Say goodbye to boring sandwiches with these creative (Credit: Marge Perry)

Say goodbye to boring sandwiches with these creative recipes.

Creative sandwich recipes

Move past simple cold cuts and try one of these creative sandwiches.

Turkey, apple and cheddar grilled cheese

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 4 teaspoons butter, divided
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

4 teaspoons butter, divided
8 slices whole-wheat bread
6 ounces reduced-fat Cheddar, thinly sliced
8 ounces sliced turkey breast
1/2 apple, thinly sliced

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with foil. Coat the foil with cooking spray.

2. Melt 1 teaspoon of the butter over medium-low heat in a large, nonstick skillet. As it begins to melt, brush the top of 2 slices of bread with the butter. Set the bread aside.

3. Spread another teaspoon of butter over the surface of the skillet. Place the 2 unbuttered slices of bread in the skillet; top each with one-eighth of the cheese. Place one-fourth the turkey on each slice; top with one-fourth the apple slices. Top each with one-eighth of the cheese and add the reserved buttered bread, with the buttered side facing up. Press down lightly with a spatula and cook until the undersides are golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the sandwiches over, and again cook until golden on the undersides and the cheese begins to melt, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the sandwiches to the prepared baking sheet pan and place in the oven while you repeat the procedure with the remaining ingredients, making 2 more sandwiches.

4. Keep the sandwiches in the oven until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes; serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Peanut Butter, honey and banana sandwich

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 to 3 tablespoons
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr., Recipe by Erica Marcus)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 to 3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 slices white whole-wheat bread
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
1 banana, thinly sliced

HOW TO:

Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread, honey on the other. Cover the honeyed slice with thinly sliced banana and then top with peanut-buttered slice. Makes 1 sandwich.

Grilled sausage, onions and peppers

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 large red onion,
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 large red onion, cut across into ¼-inch thick rings
1 red bell pepper, halved, and seeds and core removed
1 green bell pepper, halved, and seeds and core removed
1 pound (6 links) sweet Italian sausage, poked in several places with a fork
6 top-split hot dog buns
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon dried basil
⅛ teaspoon salt

HOW TO:

1. Light half the grill. (You will be cooking over both direct and indirect heat.)

2. Insert a toothpick horizontally through the center of each onion ring to hold it together. Place the onion rings and sausage on the unlit half of the grill (for indirect cooking). Place the peppers, skin-side down, over the lit portion for direct heat grilling and close the grill. When the peppers are fully charred, after about 10 minutes, turn and grill 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Set aside.

3. Cook sausage and onions 15 minutes, until well-marked on the undersides; turn and cook another 10 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from heat.

4. Brush the sides of the buns with a little of the oil; grill 1 minute on each side until just toasted and marked.

5. Whisk the remaining oil with the balsamic, basil and salt. Cut the onion rings in half and discard the toothpicks; cut the peppers into thin strips. Add the onions and peppers to the dressing; toss thoroughly. Place a sausage link in each bun and top with the onions and peppers. Makes 6 servings.

Chicken, mozzarella and sun-dried tomato panini

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 (8-ounce) baguette, slice
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 (8-ounce) baguette, slice horizontally and cut into 4 even lengths
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into very thin slices
¼ cup (4 whole) sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
2 cups arugula
2 cups (10 ounces) sliced roasted chicken breast

HOW TO:

1. Lightly brush all the cut sides of the bread with olive oil. Onto the 2 bottom halves, layer half the mozzarella, then all the sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and chicken and then the rest of the mozzarella. Close the sandwiches.

2. Coat a grill pan or skillet with cooking spray (or lightly brush with additional oil) and heat over medium high. Place the sandwiches in the pan, working in batches, if necessary. Top with a second pan, and place a heavy object, such as a large can, in the second skillet for additional weight. Cook 2 minutes, or until the undersides are well-marked or browned. Turn the sandwiches and repeat. Makes 4 servings.

Roasted vegetable sandwich

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 4 (1?2-inch-thick) eggplant slices
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
4 (½-inch-thick) eggplant slices (6 to 7 ounces)
2 red bell peppers, cut in half (seeds and core removed)
12 ounces zucchini, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
12 ounces yellow squash, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
1 small (3-inch diameter) red onion, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
4 portobello mushroom caps
4 plum tomatoes, cut into ⅓-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
4 (3-ounce) ciabatta rolls, split horizontally
8 ounces reduced fat Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat 3 baking sheet pans with cooking spray. Place the vegetables on the 3 pans. The bell peppers should be skin-side up, and the gills of the mushrooms should face down.

