7 Hearty Sandwiches You’ll Need a Knife and Fork to Eat

Sandwiches are usually a handheld meal, making them great for busy days. As wonderful as that can be, some meals call for a more relaxed approach to dining where you actually sit down to eat from your table. You don’t have to give up your favorite food category just because you’d rather feel like a civilized person for once; just make a knife-and-fork sandwich. We’re sharing seven recipes that will make you rethink your standard sub.

1. Open-Face Bacon-and-Egg Sandwiches with Arugula

open face sandwich on rustic toast with eggs, tomatoes, and lettuce

Egg and tomato breakfast sandwich | iStock.com

A plate of bacon, eggs, and toast becomes something totally different when you turn the components into a delicious breakfast sandwich with Epicurious’s recipe. The secret to this meal’s appeal is using chewy ciabatta bread, juicy tomatoes, and a little bit of peppery arugula. These ingredients make what would otherwise be a basic meal elegant enough for company.


  • 5 bacon slices, halved crosswise
  • 1 (4-inch) square ciabatta of focaccia bread, halved horizontally
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 large, thin tomato slices
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup packed arugula
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • Parmesan cheese shavings

Directions: Cook bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Wipe skillet clean. Brush cut sides of bread with 1 tablespoon oil and place in skillet, cut-side down. Cook over medium heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Place one bread square, toasted-side up, on each of 2 places. Top each with half of bacon and two tomato slices.

Whisk 1 tablespoon oil, shallot, and vinegar in a medium bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper, add arugula, and toss to coat.

Heat remaining oil in same skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until whites are set and yolks are cooked to your liking. Top each bread stack with an egg, some arugula, and Parmesan. Serve.

2. Knife-and-Fork Steak-and-Radicchio Sandwiches

open-face sandwiches with roast beef tenderloin and microgreens

Radicchio sandwiches | iStock.com

Most steak sandwiches are kind of tough to eat because it’s too difficult to get through the meat using just your teeth. Every Day with Rachael Ray solved the problem by morphing the dish into an open-face sandwich with radicchio and Parmesan. It has all the appeal of a steak supper in a more relaxed format you can enjoy any night of the week.

This recipe calls for flank steak, but you can also use skirt. With both of these cuts, pay attention to the meat’s grain. You need to thinly slice the meat the opposite direction the fibers run so your end result is tender. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, check out The Kitchn’s quick tutorial.


  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak
  • 2 head radicchio, cored, leaves separated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 (½-inch-thick) slices rosemary bread
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese shavings

Directions: In a food processor, combine 6 tablespoons oil, garlic, and rosemary. Purée until smooth, transfer to a large bowl, and whisk in the vinegar. Transfer steak and ½ cup marinade to a glass baking dish and turn to coat. Add radicchio to remaining marinade and toss. Let stand for 1 hour.

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium. Arrange radicchio on grill in one layer and cook until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Season steak with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, about 8 minutes for medium rare. Let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice.

Brush bread with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toast on grill. In a large bowl, combine arugula with lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Layer one quarter each of radicchio, steak, and arugula over each bread slice. Top with shaved cheese and serve.

3. Open-Face Buffalo Chicken Subs with Ranch Slaw

creamy cabbage and carrot coleslaw with parsley

Ranch slaw | iStock.com

Just when you thought you’d seen every incarnation of Buffalo wings, Domesticate Me came along and gave new life to the combination of poultry, hot sauce, and blue cheese with these spicy chicken sandwiches. We particularly like the chicken for this recipe because it’s braised in beer for extra flavor. If you’re running short on time, feel free to use store-bought rotisserie bird instead. Just remove the skin and shred the meat with your hands.


  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1¼ cup hot wing sauce
  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 2 celery ribs, julienned
  • ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried parsley, crushed between your fingers
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 whole-wheat grinder rolls
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over high heat. Pat chicken dry using paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Add chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Stir in broth and beer. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine cabbage, celery, carrot, and onion in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk yogurt, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, dill weed, salt, and pepper to combine. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove chicken thighs to a cutting board and let cool brifly. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces using two forks. Return to same pot and add hot wing sauce. Stir to combine and keep warm.

Preheat broiler. Halve rolls and toast until golden, about 2 minutes. Divide chicken among roll halves. Top with slaw and blue cheese. Serve at once.

