A TikTok Sandwich for Any Occasion
Are you on TikTok? Have you seen THE TikTok sandwich? Well trends come and go, but currently the top TikTok sandwich trend is the Italian grinder sandwich. And it’s a doozy. I held out on downloading TikTok for as long as possible but now I’m hooked and loving the food trends.
There are some great food ideas on the app. There are also some that are super diety and should be questioned. What do I mean by that? For example. Lettuce chips. This “trend” is literally someone eating lettuce tossed in salt and vinegar and calling them chips. No ma’am. Those are not chips. You are just eating a sad salad. Do you like the taste of it? Great. Enjoy your salad. But if you want potato chips, and you try to eat that instead, you’re probably going to be feeling very unsatisfied.
Anyway, back to the sandwich trends. I’ve rounded up 6 of the most recent sandwiches and gave them a try. We had a lot of fun taste testing the different sandwich options, and then I critiqued them! Each sandwich was assessed based on the following criteria:
- Taste: First things first, how is it? It is worth the hype?
- Balance: How well balanced is the sandwich? Could it be a full meal? Does it have carbs, protein, and fat? Fiber? Color?
- Accessibility/Convenience: How easy is it to make? Does it have a lot of ingredients? Is it portable?
- Diet Culture: Is it entrenched in diet culture?
Let’s get into it…
Taste: Ok this is the real deal. This thing is delicious and my favorite part was the grinder salad. I could not get enough of it. I loved the bite of the pepperoncinis and thinly sliced onion. The salad on the warm melty sandwich…yum. Check out our recipe for the viral TikTok sandwich!
Balance: This sammy has everything. Carbs, protein, and fat. Between the salad dressing, multiple cheeses, and meats, it is high in saturated fat and sodium. This means if you’re concerned about conditions like high cholesterol or high blood pressure, then you may want to make some adjustments or maybe not whip up this sandwich daily.
Accessibility/Convenience: I didn’t follow the directions exactly. I only used one type of sliced cheese, and not quite as much of the meats, as I felt like that was unnecessary and quite frankly a little expensive. It also required a lot of ingredients. So not the most accessible sandwich from a cost perspective. Also not very convenient as it has quite a few steps to make it.
Diet Culture: No diet culture here. Nothing has been healthified, but that also doesn’t mean you have to avoid it! Just because something has white bread, orhigh in saturated fat, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the freaking delicious sandwich.
Taste: We make this on the regular at our house. It’s like french toast meets breakfast sandwich. From what I understand, bread omelets are commonly sold by street vendors in India. So definitely not a TikTok creation, but the app definitely brought it to my attention!
Balance: This is another sandwich that is pretty well balanced. Carbs from the bread, fat from the butter and toppings, and protein from the eggs and toppings. I like to use whole grain bread for a little bit of fiber. I typically just make this with cheese, but this time I added turkey bacon and on occasion I’ll include avocado slices too.
Accessibility/Convenience: If you have eggs, bread, and butter you can make this, but a few extra toppings will take it up a notch. It’s fairly accessible. I also think, once you get the hang of the technique, that this is convenient and can be made quickly. I’ve also made it in advance and reheated it later on.
Diet Culture: There’s no diet culture to be seen here. Though I did see a few people market their “healthy” egg sandwich by making this with only 1 slice of bread. Use your own discretion and listen to your body for how much to eat!
Taste: I thought I would hate this. It seemed like it would be impossible to eat. But I honestly liked it at first. The crunch of the bell pepper was nice. I tried tuna and turkey/cheese. I preferred the turkey/cheese version. But I will say, I got a little tired of it about halfway through. It’s just a lot of bell pepper.
Balance: This is not balanced and will leave you wanting something (umm carbs!). Our body needs carbs. Our body likes carbs. I meal completely devoid of carbs can often leave you craving something despite your stomach feeling full. Add something to round this meal out – chips, popcorn, crackers….something!
Accessibility/Convenience: While this is easy to make and I think would travel well, it is messy to eat. It definitely needs a condiment to give it a little something something. I used mayo and mustard but when that combined with the juices of the bell pepper…just have a napkin handy.
Diet Culture: This sammy had my diet culture alarms blaring. I get why society hates on carbs. There is a fear of carbs. But cutting them out completely is not the answer. If you like the bell pepper sandwich, go for it. But don’t opt for this instead of bread because you feel like it’s the “healthier” option.
