Chicken salad sandwiches


As many of us are learning to work from home, and therefore to lunch from home, now is the perfect time to talk about an age-old lunchtime favorite: the sandwich. A staple of brown-bag lunches and school cafeterias, the humble sandwich likely recalls childhood memories for many of us. In fact, Abby Clement, a member of the WGC team, just recently shared one of her happy food memories with us on social media. She fondly remembers watching her mom prepare perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (on whole wheat bread, of course) every morning as she ate breakfast with her sister. 



While some of us are team crunchy peanut butter and others are team smooth peanut butter, for some reason, these types of descriptors haven’t quite made it to the bread aisle. Luckily, our friends at Panera Bread are out to change that, by relaunching their line of packaged sliced sandwich breads, available at grocery stores and some club stores. The new, bold package design now has texture descriptors so that consumers will be able to choose their favorite bread based on how smooth, grainy, or extra grainy they like it. Five out of the seven breads in their line-up use the Whole Grain Stamp and make at least 50% of their grain whole. 

Rendering of Panera's bread relaunch line up


While speaking with the Panera team, we asked Ben Emard and Amanda Walter about their favorite go-to sandwiches – Amanda loves a toasty grilled cheese, while Ben likes making tuna melts with his boys. “The quality of the bread is paramount, though,” he told us. “It’s so easy to forget about the bread and focus on the filling but starting off with the most delicious bread is the best way to build a great sandwich.”

Here at the Whole Grains Council, we couldn’t agree more. Choosing a bread that’s hearty and full of whole grains can add so much flavor and texture to each bite you take. It can also be a huge contributor to your daily whole grain intake! One slice of 100% whole grain bread counts as a serving of whole grains, so eating a whole grain sandwich is an easy and delicious way to get to two of your recommended three or more servings of whole grain per day. 

As Abby reminds us, a PB&J can really hit the spot sometimes, but there’s a huge world of sandwich options waiting for you. With bread flying off grocery shelves faster than it can be restocked, and with many of you trying your hand at baking your own bread at home, we know there are fabulous sandwiches just waiting to be made. Not sure where to start? Once you’ve selected your whole grain bread, roll, or wrap of choice, choose one of the following spreads, a couple veggies, and your favorite protein, for a balanced, tasty meal! To take things up a notch, you could even serve your sandwich toasted, similar to a panini or grilled cheese.


pita bread sandwich.jpg


  • Mustard
  • Hummus or other bean spreads
  • Olive tapenade
  • Pesto
  • Guacamole or mashed avocado
  • Fig jam, jelly, or other fruit spreads


Veggies (and a few fruits)

  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce, spinach, or cabbage
  • Roasted peppers, eggplants, fennel, etc.
  • Olives



  • Canned tuna or salmon, or smoked salmon
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Sliced provolone, muenster, or other cheese
  • Grilled chicken
  • Beans or lentils
  • Pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds


Tell us about your favorite sandwich combo in the comments! (Caroline)


Carol Naes
I received a whole grain bun to try, used it on burgers and it was so good
Pepper Jack Cheese, Turkey/chicken, Mayo, and Pepper on a whole grain bagel thin. #yum
My favorite sandwich is just a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread, so good!
mashed avocado + tuna + egg salad with a little mustard + turmeric on whole grain bread! yum!
Jennifer Arent
Man. I think my all-time favorite is baked tofu, tomato and lettuce on a bed of a delicious whole wheat pita!
Shannon B
One of my favorite memories is having homemade peanut butter & jelly sandwiches made by my dad when I was in elementary school. He was laid off for awhile so he enjoyed making my school lunches and the way he made those sandwiches with love was the best!
Toasted whole grain bread (use butter) + thin slices of ripe tomatoes with mayo + salt and pepper. The bread toasting completely changes the taste of the sandwich. I was shocked.
Janice Cooper
My favorite whole grain memory is enjoying bran cereal and whole grain waffles for breakfast when I was younger.

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