24 Healthy Sandwiches for When You Want a Handheld Meal

turkey taco panini
Photo: Blaine Moats

Long gone are the days of boring sandwiches with merely a piece of meat and bread slapped together. Enter the world of melts, sliders, paninis, and wraps filled with fresh meats, flavorful spreads, and bright vegetables. Healthy sandwiches really are a complete nutrition package, literally at your fingertips. Check out these healthy sandwich ideas all under 600 calories, and give your health and taste buds a boost.

01 of 24

Pulled Pork Gyros with Dilled Radish Tzatziki

Pulled Pork Gyros with Dilled Radish Tzatziki
Carson Downing

Spice-rubbed lean pork is remarkably tender and delicious after slow cooking all day in red wine. Shred and serve in a pita that's slathered with homemade Greek yogurt tzatziki for a lightened-up gyro sandwich.

02 of 24

Sweet-Spicy Barbecued Chicken Sliders

Sweet-Spicy Barbecued Chicken Sliders
Andy Lyons

Looking for a skinny spin on a buffalo chicken sandwich? Your search ends here. These healthy sliders start with purchased rolls (opt for whole wheat for extra fiber) and feature sauced-up leftover or rotisserie chicken, so it's a cinch to make a big batch in a flash.

03 of 24

Pickled Beet Sandwiches

Pickled Beet Sandwiches
Andy Lyons

A bit of prosciutto goes a long way in these toasted sandwiches that highlight peppy watercress and tangy pickled beets. For extra crunch, we sprinkle on a few crumbled potato chips (baked or kettle-cooked if you like) before adding the second slice of bread.

04 of 24

Sloppy Veggie Sandwiches

Sloppy Veggie Sandwiches
Jason Donnelly

Hearty lentils and brown rice replace all the meat in these slow cooker faux joes. Even picky eaters will have a tough time distinguishing these vegetarian buns from their beefy counterparts.

05 of 24

Turkey Taco Panini

turkey taco panini
Blaine Moats

Score big with fewer calories and lots of flavor with these satisfying taco-style sandwiches. Customize the flavor with your choice of salsa—pick one that is thick and chunky for best results. Use a skillet or grill pan if that's what you have on hand, but for the most professional-looking sandwiches, cook in a panini press.

06 of 24

Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Smoked Salmon Flatbread
Andy Lyons

Get a taste of a New York deli via this cream cheese, lox, and caper sandwich. We trade the bagel for a flatbread to keep the calorie count at a trim 284 per wrap.

07 of 24

Italian Veggie Heroes

pan of Italian veggie heroes sandwiches cut in half
Blaine Moats

Who says meat lovers should have all the fun? Pile on the veggies and cheese and enjoy. Try different dipping sauces, such as BBQ sauce, Thousand Island dressing, or ranch dressing.

08 of 24

Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled-Pork Sliders
Scott Little

Great for entertaining, these sliders are easy to put together. Pile buttery dinner rolls with the simmered meat and top with crunchy, vitamin-packed coleslaw and pickles. If you're hosting a get-together, make a whole plate of these easy grab-and-go mini sandwiches.

09 of 24

Falafel and Vegetable Pitas

Falafel and Vegetable Pitas
Blaine Moats

With whole wheat pitas as the "bun" and whole wheat flour as the falafel binder, these veggie-loaded falafel pockets pack in eight grams of filling fiber. Swap out any veggies you find at the farmers market to mix up the flavor. The yogurt dipping sauce really kicks this up a notch.

10 of 24

Coffee-Rubbed Salmon Sandwiches

Coffee-Rubbed Salmon Sandwiches
Karla Conrad

Is it sweet? Is it savory? Both, actually. The unexpected coffee flavor will have your taste buds asking for more. It's decadent and filling in a way that fish sometimes isn't. The sour cream balances out the espresso powder in a refreshing finish.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you're not feeling the coffee rub and would like a little spice, try using Cajun seasoning on the salmon.

11 of 24

Ham and Egg Sandwiches

Ham and Egg Sandwich
Andy Lyons

Pump up the protein even more on your ham and cheese sandwich by adding sliced hard-cooked egg and a Greek yogurt dill sauce. Play around with different breads here, such as toasted sourdough, an English muffin, or healthy sprouted wheat bread.

