The abundance of colorful summer produce makes me crave sandwiches. While salads are great, my favorite way to enjoy seasonal vegetables is by making a sandwich with them. Fresh, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, sprouts, pickled onions, creamy avocado, and cheese all combine to create a delicious combination of flavors and textures.
To make an excellent veggie sandwich, it’s important to use high-quality, fresh produce and good bread. Poor-quality tomatoes and lettuce won’t do the trick, and neither will bland white bread.
When constructing a loaded veggie sandwich, it’s important to layer the ingredients in the right order to prevent soggy bread and to keep the sandwich from falling apart as you eat it.
These Veggie sandwich make for a perfect summer lunch because they require minimal preparation, and no cooking, and can easily be taken on the go. They can also be customized with various condiments and fillings to suit your taste.
The Best Bread for Loaded Veggie Sandwich
When it comes to veggie sandwich, I prefer a rustic country loaf or sourdough bread. These types of bread have a crisp crust, soft interior, and great flavor, and they are sturdy enough to support all of the fillings without falling apart like store-bought sandwich bread can.
Other good bread options for veggie sandwich include ciabatta and focaccia, as long as they can handle the weight of the vegetables and condiments without falling apart. If you do choose a softer bread, I recommend toasting it before building your sandwich to give it more structure and prevent it from getting soggy.
The Best Cheese to Complement the Vegetables
Although cheese is not the main attraction in this veggie sandwich, it does add some nice texture and flavor. I personally like to use sliced sharp cheddar cheese, but other good options include Swiss and Havarti. You could also spread some fresh goat cheese directly onto the bread. If you prefer a dairy-free sandwich, you can simply omit the cheese or use a cheese alternative.
The Best Veggies
For me, the star of this sandwich is heirloom tomatoes. I only buy them when they are in season and I look for ones that are flavorful and beautiful at the farmer’s market. As soon as they become available, I make sure to stock up on other vegetables and pick up a loaf of bread from the bakery.
Persian cucumbers are the perfect size for slicing into long, thin strips that won’t easily slide off of the sandwich. Make sure your sprouts are very fresh, as they have a short shelf life. If needed, you can swap the sprouts for more lettuce.
Pickled red onions add a nice zing to the sandwich. If you prefer a brighter, spicier flavor, you can swap them for the fresh red onion. Alternatively, you can use pickles for a more pronounced tangy crunch.
- Gluten-free: Use your favorite gluten-free bread. Most varieties are sturdier than wheat pieces of bread, but you may want to toast them a bit for better texture.
- Vegan: Replace the cheese with a non-dairy option or leave it out altogether and swap the mayo for vegan mayonnaise, like Vegenaise.
- Fun veggie swaps: I consider the tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers to be non-negotiable, but play around with the others. Try roasted red peppers, pickles, marinated kale, shaved carrots, shredded cabbage or coleslaw, and more.
- Fun condiment swaps: If you like your condiments to have a lot of personalities, try using your favorite, like pesto, tapenade, chili crisp, or chipotle mayo.
- 2 medium Persian cucumbers
- 1 large heirloom tomato
- 4 (1/2- to 3/4-inch) slices rustic sourdough or country bread
- 2 to 3 teaspoons mayonnaise
- 2 to 3 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
- 1 medium ripe avocado
- 1 cup broccoli or alfalfa sprouts
- 2 pinches kosher salt
- 2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup pickled red onions
- 2 large butter lettuce leaves
- 2 to 4 slices (2 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese
- Prepare the vegetables:
- Trim the ends of the cucumbers and slice them lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick long strips.
- Core and slice the tomato into 1/3-inch slices.
- Add the condiments and avocado:
- Spread 2 slices of bread with mayonnaise and 2 slices of bread with mustard. Arrange them so there is one of each for 2 sandwiches.
- Halve and pit the avocado. Slice one half into slices, peel, and add the avocado to a mustard-topped slice of bread. Use a knife to smear and lightly press the slices into the bread, mashing them a bit to help them adhere without damaging the bread.
- Repeat with the rest of the avocado for the second sandwich.
- Add the vegetables:
- Top the avocado with sprouts, dividing evenly between the 2 sandwiches. Add slices of tomato in a single layer on top of the sprouts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Divide the pickled red onions evenly between the 2 sandwiches on top of the tomato. Top each with a lettuce leaf, then slices of cheese. Finally, add the long slices of cucumber to each sandwich, then top with the mayo-slathered slices of bread, mayo-side down.
- Press the top lightly to adhere.
- If desired, slice the sandwich in half down the center using a sharp chef’s knife. To help it stay together, poke a long toothpick in each half. Serve immediately.
- Any leftover sliced vegetables should be wrapped tightly and stored in the fridge for 1-2 days. Eat assembled sandwiches as soon as possible.