Lunchtime can be a difficult meal to provide for because there are so many things that affect what we make for it.
We may have had a large breakfast or perhaps we have special dinner plans later, maybe we are eating lunch late and don’t want to ruin dinner too.
With all these factors in mind, a full sandwich can sometimes feel too heavy for lunch, but there are ways around this issue, enter open-faced sandwiches.
In this article, we will look at 20 of the tastiest open-faced sandwich recipes that are perfect for a lunchtime pick-me-up.
This open-faced grilled ham and cheese sandwich is the perfect light lunch option that is bursting with flavor.
The ham and cheese give this sandwich a classic taste while the tomato and red onion provide a little bit of a twist and kick. This recipe can easily be scaled up to create beautiful appetizers at a dinner party too.
Danish Smørrebrød is the original open-faced sandwich. This recipe is quintessentially Danish, featuring smoked herring, egg yolks, and radishes.
If you want a healthy, balanced open sandwich for your lunch, this recipe is sure to be a winner. It is possible to swap the herring out for another smoked fish if you prefer.
This recipe for an open-faced croque monsieur sandwich is a fun and light way to enjoy a popular dinner dish at lunchtime.
Not only is this sandwich filled with flavor and a great comfort food, it is also very budget friendly. You can save even more money with this sandwich by using leftovers from another meal.
There’s nothing better than being able to make something that feels indulgent on a budget.
This open-faced turkey sandwich is the ultimate way to use up leftovers. The gravy in this recipe adds comfort and moisture to what can otherwise be quite a dry sandwich choice.
Simply add your favorite cheese and you have a lunch that is both satisfying and filling without sitting too heavy on the stomach. Perfect for those winter days when you need something warming but not stodgy.
The fifth recipe on this list is the open-faced sloppy joes sandwich. This is a great option for anyone who loves to indulge in a big, meaty sandwich at lunchtime but is looking for a healthier alternative.
This is also a fun option for children to enjoy for a different lunchtime option. The crispy onions on the top add a brilliant contrast in textures so it isn’t too sloppy.
Open-faced pizza sandwiches are always a hit, no matter who you are serving them to. With that said, this sandwich will be particularly popular with the children in your life.
What could be better than getting to eat pizza for lunch. The best thing about this recipe is that you can be so creative with the toppings and even have different toppings on each slice of bread. The only limit here is your imagination.
Tuna melts are a classic sandwich choice and great for lunchtime to help you through the three o’clock slump. However, they can be pretty carb heavy in their traditional form.
With this open-faced tuna melt you can halve the heaviness and even make room for more cheese. The sour cream, pickle, celery, and red onion add great texture, crunch, and tang to this dish.
This broiled tomato open-faced sandwich really is Mama’s best. Perfect by itself or as an accompaniment for some fresh tomato soup.
If winter warmer was a dish, it would be this sandwich, although the flavors could work just as well in the summer as a light summer lunch that you can enjoy alfresco.
This open-faced steak sandwich works for both lunch and dinner and is a real treat for steak lovers.
The succulent rib eye (or cut of your choice) atop soft, sweet brioche bread, accompanied by sauteed mushrooms is enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
The addition of crisped bacon and caramelized onions finishes this open-faced sandwich perfectly.
This open-faced garden veggie sandwich is a great way to get a good amount of vegetables into your lunch without having to forgo the substance.
You can stack your veggies as high as you want with this open sandwich and can use whatever vegetables you have available in your refrigerator.
A double-whammy of avoiding food waste and getting enough vegetables into your diet in one meal.
These open-faced hamburgers are the perfect option if you are trying to eat more healthily during the day but love a good burger on your lunch break.
This sandwich is basically just a burger without its lid, but as it is homemade, it is a lot more healthy than the fast food alternatives.
The recipe is also kid friendly which makes it a great option for the whole family or as a weekend treat.
This open-faced grilled eggplant sandwich is another great option for anyone who wants to make sure they are getting lots of vegetables into their diet.
The thicker you slice the eggplant before you grill it, the more substantial the sandwich will feel and the addition of the cheese on the top will help this open sandwich to keep you full and satiated all afternoon.
