9 Amazing Bread-Less Sandwich Ideas That Will Make You Drool

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9 Amazing Bread-Less Sandwich Ideas That Will Make You Drool
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Losing weight and keeping the weight off is no easy task. Bread and obesity go hand in hand; bread is a source of simple carbohydrates that take minutes to burn up, leaving you with low energy, an empty stomach, and craving for more food. White bread not only gives you empty calories, but they also lack nutritional value like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A study in 2015 by Serra-Majem and Bautista-Castaño has also linked white break intake with weight gain and increase in abdominal fat – a definite no, no if you want to stay healthy. [1][2]

Sandwiches have long been a staple when packing lunch – what can you do? What if you don’t have enough time to cook three meals a day and still be healthy? This is where these nine amazing bread-less sandwiches will save the day.

1. Barbeque Salmon Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce is a staple in most salads and sandwiches but did you know that you can replace bread with lettuce instead? Salmon, which is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that help with cardiovascular and neurologic health, can be wrapped in lettuce and packed to-go for a snack or light lunch. You can even go Asian-style and add grilled lean pork or beef in your lettuce wraps! You can find Vitamin A and K in lettuce, which both help with immunity and cell production. [3][4]

2. Red Bell Pepper Sandwich

Juicy red bell peppers are excellent substitute for burger buns and bread, adding flavor and texture to any sandwich. Shukla, et. al. in 2016 found that red bell peppers are able to improve lipid profiles and cholesterol levels in the body, while exerting significant antioxidant properties as well. Chicken is a great way to balance out the tangy flavor of red bell pepper without overpowering it. You can even add fruits like avocados and tomatoes for more nutrition. [5]

3. Paleo Sweet Potato Buns

The Paleo diet is a simple diet that aims to get rid of any and all processed / agricultural-based food in your diet – basically eating what humans could gather and hunt for thousands of years ago. It’s pretty healthy, and if it worked for our ancestors, it could work for us too. A great bread-alternative if you’re on this diet is the sweet potato. This root vegetable is a healthy food that is known for having anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties. To make sweet potato buns, you just have to substitute white flour with sweet potato puree and bake them as you would normally bake bread. These buns are perfect for fruit jams and meat spreads. [6]

4. Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

In order to make eggplants the “bread” of any sandwich, you just need to give them a quick grill to get rid of slight bitter, raw flavor. Eggplants are a great source of dietary fiber, while being free of fat, cholelseterol, and sodium. Since eggplant is a very versatile plant, you can use any sort of filling in between slices, like lean beefs or grilled chicken breast. [7]

5. Gluten-free Tapioca Wraps

Like sweet potato buns, making tapioca wraps just means substituting white flour with tapioca starch. The wraps you make are soft and very flexible, meaning you can add any sort of stuffing or filling in them without breaking the wrap. Tapioca comes from cassava, a healthy root vegetable that is an excellent source of calories, especially in third-world countries. While tapioca itself is not known for being nutritious, it can used as an excellent flour-alternative to make healthier starch products like bread and wraps. Wraps are best eaten with hummus and grilled meat and vegetables. [8]

6. Plantain Tortillas

Here we go with another substitution! To make flour-free tortillas, puree a few yellow plantains and mix the ingredients together as you normally would. The consistency will be little different (more messy when spreading them out on a baking sheet), but the taste makes up for it. After baking the tortillas, you can eat them as is or give them a little char on the grill. Pair these tortillas with guacamole and fresh fruits. Plantains, typically mistaken for a banana because of their yellow color, are a good source of vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber. [9]

7. Cucumber Subs

Cucumbers are crispy and refreshing – and an excellent substitute for bread. They add an interesting texture to any sandwich as well. Studies have shown that cucumbers are also great antioxidants that rid the body of free radicals which damage our cells. This vegetable has antidiabetic and lipid lowering properties as well. Instead of making your sub with bread, which not switch out the bread with a whole cucumber? [10]

8. Tomato Avocado Burgers

Tomatoes are famous for their high lycopene content, a substance that is known to help fight against cancer. Different studies have focused on the ability of lycopene to fight against different kinds of cancer such as those that affect the prostate and breast. If you plan on substituting your plain white bread with tomatoes, pick bigger-sized ones that are bright red in color. You can make healthy burgers with lean meat, flavored with your own herbs, and add them in between thick tomato slices. [11][12]

9. Portobello Halloumi Burgers

The last kind of bread-alternative, and probably a favorite of most, are Portobello mushrooms. Not only are mushrooms delicious (they often taste like meat!) and savory, they are also low in saturated fat while being high in fiber. You can also get a good source of B-complex vitamins from this vegetable. Try out the Portobello buns with a few slices of halloumi and your choice of dressing. A homemade burger would also taste delicious with these mushrooms. [13]


[1] American Diabetes Association. Glycemic Index and Diabetes. https://diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/glycemic-index-and-diabetes.html

[2] Serra-Majem, L & Bautista-Castaño, I. (2015). Relationship between bread and obesity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26148919

[3] Barros, M., Poppe, S. & Bondan, E. (2014). Neuroprotective properties of the marine carotenoid astaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids, and perspectives for the natural combination of both in krill oil. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24667135

[4] eatFresh.org. Lettuce. https://eatfresh.org/discover-foods/lettuce

[5] Shukla, S., et. al. (2016). Antihyperglucolipidaemic and anticarbonyl stress properties in green, yellow and red sweet bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25868614

[6] Mohanraj, R. & Sivansankar, S. (2014). Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam)–a valuable medicinal food: a review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24921903

[7] Fruits and Veggies: More Matters. Eggplant: Nutrition. Selection. Storage. https://fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/eggplant

[8] United States Department of Agriculture. Cassava. https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_maes.pdf

[9] Self Nutrition Data. Plantains, cooked Nutrition Facts & Calories. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2031/2

[10] Mukherjee, P., et. al. (2013). Phytochemical and therapeutic potential of cucumber. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23098877

[11] Zu, K., et. al. (2014). Dietary lycopene, angiogenesis, and prostate cancer: a prospective study in the prostate-specific antigen era. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24463248

[12] Gloria, N., et. al. (2014). Lycopene and beta-carotene induce cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in human breast cancer cell lines. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24596385

[13] Kohno, K., et. al. (2008). Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of 2-amino-3H-phenoxazin-3-one. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18827359

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