11 Tasty Sandwiches Without Deli Meat: Creative Meal Ideas

Enhance meals with lunch meat beyond sandwiches: try dinner salads, pizza toppings, quiches, omelets, scrambled eggs, lasagna, pasta dishes, rolls, baked potatoes, waffles, pinwheels, kabobs, mac and cheese, stuffed pita bread, and more.

lunch meat meals besides sandwiches

Lunch meat goes well between two slices of bread with toppings and condiments. However, many great lunch meat meals (or dinner) can be enhanced by adding lunch meat.

Here follows lunch meat meals besides sandwiches.

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Dinner Salad


A dinner salad is often considered a healthy alternative to entrees. Along with the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and other toppings, chop up some lunch meat and put it on top of the salad.

Chicken or turkey (for low sodium or low processing or gluten free) goes best, though some people will do just as well with ham, roast beef, or even some forms of seafood that usually go between two slices of bread.



Pizza is one of the most versatile dishes that has ever been created. The versatility comes from the toppings, which range from pepperoni and ground beef to some of the more exotic foods, such as anchovies or even pineapple.

Ham is one of the best lunch meats to repurpose for a pizza topping. It is best to slice it into smaller pieces and arrange it around the pizza. Canadian bacon also works well.

For those who want their pizza to be an adventure as well as a meal, by all means, try chicken or pork. Buffalo chicken has an extra bite.



A quiche usually starts with a store-bought pie crust, though if you’re an ambitious chef you can make one of your own with homemade dough.

In any case, most quiches start with milk, eggs, and shredded cheese. You can add just about any kind of lunch meat, along with chopped green onions or spinach, that you can imagine. However, most people prefer ham or bacon bits in their quiche.

A typical quiche starts with the premade pie crust. Add six eggs, three-quarters of a cup of milk, and one and a half cups of shredded cheese along with the protein and chopped green onions or spinach.

Half the cheese goes into the mixture and the other half goes on top. Bake the quiche at 375 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes and then rest for ten minutes before slicing and serving.



Diced ham is the most common type of lunch meat that goes into an omelet, along with cheese and leftover cooked veggies.

Making an omelet is something of an art, but with practice, it becomes easy over time. Beat two or three eggs as if you were making scrambled eggs. Then melt the butter in a nonstick pan and add the eggs.

After cooking the eggs for a little bit, tilt the pan to let the runny part of the eggs flow toward the edge of the pan while lifting the cooked edge with a spatula.

Then, after adding the filling, fold the omelet and slide it off the pan, onto a plate.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are far easier to make than an omelet but can also benefit from the addition of lunch meat.

When you whisk the eggs, add chopped ham or any other kind of meat before pouring it into the pan.

The meat, along perhaps with some chopped vegetables, will enhance the scrambled eggs and make them into a meal in their own right.



Lasagna is a casserole made with layers of flat pasta, meat sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese. Some imaginative chefs have tried the same concept with different ingredients.

For example, a turkey lasagna uses lean, ground turkey mixed in a tomato-basil sauce in lieu of the meat sauce. It is considered far healthier than the standard lasagna.

A ham lasagna uses a cream sauce with chopped ham and mushrooms. Some recipes use a little cream cheese to add thickness. It’s a great way to use some leftover roast ham.

Chicken lasagna uses a cream sauce and some spinach to add flavor with some nutrients and vitamins. The chicken is shredded before being added to the sauce.

Pork lasagna uses ground pork instead of ground beef to make the meat sauce.



By pasta, many people mean spaghetti with a tomato or meat sauce on top. However, any form of pasta can also be mixed with slices of lunch meat along with olive oil or some kind of sauce.

Chicken Alfredo, for example, features chunks of chicken mixed with the pasta in a creamy Alfredo sauce.

Ham can be chopped into cubes, along with onion, garlic, peas, and mushrooms, and mixed in with a bowl of pasta, perhaps with the olive oil, to make a tasty, light meal.



Lunch meat goes well inside of a homemade roll. Unroll one of those crescent rolls you can get at the supermarket.

Place the meat in the middle along with some shredded cheese and, perhaps, some chopped vegetables. Then roll the lot up and bake according to the instructions on the package.

Eat while the roll is still piping hot.

Baked Potato


Like pizza, a baked potato tastes great with just about anything that one can put in it. Cook the potatoes for an hour in the oven at 400 degrees.

Then slice the potatoes lengthwise and break apart the flesh of the potato.  Add butter, vegetables, and lunch meat such as cubed ham or anything else on top.

Then bake the open-faced potatoes for another 15 to 20 minutes before serving.



Waffles, drenched with melted butter and syrup, have been a standard breakfast item for as long as anyone can remember.

But waffles can also be a lunch or even dinner staple when topped with diced lunch meat, chopped vegetables, and sprinkled with grated cheese.

