For many of us, the countdown to Christmas doesn’t really start until the festive high street sandwich choices start to appear. Pigs in blanket butties anyone?!
And every year, the Christmas.co.uk team bravely undertake an extensive Christmas sandwich taste testing exercise. It’s a difficult, arduous task! But we do it gladly to ensure that you can avoid the dodgy sarnies and focus your bellies on the quality sandwiches instead.
Now, let’s make it clear, 2019 is a vintage year for sandwich ranges. These festive treats are something to look forward to! And so, with no further wittering. it’s time to start filling your face!
So, let’s look at the best of the best, the middle of the road and the deeply disappointing. Excited?! Us too!
Christmas turkey sandwiches
First out of the blocks is the excellent M&S turkey feast sandwich, which costs £3.50. It’s a thoroughly meaty option that is packed with turkey and there’s a decent herb stuffing for everyone to enjoy.
Another interesting offering from M&S is their Yule hog roll that costs £3.50. It’s an interesting rustic dinner feast alternative containing pork, stuffing and apple sauce in decent amounts to be a filling lunch. The downside is the brioche bun which, for us anyway, was a tad too dry.
The good thing about the M&S Christmas sandwich range this year is that they are donating 5% from sales to Shelter, the homeless charity.
The UK’s premier sandwich seller is Tesco and they are offering a turkey and trimmings sandwich that contains turkey, bacon and stuffing. It’s a festive creation and will tick most people’s boxes.
One of the most expensive Christmas sandwiches comes from Pret with a Christmas lunch option at £3.95. It looks great and is packed with lots of turkey with a strong-tasting herb and pork stuffing. Very filling.
The Asda turkey tower weighs in at £3 and again it’s packed with turkey, though this one is smoked pulled turkey along with stuffing and a cranberry coleslaw. It has a bubble and squeak middle to make this a hefty lunchtime filler upper. Be warned: You WILL have a ‘food baby’ after eating this one.
Lidl is offering a festive turkey wrap at £1.79. There’s a decent amount of turkey meat to enjoy and they’ve added a sprout and cranberry coleslaw which may sound unappetising but is surprisingly quite tasty – it delivers a level of crunch to a festive sandwich that most other sarnies can only hope to achieve.
Meanwhile, Aldi should be ashamed. Usually, they produce exceptional Christmas food but not so on the turkey sarnie front. Their turkey Feast sandwich at £1.69. is an odd offering with no salad and it tastes cheap. Disappointing!
As a sound alternative, for £1.79, there is a turkey, trimmings and cranberry port sauce wrap available at Aldi that is worth trying. It’s a lot lighter than traditional Christmas sandwiches and a tasty all-rounder.
There’s also an excellent twist on a cheese toastie by Costa. They have a British Turkey and Trimmings toastie at £3.95 that really does hit the spot. It’s pricier than most festive snacks but if you are out shopping on a very cold day then this is a festive sarnie to warm you up.
We can also highly recommend the Christmas lunch sandwich from Greggs as a decent festive sarnie.
Sainsbury’s is offering a Christmas market sandwich at £3 that has been inspired by the food you find on German Christmas markets rather than British ones. Basically, it’s a decent mix of ham hock, sauerkraut and gherkins plus there’s a beer-flavoured mayonnaise. This is a filling and tempting sandwich that is worth trying because the concoction really shouldn’t work – but it does!
However, the wooden spoon in the turkey sandwich offering this year goes to Boots – which is surprising, considering how great their sandwich range usually is. They’re selling a Christmas Turkey Feast sandwich at £2.75. The turkey is solid and dry, we struggled to chew it. The rest of the filling is unappetising too. Let’s hope they get their act together for Christmas 2020!
Non-turkey Christmas sandwiches
Just because it’s the festive season it doesn’t mean everyone must start munching turkey sandwiches. There is such a decent range of alternative fillings available including brie and cranberry. Here’s our choice of the best non-turkey treats that sandwich makers are serving this year.
We adored the Wensleydale Spiced Fruit Chutney offering from Morrisons at £3. There’s a lot going on between two slices of fruit panettone with a very sweet chutney delivering the zest and a decent amount of creamy Wensleydale cheese. Highly recommended.