4. Open-Face Salmon and Avocado BLTs

hearty grilled salmon sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and bacon

Salmon BLT | iStock.com

If you’re working toward boosting your fish consumption to the American Heart Association’s recommendation of two servings per week, try these salmon BLT’s with avocado from I Can Cook That. It’s a slightly healthier, but no less delicious, way to enjoy one of your favorite flavor combinations. Since the slicing tomatoes aren’t terribly great during the chillier months, opt for halved grape tomatoes instead.


  • 4 (1-ounce) slices ciabatta bread cut on the bias
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon
  • 4 (4-ounce) skinned salmon fillets
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 (½-inch-thick) tomato slices, halved
  • ½ avocado, peeled and cut into 8 slices
  • 4 lemon wedges

Directions: Preheat broiler to high and toast bread until golden on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Cook bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.

Return skillet to heat. Season salmon with salt and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until you reach desired level of doneness.

Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, water, 2 teaspoons chives, and mustard in a small bowl and stir to combine. Spread mayo over bread slices and top each with a lettuce leaf, a slice of bacon, two tomato pieces, two avocado slices, and one fish fillet. Sprinkle with remaining chives. Serve sandwiches with lemon wedges.

5. The Legendary Hot Brown

plate of open-face sandwiches with tomatoes and melted cheese on toast

Cheesy sandwich | iStock.com

No trip to Kentucky is complete without sipping a bourbon cocktail or eating a classic Hot Brown. This cheesy turkey sandwich with bacon was invented at Louisville’s Brown Hotel during the 1920s to satisfy his guests’ sophisticated palates. The chef clearly did something right because the hotel still serves the sandwiches, and the kitchen even shared the recipe. After one bite, you’ll be glad they did.


  • 1½ tablespoons salted butter
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup pecorino cheese, plus more
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 14 ounces sliced roasted turkey breast, thickly sliced
  • 4 slices Texas toast, crusts removed
  • 4 cooked bacon slices
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Paprika
  • Parsley

Directions: Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, until a paste forms. Continue to cook roux, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Whisk in cream and increase heat to medium. Cook until cream begins to simmer, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Place two slices of toast in two separate, oven-proof dishes and top each with 7 ounces of turkey. Set remaining toast pieces and tomatoes alongside in the same pans. Pour half of sauce over each dish to cover. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Broil until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler. Top each with two pieces of bacon. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Serve.

6. Hot Open-Face Roast Beef Sandwiches

hote roast beef and gravy sandwich with a side of mashed potatoes

Open-faced sandwich | iStock.com

While it used to be just a way to use up leftovers from a big Sunday dinner, hot roast beef sandwiches have developed a cult following over the decades. Some people actually prefer the second round to the main event, so it’s no surprise recipes specifically for the sandwiches have popped up. One of our favorites is this quick beef and gravy concoction from Food Network. Add a green salad and dinner’s done.


  • 1½ pounds red-skinned potatoes, pierced with a fork
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ¾ to 1 cup milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 thick sourdough bread slices
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • ¾ pound sliced roast beef
  • ½ bunch watercress, stemmed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions: Microwave potatoes on high until tender, about 20 minutes. Mash potatoes with a fork and add 2 tablespoons butter. Add milk and mash to your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat broiler.

Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a skillet over high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, until slightly brown. Gradually whisk in stock until smooth. Whisk in Worcestershire and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes.

Toast bread under broiler for about 1 minute. Spread mustard and horseradish over each slice of toast. Place each on a plate and top with gravy, roast beef, more gravy, watercress, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sandwiches with potatoes.

7. Open-Face Porchetta Sandwich with Caramelized Apples

Sauteed Apples

Apples | iStock.com

Give pork and apples a new look with this sweet and salty sandwich from Martha Stewart Living. Don’t feel like you have to make the included recipe for braised pork because this recipe is only fast if you already have cooked meat on hand. You can easily substitute any of your own leftover pork shoulder or buy some premade barbecue pork from the grocery store.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into ½-inch wedges
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 slices toasted rustic bread
  • Braised Pork Shoulder, shredded and warmed
  • Onions from braised pork
  • Watercress

Directions: Melt butter in a skillet set over medium-low heat. Add apples, sugar, and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender and sauce has caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Top bread with pork, onions, and apples. Sprinkle with watercress, drizzle with sauce from apple mixture and juices from pork. Serve.

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