Whether you’re packing lunch for yourself or your kids, including a sandwich is pretty standard. When you can’t have bread anymore, finding gluten free bread substitutes is definitely a challenge. Most of the gluten free breads out there taste better after being toasted, something not convenient for a lunch on-the-go. Although sandwiches are generally made with bread or wraps (containing refined or whole wheat), there are plenty of other options for bread substitutes. I encourage you to think outside the box with these gluten-free upgrades.
First thing’s first: the “bread.” While these gluten-free bread alternatives may not have the traditional taste or texture of a bready sandwich, they each bring their own unique flavor that can really kick your sandwich up to the next level. Here are a few of my favorites…
- Tortilla wraps – Try this coconut flour recipe from against all grain. It stands up well to being rolled like a sandwich, and doesn’t get gooey or fall apart.
- Blanched collard greens – (dip in boiling water until softened) Use the green just like a tortilla or large lettuce leaf.
- Romaine Lettuce Spears
- Rice paper wrappers – This blog post by Inspired Taste shows how to use rice paper wrappers just like those summer rolls you get at an Asian restaurant.
- Sliced and roasted sweet potatoes (Just like this)
- Grilled Portobello mushrooms (this may be a little messy on the road)
- Forget the bread and put everything in a bowl like this and bring a fork
- Paleo coconut wraps made of coconut meat and water
- Here is a new product on the shelves recently, egg tortillas by Egglife. This one I haven’t tried yet, so if you do, let me know how it comes out.
Gluten Free Bread Substitutes at the Grocery Store
There are some really good gluten-free breads at your local store that feel just like regular bread. Like I said above most of them get better once they are toasted. Here are some of my favorite brands for gluten free bread substitutes:
- Udi’s Soft White Sandwich Bread is the closest to white bread for those new to GF
- Canyon Bakehouse has the sliced bread that holds up the best for making a sandwich to-go
- Trader Joe’s has a gf hamburger bun that I recently used to make breakfast sandwiches for a long drive. My husband says they were a hit, and I should make them again!
- Find a LOCAL bakery! The best bread you will find is if its local and fresh baked.
Fresh and Fun Sandwich Fillings
What about the filling? Peanut butter and jelly is a nice combo, but can get old real quick. And if you’re working with allergies, it might not do at all. Below is a list of my favorite sandwich fillings. I always try to make my meals fresh and nourishing, so be sure to check your local farmers market for in-season ingredients.
- Brown rice and beans with sliced avocado or guacamole
- Almond butter and preserved cherry jam
- Hummus and sliced vegetables
- Grilled vegetables and protein from last nights’ dinner (always make extra at dinnertime for your lunch the next day!)
- Fresh vegetables and leftover salmon in a coconut flour wrap
Chef’s Note: If the wrap won’t hold up until lunch, pack the filling separately and assemble when ready to eat.
If you want to try something different for lunch instead of putting everything on bread, read this post for how to build a Buddha Bowl. These bowls are the art of combining all the great sandwich fillings into a bowl instead. A bowl is a great options for gluten free bread substitutes.
What’s in your lunch box? I’d love to find out what some of your GF sandwich ideas are, so feel free to comment below! Or, share a picture with us on social media so we can see what you’ve come up with at @holisticchefs on Instagram.
And here is the bag I use to pack our lunch for a road trip or to protect them when I stuff them in a backpack. I either put everything in warm and the bag keeps it all warm, or I add in an ice pack and the bag can keep it cold too.
**Please note, some links on this page are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase them. Any product that I recommend is only because I use it myself. They are good products and I share them with you to help you get the same great results in your kitchen that I do in mine! Happy cooking!