Retro Recipes: Ribbon Sandwiches
Ribbon sandwiches are delicate tea sandwiches that are layered with different fillings and usually two different types of bread. These sandwiches are perfect for tea, afternoon luncheons, and other occasions where light fare is required.
Growing up, the fanciest of fancy foods my mom would prepare was ribbon sandwiches.
These special occasion sandwiches would make an appearance at graduation parties and bridal showers. Next to the cream cheese mints and sherbet punch, of course.
I recently made pretty layered ribbon sandwiches for the first time in years. I was quickly reminded of how special they are.
This is one recipe I definitely think should make a comeback!
What Are Ribbon Sandwiches?
Ribbon sandwiches are multiple layered sandwiches that are cut into thin individual slices.
Typically, there are two or three different fillings in each sandwich, such as:
You can get creative with your sandwich fillings – no need to stick to my list or be fancy. Old fashioned sandwich fillings work well.
Ribbon sandwiches vs. sandwich loaf: Ribbon sandwiches are similar to sandwich loaves, which were popular in the mid-20th century.
Full disclosure: They may be the same thing. But upon doing some research, it seems as though sandwich loaves are typically frosted with a whipped cream cheese.
What Kind Of Bread Do I Need?
To make ribbon sandwiches, you’ll need to special order horizontally-cut loaves of bread from the bakery.
The shape of the loaves should be rectangular. A pullman loaf or sandwich loaf of bread will work best. See photo, directly above.
Get More Retro Recipes
I love trying recipes from decades past, whether they’re from the 1950s, 1980s, or somewhere in between:
- Chipped beef on toast
- Chocolate oatsies
- Mock angel food cake
- Homemade BBQ potato chips
- Sloppy joes
- Patty melts
- “1905” salad
- FDR’s birthday cake recipe
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- 2 loaves of bread, sliced horizontally (a sturdy pullman loaf is ideal)
- Egg salad
- Ham salad
- Tuna salad
- Chicken salad
- Roast beef spread
- Pimento cheese
- Cheez Whiz
- Tofu egg salad
- For each sandwich you will need 4 horizontal slices of bread. Start by buttering all sides except for the ones facing outward.
- Lay one of the slices with an unbuttered side down on the countertop. Spread on about 1 cup of desired sandwich filling. Top with a slice of bread that is buttered on both sides. Spread on about 1 cup of another sandwich filling on top. Top with another slice of buttered bread, followed by another cup of filling. Finally, top with the remaining slice of bread without butter on the top.
- Using a serrated knife, cut off the outer crust of the bread. Proceed with cutting into sandwiches, about one inch thick.
- Lay sandwiches on a serving platter and serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and serve later (you don't want the sandwiches to dry out!)
I special order pullman bread loaves from the bakery to make ribbon sandwiches. You'll want to make sure they slice the bread the long way. Otherwise, you can request unsliced loaves and slice them yourself.