7 Bread-Free Sandwich and Wrap Recipes for Cutting Down on Calories
Maybe you’re gluten-free, maybe you’re strictly Paleo, or maybe you’re just trying to cut down on calories and carbohydrates. Whatever your diet goals may be, cutting out the occasional white breads and buns can be helpful in reducing your empty calorie intake. There are all kinds of low-calorie nutritional alternatives to bread available right in your kitchen — including a few you might not even know about!
Get creative with your next sandwich or wrap by trying one of these 7 breadless recipes.
1. Portobello Sliders
Mixing and matching ingredients in these Portobello Sliders from Simple Roots Wellness will offer a variety of flavor-loaded results. If you’re following a Paleo diet, simply opt for bacon instead of Gouda, and if you’re going vegan, try slices of avocado and tomato for a truly satiating sandwich. The recipe takes 50 minutes to complete and yields 4-6 servings.
- 16 medium portobello mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup tamari sauce (soy)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 avocados
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 2 sweet onions, sliced
- 1 pound bacon
- Smoked Gouda Cheese
Directions: Whisk together balsamic, tamari sauce, olive oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and salt & pepper. Clean mushrooms and discard stems. Pat dry and place in a baking dish. Pour the marinade over the mushrooms, flipping to cover. Let marinate 20-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a cookie sheet. Add mushrooms in a single layer and roast for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Bake bacon according to package directions. Heat a skillet over low-medium heat and add coconut oil (or butter). Add sliced onion and let caramelize stirring often.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients; slice tomatoes, cut lettuce, smash avocado. Assemble mushrooms using desired filling ingredients (onions, lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon, and cheese).
2. Cauliflower Shell Beef Tacos
These perfectly crisped cauliflower “tortillas” are a great vehicle for their sensationally seasoned beef filling. Healthy Foodie’s tacos incorporate the zesty tastes of cumin, coriander, chipotle, and pepper for a truly distinct and delectable flavor. Recipe takes an hour to complete and yields 4 servings, each of which contains 8 grams of fiber and over 33 grams of protein.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons water
- 10 ounces cauliflower, grated
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- ½ cup black olives, sliced
- 1 cup lettuce, shredded
- Lime, to taste
Directions: For the ground beef, in a large heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, melt some cooking fat, and throw in the onion, garlic, and salt. Cook for a few minutes until the onion turns translucent then add the the ground beef. Continue cooking until the ground beef is no longer pink, then add the black pepper, cumin, coriander, smoked chipotle, onion powder, and water. Stir and continue cooking for one or two minutes until the meat is completely brown. Set aside.
For the tortilla shell, use a box grater or the grater disc of your food processor to grate the cauliflower. Place the grated cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover loosely; microwave for about 4 minutes on high. Let the cauliflower cool for a few minutes until it can be handled safely and then squeeze it to remove as much water as you possibly can.
Throw the cauliflower into a bowl, along with the rest of the ingredients for the tortilla shells. Mix with a large wooden spoon until well-combined. Melt some cooking fat in a small skillet set over medium heat. Drop ½ cup of the cauliflower mixture and spread it all the way to the edge with a spatula.
Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the top looks set and the underside took a nice golden coloration. Flip the tortilla and continue cooking for about a minute, until it’s completely set, then transfer to a plate while you cook the remaining 3 tortillas.
3. Baked Eggplant Sandwiches
Make use of your finest fresh produce with The Iron You’s easy-to-assemble eggplant sandwiches, which are coated in almond meal and baked to a mouthwatering crunch. Cheese and sun-dried tomato lend the sandwiches their distinct taste. Recipe takes an hour and 15 minutes and yields 8 sandwiches. Each sandwich contains just 105 calories and 6.5 grams of protein. Dig in!
- 1 medium eggplant
- 3½ ounces provolone cheese (or sharp cheddar), sliced
- Handful of sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons almond meal
- 4 tablespoons Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
- Ground pepper to taste
Directions: Fill a large bowl with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and stir until the salt dissolves completely. Slice the eggplant into rounds about ¼-inch thick and place them into the bowl of water. Let the eggplant rounds sit for at least 20 minutes to draw out the bitterness. Remove from water and pat dry with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Place the eggplant rounds on a flat surface, lining them up in rows with like-sized paired together. Cover half of the eggplant rounds with slices of cheese. Top with sun-dried tomatoes, sprinkle with parsley and season with salt and pepper. Make the sandwiches using the other eggplant slices.
In a small bowl, mix almond meal and Parmesan-Reggiano cheese. In another bowl, beat the egg. Grab one sandwich at a time, gripping it firmly in the center to hold it together. Dip the sandwich in the beaten egg, making sure it is completely covered on all sides with a thin layer of egg.
Immediately dip the sandwich in the almond meal mixture, making sure to coat the sides and edges evenly. Place the sandwich on the greased baking sheet. Repeat procedure with all sandwiches.
Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, flipping once at the 20 minute mark, until the sandwiches are golden on both sides.