Lunch waffles can become the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Think chicken and waffles…but with lunch meat.

Stuffed Pinwheels

Stuffed Pinwheels with ham

To make these, unroll a puff pastry and cover with some condiments such as mustard. Then add lunch meat, cheese, and perhaps some diced vegetables.

Roll the pastry into a tube and cut it into half-inch slices. Place the slices on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for about 13 minutes.

Lunch Meat Kabobs


The beauty of this dish is that you don’t have to cook the kabobs on the grill. Get wooden skewers and slide slices of lunch meat such as ham and alternate with vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers. Serve with some barbecue sauce for dipping.

Mac and Cheese with Lunch Meat


Macaroni and cheese is one of the greatest comfort foods ever created. Prepare the dish according to the recipe on the box and then add diced lunch meat and vegetables before baking.

The mac and cheese is thus transformed from a side dish to the main meal.

Stuffed Pita Bread for (almost Sandwich) Lunch Meat Meals


Pita bread is one of the most versatile items that you can usually find in the bread or Asian food aisle. Stuff the pita with everything that you would usually put between two slices of bread and then enjoy it.

More FAQs

What are typical lunch meats?

Typical lunch meats include ham, turkey, salami, bologna, and pepperoni, among others. Ham, a classic choice for sandwiches, is thinly sliced to fit perfectly on bread.

What is the most consumed lunch meat?

The most consumed lunch meat is ham, with a popularity of 34.6%. Beef follows with a popularity of 30.9%, while chicken is consumed at a popularity rate of 11.7%. Salami is enjoyed by 7.8% of people, bologna by 5.7%, and the remaining lunch meats fall under the category of “Other” with a popularity of 5.7%.

What do you serve with cold cuts?

You can serve cold cuts with a variety of accompaniments such as grilled seasonal veggies, candied fruits, different types of cheese, multigrain bread, pickled veggies, nuts and dried fruits, fruit platters, and dips and sauces.

What is American lunch meat?

American lunch meat refers to meat that is typically consumed in sandwiches or salads. It is commonly served cold and can be found in sliced or rolled forms. This type of lunch meat is specifically associated with the United States.

Is lunch meat okay for you?

Lunch meat is not considered healthy for you due to its negative health effects, as shown in previous studies. The International Agency on Research for Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classifies processed meat as potentially cancer-causing to humans.

Is lunch meat a ready to eat food?

Lunch meat is indeed a ready-to-eat food, as it is cooked and seasoned, making it versatile, delicious, and easy to use. You can find deli meat in the deli section of your grocery store, where it is sold by weight, or in the pre-sliced packaged form in the meat section, typically located alongside bacon, hotdogs, and ham.

What are some Italian cold cuts?

Italian cold cuts include Coppa, which is a short, thick cylinder of salted, aged pork shoulder, Cotechino, Mortadella, Salami, Prosciutto, Pancetta, Soppressata, and Speck.

What meat is cold cut at Subway?

The meat that is cold cut at Subway is the Cold Cut Combo. It consists of turkey-based meats such as Black Forest ham, Genoa salami, and bologna. This sandwich is served on freshly baked bread and topped with crisp vegetables. The 6-inch sub is priced at $4.39, while the footlong is priced at $6.39.

What are the 5 most popular deli meats?

The 5 most popular deli meats are turkey, ham, bologna, salami, and corned beef, with a wide range of flavors and variations available. Additionally, there are now meat-free options for those who prefer vegetarian sandwiches, often featuring vegetables and even hummus.

What is the unhealthiest deli meat?

The unhealthiest deli meats include bologna, hot dogs, sausages, and bacon, as they often contain a combination of meat, cured beef, and pork, and certain brands may also include trimmings and organ pieces.

What is number one selling lunch meat?

The number one selling lunch meat is turkey, ham, and roast beef, as reported by the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) What’s In Store 2020. However, there is an increasing demand for more premium versions of these popular deli meats.

What is healthy to order at a deli?

A healthy choice to order at a deli includes sliced deli or rotisserie chicken, turkey, ham, lean roast beef, canned salmon or tuna, nut butter, grilled tempeh or tofu, smashed cooked beans, and reduced-fat cheese.

Are cold cut meat healthy?

Cold cut meats can be healthy as they are a good source of protein and contain important vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. However, it is important to be cautious as they can also be high in sodium and saturated fat, which may be concerning for individuals with heart disease or high blood pressure.

What is the fattiest deli meat?

The fattiest deli meat is salami, with one slice (28 grams) containing 2.56 grams of saturated fat and 67.9 calories. Bologna is also high in fat, with one slice (28 grams) containing 3.5 grams of saturated fat and 90 calories. Ham, on the other hand, is relatively low in fat, with one slice (28 grams) containing only 0.5 grams of saturated fat and 40 calories.