2. Brush all vegetables except red peppers and tomatoes with olive oil; sprinkle with salt. Roast in oven, rotating pans every 10 minutes, until vegetables are lightly browned and crisp-tender; a total of 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven.

3. Stack vegetables on bottom half of each roll. Place top halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet; top bread with cheese. Bake in oven 2 to 3 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and place the bread, cheese side down, on top of the sandwiches. Press lightly so the warm cheese adheres to the top layer of vegetables. Makes 4 servings.

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Muffuletta

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 (2.5-ounce) jars pitted
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 (2.5-ounce) jars pitted green olives, drained and coarsely chopped (about 1¼ cups)
1 tablespoon drained capers
½ teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (12-ounce) whole wheat (or regular) baguette
1½ cups shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
4 ounces low-sodium sliced turkey
4 ounces low-sodium sliced ham
4 ounces reduced-fat thin sliced provolone

HOW TO:

1. In a small bowl, combine the olives, capers, basil, vinegar and olive oil. Let sit 30 minutes.

2. Split the baguette horizontally. Scoop out and discard the center of the bread. Drain the olive mixture and brush all the cut, or inside, surfaces (both the top and bottom of the baguette) with the liquid. Place half the olive mixture on the bottom half of the bread; top with lettuce then turkey, ham and cheese. Spoon the remaining olive mixture over the cheese and close the sandwich. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

3. To serve, place toothpicks every inch or so, and cut into 1-inch wide slices. Makes 12 servings.

Rosemary-grape chicken salad

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1?4 cup plain nonfat
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¼ cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon country Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups chopped skinless roasted chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
¼ cup chopped scallion
¼ cup chopped celery
½ cup quartered red grapes
3 burrito-size (8-inch) flour tortillas

HOW TO:

1. Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard and rosemary. Stir in the chicken, scallions, celery and grapes.

2. Place one-third of the salad in a log shape down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 1-inch border clear at the bottom. Fold bottom inch over filling, and roll sides of tortilla in to enclose. Makes 3 servings.

5-napkin pulled pork sandwich

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1?2 cup chopped onion
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
½ cup chopped onion
⅔ cup ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
¼ teaspoon Tabasco (or to taste)
1-pound cooked pork tenderloin, at room temperature
4 potato sandwich rolls (or hamburger buns), split

HOW TO:

1. Combine onion, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, molasses and Tabasco in a saucepan; bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer 15 minutes, until sauce is thickened and flavors are well-blended.

2. Meanwhile, drag a fork lengthwise along surface of tenderloin to shred meat in long, thin pieces. When sauce is cooked, add shredded meat to pot and remove from heat. Toss thoroughly and spoon onto rolls. Makes 4 servings.

Chicken, arugula, mozzarella and roasted pepper panini

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 4 Italian hero or
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
4 Italian hero or hoagie rolls (each about 6 inches long)
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
2 cups arugula
1¾ cups chopped roasted chicken breast
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed
4 ounces part-skim mozzarella, thinly sliced

HOW TO:

1. Split rolls horizontally. Spread bottoms with pesto. Top with arugula, then a layer of chicken, peppers and finish with mozzarella. Close the sandwiches.

2. Coat grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium high. Add sandwiches (leaving room between them) and top with second heavy pan. Press down; leave pan on sandwiches and cook until well-marked and browned on undersides, about 3 minutes. Turn and again press with heavy pan. Leave pan and cook until well-marked and browned, another 3 minutes. Cut in half to serve. Makes 4 servings.

Apple and bacon grilled cheese

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 slices center-cut bacon
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 slices center-cut bacon
1½ ounces Irish Cheddar cheese, cut into thin slices
2 slices whole-wheat bread
½ apple, cut into ¼-inch wedges

HOW TO:

1. Cook bacon in medium skillet; remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towel.

2. While bacon cooks, place the cheese on one slice of bread.

3. Add the apple slices to the pan with the bacon drippings and cook until lightly browned on each side (a total of about 4 minutes). Place the apples on the cheese and top with the bacon slices. Close the sandwich with the second slice of bread and place in the hot skillet. Cook until browned on the underside, about 2 minutes; flip and cook until browned on the underside again and the cheese is melted.

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