Yes, You CAN Freeze Sandwiches

Last week after a program, I offered to leave some of the sandwich samples for the staff. One of them commented that they had a bunch of other snacks and that the sandwiches might not get eaten. I said, “Well, you can take these home and freeze them for another day.” The look I received was that of total shock. “You can freeze sandwiches?” was the reply. The individual was just sure the bread would be all soggy and the overall quality so bad that you would never want to consider it. But, the quality isn’t diminished. It’s time to use the freezer and save a few dollars…

Sandwiches you make ahead and freeze can save money and time. Just about any sandwich—other than those with a mayonnaise base (such as chopped meat or egg salad)—can be frozen. It’s best to apply condiments such as mayonnaise when ready to use. Some great filling choices include: peanut butter and jelly; deli meat; plain canned tuna; cheese; or cheese along with a meat. Or, you might consider buying a whole roast or chicken, cook it in the slow cooker or oven the day before, and use the meat from that for sandwiches. It will be cheaper than the deli meat and definitely lower in sodium. Dicing these larger meat cuts will make them stretch further. Make the sandwiches and wrap them in plastic wrap or a sandwich bag, put them in a larger freezer-weight plastic bag (being sure to mark the bag with the contents), then pop in the freezer. For more on freezing sandwiches, Nebraska Extension has a great tip sheet.

When you are ready to pack your lunch, just grab one of the sandwiches from the freezer and place in an insulated bag with an ice block. It should be thawed in time for lunch. You could add to this lunch a bag of vegetable sticks (prep several bags and have ready for grabbing from the fridge), fruit, string cheese, and cookie. Fast! Easy! And easily less than $2.00 for lunch.

-Jottings from Jan

16 thoughts on “Yes, You CAN Freeze Sandwiches

  1. It would be great if there were a print function on these pages. I teach cooking to low-income families and would love to use these examples with the photos but I couldn’t find a way to get them to print out without saving each photo individually. Thanks!

  2. @Karen
    Karen, To print, all you need to do is using your mouse, right click on the page and select print page. I do it all the time, works like a charm.

  3. I also like that they are wrapped individually so I may open the package and take out what I need without worrying
    about re-wrapping the rest to prevent freezer burn. They just launch in to the next part of
    their game. They are forms of storage that allow us
    to store and protect our food from bacterial growth and
    spoilage.

  4. Hi, thanks for the tips. How long can the sandwiches stay frozen, and still be good? Particularly, deli meat-n-cheese, and PBJ’s?
    A few days? A week?

  5. Hi Joe – A good rule of thumb is 1-3 months to maintain the best quality. Thanks for following Spend Smart. Eat Smart.!

  6. Thanks for mentioning that you can freeze almost any kind of sandwich except the ones that are mayonnaise based. I have to get up early for work every day and don’t have a lot of time to prepare lunch ahead of time. I think that freezing sandwiches will allow me to get out the door quickly without sacrificing my lunch.

  7. Hi Emma

    We are not familiar with that product to be able to give you an educated answer on this. It would be worth a try.

    Thanks!

  8. My aunt back in the 1950s’ would make lunches on Sunday for her children and husband for that week and put them in the chest freezer in her kitchen. In the mornings she would open up their lunch boxes and load them up! A real time and money saver.

  9. This sounds great during a pandemic! I’m definitely going to experiment but I can already see that produce should not be added to the sammy until it’s been defrosted.

    A chef of mine prepped basic Kraft singles with some shaved grano padano on margarine or buttered white bread in plastic wrap for a grilled cheese event. Said they could be frozen for weeks or refrigerated for 5 days

  10. My brother has just passed away leaving a young family, I’m trying to find practical ways to help his ex partner with cost and workload for the children. I’m going to test some frozen sandwiches and various fillings this week. I’ll let you know how I get on.
    Thanks for the tips

  11. hi there, just wondering if you prep the veggies for the week too and if so, how do you store them so that they don’t dry out? I find if i cut up carrot sticks and put them in a ziplock bag they are dry for the following day. Cucumbers have a similar problem but they go a bit soggy rather than dry.
    I came here searching for answers on how the major supermarkets have those ready to go sandwich packs that are on the shelves for a few days. there’s no way those could’ve been frozen as they have mayo in them or tomato etc. Can sandwiches stay fresh in the fridge for a day or two?

  12. Hi Nolsie – Thanks for your comment. Super market snack packs can be a bit misleading because they may be treated with products that maintain freshness that we wouldn’t really have at home. I have good luck with cutting celery and carrots ahead and keeping them in the refrigerator. There are slight texture differences than eating it freshly cut and for me it is worth the time saved by doing it all at once. You might consider putting a small amount of water in the bottom of your storage container if you have veggies drying out on you. Sandwiches will be fresh in the fridge for a day or two provided all of the ingredients used to make them are good for that long. You will find that bread may get soggy depending on what is touching it.

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