12 of 24

Thai Shrimp and Cucumber Wraps with Rice

Thai Shrimp and Cucumber Lettuce Wraps with Rice
Carson Downing

This wrap is so flavorful that it can serve as a main dish. The special ingredients of sriracha and brown sugar sweeten and spice up the sauce, without being overbearing. The jasmine rice adds a bit of fiber to round out the nutrition profile.

13 of 24

Yellow Squash and Feta Grilled Toast

Yellow Squash and Feta Grilled Toast
Andy Lyons

Take advantage of a bumper crop of squash to make a spread of open-faced sandwiches for lunch. Grill the veggies and the bread, and then layer a garlicky cream cheese mixture between the two before finishing things off with plenty of fresh arugula. Two slices will only set you back 286 calories.

14 of 24

Greek Sloppy Joe Pitas

Greek Sloppy Joe Pitas
Blaine Moats

Quick lunch sandwiches should not be boring! Luxurious red wine tomato sauce transforms lean ground lamb into a light and tasty sandwich filler. Mediterranean-inspired toppers like feta cheese and Kalamata olives make the healthy pita pockets complete.

15 of 24

Muenster, Cabbage, and Apple Sandwiches

Muenster, Cabbage, and Apple Sandwiches
Kritsada Panichgul

Cutting down on meat can slash calories and still be delicious—as proven by this gooey grilled cheese recipe. Stuffed with sweet apple slices, crunchy cabbage, and tangy Muenster cheese, this meatless meal is ready to serve in just 30 minutes.

16 of 24

Paleo Waldorf Salad Lettuce Wraps

Paleo Waldorf Salad Lettuce Wraps
Andy Lyons

Simply delicious describes this wrap. It also keeps lunch light, nutrition-packed and fast. If you're not following the paleo diet, you could swap out the lettuce and use whole wheat bread or tortillas to increase the protein.

17 of 24

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Andy Lyons

Lettuce wraps are a tasty way to save on carbs and calories in your favorite sandwich recipes. Fill butterhead lettuce with Asian-spiced chicken and vegetables for a fix-and-forget slow cooker favorite.

18 of 24

Greek Lamb Wraps

Greek Lamb Wraps
Jacob Fox

Lamb makes for a tender sandwich filling when slow cooked and shredded to perfection. Combine it with a light mayo spread, fresh veggies, and reduced-fat feta cheese for a sensational Greek sandwich wrap.

19 of 24

Cheesy Chicken Sloppy Joe Sliders

Cheesy Chicken Sloppy Joe Sliders
Jacob Fox

This is an economical and flavorful hearty sandwich. Using ground chicken, shredded cheese, and regular pantry ingredients makes this an easy go-to lunch. Using ground turkey and ground beef would change the flavor just enough to keep this healthy sandwich from getting boring once you start making it on repeat.

20 of 24

Tomatillo Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Tomatillo Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Andy Lyons

Make purchased roast chicken impressive with our homemade tomatillo-garlic sauce. These tailgate-ready ciabatta sandwiches rival restaurant offerings and fuel you with 18 grams of protein per serving.

21 of 24

Grilled Turkey Gyros

Grilled Turkey Gyros
Jason Donnelly

Lighten up an indulgent gyro recipe with lean ground turkey and a cool fat-free cucumber-yogurt sauce instead of traditional tzatziki. Bright diced tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers fill these Mediterranean grilled sandwiches.

22 of 24

Sesame-Ginger Turkey Wraps

Sesame-Ginger Turkey Wraps
Andy Lyons

Skip takeout and create worldy wraps with slow-cooked turkey and crisp slaw coated in a sesame-ginger stir-fry sauce. This low-fat Asian-inspired recipe will help you watch your waistline without sacrificing any flavor.

Test Kitchen Tip: Did you know that fresh ginger is equipped with phytonutrients that help reduce inflammation? Use it in this recipe's stir-fry sauce.

23 of 24

Avocado Ranch Tuna Melts

Avocado Ranch Tuna Melts
Karla Conrad

By keeping your sandwich open-face and making smart ingredient swaps, such as light mayonnaise and ultra-thin cheese slices, you can enjoy all the comfort of creamy tuna melts with half the fat. We added avocado and broccoli slaw mix to the classic sandwich for nutrition and depth of flavor.

24 of 24

Avocado BLT Club Sandwiches

avocado-blt club sandwiches
Blaine Moats

The mashed avocado mixture with mayo, lemon juice, and garlic takes this healthy sandwich to another level. If you like toasted bread with your sandwich, this recipe will become a regular in your lunch rotation. It's great on whole wheat, sourdough, and French rolls.

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