5 best sauces and spreads for elevating your sandwich

Street Style - February 2024 - New York Fashion Week
Street Style - February 2024 - New York Fashion Week / Edward Berthelot/GettyImages

You can’t go wrong with a ham and cheese sandwich when it’s time to eat lunch. However, searching your kitchen for the best sauces and finishing touches is worth your while.

Whether spicy or sweet, the right sauce can take any classic sandwich and make your lunch more flavorful. Try new sandwich and spread combinations to spice up your lunch and broaden your horizons.

Here’s a guide demonstrating how to elevate your sandwich with sauces and spreads, featuring conventional and unconventional ideas.

5 Best Sauces and Spreads for Sandwiches

All you need is a tasty condiment to take an ordinary sandwich to the next level. Here are the five best sauces and spreads to put on your slices of bread.

1. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese isn’t just for crackers or cheesecake. You can use it to make your sandwiches taste better, especially at breakfast.

For example, bagels are popular at breakfast because you can use them for sweet and savory creations. Add cream cheese to your bacon, egg and cheese bagel — even if New Yorkers say you’ve compromised their precious breakfast sandwich. Cream cheese adds comfort and creaminess to your favorite sandwiches, and its numerous flavors add versatility.

2. Peanut Butter

When you see peanut butter, you probably pair it with jelly for a time-honored lunchtime treat. However, this plant-based spread is versatile and tastes terrific when you add other ingredients.

For instance, a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich is a classic combination. While it sounds unorthodox, this sandwich was famous during the Great Depression because it was inexpensive during hard times.

Pork sandwiches are another recipe you can add peanut butter to. The spread adds creaminess and sweetness to the savory meat for a wonderful meal.

3. Sriracha

Do you want something spicy for your peanut butter and pork sandwich? Drizzle Sriracha on top for a kick without adding too many Scoville units.

Sriracha is one of the best sauces for sweet heat on your sandwich. This Thai hot chile sauce pairs best with mayo, ranch and other creamy spreads because of their contrasting tastes. Use sriracha mayo on your sandwich, or pair it with sushi for a flavorful and healthy meal.

4. Honey Mustard

Is sweetness more important than spiciness? Add honey mustard to your sandwich if you’re wondering how to elevate your sandwich without adding too much spice. Substitute regular mustard for honey mustard because this sauce fits seamlessly into turkey, fried chicken and grilled cheese sandwiches.

If you prefer to dip sandwiches in sauce, honey mustard works in this application. This sauce is popular for dipping chicken fingers, vegetables, sandwiches and other finger foods.

5. Pepper Jelly

Another way to get a sweet kick is through pepper jelly. This spread combines fruit preserves with jalapeños, although you may find habaneros and other hot peppers inside each jar. Pepper jelly is prominent because it combines sweet and spicy flavors with an easy-to-eat texture.

For instance, add pepper jelly to a salami and brie sandwich because each ingredient fits together nicely. You get spicy, sweet, savory and creamy in every bite, taking your taste buds on a magnificent journey.

Can You Put Healthy Sauces and Spreads on Sandwiches?

Some people avoid condiments and spreads because they view these additions as unhealthy. However, you can get nutritional value from these four best healthy sauces. 

1. Avocado

Avocados have become popular in the last few years, thanks in part to the guacamole at Chipotle. However, this fruit stands on its own as an excellent healthy spread for sandwiches. Plus, avocados are inexpensive compared to other sandwich ingredients, making it ideal if you’re on a budget.

Use avocado as the base for your sandwich, and pile on turkey and bacon for a terrific combination. Ripe avocados have a smooth texture, making your sandwich taste creamy while adding a healthy ingredient.

2. Pesto

Pesto is a simple concoction requiring only olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, basil and Parmesan. Blend these ingredients, and you have a healthy spread for your sandwich. Experts say pesto can help your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, making it a worthy sandwich addition.

While popular in pasta, you can add pesto to your bacon, lettuce and tomato (BLT) or any sandwich with grilled meats.

3. Hummus

It’s hard to find a spread that’s more versatile than hummus. While this dish is a terrific healthy snack for dipping pita chips or vegetables, you can also put it on your sandwiches for extra protein. You get hummus by blending chickpeas, garlic, tahini and lemon juice, and you can add other ingredients to tailor your preferences.

Hummus is a plant-based spread, making it accessible to vegan and vegetarian diets. Spread hummus on a tortilla and pile on lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and shredded carrots for a delicious lunch.

4. Cranberry Sauce

Do you have holiday leftovers you need to get rid of? Cranberry sauce shows how to elevate your sandwich with what’s in the fridge after Thanksgiving dinner. Add this spread to your turkey sandwich and pile on stuffing (or dressing if you’re from the South). Don’t forget the gravy-soaked piece of bread to recreate Ross Geller’s favorite sandwich.

Finding the best sauces for your sandwich

Sandwiches are akin to art because the bread is your canvas. You can add any ingredients to tailor your creation to your liking. The combinations might not work each time, but the failures make for a good laugh. Use these best sauces to elevate your sandwich, whether you want a savory spread or healthy additions to your meal. 

Next. Cedar’s makes delicious dips perfect for healthy snacking. Cedar’s makes delicious dips perfect for healthy snacking. dark