While Christmas songs on the radio, the shops being full of festive displays and tear-jerking Christmas adverts on the telly all signal the Big Day is just around the corner, none of that compares to the biggest signifier of them all: the arrival of the Christmas sandwiches.
They’ve really come into their own in recent years, with each supermarket and coffee shop chain’s creations creating more hysteria than Mr Claus himself. There’s no denying it, that initial bite of our first Christmas sandwich of the year is what really marks the start of the festive season for us. The battle of the best Crimbo sandwich has officially replaced the battle of Christmas TV ads.
So who’s will reign supreme in 2020? That’s for you to decide. We’ve got the lowdown on all the Christmas sandwiches as and when they land in shops, and we’ll be keeping you up to date with every new addition to the Christmas sandwich scene. You’re welcome.
One of the most looked forward to event of the festive season, Pret’s Christmas food and drink menu is now available to buy in stores and have delivered to your house. This year’s offering includes old favourites like the Christmas Lunch sandwich and baguette, as well as three new vegan offerings and a brand new Pigs in Blankets Hot Roll and Pot. As always, 50p from every Christmas sandwich sale at Pret goes to the Pret Foundation, which works to end the cycle of homelessness.
Truffled Egg & Honey-Roast Ham, £4, M&S
Turkey Feast Sandwich, £3.30, M&S
Turkey Curry Wrap, £3.30, M&S
Has M&S created the showstopper of all Christmas sandwiches this year? Their truffled egg & honey-roast ham sandwich certainly is a top contender: luxurious truffled egg mayo, honey-roast ham and watercress with a whole poached egg in the centre. Wow! Fancy a sweet treat? M&S’s bakery hasn’t missed out on the festivities either, as you can see here. Every year, M&S donates 5 per cent of the sales from their festive food to-go range to the charity Shelter.
For a little lunchtime luxury, Costa’s new for 2020 lobster toastie will do the trick: responsibly sourced lobster enveloped in a rich béchamel sauce and topped with a selection of delicious cheeses, all enclosed in a parsley crumb topped seeded malted bloomer bread – a champion toastie indeed. There’s also the British Turkey & The Trimmings Toastie; the Christmas classic of brie, maple bacon and cranberry in a stonebaked panini; a Vegan Turkee, Cranberry & Stuffing Bloomer Toastie and a Pigs Under Blankets Stonebaked Panini.
Tesco Finest Turkey Feast Sandwich, £3, Tesco
Turkey Curry & Onion Bhaji Wrap, £2.75, Tesco
Plant Chef Root Veg & Chestnut Wrap, £2.75, Tesco
Wicked Kitchen Festive Feast Wrap, £3, Tesco
After a 50 per cent increase in demands for plant-based Christmas sandwiches last year, new for 2020 at Tesco is the Plant Chef Root Veg & Chestnut Wrap, which is available alongside several twists on the traditional turkey and trimmings sandwich, such as the plant-based ‘no-turkey’ wrap, an Indian-spiced turkey curry wrap and an ingenious turkey trimmings wrap where the wrap is made from Yorkshire pudding. Yum.
Christmas Curry Bangers & Brioche, £3.30, Waitrose
The Festive Chicken Feast, £3.30, Waitrose
Vegan Roasted Roots with Carrot & Parnsip Falafel, £3.30, Waitrose
The standout Christmas sandwich from Waitrose for 2020 has got to be the Christmas Curry Bangers & Brioche: a brioche roll filled with smoked pork sausage, curry ketchup, sauerkraut, mayonnaise and American style mustard with fried onions. If you can’t get to a German market this Christmas, this is the next best thing.
Meanwhile, those looking for traditional fare will find the Festive Chicken Feast to their fancy (complete with Brussel sprouts and pickled onion relish), and vegans will love the Roasted Roots Wrap with Carrot & Parsnip Falafel: seasonal winter root vegetables combined with the delicious familiarity of Christmas accompaniments, like lightly spiced braised red cabbage.
Wasteless Christmas Sandwich, £5.50, GAIL’s
As part of GAIL’s Waste Not Campaign, the cafe and bakery chain has launched its Wasteless Christmas Sandwich: smoked turkey, Mayfield Swiss cheese, chipotle aioli and bacon jam on malted wholegrain sourdough.
Sainsbury’s has brought the festive cheer to its On The Go range, with a ‘symphony of flavours’ to be found in their Ultimate Christmas Sandwich: oak smoked turkey, marmite roasted carrots and Brussel sprouts, bubble and squeak, pork and sage stuffing, gravy mayo and cranberry sauce, we don’t think they could fit any more in if they tried! Another star of the show is the Vegan Christmas New Yorker, an indulgent sandwich made with coconut cheese, gherkins and red cabbage, topped with a generous helping of mouth-watering festive-flavoured chutney.
Remember that episode of Friends where Monica makes Ross the ultimate Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich, including the ‘moistmaker’ – an extra gravy-soaked slice of bread in the middle? Well, Starbucks have only gone and created their own version of the sandwich. The One with the Gravy Layer Sandwich (we see what you did there Starbucks), includes a top layer of pulled ham hock and turkey and a bottom later of crushed butternut, red cabbage and a slice of cheddar cheese with an extra slice of sourdough bread that’s been steeped in turkey and cranberry gravy in the middle.
As well as the customer-favourite classics Turkey Christmas Lunch Sandwich and Pigs Under Blankets Sandwich, which will be returning to the shelves for another year, we’re more excited about the brand new Turkey Deli Brioche Roll. Get it fresh from the Morrisons Market Street Deli Counter, it’s made with pulled turkey, sage and onion stuffing, Emmental cheese, New York deli style mustard, mayonnaise, cranberry sauce and spinach all encased in a soft brioche roll.
Tiger Pig, Subway
Turkey Breast SubStack, Subway
Turkey Breast Toasted Bite, Subway
Subway is getting in the festive mood with their release of Chrimbo-themed subs – highlights include the ‘Tiger Pig’ aka a pig in blanket sub on Subway’s brand new tiger bread and the Turkey Breast Substack with added crispy hash browns.
Plant Menu Vegan Festive Feast, £1.69, Aldi
Brie & Spiced Cranberry Chutney Sandwich, £1.69, Aldi
Specially Selected Turkey Feast with Pigs Under Blankets Sandwich, £2.29, Aldi
Turkey Feast Sandwich, £1.69, Aldi
Having sold a record number of sandwiches in the lead up to Christmas last year, the Aldi Christmas sandwich menu for 2020 includes five customer favourites plus one new vegan option, the Vegan Feast: two slices of cranberry and poppy seed bread encase a sweet yet savoury parsnip fritter with shredded apple, sliced cabbage and juicy sultanas, topped with crispy fried onions, fresh spinach leaves and a spoonful of cranberry chutney. As well as the above, there’s also Aldi’s Hog Roast Sandwich and the Turkey Feast Wrap.