What are common sandwich meats?

The common sandwich meats include bresaola, chicken breast, chicken loaf (also known as chicken roll), corned beef, cotechino, Dutch loaf, ham (baked, boiled, chipped, chopped, cooked), eisleker, jamón (serrano or iberico), prosciutto, smoked meats, head cheese, and salceson.

What is the difference between lunch meat and deli meat?

The difference between lunch meat and deli meat is that deli lunch meats are typically fresh or recently sliced, while prepackaged lunch meats are sealed and remain fresh until opened, although they may contain added preservatives.

What is a good deli lunch meat?

A good deli lunch meat option is Plainville Farms Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, which contains 10g of protein, 0.5g of fat, and 470mg of sodium. Another choice is Dietz & Watson Chicken Breast, which also provides 10g of protein, but has 1.5g of fat and 340mg of sodium. Additionally, Applegate Naturals Oven Roasted Chicken Breast is a suitable option with 10g of protein, 1g of fat, and 290mg of sodium.

What is the healthiest sandwich to get at a deli?

The healthiest sandwich to get at a deli is the Turkey Sandwich, which is ranked as the most nutritious option. Turkey is low in fat compared to other meats and is a great source of protein and potassium, essential for maintaining strong muscles.

Is deli meat cheaper than packaged?

Deli meat can be cheaper than packaged meat in certain instances, particularly when it is on sale or bought in bulk. However, the cost of deli meat can also be higher than packaged meat, depending on the brand and type. It is worth noting that packaged lunch meat tends to be more frequently discounted at local grocery stores compared to deli meat.

Is lunch meat the same as deli meat?

Lunch meat is not the same as deli meat. Deli meats, also referred to as cold cuts, luncheon meats, cooked meats, sliced meats, cold meats, sandwich meats, delicatessens, or deli meats, are meats that have been precooked or cured, sliced, and served either cold or hot. They are commonly enjoyed in sandwiches or presented on a tray.

Are cold cuts raw?

Cold cuts are not raw; they are pre-cooked and require no additional preparation before being served. This convenient option allows us to quickly prepare our children’s lunch boxes and eliminate the morning rush. Whether you refer to it as lunch meat, deli meat, or cold cut, it serves as a time-saving solution.

What kind of sandwich meat can a diabetic eat?

A diabetic can consume deli thin, shaved meats such as chipped beef, turkey ham, as well as egg whites (2), egg substitutes, plain, hot dogs that are fat-free, and sausage that contains less than 1 gram of fat per ounce.

What is the healthiest deli meat to eat?

The healthiest deli meat to eat is the leanest cut available, such as turkey, chicken breast, lean ham, or roast beef, as they offer the highest nutritional value compared to other types of deli meat.

What deli meat is not processed?

The deli meat that is not processed is fresh chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and fish that have not been modified.

What is the least unhealthy deli meat?

The least unhealthy deli meat is derived from poultry, such as turkey and chicken breast, as they have lower saturated fat content and calories per serving compared to beef or pork. It is recommended to choose preservative-free options for healthier choices.

Are there any healthy lunch meats?

There are some healthy lunch meats available. For example, bologna, salami, and pepperoni are known to be high in saturated fat, which can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. However, you can opt for leaner cuts of meat such as turkey breast, roast beef, and lean ham to make a healthier choice, as suggested by Levinson.

Is deli turkey better for you than ham?

Deli turkey is a healthier option compared to ham because sliced chicken and turkey have similar levels of saturated fat, but they contain even less sodium, making them the most preferable choice among deli meats.

Is deli turkey healthier than chicken?

Deli turkey and chicken have similar nutritional profiles in terms of calories, fat, and protein. Turkey breast contains approximately 44 calories, six grams of protein, and two grams of fat per ounce, while chicken breast has slightly more protein and slightly less fat. However, for most individuals, these variations are insignificant.

What lunch meat is high in protein?

A high-protein lunch meat option is turkey. Consuming whole turkey breast is an even more effective method to fulfill your daily protein requirements. With approximately 20 grams of protein in a three-ounce portion, turkey stands out as one of the top choices for low-fat meats. Additionally, it has a mild flavor, is readily available, and is a beloved choice for many individuals.

What ham is not processed?

Ham that is not processed is known as uncured ham, which is also referred to as “fresh ham.” The distinction lies in the fact that uncured ham does not undergo the same process of being injected with chemical brine, smoke, or flavorings that are typically used in cured meat.

Is sliced ham healthy?

Sliced ham can be a part of a healthy diet, as it is a good source of protein and contains various beneficial nutrients. However, it is important to be mindful of your consumption, as regularly eating processed meats like ham may potentially raise the risk of certain cancers. To maintain a balanced diet, it is recommended to limit your intake and opt for fresh, less processed varieties of ham.

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