25 Healthy Sandwich Recipes Under 500 Calories
Whether or not you enjoyed your brown bag lunches when you were a kid, there's just something special and nostalgic about holding a sandwich in your hands and chomping into it. Even though we're adults now, peanut butter and jelly and ham and cheese sandwiches hold a special place in our hearts. Not only are sammies easy to throw together and simple to pack up, but they also taste amazing and can be made with pretty much any ingredient sitting in your fridge or pantry.
To build up a creation that will have your taste buds dancing, all it takes is a couple of slices of bread and fillings, some guidance from these healthy recipes, and your imagination. So, get excited for the lunch hour to roll around with one of these 25 healthy sandwich recipes that all come in under 500 calories.
Before you bite into these recipes, though, we suggest you always be mindful of these five helpful tips.
- Choose low-sugar, whole-grain, or Ezekiel bread.
- Cut off the crust if you're looking for smaller portion sizes.
- Don't drown your sandwich with condiments.
- Add greens whenever you can.
- Eat half of your sandwich with a low-sodium soup or salad and save the rest for later.
And for more, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.
Low-Calorie Turkey Reuben Sandwich
If you stop in any standard deli, you're most likely going to find an oversized version of this classic sandwich stacked high with peppery beef and cheese. This version still has the heart and soul of a Reuben, but with fewer calories and saturated fat, so you can enjoy each bite without worrying about the impact it will have on your waistline.
Get our recipe for a Low-Calorie Turkey Reuben Sandwich.
Quick Caprese Sandwich
This recipe requires very little time at all: just two minutes of slicing up the tomatoes, cheese, and basil and two minutes of toasting the bread. That's all it takes for this sandwich! And if you're not in the mood for some bread, ditch it and just toss the flavorful medley over some greens for an easy dinner salad that's still plenty filling.
Get our recipe for The Quickest Caprese Sandwich.
Egg Sandwich with Pastrami and Swiss
There really is no better way to start your morning than with a hot breakfast sandwich, but instead of taking a trip through the drive-thru for some fast food variation, you can easily make a healthy sammy right at home. This recipe infuses a classic egg scramble with pastrami and swiss cheese, giving you a dose of protein and fiber to really kickstart your morning and stay satiated until lunch.
Get our recipe for an Egg Sandwich with Pastrami and Swiss.
The Ultimate BLT
Nothing can top the combo that is bacon, lettuce, and tomato between two toasted slices of bread. However, we dared to kick things up a notch and upgrade the basic recipe by adding a fried egg. It serves as the perfect topper and brings a punch of protein to the sandwich, too.
Get our recipe for The Ultimate BLT.
Low-Calorie Pulled Pork Sandwich
We took this sandwich back to its traditional North Carolina roots because the pulled pork you'll find there is dressed with just some spicy cider vinegar. So that's what we did here, creating a pulled pork sammy that is flushed with flavor and light on calories.
Get our recipe for a Low-Calorie Pulled Pork Sandwich.
Apple and Bacon Infused Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Spicing up grilled cheese is easier than you think, and this recipe is proof. We combine sweet apples, crispy smoked bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese for a truly delicious take on the sandwich that just so happens to contain less than half the calories of most of the other grilled cheeses out there.
Get our recipe for an Apple and Bacon Infused Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
Grilled Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Sandwich
Yes, this is a much lower-calorie version of the beloved sandwich, but don't worry—we don't sacrifice any flavor. After grilling the chicken, it's basted in hot sauce and butter, and we went with a yogurt-based blue cheese sauce, making Buffalo chicken into a healthy meal.
Get our recipe for a Grilled Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Sandwich.
Blackened Fish Sandwich with Avocado and Cabbage
You've never had a fish sandwich quite like this before! We replace the typical, processed, breaded, and deep-fried patty with a fresh, blackened tilapia fillet that's topped with creamy avocado and crunchy cabbage. You won't miss the mystery meat alternative.
Get our recipe for a Blackened Fish Sandwich with Avocado and Cabbage.
Low-Calorie Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich
A traditional Philly cheesesteak seems to always have mounds of greasy beef, fried onions, a massive, oil-soaked hoagie roll, and, of course, some Cheez Whiz. There is nothing good for you in that lineup, so we put a healthy twist on the classic sandwich, upgrading the ingredients to a lean flank steak, a whole-wheat roll, and a yogurt-based blue cheese sauce.
Get our recipe for a Low-Calorie Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.
Lean Sausage Sandwich With Peppers
Few foods are as satisfying as sausages cooked over an open flame, but pork sausage can contain up to 30 percent fat by itself, and that doesn't even include the bread or bun it's most likely wrapped in. Why not switch things up with a lean chicken or turkey sausage? With sautéed onions and peppers, a bit of melted cheese, and some spicy mustard, you now have a sausage sandwich you can confidently indulge in.
Get our recipe for a Lean Sausage Sandwich With Peppers.
Best-Ever Classic Grilled Cheese
If you're a bit hesitant to try out our earlier bacon and apple grilled cheese recipe, have no fear: we put a good-for-you twist on the more classic version, too. Crispy grilled cheese and a cup of warm tomato soup is a true comfort food combo that will simply never go out of style, and this version is a play on the gooey Southern staple, pimento cheese, which downplays the calories of the cheese with healthy additions like roasted peppers and Greek yogurt.
Get our recipe for the Best-Ever Classic Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.
