6 Great Ideas for Tailgate Sandwiches

It seems appropriate that as football season is in full swing, we celebrate by eating the quintessential tailgate food, the hero sandwich.

At its most basic, a hero is a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments galore). At its finest, it’s a culinary work of art.

The following hoagie ideas are not your typical hero sandwich recipes with layers of meat and cheese. I leave those babies to the fast food franchises. However, these really BIG and delicious sandwiches are perfect to serve when you’re looking to score extra points with your food fans.

1. White Bean and Tuna Wrap
Blend 1 can of white beans, with a little cream cheese, olive oil, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Spread on flour tortillas then top with chopped radishes, red pepper, celery and 1 can of white tuna. Wrap tightly in flour tortillas.

2. Chicken Waldorf Salad Sandwich
Make your favorite Waldorf salad recipe and add cooked chicken breast. Sandwich between thick slices of raisin bread.

3. Vegetarian Artichoke and Basil Hero
Start with a loaf of French bread. Hollow out each half, then spread with basil pesto. Layer 1 can of artichoke hearts, slices of mozzarella cheese and tomato, and top with spinach.

4. Greek Hero
Cut a “U” shaped slice from the top of each submarine roll. Layer in a lettuce leaf, deli turkey, deli ham and then top with a Greek salad mix. A great one is mushrooms, cucumbers, kalamata olives, feta, tomatoes and garlic sprinkled with balsamic vinegar and oregano.

5. Vegetarian Hoagie
Spread hoagie buns with guacamole, then top with slices of tomato, pepper jack cheese, cucumbers, red bell pepper rings and provolone cheese.

6. Tex Mex Hero

  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 small jalapeno chili, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 slices cooked turkey bacon
  • 4 thick slices sourdough bread, toasted
  • 8 thin slices turkey pastrami
  • 4 large tomato slices
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced
  • Romaine lettuce leaves

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno and cumin. Cover and refrigerate. Spread the mayonnaise mixture over the bread. Cover 2 bread slices with turkey, then tomato, avocado and bacon. Season generously with salt and pepper. Top with lettuce and remaining bread slices. Cut diagonally and serve. Serves 2.