AUG 20 - It’s National Sandwich Month!

Here is one of my favorite BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Smoke Daddy’s in Chicago, Illinois!

By: Alyssa Angelo, Iowa State University Dietetic Intern

August is National Sandwich Month! What does that mean? Well, this is the one month out of the year where we can celebrate the simplicity of a meal that is composed of two pieces of bread and whatever fillings your heart desires! Nowadays sandwiches are not just limited to two slices of bread with meat and cheese but have evolved into flavor-packed, easy to make meals. Let's take a look at the evolution of sandwiches from where they began and how far they have come, as well as recognizing the many health benefits that can be created by adding a variety of your favorite ingredients between two pieces of bread.

Throughout the years, we have advanced our sandwich making practices to wraps, grilled cheeses, Panini's, pinwheels, subs, and much more. Before each variety of sandwich was created, the sandwich was first made and created by John Montagu, 4th earl of Sandwich. The story goes John Montagu was an avid gambler who did not have the time to eat while he was gambling so he would ask his servants to grab him two pieces of bread and put meat in between. That was when

the first sandwich was born. The word “sandwich” was then first written and recorded in Edward Gibbons’ journal on November 24th, 1762. Sandwiches have become a staple food in the American culture as well as many places around the world. Just think about it? How easy is it to create a sandwich? You could probably open up your refrigerator right now and whip something up out of the many ingredients without even planning on it. Sandwiches are great for on the go when you don't have enough time to make a home-cooked meal.

Not only do sandwiches hit the spot, but they also provide a variety of nutrients in one meal! Think about it; you're getting your…

  • Grains from your bread: whole grain buns, tortillas, English muffins, bagels, subs

  • Protein from your meat and cheese: turkey, ham, BBQ pulled pork, tuna, chicken salad, salami, bacon, pepper jack cheese, American cheese, and Swiss

  • Fat and flavors from cheese and condiments: Italian seasoning, ketchup, mustard, mayo, aioli, pickle relish, hummus, guacamole, pesto, balsamic vinaigrette

  • Vitamins and minerals from your added vegetables and/or fruits: tomato, onion, pickle, coleslaw, lettuce, apples, pears and much more!

A complete meal full of health benefits, flavor, and assortment! Get creative, the next time you are throwing together ingredients to make a sandwich, add an extra vegetable or a different type of cheese to find out how these nutrient-packed additives increase the flavor of your sandwich!

Looking for a tasty sandwich recipes to kick off Sandwich Month?! Try Not Your Average Steak Sandwich! Or, if you are feeling adventurous and looking to add more variety, try this Grilled Cheese and Fruit Sandwich! Need more sandwich inspiration? Visit ISU Spend Smart. Eat Smart. recipe page!

One of my favorite sandwiches is a Tuna Melt! Try out this recipe below and make it your own by adding your favorite toppings!

Tuna Melt Sandwich

Serves: 4

Serving Size: 1 open face sandwich


  • 2 Cans (6 ounces) tuna (canned in water), drained

  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped (green or yellow)

  • 3 tablespoons of light mayonnaise or salad dressing

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 4 slices whole wheat bread

  • 4 tomato slices (1 medium tomato)

  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F

  2. In medium bowl, combine tuna, onion, mayo, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well.

  3. Place bread on baking sheet

  4. Spoon about ¼ of the tuna mixture on each piece of bread. Spread mixture to the edges.

  5. Add a tomato slice

  6. Bake 5 minutes

  7. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese on top of each sandwich. Return to oven for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

Source: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Spend Smart. Eat Smart.:






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