street and rounded up our favourites below, so you don’t need to wait till 25 December to enjoy all the flavours of a Christmas dinner
Just like advent calendars and mince pies, the arrival of Christmas sandwiches on the shelves is becoming an annual cultural moment. From turkey toasties to super-sized subs, the task of fitting a whole Christmas dinner in between two (or more) slices of bread is an art being explored in supermarkets, coffee shops and bakeries on high streets across the country from now until the big day itself. This gives you a solid six weeks to replace your usual lunch break prawn mayo or egg & cress with sliced turkey, cranberry sauce, camembert and many more festive flavours.
We’ve done the hard work for you and tested over 40 Christmas sandwiches from all the big supermarkets to find the best to buy this year. What did we look for in our search for the the best Christmas sandwich? As well as undeniable festive flavours, we wanted these to be balanced and not too sweet, with complementary elements that allowed you to taste each flavour without competing. Sandwiches should hold together well and not be too messy, and we loved to see interesting innovation, good quality ingredients and impressive breads.
From returning classics to tasty new innovations, these are the best Christmas sandwiches to buy this year.
For more Christmas inspiration, check out the results of our BBC Good Food Christmas Supermarket Awards (for everything from turkey to Christmas pud), our best Christmas crisps taste test and the best mince pies to buy this year.
Best Christmas sandwiches to eat in 2023
M&S turkey feast
- Available from M&S (£3.90)
A popular choice every year, this is our judges' favourite supermarket turkey sandwich for 2023. Judges appreciated the generously buttered bread, moist turkey and rich onion flavour in the stuffing. Ingredients are well-balanced without making the bread soggy. It errs on the slightly saltier side, but this was welcomed as many Christmas sandwiches can become quite sweet.
Asda turkey and stuffing festive deli
- Available from Asda (£3.50)
On thick, fluffy white bread and cut horizontally rather than diagonally, this deli sandwich has an almost homemade feel. There is a good ratio of herby stuffing to shredded turkey, with a generous quantity of gravy mayo and cranberry sauce to keep it moist.
Pret A Manger Christmas lunch sandwich
- Available from Pret A Manger (£4.99)
From a classic turkey granary to veggie nut roast, this year's Pret Christmas sandwich range can provide something for everyone. The old favourites you’ll recognise are all returning – our favourite is always the Christmas lunch sandwich in pleasingly soft bread, complete with Pret’s signature crispy onions. It has a generous filling of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce (with the decadent addition of port). We missed the rocket from 2022, this year swapped for lots of spinach instead. For veggies and vegans, there is a nut roast sandwich with butternut squash and a festive pesto made with chestnuts and rosemary. Plus, 50p from every Christmas lunch or nut roast sandwich is donated to The Pret Foundation. For something hot, new this year is the ham hock & festive sprouts macaroni cheese. Pret is where to head pre-office Christmas party, or perhaps to revive you the day after...
More like this
Pret A Manger (£4.99)
GAIL's Christmas sandwich
- Available from GAIL's, £7.50
For a subtle nod to Christmas (no cranberry sauce overload here), this festive sandwich from GAIL’s is just what you need. Thinly sliced smoked turkey is paired with creamy Swiss cheese, chipotle aioli which gives a decent hit of spice and – our highlight of the sandwich – generous amounts of sweet and smoky bacon jam. Chewy and crusty GAIL’s sourdough bread means this feels high quality from start to finish.
Starbucks pigs under blanket roll
- Available from Starbucks (from £5.15)
This is the Christmas sandwich to have for breakfast. In a warm, soft and floury roll are herby sausages, lots of bacon, a little bit of cheesy richness and a layer of cranberry sauce for a hint of sweetness. It’s exactly what you need to warm you up on a chilly morning when you’re waiting at a station. Starbucks are also doing a festive feast panini, holiday ham sub roll and brie and cranberry focaccia, but this was our favourite of the selection.
Starbucks (from £5.15)
Waitrose Pigs Under Blankets
- Available from Waitrose (£4)
Lots of supermarkets appear to be doing a 'pigs under blankets' sandwich this year, but the Waitrose one stood out to us once again. The sausages have good peppery flavour and the bacon is well-smoked. The addition of redcurrants gives extra tang to the cranberry chutney.