Savory and Sweet Elvis Sandwich
You probably know Elvis Presley mostly for his hip-shaking and hit songs, but he also had some interesting eating habits. The King's love of peanut butter, banana, and, according to some accounts, bacon, and honey come together in a sandwich now called the Elvis in his honor. Our version, though, is considerably more modest than the one he apparently indulged in often. Like all of our recipes, this one is low in calories and, yes, still healthy for you.
Get our recipe for a Savory and Sweet Elvis Sandwich.
Open-Face Steak Sandwich on Garlic Toast
Time to reach for the knife and fork as you dig into this open-face steak sandwich that features a base that's been rubbed with cut garlic cloves. And the upside to the open-face style of sammy is that you end up saving yourself a bunch of empty calories by ditching half of the bread. It might have half the bread, but it's twice as good.
Get our recipe for an Open-Face Steak Sandwich on Garlic Toast.
Chicken Panini with Pesto and Peppers
If you order a panini from eateries such as Panera Bread or Au Bon Pain, you're most likely going to end up with a sandwich that is just drowning in calories, thanks to an overload of cheese and condiments. Our panini recipe keeps things simple with pesto, fresh mozzarella, and a layer of lean white meat chicken. You get all the flavor and a nice crunch to your sandwich for a fraction of the calories.
Get our recipe for a Chicken Panini with Pesto and Peppers.
Ultimate Patty Melt
A thin, crusty patty covered in melted cheese and sweet griddled onions, all held together between warm slices of toasted rye bread—there's a reason why this sandwich is a diner staple. But as you most likely know, it comes at a price—a lot of calories. We lightened the load up with a patty melt featuring Swiss cheese and either ground sirloin or ground turkey, both lean, delicious options.
Get our recipe for The Ultimate Patty Melt.
Smoked Salmon Sandwich
You might expect to see smoked salmon on top of a bagel, but we ditch all that extra bread for whole wheat toast, saving you calories and adding in a boost of fiber, too. This recipe still features the classic add-ons of this New York City favorite: onion, capers, and tomato, along with the salmon.
Get our recipe for a Smoked Salmon Sandwich.
Club Sandwich with Super Mayo
There's just something about a club sandwich, isn't there? And we happen to think our version with ham, turkey, bacon, and a souped-up mayo is worthy of making its way into your weekly lunch-planning roundup. You get to eat all of this for only 330 calories? Can't beat that.
Get our recipe for a Club Sandwich with Super Mayo.
Spicy-Sweet Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich
Looking to put a spicy-sweet twist on the grilled sandwich? This recipe brings teriyaki-glazed chicken, juicy grilled pineapple, and fiery jalapeños together for a chicken sandwich to end all other chicken sandwiches.
Get our recipe for a Spicy-Sweet Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich.
Chicken Salad Sandwich with Raisins and Curry Powder
Chicken salad often gets a bad reputation because it's usually mayo overload. In our version, we opt for a modest amount of olive-oil-based mayo, then add golden raisins and curry powder to really amp things up. This chicken salad is great for weekly meal-planning, too, so there's a good chance you'll be enjoying this sandwich a few times a week!
Get our recipe for a Chicken Salad Sandwich with Raisins and Curry Powder.
Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich
Most of the prepackaged deli meats you find in the supermarket are overloaded with sodium, nitrites, and other additives your body should do without. In this recipe, we prefer to use leftover grilled or roasted meats for a fresh take on the classic roast beef and cheese sandwich.
Get our recipe for a Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich.
Bacon and Avocado-Infused Turkey Gobbler Sandwich
Although this sandwich is ideal to make with Thanksgiving leftovers, you don't have to wait until Turkey Day to whip it up! Cranberry sauce, creamy avocado, and a bit of crispy bacon come together with turkey on whole-grain bread for a filling sandwich that reminds you exactly why Thanksgiving foods are forever a favorite.
Get our recipe for a Bacon and Avocado-Infused Turkey Gobbler.
Philly Cheesesteak With Caramelized Veggies
Why yes, this is another take on the Philly cheesesteak! This version uses tender skirt steak, provolone, and a medley of caramelized vegetables for another spin on the classic sandwich.
Get our recipe for a Philly Cheesesteak With Caramelized Veggies.
Sunrise Sandwich with Turkey, Cheddar, and Guacamole
This breakfast sandwich pulls major inspiration from McDonald's classic McMuffin. We upgrade what you would get from the Golden Arches, subbing in turkey for Canadian bacon, adding tomato, and topping it all with a spread of guacamole.
Get our recipe for a Sunrise Sandwich with Turkey, Cheddar, and Guacamole.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich With Chimichurri Sauce
This chicken sandwich is unlike one you're going to find on any fast-food menu, and that's all thanks to the fact that it's grilled, not breaded and fried, and the chimichurri sauce it's adorned with. The Argentine herb-based sauce brings a ton of flavor. Paired with sweet peppers, sharp raw onions, and peppery greens, this sandwich is simply mouthwatering.
Get our recipe for a Grilled Chicken Sandwich With Chimichurri Sauce.
Easy, Low-Calorie Ice Cream Sandwich
Of course, we just had to include a dessert sandwich option on this list. Food should be fun, right? And what better way to do that than with an ice cream sandwich-making station. Keep the cookies for the actual sandwich portion small and thin, the ice cream filling light, and the toppings relatively healthy—think more fruits and nuts. And just like that, you can create a vast array of 200-calorie sandwiches that'll satisfy your sweet tooth.
Get our recipe for an Easy, Low-Calorie Ice Cream Sandwich.
For more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.
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