Making a sandwich

The (New) Rules of Sandwich Making

Want to build a truly great sandwich? We’ve got six ways to make it happen.

There’s no wrong way to eat a sandwich. But if we’ve learned one thing from creating all your favorites, it’s this: There sure is a right way to make one. Dan Kish, Panera’s head chef, follows these six basic rules when creating delicious sandwiches—and now you can too.

Get great bread. Far from being a humble holder, bread is where all awesome sandwiches start. First, you want to find the best bread partner for your ingredients (sliced roasted turkey on Whole Grain Cranberry Walnut bread, anyone?). Also, give some thought to thickness. Dense and hearty breads, like our Whole Grain, are best cut thinly, while more tender types, like Tomato Basil, should get a thicker cut. You can even build on a bun. Our Sprouted Grain Roll is a hearty and wholesome choice.

Keep it simple. Stuffed is good. Overstuffed? Not so much. Most of Panera’s sandwiches contain about a half-dozen items—and that’s by design. You want to get a taste of everything in your sandwich in each bite.

Pump up the protein. For a sandwich to be a complete meal, it needs a high-quality protein. Think roasted turkey raised without antibiotics, all-natural sirloin steak and hard-boiled cage-free eggs.

Get spread smart. Spreads might be a supporting player in your sandwich, but they’re the glue that holds it all together. Plus, they provide a pop of flavor. Just be sure they don’t overwhelm the main event. A thin coating of mayo, mustard, pesto or aioli on each slice of bread is all you need to make your sandwich sing.

Tuck in something fresh. Take a look at any Panera sandwich and you’ll find a little something special. Slices of vine-ripened tomatoes. Crunchy apples. Crisp cabbage. Those elements elevate your sandwich. Get creative and try a sprinkle of fresh herbs, slices of seasonal fruit or leafy greens on your next creation.

Slice and serve. Use a sharp serrated knife so your sandwich doesn’t get smashed. Then serve it ASAP for peak flavor and crunch.