Build-your-own homemade sub sandwiches

Build-your-own sub sandwiches
Build-your-own homemade sub sandwiches made with ham and swiss (served with kettle-cooked potato chips)

Last month, I decided to make my own sub sandwiches (or hoagies or heros, depending on what you like to call them), and they are definitely better than anything I could buy at a restaurant. So I’m saying goodbye to Jimmy John’s, and hello to making delicious sandwich combinations at home.

What’s the secret? It’s in great ingredients, a dash of dried oregano, and a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar. And if you have a little extra time, homemade sub rolls put it over the top.

I use the same formula for each sandwich (inspired by this video), but the combinations are endless. I’ve shared some of our favorites below, including turkey bacon ranch, and an Italian grinder. We hope that you give one (or more) of our sandwich ideas a try! Because sometimes, you just want a good sandwich, and this is it.

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Italian beef sandwiches

Italian beef
Italian beef sandwich

If you’re looking for an authentic Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich, this probably isn’t it (you might want to check out this article for some tips). But if you’re looking for a very tasty Chicago-inspired Italian beef sandwich, this is definitely it.

The combination of beef, swiss cheese, onions, au jus, and giardiniera is savory, delicious, and flavorful. We smoked an eye of round roast on the grill, but you could also buy thinly sliced roast beef from the deli as an easy option. I also highly recommend purchasing a Chicago-style giardiniera (such as Marconi), instead of the Italian style (which won’t have the right flavor). Another tasty option is to cook sliced bell peppers and mushrooms along with the onions to make a sort of Philly-style sandwich.

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Grilled chicken souvlaki (salad or sandwich)

Grilled chicken souvlaki (salad or sandwich)
Grilled chicken souvlaki (salad or sandwich)

Michael found this recipe last fall when we were going through some old issues of Sunset magazine, and I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve made it a couple times now, and have tweaked the recipe to make it tasty and delicious — we really like the flavors of the lemon and oregano in the marinade. Since we don’t have a grill, I cook them in my grill pan, which works great.

I’ve used this grilled chicken in pita sandwiches, as well as a Greek chicken salad — either way, it’s best served with cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce.

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Bacon and queso molletes

Bacon and queso molletes

When Michael recently had a layover at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, he made a point to stop by Tortas Frontera, one of Rick Bayless’ restaurants (we often watch his show Mexico — One Plate at a Time on tv at home). Michael ended up ordering the bacon & queso mollete (a warm, open-faced sandwich), as well as the corn & poblano chowder, and reported back to me that both were delicious!

So, naturally, we decided to recreate the deliciousness at home. While we didn’t have the exact ingredients listed on the menu, we made a few substitutions and thought our molletes were still fabulous! It’s an easy recipe to make, so we hope you give it a try!

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Turkish spinach and feta gözleme

Turkish spinach and feta gozleme

I found this delicious Turkish recipe via pinterest several weeks ago, and made it for dinner last night. It reminded us a little bit of stuffed naan bread, but the filling is reminiscent of spanakopita. Regardless, it made a tasty vegetarian meal alongside falafel and salad.

The original recipe notes that another traditional filling option for gözleme is a spicy minced meat, which would surely be delicious as well!

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Cranberry turkey paninis

Cranberry turkey paninis

I made these simple but delicious paninis last month with leftovers from a turkey that we roasted. I used dark and light turkey meat, cream cheese, and cranberry sauce to give the sandwiches a rich Thanksgiving-like flavor. Using the cut sides of the English muffins as the outside of the sandwich ensured that the paninis were deliciously browned.

This panini recipe would be great to keep around for next Thanksgiving’s leftovers. But why wait? Turkey is delicious year-round, and so is this sandwich.

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