Roasted Broccoli Is The Flavorful, Crunchy Update Your Sandwich Needs

What goes into a great sandwich? It varies from person-to-person, but there are the typical heavy hitters, like turkey, salami, cheddar, bacon, tomatoes, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, mustard, and so forth. Of course, how you choose to build a sandwich doesn't have to be so hemmed in; with a definition as loose as fillings between or surrounded by bread (we see you, hoagie rolls), you see how wide a net can be cast. From meat selections to specialty sauces, we advocate a free-wheeling approach to creating satisfying sandwiches. For the truly adventurous, there's one surprising item that brings the satisfying crunch and robust flavor that sandwiches need, and it's roasted broccoli.

It seems weird, we know. Broccoli is steeped in soups, dressed up for slaw, and steamed for a simple side. But when roasted in a hot oven, broccoli takes on an intensity of flavor, a slight, not unwelcome char, and a distinct crunch. While delightful when served as-is (maybe with a splash of lemon zest), roasted broccoli finds an equally happy home between bread. The question then becomes, just how does one go about making a sandwich featuring or accented by roasted broccoli? As stated, the sandwich world is your oyster, but there are items which play particularly well with roasted broccoli — some common sandwich ingredients, and some not so much — that can help your creation take shape.

Roasted broccoli sandwich ideas

If your curiosity has been piqued, but you don't know where to start, look to classic broccoli recipes for guidance. Take, for instance, broccoli slaw or salad. There are many recipes, but generally the picnic and potluck side contains red onion, a mayonnaise dressing, crumbled bacon, raisins, and nuts, like sunflower seeds. Aside from raisins and sunflower seeds, the other items are sandwich stalwarts. Build a broccoli slaw sandwich by slathering mayonnaise sweetened with a bit of honey on thick slices of whole grain bread and layer on the roasted broccoli, thinly-sliced onions, and crumbled or whole strips of bacon. Then finish it off with an optional layer of minced raisins and sunflower seeds for a bit of added crunch.

Roasted broccoli also works wonders on a hot sandwich, and, again, one informed by a classic recipe. Broccoli cheddar soup is a winter warmer that has found a year-round home on the menus of places like Panera. To create a facsimile in sandwich form, think grilled cheese. Start by roasting the broccoli with a bit of garlic salt and onion powder to up the flavor, then pile it on buttered slices of Pullman loaf along with slices of sharp cheddar cheese and onions. As the sandwich warms on the griddle, the cheese will soften the onions' bite and melt throughout the roasted broccoli florets, making for a gooey grilled cheese with bite that may make you forgo the soup bowl for good.