Make Ahead Sandwich Spreads

Chicken Salad Sandwich
Linda Larsen

Sandwich spreads are some of the best make ahead meals. When your family is in and out of the house, eating at different times and with different appetites, having these delicious and nutritious spreads in the fridge is like money in the bank. And make-ahead sandwich spreads are the perfect answer to feeding your family when it's just too hot to cook.

These make-ahead sandwich spreads should last two to three days in the refrigerator, as long as you keep them well covered. They can be spread on focaccia, put into split pita breads, grilled between slices of whole wheat bread, piled on a bagel, wrapped in flavored tortillas, or eaten on crackers. You can use them as appetizer dips, fill some celery sticks or bell pepper slices with these recipes for a buffet, or use them for grilled sandwich fillings if you want something hot.

Use your imagination when making these spreads. Change the meat used, add some of your favorite ingredients and flavors, change the fruits and vegetables, and be sure to check out new food products in your supermarket for more ideas.

With a few of these spreads and a cold salad or two in your refrigerator, plus a selection of good bakery breads, you don't need to make lunch for days! I especially like Nectarine Coleslaw and Orange Cream Salad. Let your kids assemble their own lunch using the wonderful fixings you have prepared for them while you relax on the porch under a ceiling fan. Now that's what summer is all about!

Make Ahead Sandwich Spreads

  • Grilled Chicken Apple Sandwiches: This is the most fabulous sandwich spread. It's really delicious grilled between two slices of whole grain bread, but it's also wonderful stuffed into a pita with some crunchy lettuce.
  • Cheesy Barley Sandwich Spread: This delicious and unusual recipe combines barley with cream cheese and veggies. It's really good with thinly sliced roast beef on ciabatta bread.
  • Cobb Salad Wraps: To make this spread ahead of time, just leave out the avocado and add it as you're making the sandwich.
  • Salmon Croissant Sandwiches: Think about using one of the new flavored kinds of packaged tuna in this easy sandwich spread.
  • Chicken Salad Sandwiches: This is the classic Chicken Salad recipe that is perfect for any type of sandwich. You could use canned tuna or salmon in this recipe if you like.
  • Brown Bread Fruit Sandwiches: Dried fruit makes a really wonderful sandwich filling. Look at your supermarket for different kinds of mixed dried fruit.
  • Turkey Cucumber Sandwich Spread: The combination of cool, crisp cucumbers and tender chunks of turkey makes a great sandwich.
  • Egg Salad Sandwich Spread: Classic egg salad is always a hit with young children. This recipe is made a little differently than traditional egg salad.
  • Antipasto Sandwiches: This sandwich filling is really wonderful served in whole wheat pita breads lined with some deep green romaine lettuce.
  • Hummus Sandwich Spread: Hummus is a Greek spread made of pureed chickpeas, tahini, sesame seeds, and lemon. It's really wonderful as a sandwich spread.
  • Wild Rice Chicken Sandwich Spread: Did you know that you can buy canned cooked wild rice? It's a great way to get that great flavor and texture without heating up your kitchen.
  • Tofu Egg Salad Sandwiches: For strict vegetarians, those on low-fat diets, or just for a delicious change, try this flavorful tofu sandwich spread.
  • Ham and Corn Sandwich Spread: This spread works really well when layered with cheese and crunchy whole grain bread, then grilled just until the cheese melts.
  • Pimiento Cheese: This great spread is a classic Southern recipe. I always have some in my refrigerator for last minute appetizers as well as instant sandwiches.
  • Parmesan Tuna Sandwiches: Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor in this updated tuna salad sandwich.
  • Curried Chicken Sandwich Spread: Crunchy celery, sweet and chewy currants, and hot and spicy curry powder combine for a fabulous sandwich spread.
  • Shrimp Salad Sandwiches: Cabbage and carrots are combined with tender shrimp in this nutritious and delicious sandwich spread.
  • Spinach Pesto Sandwich Spread: Spinach adds great flavor and nutrition to pesto. Spinach also costs less than fresh basil, which is a boon to your wallet.
  • Crab Spread: Try different kinds of seafood in this easy, elegant, and very yummy sandwich spread.