Just like advent calendars and mince pies, the arrival of Christmas sandwiches on the shelves is becoming an annual cultural moment. From turkey toasties to super-sized subs, the task of fitting a whole Christmas dinner in between two (or more) slices of bread is an art being explored in supermarkets, coffee shops and bakeries on high streets across the country from now until the big day itself. This gives you a solid six weeks to replace your usual lunch break prawn mayo or egg & cress with sliced turkey, cranberry sauce, Camembert and many more festive flavours. And with Thursday being National Sandwich Day (3 December), what better day to start?
We’ve done the hard work for you and tested 25 Christmas sandwiches from 10 high street retailers including Pret, M&S, Costa and more to find the best to buy this year to bring you this selection of the best ones to try. What did we look for in our search for the the best Christmas sandwich? As well as undeniable festive flavours, we wanted these to be balanced and not too sweet, with complementary elements that allowed you to taste each flavour without competing. Sandwiches should hold together well and not be too messy, and we loved to see interesting innovation, good quality ingredients and impressive breads.
From returning classics to tasty new innovations, these are the best Christmas sandwiches to buy this year.
Best Christmas sandwiches at a glance
- Best large Christmas sandwich: M&S Christmas club sandwich, £4.25
- Best classic Christmas sandwich: Pret a Manger Christmas lunch baguette
- Best luxury Christmas sandwich: Ole & Steen Turkey Roastie toastie, £8.95
- Best for bread: PAUL Christmas sandwiches, £4.65-£5.15
- Best vegan Christmas sandwich: Ole & Steen Merry Squashmas toastie, £8.45
- Best sausage sandwich: Waitrose Pigs Under Blankets sandwich, £3.50
- Best budget turkey sandwich: Boots Christmas triple, £3.35
- Best for coronation chicken fans: Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Christmas Dinner Feast, £4.50
- Best budget Christmas toastie: Costa turkey and trimmings toastie
Best Christmas sandwiches to eat in 2022
M&S Christmas club sandwich, £4.25
Best large Christmas sandwich
The M&S Christmas club sandwich is classic excessive festive indulgence. A traditional Christmas sandwich has been supersized with 12 layers – if you’ve got a long train journey, this will keep you going. This has it all: turkey, ham hock (essentially bacon here), stuffing, cabbage and cranberry sauce, divided amongst 4 sandwiches. We liked the golden toasted bread (a true club sandwich) for that added flavour, although sadly didn’t pick out the promised gravy mayo. Pickled red cabbage adds welcome colour, crunch and tang, and 5% of proceeds go to Shelter.
Marks & Spencer, £4.25
Pret a Manger Christmas lunch baguette
- Available from Pret a Manger
Best classic Christmas sandwich
From a classic turkey granary to Boxing Day toastie, this year’s Pret range has an impressive 8 Christmas sandwiches (plus two festive macaroni cheeses) to provide something for everyone. The old favourites you’ll recognise are all returning – our favourite is always the Christmas Lunch baguette in pleasingly soft bread, complete with Pret’s signature crispy onions. It has a generous filling of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce (with the decadent addition of Port) and peppery rocket, which gives freshness and more flavour than the spinach we’ve seen in other Christmas sandwiches. For veggies and vegans, there are also several new additions this year to look out for: a beet Wellington baguette pairs maple roasted beetroots with truffle mushrooms and Christmas pesto, whilst the Christmas brunch rye roll looks just like scrambled eggs and salmon at first glance, but is actually entirely vegan with innovative tofu eggless-mayo and smoked carrot ribbons. And if you’re not feeling a sandwich, we had to give a sneaky mention to the hog roast macaroni cheese with pulled ham and caramelised onion chutney. Pret is where to head pre-office Christmas party, or perhaps to revive you the day after…
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Pret a Manger
Ole & Steen Turkey Roastie toastie, £8.95
Best luxury Christmas sandwich
The homemade focaccia stood out here as some of the best bread we tried: crispy on top, great olive oil flavour and a unique twist. It’s expensive, but also huge so perfect for eating-in for lunch. It’s filled with turkey, a slab of herby stuffing and just the right amount of melted cheese for luxurious creaminess.
Ole & Steen, £8.95
PAUL Christmas turkey and vegan trimmings sandwiches
Best for bread
We tried the PAUL Christmas turkey sandwich (£5.15) and the vegan trimmings sandwich (£4.65) and both scored highly for great bread. The turkey sandwich (pictured) has a crunchy sage and onion baguette that tastes just like stuffing, a clever way to incorporate this into the sandwich. It was well-balanced with the cranberry sauce sweetness not overpowering and pleasant spinach freshness. The vegan sandwich had good crunch from walnut bread and a colourful filling (carrots, maple roasted sprouts, chestnuts, cranberry sauce) although we wondered if there could be more included for vegans than just pure vegetables.
Ole & Steen Merry Squashmas toastie
Best vegan Christmas sandwich
Another Ole & Steen sandwich made with their brilliant focaccia. This vegan offering was fresh and light with a generous quantity of colourful, well-cooked veg that hadn’t gone mushy. The addition of vegan cheese added richness and melted well and was a solid example of a vegan cheese.
Ole & Steen, £8.45
Waitrose Pigs Under Blankets sandwich, £3.50
Best sausage sandwich
Every supermarket appears to be doing a ‘pigs under blankets’ sandwich this year, but the Waitrose one stood out to us the most. The sausages had good peppery flavour and the bacon was well-smoked. The addition of redcurrants gave extra tang to the cranberry chutney.
Boots Christmas Triple
For when you just can’t decide. For a triple sandwich, this is a bargain and handy if you’re sharing or feeling indecisive. The turkey and stuffing is a simple nod to Christmas sandwiches, while we appreciated the generous amount of green veg in the cheddar & chutney – a classic done well.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference The Ultimate Christmas Dinner Feast
Fans of either a coronation chicken sandwich, or of making an epic Boxing Day sandwich with all your leftovers, will enjoy this choice from Sainsbury’s. It is undoubtedly on the sweet side and that won’t be to everyone’s taste, but its creamy filling differs from lots of the standard turkey sandwiches out there. There’s lots going on here with cubes of sweet roasted carrot and parsnip, ham hock, whole cranberries and spinach along with the turkey. We were surprised that we could actually taste a hint of champagne in the apple and apricot chutney with orange juice and champagne.
Costa turkey and trimmings toastie
- Available from Costa Coffee
Best budget Christmas toastie
This soft toastie grew on us the more we ate. It’s designed to be croque-monsieur style, and there is something undeniably comforting about the soft white bread and melting cheese. A basic cheese toastie with a gentle festive twist, this is what you need at a train or service station on a dark rainy evening.