Find more than a dozen easy, quick, and nourishing sandwich lunch ideas for adults and kids of all ages. Use these to take some of the work out of coming up with ideas for what to pack for lunch for school, work, or serving at home.
Sandwich Lunch Ideas
Sandwiches are one of the go-to lunches around because they are easy. They can be very quickly become boring and it can take time for little kids to learn how to manage the mix of textures, so for all of those reasons, this post is here.
You’ll find over a dozen easy sandwich ideas for lunch that you can pack for daycare, preschool, or elementary school—or that you can pack for yourself for work. (Why not make everyone lunch at once, right?!)
There are a mix of filling options here and types of bread to give you lots of examples so you can use these ideas as you like.
(You can also freeze a lot of sandwiches to get ahead for busy mornings.)
Sanity-Saving Kids’ Lunch Guide
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Lunch Sandwich Ideas for Work
I’m a huge proponent of making sure that we parents feed ourselves, too, so know that you can enjoy these ideas for yourself at home or for work. You may prefer different condiments or sauces, or prefer more crunchy vegetables, greens, or onions in your sandwich recipes, but you can start with the same basic ideas.
Sandwiches for Kids
Being able to eat a real sandwich is a milestone that never gets mentioned in any of the baby books, but which is exciting nonetheless—it opens up so many easy meal options! For any of these ideas, you can dice them up into smaller pieces for easier eating as needed (12/14+ months), you can cut them into sticks (great for 16/18+ months), or you can even serve them open faced with just one piece of bread.
Learn how to make a batch of healthy, homemade Uncrustables to stash into the freezer for fast kids lunch ideas. I love this method so much because you can decide exactly what to put inside, they’re crazy fast, AND they freeze beautifully. (Plus, you can adjust for allergies as needed and easily make them dairy-free and vegan.)
Transform a basic sandwich into a super fun Sandwich Roll-Up with a simple method anyone can do. This works with a variety of fillings and can be served at home or packed for school lunch. It’s an easy option to have in the kids lunch mix!
Roll up a few simple ingredients to make this delicious Turkey Wrap recipe in minutes. It’s a great lunch wrap for home or school, and you can easily adjust the ingredients to suit the preferences of your child. Win! I usually make this with mayonnaise, but you can use mustard or even hummus if you prefer.
Roll up just a few ingredients for satisfying (and really versatile) Vegetarian Hummus Wraps. This no-cook meal is an easy lunch for school or for work or home for you. And you can make it in less than 5 minutes! Try it with cheddar cheese, mozzarella, or even a little arugula and thinly sliced red onion for yourself.
These finger sandwiches are both easy and fun to make. And it’s so simple to change up the fillings according to what your kids like. These are fun at home as a special lunch and packed in a lunch box. Filling options include cream cheese and vegetables, tuna salad, peanut butter and jelly, jelly, chickpeas blended into hummus, egg salad sandwiches, and more.
Veggie Grilled Cheese
This grilled cheese sandwich is a favorite option to serve up a little mashed sweet potato smack in the middle of a classic gooey sandwich. I love the added flavor, how it adds some moisture to the filling, and how easy it is to make for any age while ensuring that it tastes delicious. You can even pack it in a thermos.
The basic idea of this is that you spread nut butter (or seed butter) onto a tortilla, add a banana, and roll it up. You can either serve it like that—like you’d eat a taquito!—or slice it into round with a serrated knife. So good.
Ham and Cheese Wrap
This one is inspired by a snack they used to make at our daycare where tortilla and ham were rolled around a cheese stick. This works really well to slice into bite-size rolls (and the cheese stick works better than a slice of cheese shape-wise).
Salmon Salad Sandwich
Offering beneficial fats to kids is easy when you keep a can of wild salmon on hand to make a simple open-face Salmon Salad Sandwich. The process is easy and doesn’t require any fancy tools—and a yummy meal can be ready in about 5 minutes. (Take this up a notch for yourself by making on a toasted baguette.)
Chicken Caesar Salad Sticks
Bake up frozen chicken tenders (store bought from a brand like Applegate or homemade) and place onto lollipop sticks with bread cubes and lettuce for a fun (and still easy) take on a chicken club.
Spinach Grilled Cheese
Spinach Grilled Cheese is a veggie-packed variation on the classic sandwich that’s just so delicious. (This favorite kids sandwich is equally appealing to adults too!) It’s also easy to make and packed with iron…which is a nice bonus.
Frequently Asked Questions
Simple sides including sliced apple, grapes, sliced peach, canned fruit, yogurt (in a container or a tube), a simple smoothie, whole grain crackers, salad, thinly sliced raw veggies, or warmed frozen veggies are all easy options to pair with a sandwich for lunch.
For adults, you can use soft or lightly toasted bread and be sure to use a mix of condiments for moisture and fillings with a variety of texture (so include some crunchy veggies like lettuce or cucumber).
For kids, the key is to make sure that it’s easy to eat, which may mean dicing or slicing up a pbu0026j. Or serving the elements of a turkey sandwich deconstructed so it’s easier for them to chew.
Uncrustables, deconstructed turkey or ham sandwiches, Banana Sushi, Sandwich Roll-Ups, and more are all easy options.
Best Tips for Success
- If making a sandwich for an adult packed lunch, be sure to sandwich any moist ingredients (such as sliced tomatoes) between deli meat or lettuce to protect the bread and prevent sogginess.
- Learn how to make sandwiches easy for toddlers to eat in this Sandwiches for Kids guide.
- Add simple lunch snacks to each sandwich to round out the meal.
- Add a kids drink or drink for yourself as desired.
- Use a cookie cutter to make a simple shape in a sandwich (or in just the top of the bread as shown above).
- Sub a gluten-free bread as needed.
- Using leftover meatballs to make meatball sandwiches is always a good idea, too.
This post was first published August 2022.