For many kids, baon makes being back in school feel better. It’s a taste of home – something that comforts them at lunchtime while they eagerly wait for the dismissal bell to ring. That said, anything you make with love and care will be a hit with the kids. But if you’re creatively stumped, here are a few lunch sandwich ideas to get you back into your baon-making groove.
10 Lunch Sandwich Ideas for Your Back-to-School Meal Plan
These sandwich recipes for lunch are so tasty, you’ll want to make extra for yourself. Everyone deserves good baon to get through hectic days!
1. Crispy chicken burger
Has your family developed a taste for trending fast-food fried chicken sandwiches? You’re not alone! Unfortunately, these deep-fried delights are far from healthy. If you’re looking for a wholesome alternative, go homemade. Bake or air-fry the chicken patties to use less oil!
2. Grilled vegetables
The easiest way to make vegetables more appealing is to grill or roast them. These cooking methods help bring out their sweetness while tenderizing them inside. The best part? You can cook your veggies in bulk and save them to use in different dishes later! Avid meal preppers love this trick since the cooked produce can last longer in the fridge.
3. Ham and apple
Deli meats like sweet ham or salami are affordable, convenient (no cooking required!), and loved by all. But they also pack a lot of salt. If they’re your go-to ingredient, pair them with fruits and vegetables for balance. Slide a few apple slices and crunchy – baked or air-fried – potato chips in there for a healthy lunch sandwich.
4. Japanese-style egg salad
Have you heard of the tamago sando? These egg sandwiches are a fixture of Japanese convenience stores. When you cut into them, you’ll find a jammy hard-boiled egg between the fluffy milk bread and egg salad filling. They’re simple tweaks, but they elevate this baon classic.
5. Chunky chicken with grapes
Got a knack for sneaking fruits into sandwiches for a sweet surprise? This flavorful chicken salad is right up your alley. It has sliced seedless grapes and celery stalks for freshness and chopped almonds for a subtle crunch. The recipe also calls for lechon manok (rotisserie chicken) tossed in Lady's Choice Chicken Spread to double down on flavor. Best way to use up leftovers!
6. Classic clubhouse
The clubhouse is the ultimate back-to-school sandwich. It has the ideal balance of protein, carbs, veggies, and fat, aka everything a person needs to get through a busy day. Make your version leaner (but no less filling!) by replacing the ham with chicken and adding avocado for healthy fats. Swap the white bread with whole wheat for extra fiber.
7. Toasted mantou with tofu
Mantou is a type of steamed bread from China, often used as the base for bao. Plain mantou is easy to make from scratch but is also available in most Asian grocery stores. It has a soft, fluffy texture and a mild sweetness. These buns function the same as any sandwich bread, so fill them with whatever you like. To start, try this plant-based recipe inspired by Asian flavors.
8. California maki
Enjoy your favorite sushi roll while you’re on the go by turning it into a sandwich. This California maki-inspired dish has all the essential elements covered – plus, a layer of Lady's Choice Tuna Spread to bring the flavors together. You can even add wasabi to the spread for extra zing.
9. Shrimp scampi
Are you more of a seafood person? Don’t worry, your sandwich options aren’t limited to fish fillets and tuna salad. This shrimp scampi sammy is worth the splurge since it looks (and tastes!) like something you could buy from a fancy deli. Fresh, juicy shrimp cooked with garlic, spices, and lemon juice on soft focaccia bread – how could you ever say no?
10. Curried chicken wrap
Do you want a low-carb option that's just as satisfying as a bread-heavy sandwich? Whip up a healthy pita sandwich for lunch instead. Wraps are lighter on the tummy – and you can stuff them with more veg without making a mess. This curried chicken wrap draws from Indian cuisine with its spiced yogurt marinade and tomato-cucumber salad filling.
Which of these lunch sandwich ideas are you trying first? Feel free to tweak them to your tastes, use more accessible ingredients, and mix-and-match combinations. Bring out the sandwich artist in you!