Taste: This wrap (which is basically a sandwich, right?) is fun. It’s a different way to fold a tortilla which made it go viral. When it comes down to it though, it really doesn’t taste any different than a wrap or burrito. But I do like that it’s griddled to keep it together, which also melts the cheese and warms the fillings a bit. Taste comes down to what you put in yours. I filled mine with prosciutto (leftover from making the grinder but also yum), caramelized onion, arugula, and swiss cheese. Great combo, highly recommend.
Balance: The balance can certainly depend on what you put inside of it. We have the carbs from the tortilla. Add protein with meats, egg, hummus, cheese, beans, canned fish, etc. Add some fat with avocado, dressing, mayo, etc. I used a little butter on the outside to griddle it and get it crisp. I also chose arugula for a little color and it’s good for digestion! Plus I chose a whole wheat tortilla for a little extra fiber.
Accessibility/Convenience: This is a very accessible trend because you can use whatever you have on hand. It’s not as convenient as just throwing everything on a tortilla and wrapping it up. But griddling it does help seal it and then it’s fairly portable at that point.
Diet Culture: Not really a problem here. Don’t feel like you have to use a carb smart or whole wheat tortilla. If you like white tortillas/wraps, great. Go for it! Maybe incorporate fiber in a different way by using beans, avocado, or veggies. Or pair the wrap with fruit or a salad.
Taste: We had a breakfast bonanza to prep for this blog and we made a few versions of the bread omelet and this hash brown sandwich. I thought the bread omelet was going to be my favorite (because it’s tried and true in our house) but man. This was tasty. I really appreciated the crispiness of the hash brown and I felt that helped it surpass the bread omelet. Texture is important! Fill the sammy with whatever you want, but we went with egg, cheese, and turkey bacon.
Balance: Another well balanced sammy with carbs, protein, and fat. You can add fiber with some sautéed veggies and avocado if you like. I think the biggest downside to this sandwich is the sodium content. The frozen hash browns have a decent amount so if you’re limiting your sodium intake, this would be an occasional option for you (or be intentional with your other food choices that meal). For example, the hash browns would be around 500 mg sodium, but you could fill it with an egg (no salt), swiss cheese (typically low sodium), and some avocado slices (extra potassium to help blood pressure).
Accessibility/Convenience: This is pretty accessible because if you can just keep a package of frozen hash brown patties in your freezer for whenever the mood strikes. Fill the sammy with whatever you have on hand. Convenience? Not so much. I baked the hash browns, which took 20 minutes. You could probably save some time by air frying. Then once they were made, they were pretty messy.
Diet Culture: No diet culture here. You may be looking at me and perplexed as to why a dietitian would recommend a sandwich made from hash browns. Doesn’t seem very “healthy”. This sandwich does have more saturated fat content than if you were to put it on bread. But we can’t assess someone’s health off of one meal. This was a tasty breakfast sandwich that my husband and I enjoyed making. All foods can fit, and we will always stand behind this.
Taste: This isn’t anything mind blowing from a taste perspective but the grated hardboiled egg does give it a really unique texture. From what I can tell, the original creator of this avo toast layers hers with mayo, avocado, egg, and hot sauce. I omitted the mayo because it seemed unnecessary to me, but you could certainly go for it. I also did red pepper flakes instead of hot sauce because of personal preference.
Balance: Another well balanced meal. Carbs, protein, and fat. Color and fiber from the avocado. You could play around with the bread if you need more fiber, but it’s hard to beat a good thick slice of sourdough.
Accessibility/Convenience: Avo toast is pretty easy and if you have hardboiled eggs on hand, it’s a simple addition. But the grated egg is definitely messy, creates more dishes, and is not as portable as the original, plain avocado toast.
Diet Culture: Avocado toast certainly has a health halo around it. While it may have a little more fiber than other options or maybe a slightly different profile of fatty acids because of the avocado, this isn’t that different than our other breakfast sandwich options. But most people will opt for this over others because it seems healthier. Listen to your body. What sounds good? What is going to be satisfying? These are important questions!
Which sandwich comes out on top?
Ok, that was a trick question. None of these sandwiches “win” because they are all different. We all have different needs, different preferences, different ideas of a satisfying meal, different time constraints. All of these sandwiches offer different flavors and textures, and the best one is the one that you will enjoy. If you have specific health concerns, any of these sandwiches can be tweaked to be better for your specific circumstance. Chat with your dietitian about how these TikTok sandwiches can fit into your diet!
An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.