Home and Living

All the Sandwich Ideas for This Back to School Season

It’s about that time again, friends. The kids are going back to school and packing the same old PB+J every day has just got to be a thing of a past.

But don’t worry! We’ve created this little guide to mixing up your kids’ school lunches, featuring a fresh, inventive sandwich for each day of the week. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite sandwich combinations below, but the nature of this matrix is that basically all of these flavors and ingredients can meld well together, so let your creative juices flow and mix and match.

Featured combos: 

  • Egg salad + tomato + pesto on brioche
  • Tomato + herb mayo on a potato roll
  • Prosciutto + tomato + pesto on brioche or wrap
  • Rotisserie chicken + red peppers + hummus on a wrap
  • Avocado + radishes + pesto on whole grain
  • Turkey + pimento cheese on rye bread

The bread


We’re of the mindset that you should go with your favorite kind of bread when making a sandwich—whether that’s a soft, doughy white, or a thick, seedy rye, it’s your call. With that said, if you’re going to be stacking up a few layers and using a moist spread like mayo or pesto, we recommend using a thicker, sturdier wheat or whole grain bread, which holds its shape and texture better with thick spreads, and piled-high sandwiches.


Once you get the folding technique down, the versatile wrap will be the best tool in your lunch arsenal. Wraps are great because they hold all of your delicious flavors snugly within its folds, and you won’t risk losing half of your ingredients with each bite, as you would with a sandwich. If you’re feeling really wild, you can find flavored wraps—spinach, sun-dried tomato, and multigrain are a few commonly found varieties.


The best way to make your homemade sandwich feel gourmet is to ditch the sandwich bread in favor of a denser, baked roll. We love brioche and potato rolls for their pillowy sweetness, which add their own, almost milky flavor to any sandwich. This pairs nicely with creamy sandwich fixings like eggs, cheese, and avocado.

The protein


We’re all about turkey sandwiches, but we’re gonna help you get away from the tried and true turkey & swiss combo. Sliced turkey pairs well with creamy spreads and cheeses and bright, crunchy ingredients like peppers (or even green apples!)

Egg salad 

There are a lot of egg salad naysayers out there—and if you’re one of them, we hear you. But there are ways to make this oft-plain sandwich filler tastier and more exciting. We love adding dollops of grainy mustard, fresh chopped dill, and a sprinkling of capers which can liven up this super creamy dish—no mayo needed!


Nothing says *fancy* quite like a sandwich layered with rich, perfectly salty prosciutto. It can be a little on the pricey side, so this is definitely a treat sandwich for special occasions.


Looking for a vegetarian option that will still pack a filling punch? Enter: the avocado. Pro tip: not all avocado sandwiches have to fall under the avocado toast umbrella—we like layering avocado with radishes and pesto, or hummus and squash ribbons and sandwiching it between thick slices of dark grainy bread, or smeared and rolled in a spinach wrap.

Rotisserie Chicken

We write love letters to rotisserie chicken here at Plated. It’s totally delicious, versatile, ready-made base for a ton of delicious, easy sandwich pairings. Shred it and add to your sandwich as-is, or transform it into a creamy pesto-y chicken salad.

If you want to get really fancy, this decadent chicken salad meets BLT is a winner winner chicken dinner (we had to).

The veggies

Bell peppers

Peppers work in two, very important ways—they add a bright pop of color and a sweet crunch, to help balance out the creamy, bready components that make up the rest of the sandwich. Feel free to use a mix of red, green, orange, and yellow peppers, to create a rainbow effect—because everyone loves a rainbow lunch.

Squash ribbons

Pro tip: ribboning your squash (with a vegetable peeler or microplane) makes this versatile veg fold more evenly into the sandwich, which provides a sturdy crunch to your sandwich without adding too much bulkiness.

Sliced radishes 

We love the sharp, bitter crunch that sliced radishes add to a sandwich—especially one that’s heavy on the creamy sauces and fillings. Whether you opt to use rosy watermelon radishes or the snowy white daikon variety, you can’t go wrong.


Peak tomato season may be nearing its end (we’re sad about it too), but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep using delicious ripe tomatoes in your sandwiches throughout the fall. If you’re featuring tomato as the star of the sandwich, cut thick slices in a single layer on your choice of bread. If the tomato is just one of many flavors and ingredients in your sandwich, opt to cut thinner slices that can be overlapped over your protein.

The spreads

Herb mayo 

Homemade mayonnaise is much more flavorful than its store-bought counterpart—and it’s super easy to whip up for all of your sandwich needs. We like incorporating fresh herbs like parsley and chives into our homemade mayos, for a burst of flavor and color.


Pesto isn’t only for pasta! We love spreading a thick layer of pesto our sandwich bread of choice before laying on the fixins’. We love a good store bought pesto—but if you’re feeling more hands-on, this customizable pesto guide will set you on the right path.

Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is a staple of Southern cuisine—we love it spread thickly on buttery rolls or seedy rye, as a creamy cushion on which to build your delicious lunchtime creation.

Classic hummus

If you’ve been relegating hummus to the dip category, you’ve been missing out on its impressive potential as a sandwich spread. We recommend using classic hummus, so as not to compete with the other flavors in the sandwich, but if the garlic, sun-dried tomato, or olive flavored hummuses call to you—go for it. This is your lunchtime! Make the most of it.

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