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The Perfect Make-Ahead Sandwich

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

Whether you're planning a picnic, a camping trip, or just trying to avoid another #saddesklunch situation, there are few things in life more perfect than a good sandwich, especially one that can be made ahead.

Here are three of my favorite flavor combinations, all of which recently made an appearance on a family camping trip. The key is to start with a good telera or ciabatta roll. They're the perfect size and can stand up to quite a bit of moisture in the filling. Then fill them, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, and head out on your next adventure (or to your office).

Green Goddess Tuna

(Makes 2 sandwiches)


  • A small handful each of basil leaves, parsley, cilantro, or other tender fresh herbs

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Greek yogurt depending on how dry you like your tuna salad (you can also use mayo or sour cream if that's what you've got in the fridge)

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 (5oz) can of tuna in water, drained

  • 1 celery stalk, diced small

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Arugula

  • 1/4 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

  • Small ciabatta loaf or telera roll


  • Place fresh herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add half of the yogurt/mayo/sour cream and blend until smooth and light green. Transfer dressing to a medium bowl and add the tuna, using a fork to break it up. Add celery, shallot and garlic and mix well into the dressing. Add more yogurt, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Place a handful of arugula on the bottom of your ciabatta loaf, followed by a generous scoop of tuna salad, then some sliced fennel, then the top of your ciabatta. Boom. A fresh new take on a tuna salad sandwich.

tuna sandwich

Chicken Banh Mi

(Makes 2 sandwiches)


  • 6-8 ounces shredded chicken

  • 2 cups thinly sliced crunchy vegetables, such as cucumber, daikon, carrot, radish

  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

  • 4 tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and water

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • Sriracha (or other hot sauce)


  • Combine sliced vegetables and chile pepper in a bowl. Add cilantro, vinegar, water, sugar and a pinch of salt. Let stand at least 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise with hot sauce to taste. Drain vegetable mix. Place shredded chicken on the bottom half of your bread. Top with pickled vegetables, followed by the top slice of bread.

chicken bahn


(Makes 2 sandwiches)


  • 2-4 tablespoons store-bought olive tapenade

  • 8 ounces of your favorite Italian deli meats (salami, prosciutto, mortadella, capicola, etc)

  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced

  • 2 ounces roasted red peppers or marinated artichoke hearts (or both), patted dry

  • Fresh basil leaves


  • Layer ingredients onto your ciabatta. Try not to drool on your sandwich while you wrap it in plastic wrap.

italian sandwich

All set? Let's go!!


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