February 27, 2013
In 30 seconds, you can make an exciting lunch that stays fresh and holds its shape with the cutters we tested and the packing tips.
Fun Sandwich Shapes & Cutters for Kids Lunches
It’s true. Kids love to use cookie cutters to bring cookie dough to life and the same can be said for sandwiches.
Turning any sandwich into a fun shape is great for making kids’ lunches more exciting to eat; which is always great if you want to make sure all the contents of the healthy lunch you packed are eaten.
Best Cutters for Sandwiches
While some traditional cookie cutters can pierce through a sandwich, especially metal ones, flimsy plastic cookie cutters tend to only work on sugar cookies.
Tips for Packing Cut-Out Sandwiches
The best school lunches are those that stay fresh and are still in one piece come lunchtime. Below are my top tips for packing your cut-out sandwiches:
Sandwiches thicker than ½ inch, or as high as the cutter, tend to be difficult for any sandwich cutter regardless of the material. Thicker sandwiches might need to be cut layer by layer and then assembled.
Cutting gluten-free bread
Gluten-free bread tends to be thicker and denser than classic sandwich bread. For PB&J, most cutters will pierce through without any issues. For deli meats and cheese, I recommend cutting out the bread first, then the filling, and then assembling. This is a trial-and-error since density varies by brand and type of sandwich cutter.
Pack the cut-out sandwich by itself
Compartmentalized lunch containers are the best option for separating the shaped sandwich from other ingredients and helping it stay intact until lunchtime. Vs using a zip bag.
Separate wet & dry ingredients
Prevent your cut sandwich from getting soggy, as well as any other dry ingredients, by packing fruits and dips in other compartments or small dip containers.
Press first, then jiggle
When cutting the sandwich into the shape, it’s best to gently press the cutter all the way down until you feel the counter or cutting board. Then, gently jiggle it to pierce through the layers until you see the bottom of the cutter.
Watch this video showing you how I make a dino-shaped sandwich although the method works for any shape.
Good Sandwiches to Cut into Shapes
The best sandwiches to cut into shapes are made with similar textured ingredients like deli meat and cheese or soft PB&J. Other things to avoid are sauces or wet ingredients like pickles or tomatoes as well as leafy vegetables.
Here are some ideas:
- Turkey & Cheese
- Ham & Cheese
- Deli meat only
- Grilled cheese, after grilling
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Cream cheese and jelly
- Egg salad sandwich (not overly stuffed)
- Tuna salad sandwich (not overly stuffed)
- Canned salmon salad sandwich (not overly stuffed)
- Creamy chicken salad sandwich (not overly stuffed)
- Pimento cheese sandwiches
- Fresh mozzarella & pesto sandwich
- Flutternutter Sandwiches
What to do With Leftover Sandwich Crusts
A lunch that comes home eaten is the best price to pay for a few crusts. But if you want zero waste, use them to make homemade croutons, make bread crumbs, french toast sticks with crusts, or simply eat them yourself or feed them to the dog.
Make the BEST Cutter Sandwiches
- 2 slices sandwich bread
- mayonnaise , or butter, optional
- 2 ounces deli ham, or turkey
- 1 cheese slice, your favorite
- Place the bread on a flat surface and spread the mayonnaise or butter thinly, just enough to keep the bread moist.
- Place the deli meat and cheese centered and inside the bread crust of one slice of bread. Close the sandwich.
- Place the sandwich cutter on top of the sandwich and gently press down until you feel the board. Slowly jiggle to pierce through the bread, lift the cutter, and remove the outer crusts.
- With your hands, gently push the shaped sandwich away from the sandwich cutter on the board.
- Pack the sandwich inside its own lunch box compartment, along with any sides like fruit and veggies in separate compartments.
- Close the lunch container and refrigerate or pack it into a lunch bag with an ice pack.