The brie and cranberry sandwich from Waitrose at £3 is an interesting choice. This is a retailer that usually gets its products spot on and while there’s a decent amount of brie to enjoy, it does appear to be under-seasoned. There’s a sweet cranberry sauce on top which is lovely. if you’re in a rush and like a mish-mash of tastes and textures for a lunchtime treat, then this might be for you.
The Veggie Christmas Lunch sandwich being offered by Pret at £3.75 is worth the money – though it doesn’t really have any festive ingredients!
Costa’s ‘Veggies under Vests’ sandwich is £3.20. It’s bland and generally yuk. Avoid!
Pigs in Blankets sandwiches
If you’re perusing the Waitrose sandwich shelves and are taken by their Pigs In Blankets creation for £3, we highly – HIGHLY – recommend that you avoid this unpleasant concoction and save yourself the money and heartache.
However, if the notion of having pigs in blankets as a sandwich really appeals, and why wouldn’t it?! Head to your nearest Greggs, they have a baguette version that’s a tasty festive treat and will keep you warm on a cold day.
Costa has a great Pigs in Blanket option at £3.95. Lots of sausage and a bit of bacon in a soft panini. It really hits the spot.
Vegan Christmas sandwiches
There is no doubt that the market for vegetarian and vegan lunchtime offerings is growing, which is why all the major retailers have vegan Christmas sandwich alternatives. While that’s a good sign, unfortunately most of them are not only an unappetising but many are an offence to the sandwich making industry – in our opinion.
First up for the stocks is Asda’s roasted cauliflower and hummus creation. Simply avoid this nonsense. Wrong, wrong, wrong!
And then there’s the Boots vegan sausage sandwich. It not only looks unappetising, it tastes even worse.
Another poor offering is the smoked carrot and dill sandwich from Waitrose. It has a really strange smell that is seriously off-putting.
We do recommend the Very Merry Vegan Wrap from Starbucks. It was going to get rated poorly because it looks weird with its pink tortilla wrap but it is a crunchy treat and something different to the traditional choices.
We also liked the Tesco vegan sandwich from their Plant Kitchen range. Using pea protein – this really is a fresh salad-based offering in a tortilla.
M&S should be proud of their ‘Nutcracker’ – it’s a vegan sandwich with an excellent mix of cranberry, sweet potato and nut roast. It’s a crunchy delight and has been put together by those who understand what vegans are looking for. It’s a great choice for non-vegans too.
Our other recommendation for those wanting a vegan treat is the Christmas Vegan No Turkey Feast from Waitrose which uses soy protein as a meat substitute. There’s fresh spinach, a quality bread layer and a decent balance of festive flavours. It’s a nice alternative those who don’t fancy the M&S Nutcracker, which is essentially a nut roast in a sandwich, while this is a decent turkey meat alternative.
Unusual Christmas sandwiches
While some of the sandwiches mentioned above are traditional Christmas sandwiches that we’ve come to know and love, retailers are increasingly offering unusual concoctions.
As an example, we really enjoyed the turkey tikka with onion bhaji wrap from Tesco at £2.50. It’s a great looking sandwich delivering an interesting taste experience for those who want a festive sandwich with a difference.
In the same vein is the Coronation Turkey wrap from Waitrose, costing £3.30. It’s a nice sandwich with spinach and coriander, though for many it may remind sandwich lovers of how some people like to use up their turkey after Christmas Day.
Talking of using up what’s left from Christmas Day for sandwiches and other meals, there’s a Boxing Day Lunch sandwich from Co-Op at £3 that consists of turkey and ham. To be fair, it sounds great as a concept with a winter coleslaw and spiced chutney, but the execution of this sandwich really does disappoint.
A similar offering is the Lidl festive turkey with sausage and bacon sandwich costing £1.69 contains lots of meat but is simply drowned in mayonnaise.
Finally, while it’s not a sandwich there is one ever-popular festive lunchtime treat that lots of people look forward to – just check out Facebook and Twitter for the excited reception – and that’s the Festive Bake from Greggs.
At £1.55, it’s a great tasting and great looking festive baked offering. It’s comforting, creamy and well seasoned and, as the Christmas.co.uk team will testify, it’s incredibly more-ish.