This open-faced crab salad sandwich is a great option for all of the shellfish lovers out there and even better, the recipe is low in fat.
Although this particular recipe calls for imitation crab meat, there is no reason why you can’t use real crab meat in this recipe. The pepper, celery, and onions provide a lovely crunch to the salad and help make it feel fresh and light.
This open-faced meatloaf sandwich is the perfect way to use up any leftover meatloaf from the night before.
Any type of meatloaf can be used and if you are making them for the whole family, you could make the meatloaf specially for this dish.
The mashed potato and gravy on the top of this open sandwich make it a brilliant comfort food option. While this may not be the lightest or most diet friendly recipe on the list, it is perfect for lunch on cold days.
If you’ve ever eaten a holiday leftover sandwich and wished it could be a little bit lighter on your stomach, this could be the lunch you have been looking for.
This open-faced turkey, cranberry, and apple sandwich has all the flavors and feels of the holiday period, but with the crunch and juiciness of apple to keep it light and fresh.
The addition of cheese and honey mustard ensure that this sandwich still feels like a holiday indulgence though, just minus the bloating.
Who doesn’t love a club sandwich? We sure do, but they can be a bit heavy, especially when they are made with three slices of bread.
However, with this open-faced club sandwich, you get all the mouth-watering goodness of the club flavors without the heaviness of all the bread. Made on sourdough, this open sandwich can be the perfect treat on a cold winter’s day.
There is a bit of a theme forming in this list of using leftovers to make delicious lunchtime open sandwiches but with good reason, they’re delicious.
This open-faced roast beef sandwich is the perfect use for leftover roast beef, especially if it is rare. With a few simple, additional ingredients that might already be in your cupboards, this sandwich can elevate your lunch break.
Although this open-faced shrimp salad sandwich might seem very similar there are some significant differences that can change the flavor of the two recipes significantly.
This recipe calls for a lot of gruyere melted on the top that completely changes the flavor profile of this dish and makes it a lot more indulgent. Great for rainy lunchtimes that make you long for the ocean.
If you are looking for a lunchtime treat that is indulgent and decadent, this is the recipe for you. This open-faced chicken, bacon, and cheddar melt is the ultimate in toasted, melted, cheesy goodness.
While this is definitely not a diet friendly open sandwich option, it is a brilliant pick me up on a dark, cold, winter’s day.
This open-faced egg, avocado, and hash brown breakfast sandwich is a great option for breakfast, lunch, or even brunch.
Although this recipe feels indulgent, it is relatively low in calories and is high in good fats and protein. Who doesn’t want a lunch that feels like a naughty treat but is, in fact, quite good for them?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Bread Should You Use With An Open Sandwich?
One of the most common questions that arises when people are looking at making open sandwiches is what type of bread you should use.
The bottom line is that the right type of bread for open sandwiches is whichever bread you prefer to eat.
However, if you are using brioche or any other type of soft bread, you might want to toast it before building your sandwich to ensure that it can support the toppings when you pick it up.
Open sandwiches are definitely a signature of Scandinavian food, more commonly referred to as Smørrebrød or smörgås in Denmark and Sweden respectively.
Although they hail from Scandinavia, open sandwiches have gained popularity all over the world.
Are Open-Faced Sandwiches Easy To Make?
As with many foods, open-faced sandwiches are as easy or as difficult to make as you want them to be.
If you want a simple and quick open sandwich to make lunch when you don’t have much time, there are plenty of options for that.
However, if you want to make more of an effort or are making open sandwiches for a more special occasion, it is possible to make them more complicated and intricate.
Open sandwiches are a really versatile option that can cater to any ability or schedule.
What Can You Put On An Open Sandwich?
The only answer to this question is, anything.
The only limit for open-faced sandwich toppings is your imagination, skill level, and budget. In theory you can put anything you want on an open sandwich, including sweet toppings instead of savory ones.
Open-faced sandwiches are a really versatile and easy option to create delicious and healthy lunches with very little time.
They can also be a great way of using up leftovers from other meals or any excess vegetables that may be sitting in your refrigerator that need using up.
If you care a lot about food waste, these could be a great option for your weekday lunches.