Too hot to turn on the stove? Sandwiches to the Rescue!


Summer officially started on June 21, but the sweltering heat has been here for weeks. It’s hard to stay cool with temperatures in the 90’s. In parts of North Carolina temperatures have even gone above 100 degrees! When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to do is turn on the stove to cook a meal. But that doesn’t mean you have to go out to eat. There are plenty of meal options that require no cooking at all. How about sandwiches?

When it comes to sandwiches, the options are endless. You are limited only by your imagination. Need some ideas? Use the recipes below as a place to start. Try substituting other ingredients in any sandwich recipe where the flavors work. That way, you can tailor your sandwiches by your likes and the foods you have on hand. Being flexible with recipes is a great way to stretch your food dollars. For example, if a recipe calls for pita bread, but tortilla wraps are on sale or less expensive – purchase the tortilla wraps instead. Or if recipe calls for walnuts, and you have pecans in the pantry – use the pecans instead! Small substitutions can save you money on groceries. When you substitute from your pantry you avoid making a purchase and you avoid waste by using items on hand before they spoil.

Some examples of sandwich substitutions include:

For: Substitute:


Whole wheat tortillas, pita bread, wraps, large lettuce leaves

Chopped celery

Bell peppers, radishes, cucumber, summer squash


Fresh, frozen or canned tuna, salmon, sardines, canned chicken, hummus, beans (canned/cooked from raw at home)


Almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds


Pear, grapes, mandarin orange, raisins, pineapple, dried cranberries/ mangoes


Plain yogurt, yogurt mixed with mayonnaise, mashed avocado, olive oil (or combination of these)


Spinach, any kind of leaf lettuce, shredded cabbage (red or green), broccoli slaw

Chicken Apple Salad Sandwich

Makes: 4 Sandwiches

Total Cost: $3.03

Serving Cost: $0.76


  • 1/4 pound cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 cup chopped celery (one stalk)
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple (one apple)
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 package raisins (small box, 1.5 ounces)
  • 8 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients except for bread together in a bowl.
  2. Create 4 sandwiches on whole wheat bread.


May substitute approximately 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice for 1 fresh lemon, juiced.

Suggest serving sandwiches with lettuce and tomato.


Veggie and Hummus Pita Sandwich

This Mediterranean sandwich is full of flavor and texture. A lightly toasted pita smothered with creamy hummus and filled with crunchy cucumber, crisp bell pepper and juicy pieces of chicken. This main dish sandwich is filling and easy to eat on the go.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Makes: 6 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces romaine lettuce, washed, dried and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 ounces cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup hummus
  • 3 whole grain pita bread


  1. Combine oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until salt is dissolved.
  2. Add cucumber, bell pepper, lettuce, and chicken and toss until everything is combined.
  3. Lightly toast pita bread on both sides. Cut pita in half horizontally and gently open each half to create a pocket.
  4. Spread 2 tablespoons of hummus in each pita pocket, then fill with about 1 cup of vegetable and chicken mixture.
  5. Repeat with remaining pitas and vegetables.

Source: Valley City Junior/Senior High School (Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge)

Homemade Hummus

Prep time: 20 minutes

Makes: 6 Servings

Total Cost: $1.83

Serving Cost: $0.23


  • 2 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas), cooked
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame tahini (sesame paste) or substitute peanut butter for a sweet taste)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Mash the garbanzo beans until smooth (if you have a blender or food processor, put the beans and lemon juice into it and blend).
  2. Add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini and oil. Mix well.


Serve hummus with fresh raw vegetables, on a piece of pita bread or flour tortilla, on any cracker, or as a sandwich filling on toasted bread.


Purple Power Bean Wrap

Rolled up in a whole-wheat tortilla are avocado, white beans, lettuce, and shredded purple cabbage that pack a powerful purple punch in this delicious vegetarian wrap.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Makes: 6 Wraps


  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (make zest from juiced lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups canned low-sodium great northern beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh avocado, peeled, pitted, puréed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh purple cabbage, finely shredded
  • 6 whole-wheat tortillas, 10″
  • 3 cups fresh romaine lettuce, shredded


  1. Grate lemon rind on hand-held grater or citrus zester to make zest. Juice lemons. Set aside.
  2. Purée beans in a food processor or a blender until smooth. Put into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Purée avocado, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, chili powder, and salt until smooth. Mix into pureed beans. Add shredded cabbage. Mix well.
  4. You may cover and refrigerate at 40 °F for no more than 2 hours to avoid browning of avocado.
  5. For each wrap, place 1/3 cup of bean filling on the bottom half of tortilla. Top with ½ cup of lettuce. Roll in the form of a burrito. Cut diagonally. Serve immediately