Ole & Steen Merry Squash-mas Toastie
- Available from Ole & Steen (£7.95)
A popular choice from last year returns again for 2023. The Ole & Steen focaccia is always a highlight. This vegan toastie offering was fresh and light with a generous quantity of colourful, well-cooked veg that hadn’t gone mushy. The addition of vegan cheese added richness, melted well and was a good example of a vegan cheese that even non-vegans will enjoy. For the non-vegans, there's also a turkey toastie which also has melting cheese in for richness.
Ole & Steen (£7.95)
by Sainsbury's chicken and Christmas slaw
- Available from Sainsbury's (£3)
Not everything at Christmas has to be turkey. This chicken and Christmas slaw sandwich perfectly balances plenty of crunch from the colourful shredded veg with juicy, lightly spiced chicken and soft, fresh bread.
Tesco Yule Hog wrap
- Available from Tesco (£2.85)
Perhaps not the most Christmassy of our selection, but still a popular choice. It combines tender pulled pork with Kentish cider apple sauce and the wrap is generously filled. Crispy onions add some welcome crunch.
M&S Ho Ho Pest-ho & Veg
- Available from M&S (£3.65)
This colourful sandwich lives up to its fun name. The malted bread and generous layer of pesto give plenty of flavour, while the thick slices of butternut squash are well-cooked and red cabbage adds lots of crunch. A good vegetarian Christmas sandwich option.
Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Christmas Cracker club
- Available from Sainsbury's (£4.50)
A club sandwich is a hotel restaurant staple and we love this Sainsbury's spin on one. The three-tiered sandwich is filled with turkey, spinach, bacon, cranberry sauce and chutney. The toasted effect on the bread does make it a touch more dry, but there's plenty of filling to balance this out and the caramelisation on the bread adds flavour. Now we just need the fries to go with it...
Waitrose Christmas salt beet & emmental
- Available from Waitrose (£3.75)
Another great vegetarian sandwich. Dark rye bread is filled with sweet roasted spiced beetroot which is the dominant flavour, with a thin layer of emmental cheese adding a touch of creaminess, and spinach giving crunch.
M&S Jingle Brie-LT
- Available from M&S (£4.50)
Christmas is the season of brie, so why not add it to a sandwich. The only sandwich we tried that came in a brioche bun and the combination of brie, bacon and bun gives the sandwich a decadent burger feel. The tangy chutney complements the mild brie without being overpowering.
Aldi Specially Selected seafood cocktail bloomer
- Available from Aldi (£2.69)
Upgrade a classic prawn sandwich to this seafood cocktail bloomer for the festive season. This combines good-quality large prawns with a decent amount of sauce and crisp rocket in thick sliced bread.
Waitrose PlantLiving vegan bubble and squeak
- Available from Waitrose (£3.50)
There's lots of seasonal veg crammed into this vegan Christmas sandwich: potato, parsnip and butternut squash are roasted along with Savoy cabbage, pickled red cabbage and spinach. The vegan mayo keeps it moist without going sloppy and the bread has good flavour.
Pollen + Grace festive stuffing sandwich
- Available from Sainsbury's (£4)
For a vegan wrap option, we like this one from Pollen + Grace. As well as plenty of colourful veg in here from roasted butternut squash, generous quantities of spinach and a crunchy festive slaw, the centrepiece is chunks of herby mushroom stuffing that make this a hearty choice.
Lidl turkey feast sandwich
- Available from Lidl
This sandwich could be a dupe of the classic Pret Christmas sandwich, with familiar flavours. The turkey is balanced by lots of crumbly stuffing and fairly sweet cranberry sauce.
Sainsbury's Taste The Difference hot smoked salmon
- Available from Sainsbury's (£4.25)
A classic smoked salmon and soft cheese sandwich done well. There is peppery horseradish in there for some added interest and the sandwich is made with an unusual dark, soft sliced bread.
Lidl vegan Christmas chutney wrap
- Available from Lidl
This fun beetroot-coloured wrap is filled with lots of veg for plenty of different textures and crunch and a fresh finish. A great vegan sandwich choice if you don't want vegan meat alternatives.