A Tribute to the Deli Sandwich, in Recipes

The deli sandwich is a North American art form. It combines abundant meat, melted cheese and/or creamy mayo, tangy mustard, maybe some sauerkraut, and bread that toasts up crisp and chewy, either in the toaster or on the griddle. Here are 7 we’ve learned to make at home, that rival the plate-hogging versions at the best delis.

1. Deli-Style Grilled Chicken Sandwich


Roasted red peppers and chopped pepperoncini give this high-rise sandwich lots of tangy flavor. It is, however the chicken—boneless, skinless breasts, cooked in a grill pan or on the outdoor grill—that gives this beauty its diner personality. Get our Deli-Style Grilled Chicken Sandwich recipe.

2. Deli-Style Tuna Sandwich


What makes a deli-style tuna sandwich different from a regular one? Frankly, it’s the heft. Ours is packed with tuna salad (which happens to be flecked with chopped pepperoncini and cornichons) and capped with shredded iceberg. Get our Deli-Style Tuna Sandwich recipe.

3. Reuben Sandwich


The Reuben always seems like a mashup of great sandwiches: pastrami or corned beef, sauerkraut from a hot dog, cheese from hoagie, and—crucially—toasted like grilled cheese! Get our Reuben Sandwich recipe.

4. Tuna Melt


A mix of shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack, heaped onto this already flavorful tuna salad, create an umami bomb of deli richness. Rye bread gives it true deli flavor. Get our Tuna Melt recipe.

5. Tarragon Chicken Salad


This the kind of sandwich you find listed on the fancy section of a deli in California or Florida, born in the 1980s: a buttery croissant, split and packed with delicious chicken salad. And not just any salad—this one has diced apple and chopped fresh tarragon. Get our Tarragon Chicken Salad recipe.

6. Patty Melt


This famous lunch counter sandwich is the most humble kind of indulgence imaginable: a burger patty, with caramelized onions and Swiss cheese on toasted rye. New York City chef Gabrielle Hamilton taught us to replace the butter with mayonnaise, for rich, crispy results. Get our Patty Melt recipe.

7. French Dip Sandwich


A flavorful jus is the key to getting this deli classic (born, it is said, in Los Angeles) just right. Ours simmers browned beef bones in red wine and beef broth. You’ll have to spend about 30 minutes on it, browning the bones, deglazing your pan with the wine, and simmering it all with the broth until the flavor is deeply beefy. Get our French Dip Sandwich recipe.

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