Bread becomes Public Enemy #1 for dieters watching their carbs or gluten intake. This can be a hard transition for sandwich lovers. After all, there’s just something about a good sandwich that taps into your eat-with-your-hands-happy-inner-child, isn’t there?
The good news is that, even after bread banishment, you can still have your sandwich and eat it too. Check out these no-bread sandwich solutions that are lean, healthy, delicious, and can transport you to your happy place (and happy pant size).
Do you have any tasty breadless sandwich ideas or recipes you recommend? Add them in the Comments section below!
7 Fresh No-Bread Gluten-Free Sandwiches
Southwestern Tomato-Bun Burgers with Chipotle Guac
4 large tomatoes, halved
1 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 cloves garlic, pressed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon crushed chipotle pepper (optional)
1/8 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
Handful wide spinach leaves
Handful alfalfa sprouts
Preheat the grill and a grill element (or stove-top grill) to medium-high heat.
Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and seed membranes. Set aside.
In a bowl, make the guac by mashing up the avocado and stirring in lime juice, pressed garlic, cumin, chipotle and chili powder. Combine well, set aside.
Meanwhile, lightly grease a pan or skillet with olive oil and place on the pre-heated grill element or stove-top. Place the tomato halves face down on the hot skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they begin to brown. Flip the tomato halves over and cook the other side for about 20 seconds, then remove from skillet.
To assemble the burgers, press some spinach leaves in to the bottom-half of each tomato, top with a few alfalfa sprouts, a burger patty, some guac and the top half of a grilled tomato. Press together lightly and enjoy!
Fiber & Protein-Packed Apple Stacks
1 cold apple
2 tablespoons nut butter of choice
2 teaspoons unsweetened raisins
1 stalk celery, scrubbed and chopped thinly
In a bowl, add the nut butter, raisins and chopped celery; stir well to combine into a chunky, uniform spread.
Wash the apple and core it. Cut into thick horizontal slabs.
Spread nut butter mixture on top of an apple slab, and then top with a second apple slab. Press the two slabs together and eat!
Sweet Turkey Cucumber Club
4 large, thick cucumbers
1 4ounce piece of cooked turkey breast, finely shredded
2 tablespoons ripe avocado, mashed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons raw honey
½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 cup arugula or baby spinach, finely shredded
¼ onion, finely diced
½ tomato, finely diced
Cracked black pepper
In a bowl, toss together the shreds of turkey, greens, tomato and onion. In a separate bowl, mash the avocado, lemon juice, mustard, honey, vinegar and pepper together. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing it well to create a sticky turkey salad. Set aside.
Remove a thin slice, lengthwise, from one side of each cucumber (to allow the cucumbers to sit flat on the counter without rolling). Then cut each cucumber in half, lengthwise. Scoop the seeds out, creating a hollow throughout each cucumber half.
Tightly stuff 4 of the cucumber halves with turkey salad, so that the salad bulges up over the surface of the cucumber. Then cap it with another cucumber half, so that the central hollow is completely filled in with turkey salad.
Tuna Eggplant Parm Panini’s
1 large eggplant, sliced into slabs horizontally
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon Parmesan, finely shredded
1 small tomato, diced
½ onion, diced
2 cans water-packed tuna, drained
A few handfuls baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
Preheat grill to medium-high.
In a bowl, combine the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. In another large bowl, combine the tuna, tomato, garlic, onion, spinach, basil and sauce, mixing well. Set aside.
Brush both sides of the eggplant slabs with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Grill the eggplant slices until brown and soft on both sides (the length of time will depend on how thickly you cut each eggplant slab). Remove the hot eggplant from the grill onto a baking sheet. Reduce the grill heat to medium.
For half of the eggplant slabs, layer with cheese, tuna sauce mixture, then some more cheese. Top with another eggplant slab, pressing down gently.
Place the baking sheet on the grill, close the lid and grill until the cheese is melted.
Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Sliders
1 round sweet potato, sliced into thick slabs
2 tablespoons soft goat cheese
½ red bell pepper, sliced
Handful washed spinach
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
A few pinches of hot paprika or cayenne pepper (optional)
Set oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a bowl, make a balsamic vinaigrette by combining the olive oil, vinegar and seasonings.
On a flat surface, set out half of your sweet potato slabs. On each one, dust with a small pinch of hot paprika (optional) and distribute the spinach, red peppers and goat cheese on top.
Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over each stack and then place another sweet potato slab on top. Dust with another small pinch of hot paprika (optional).
Spear through each sweet potato sandwich with a toothpick, so that it pierces all the way through the bottom potato slab. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the sweet potato is cooked to the desired level of softness.
Allow to cool and enjoy!
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
4 ounces cooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed or fork shredded
2 scallions, white and green sections chopped thinly
½ cup carrot, shredded
½ cup cabbage, shredded
½ cup roasted peanuts
2 (or more) large leaves of butter lettuce, washed
For the sauce:
¼ cup tamari sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
½ teaspoon fresh garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, or to taste (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, carrots, cabbage and scallions. In a second bowl, mix together all sauce ingredients.
To assemble each wrap, spoon chicken filling into the center of each lettuce leaf, and drizzle over with sauce and peanuts. Roll up each leaf around the filling.
Portobello Personal Pizzas
6 large Portobello mushrooms
2 cups kale, shredded
1 medium tomato, diced
1/8 cup onion, diced
3 tablespoon tomato sauce
½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon dry basil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with lightly greased foil.
Remove the stem of each mushroom and clean very well. Gently scrape out the soft, dark brown ripples to make room for the stuffing.
Place the mushroom on the baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
In the meantime, heat oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Sauté the onions and tomato for 3 minutes. Then add in the shredded greens, pour in the sauce and sauté everything together for another 5 minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the oven, and soak up any liquid that has gathered on them with a paper towel.
Spoon the vegetable filling into each mushroom, and top with shredded cheese and basil.
Place them back into the oven and broil them for about 3 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes and enjoy.