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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Pack sandwich components separately and assemble at lunchtime.
It's a little extra work at lunchtime, but if you really value soft, fresh bread, assembling at lunchtime could be worth it. Consider packing your fillings and bread separately, then assemble right before eating. This tactic is particularly helpful when packing tuna, chicken, or egg salad.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Ditch the bread altogether in favor of collard, chard, or kale leaves.
Still not convinced there's a way to avoid soggy bread? Go ahead and ditch the bread altogether! Hearty greens like collards, chard, and kale have large sturdy leaves that make an excellent wrap for sandwiches. They're pliable, hold up well, and give you an extra serving of greens.
7. 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.