4. Beef Mushroom Endive Taco Boats
The sweet pineapple salsa in these Taco Boats makes a beautiful complement to their savory beef and mushroom filling. The Primal Desire recommends making the salsa in advance so as to let the flavors soak together over time. Delight in these tacos with or without the addition of cheese, according to your dietary preferences. Recipe takes 40 minutes to complete and yields 4-6 servings.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 6 large white or brown mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped (¼ cup put aside for salsa)
- 1 red chili pepper, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 heaping tablespoons taco seasoning
- 4-6 endives, leaves separated from base
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons ghee or grass-fed butter
- Optional: ½ can black olives, chopped and shredded aged cheddar or crumbled blue cheese
- 1½ cups pineapple, finely chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced (from above)
- 1-2 tablespoons cilantro, diced
- 1 avocado, cubed, salted and coated in lime juice
Directions: For the pineapple avocado salsa, mix ¼ cup finely chopped red onion with pineapple, cilantro, and avocado. Place in fridge until needed.
For the endive boats, in a large frying pan or pot, melt ghee or butter over medium heat. Add remaining onions and mushrooms, cooking until soft. Add chili, garlic, and beef, stirring well to break up ground beef. Once browned, mix in taco seasoning and olives. Fill each endive leaf with ground beef/mushroom mixture. If using cheese, sprinkle each endive. Serve with pineapple salsa and cherry tomatoes to be spooned on top.
5. Shredded Pork on Sweet Potato Buns
We all love the fall flavors of sweet potatoes in our food, but have you ever tried baked sweet potato slices as a bread substitute? It’s an easier — and perhaps even tastier — concept than you might think! Canada Girl Eats Paleo offers up this recipe for Shredded Pork Sandwiches on Sweet Potato “Buns” for a piquant, low-carb, and Paleo-friendly meal. The recipe makes 8 servings and takes 8 hours, including slow-cook time for the pork.
Sweet Potato Buns
- 2 or 3 large sweet potatoes, sliced
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1½ tablespoons black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- ½ tablespoon oregano
- ½ tablespoon sea salt
- ½ tablespoons turmeric
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons pickle juice
- 2 tablespoons juices from pork shoulder
- 2 tablespoons of the above spice mix
- Salt to taste
- 2 pounds pork shoulder
Directions: For the sweet potato buns, slice 2-3 large sweet potatoes. Cover with oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 450 for 30-35 minutes.
For the pork, mix all spices together. Rub the spices all over pork shoulder, covering the shoulder. There will be some leftover.
If you have a searing slow-cooker, sear the shoulder on high for 1-2 minutes on each side. If not, place directly in standard slow-cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or until it reaches a safe temperature on a meat thermometer. (160-170 degrees Fahrenheit). When the pork is done, turn off the slow-cooker and let cool. Drain off excess juices.
For the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium. Let it come to a simmer and then turn off the heat (about 7 minutes).
After shoulder has slightly cooled, remove the bone and any fat pieces that won’t easily shred. Using hands or 2 forks , shred the pork. Mix in the sauce, and taste. Add salt if necessary, and any extra juices if desired.
6. Mediterranean Millet Chard Wraps
Similar to quinoa, millet is a gluten-free grain that makes a great nutritive addition to a healthful snack, lunch, or dinner. Bring a taste of the Mediterranean to your kitchen with these Millet Chard Wraps from Nutrition Stripped, Featuring ingredients such as figs, pumpkin seeds, olives, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes, these rainbow chard-wrapped delights will transport you to the Greek isles in just one bite! Recipe takes 40 minutes to complete and serves 4 people.
- 2 cups filtered water
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup dry millet
- ½ cup dried figs, chopped
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 4-6 large rainbow swiss chard leaves, de-stemmed
- ⅓ cup red onion, chopped
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (raw, unpasteurized)
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons Greek style spice blend
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Directions: To make the millet, boil water and vegetable stock, add millet, simmer for 25 minutes or until water is absorbed and millet is tender.
To make dressing, while the millet is cooking, make the dressing in a small mixing bowl. Add all sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Feel free to add more olive oil to combine to your desired consistency.
To assemble, once the millet is done cooking, pour the sauce over the millet and stir in pumpkin seeds, chopped figs, and adjust seasonings to taste. Stir until combined. Scoop about ½ cup of the mixture into a piece of swiss chard and roll up before serving. Enjoy warm or cold.
7. Spicy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Give your shrimp a paprika-cayenne kick in these easy-to-make lettuce wraps from Paleo Newbie. The dish is a light and protein-packed way to boost your energy stores for the day, making the wraps a wonderful lunchtime pick-me-up. Lemon juice and cayenne offer a final refreshing after taste.
- Butter lettuce
- 1-2 pounds of uncooked shrimp, peeled
- 2 cloves pressed garlic
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne
- ¼ cup lemon juice
Directions: Combine the garlic and salt in a medium bowl; mix. Add paprika and cayenne and pour in lemon juice. Stir together.
Throw in the shrimp and toss. Place shrimp on skewers and grill, about 2-3 minutes per side. Wrap up in butter lettuce; add sliced avocado and salsa of your choosing.