Scandinavian-style open faced sandwiches: Here are a bunch of topping ideas!

A big thanks to my mom for sharing her sandwich topping ideas!

Why open-faced sandwiches? Less bread, more toppings. Lots of different options on one platter. A sandwich option for even the pickiest of eaters.

What’s not to love?

These sandwiches are an American take on Scandinavian-style open-faced sandwiches. More specifically, an Upper Midwestern (Minnesota/South Dakota) take on open-faced sandwiches.

You see, I grew up in rural South Dakota eating sandwiches like this at church potlucks, picnics, and hearty afternoon picnics to feed the farmers who had been out in the field all day. A hearty snack to tide us over until our 8:00 dinner, when my dad would be finished with chores for the day.

Today, I’m sharing some simple ideas for topping open-faced sandwiches.

Nothing fancy. Just simple and tasty sandwiches made with pantry staples and easy-to-find ingredients. 

Topping Ideas For Open-Faced Sandwiches

The sky is the limit when it comes to topping Scandinavian-style open faced sandwiches.

Topping ideas for Scandinavian-style open-faced sandwiches. Click through for ideas!

This is a good opportunity to inventory your fridge and pantry for appropriate sandwich toppings such as:

  • Olives
  • Cheese
  • Deli meats
  • Canned tuna
  • Eggs (for hard-boiled or egg salad sandwiches)
  • Various sauces (mayo, dijon mustard, etc.)

Here’s how I topped mine:

Egg salad and sweet pickles: Make a batch of simple egg salad and top with homemade (or store-bought) sweet pickles.

Hard-boiled egg: One of the simplest and cheapest sandwich toppers is sliced hard-boiled egg. Spread bread with mayonnaise, add egg slices, chopped tomatoes, and chives.

Open-faced sandwiches with hard-boiled egg, tomato, and chive.

Ham salad: Make your own ham salad  made with leftover ham, or purchase at the grocery store. I topped mine with chives and carrot spirals. Simply use a vegetable peeler to peel off a thin slice of carrot, fold into a circular shape, and place on top of sandwiches.

Cheese and cucumber: Top bread with mayo, add a slice of colby jack cheese, and sliced cucumbers. Any sliced cheese will do!

Pimento cheese spread: Make a batch of pimento-green olive cheese spread (or even easier, buy ready made cheese spread in the store) and top with sliced tomatoes.

Cocktail shrimp, mayo, chives, and lemon wedge: Purchase a small amount of cocktail shrimp to top desired amount of sandwiches.

Open-faced sandwiches with fresh shrimp, chives, and lemon wedges.

Roast beef and pickled red onion: Buy a few slices of roast beef from the grocery store deli and top with pickled red onions (recipe can be found in this post).

Chocolate, almond, and cherry: Don’t forget the sweet toasts! A simple mix of Nutella (or melted chocolate chips), fresh cherries (or fresh berry), and almond slices makes for a delicious dessert toast.

Open-faced sandwiches: The sky is the limit when it comes to topping these Scandinavian-style sandwiches.

Tips For Making Great Open-Faced Sandwiches

  • Bread: Pick up a loaf of hearty multigrain or other hearty bread for these sandwiches. 
  • To toast or not to toast? Whether you choose to toast the bread is a matter of preference. I did not. If you choose to toast the bread, I recommend serving them soon after toasting to avoid potentially soggy bread.
  • Butter: I like to butter each slice of bread, even if I’m adding mayonnaise. 
  • Get creative: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different toppings. Instead of a turkey sandwich or a cheese sandwich, add additional toppings like olives, sliced veggies or herbs.Scandinavian-style open-faced sandwiches. Get new ideas for topping your sandwiches!

More Norwegian/Scandinavian Recipes