7 Tips to Keep Your Sandwich from Getting Soggy

updated May 29, 2024
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italian sub with a slice taken out and laid down
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

When it comes to packing a quick and easy work lunch in advance, I find sandwiches are one of the best options. Sure, there’s an art to choosing the right ingredient combo, but the real key is knowing how to make a sandwich that’s just as good at lunch as it was when you assembled it (read: avoiding the dreaded soggy bread!). These seven tips will help you prevent soggy sandwiches for good.

Don’t be shy with spreads and condiments.

It may seem counterintuitive, but slathering on a layer of mayo, mustard, pesto, or hummus plays a crucial role in keeping sandwich bread intact and sogginess at bay. Condiments and spreads act as a barrier between the bread and meat, cheese, or veggies that make up the sandwich, and keep excess moisture from seeping into the bread.

Slather on the butter, too.

That same principle also applies to butter. Whether you brush a thin layer of melted and cooled butter over the inside of each slice of bread or slather on some softened butter (go for the good salted stuff!), it makes a big difference in keeping bread fresh — and provides extra flavor, too.

Pat damp ingredients dry.

Some ingredients are guaranteed to add extra moisture to your sandwich. Pat wet ingredients like sliced tomato and cucumber with paper towels to minimize dampness.

Use crusty bread, a roll, or tortillas instead of sliced sandwich bread.

If you want some extra insurance that your sandwich won’t be soggy when lunch rolls around, start with something super sturdy. Instead of sliced sandwich bread, go for a heartier option like a crusty baguette, ciabatta, or a roll.

Toast the bread.

If you insist on sliced sandwich bread, consider toasting it first. While its crunch won’t keep, toasting dries out the bread, which curbs its ability to soak up as much moisture and prevents soggy bread.

Avoid making a sandwich with warm ingredients.

If your sandwich includes cooked ingredients, let them cool completely before assembling your sandwich. Warm ingredients tend to give off condensation (which can make bread soggy), so cold or room-temperature ingredients are your best bet for sandwiches that will keep.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

Consider ingredient placement.

In addition to using a slather of condiments to protect the bread, be thoughtful about the positioning of ingredients. For example, keep wetter ingredients like tomatoes towards the center of the sandwich, so they’re not in direct contact with the bread.

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