Planning ahead is Key- Rules for Making Frozen School Lunch Sandwiches

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured

Published on July 31, 2019 with No Comments

Think about it. You can freeze bread, cheese, cooked meats and veggies all by themselves – so why not assembled in a sandwich? There are a few ingredients that should be avoided though … much like raw veggies would not freeze well by themselves, they would not be a good fit frozen on sandwiches either.

GREAT in frozen sandwiches:


  • Cheese (any type such as goat cheese, havarti, cheddar, mozzarella, etc. – grating it first could improve the texture)
  • Cooked meat (such as leftover chicken, sliced steak, deli meat, bacon, etc.)
  • Cooked onions (grilled, sautéed or even better – caramelized)
  • Cooked, sliced veggies (roasted, grilled or sautéed – zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, bell peppers, etc.)
  • Sliced, raw tomatoes are okay if you’re going to grill the sandwich before freezing


  • Pesto(my favorite!)
  • Peanut butter or nut butter (great paired with jamor honey for a homemade “Uncrustable“)
  • Hummus


NOT good in frozen sandwiches (but could be added just before serving):

  • Lettuce
  • Sliced cucumbers or other raw vegetables
  • Raw onions
  • Pickles

Just wanted to interrupt myself to let you know you can download the tips from this post by joining our Free Membership Area. Once in, you can grab the tip sheet for this post plus many other handy downloads. Click the button below to get started:

How to Freeze and Defrost Sandwiches

Putting the sandwiches away in the freezer is the easy part, but there are a couple of ways to do it.

How to freeze:

  1. You can portion out the sandwiches, wrap each one in foil, and throw them in one big freezer-safe bag together (don’t forget to mark the contents and date)!
  2. Or you can spread the prepared sandwiches out on a baking sheet, freeze them, and then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag together after they are frozen.

How to defrost:

I personally pull out any frozen school lunch items the night before(whether it’s a sandwich, soup, muffinwaffles, or biscuit) and let it defrost slowly in the fridge overnight. My girls took the sandwiches I made and froze on Saturday to school yesterday (pictured below) and both told me come lunchtime they tasted great! One even said she couldn’t tell at all it had been frozen. She said it tasted just like a regular sandwich I made that morning. Although she actually said it was even “better than a regular sandwich” because it’s hard to beat a yummy grilled panini with tasty ingredients. Even if it’s served cold. Yay!

I also made a big batch of tomato bisquethat I froze in individual portions on Saturday as well and paired it with the sandwich to make for a quick and easy school lunch. All I had to do was boil and add the whole-grain noodlesto the soup and cut up the fruit, which took no time at all!


I’m going to have to do my best to not use up all my frozen sandwiches too quickly – they are so nice to have on hand. If you have any tips for freezing sandwiches please share with us in the comments below!


How I Set Up for School Lunches

Planning ahead is key!

The Night Before…

  • Pack lunches:For loads of ideas check out our most recent “School Lunch Roundup” post.
  • Set out lunch bags:We love our “soft-sided” lunch bagsfrom Lands End…they fit our divided containersperfectly. We also go ahead and put in a cloth napkin, any necessary silverware, and a Lunchbox Lovecard (use coupon code “100Days” for20% off).
  • Fill drink bottles:Our girls get water every day.
  • Get out breakfast items:We keep it simple at our house – whole grain cereal!
  • Set out snack supplies:Another daily repeat…oatmealkept warm in a thermos container, by request.

The Morning Of…

  • Serve breakfast:We just add fresh milk and berries to the cereal we set out the night before.
  • Make & pack snack:We add the finished oatmeal to little drawstring bags with a reusable napkin and spoon.
  • Add lunches to bags (with ice packs):With 3 to 4 ice packs everything stays plenty cold until lunch time


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