Food is the focal point of Christmas for many Britons and it’s even seeped into lunchtime habits here in the UK.
Those who favour supermarket sandwiches for a quick midday meal are spoilt for choice as the usual offerings are joined by festive fillings like turkey, cranberry and stuffing.
Many can be purchased as part of a grab-and-go meal deal or as a standalone stack.
Express.co.uk was lucky enough to sample a range of festive sandwiches from Aldi, M&S, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s this year, with one of the retailers crowned the front-runner for Christmas-themed sarnies.
Here’s what we thought of the new and returning flavours on offer right now.
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Best supermarket overall – Sainsbury’s
The retailer has launched a range of festive sarnies this year as part of their Taste the Difference range. Out of all of the supermarket products sampled in the taste test, they offered the most impressive flavours and quality ingredients. Despite their £4 average price tag, they can be purchased as part of the £3 or £5 meal deals and sales contribute to charitable donations.
Taste the Difference Christmas Cracker Club – 8/10
Ingredients: Smoked shredded chicken breast, gravy mayonnaise, pork, sage and onion stuffing, beechwood smoked bacon, spinach and an ale and onion chutney on white bread. This sandwich gives the classic chicken club a fruity festive twist and was voted as one of the best ones sold by Sainsbury’s this year in the Express.co.uk taste test.
Taste the Difference The Ho Ho Hot One – 6/10
Ingredients: Firecracker shredded chicken on kalonji seed bread with crunchy cranberry slaw. This is one for spice-lovers though taste testers agreed there was too much sauce in the ratio of chicken filling, though the soft naan-like bread with seeds and spices is a unique touch. Sold for £4.25 on its own, shoppers can bag it for a discounted rate as part of the £5 meal deal.
Taste the Difference Hot Smoked Salmon & Lemon – 9/10
Ingredients: Hot smoked salmon, mayonnaise, spinach, crème fraîche, onion, lemon vinaigrette, lemon juice, capers and dill on rye bread. This one was a crowd-pleaser as a nice alternative to meaty sandwiches. The fresh salmon filling was generous between the soft brown bread and had a light, refreshing flavour thanks to the dill and lemon. It’s even included in the £5 meal deal.
By Sainsbury’s Chicken & Christmas Slaw – 6/10
Ingredients: Chicken breast with cooked red cabbage in red wine, gravy mayonnaise, black pepper mayonnaise and shredded carrot on malted bread. Taste testers agreed this one was a little underwhelming in terms of flavour and not too festive-tasting. It is part of the £3.50 meal deal or can be bought alone for £3.
Plant Pioneers No Pigs Under Blankets – 5/10
Ingredients: Mushroom and wheat protein sausage, soya protein slices, bacon-style vegan mayonnaise, cranberry chutney and onion on malted bread. This one was not bad for a vegan sandwich but it lacked any real different flavours from the faux-meat ingredients. Sold for £3 each or as part of the £3.50 meal deal.
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Best Christmas sandwich – Marks and Spencer
The retailer is known for its premium food offerings and it even topped the ranking for the best Christmas sandwich across the range of supermarket products tested. Marks and Spencer also donates five percent of each item sold from its Christmas Food on the Move range to Shelter.
Jingle Brie-LT – 10/10
Ingredients: Brioche bun filled with mouth-watering crispy smoky bacon, creamy brie, cos lettuce, caramelised onion mayonnaise and a festive tomato and cranberry chutney. This was the ultimate Christmas sandwich with a perfect blend of buttery, salty, sweet and tart flavours. Not one taste tester was disappointed by this one, so it deserved the top spot. While the Brie-LT comes with a price tag of £4.50, we agreed it’s worth every penny.
Other M&S sarnies were almost as impressive including:
- Ho Ho Pest-Ho & Veg (vegan) – 8/10 -a vegan sarnie, packed with veg, roasted butternut squash, pickled red cabbage slaw, rocket pesto and tahini mayo between two slices of malted brown bread (£3.65)
- Turkey Feast – 6/10 – roast British turkey breast with pork, sage and onion stuffing, an onion mayonnaise, cranberry chutney and smoked British bacon on malted brown bread (£3.90)
Best value for money – Aldi
The budget supermarket delivered on the flavour and affordability front this year and wowed taste testers with its diverse range of sarnies. From seafood to vegan feasts and even a toastie, Aldi customers are spoilt for choice if they’re bored of plain turkey and stuffing snacks, and they’re great value at less than £2 on average.
Specially Selected Seafood Cocktail Bloomer – 8/10 (£2.69)
Joining Sainsbury’s with a festive, fish-based snack, Aldi’s seafood sarnie is worth a try this Christmas. The malted bloomer bread sandwiches king prawns, surimi, and coldwater prawns combined with a Marie rose cocktail sauce, a spritz of lemon juice and Apollo leaf lettuce.
Vegan Festive Feast Sandwich – 7/10 (£1.99)
Cranberry and poppyseed bread is filled with parsnip fritters, red cabbage, and apple, as well as cranberry sauce, pumpkin vegan sage, onion mayonnaise and spinach. The flavour is well balanced and the sandwich is very colourful in the best way.
Turkey and Trimmings Toastie – 6/10 (£1.75)
The toastie is filled with bacon, stuffing, and a mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheese combined in bread to create a melty meal on the go. When heated, the cheese melds into the crunchy bacon bits which tastes great, though the mushy texture of the filling lets it down a little.
The supermarket giant’s festive sarnies are included in the customer-favourite £3.40 Tesco Meal Deal or £5 Tesco Premium Meal Deal. With a range of meaty flavours, the supermarket gained a good overall score though lacked the “wow factor” in terms of unique recipes. That said, for a cheaper price than Sainsbury’s and M&S, they’re definitely lunchtime-worthy.
Tesco Finest Pigs Under Blanket Sandwich – 7/10 (£3.75) – lots of sauce, very Christmassy flavour from the sausages, cranberry sauce, bacon, and spinach in between soft white seeded bread.
Tesco Finest Spiced Duck & Pomegranate Chutney Wrap – 6/10 (3.75) – sweet yet spiced flavour made for a festive alternative to the hoisin duck wrap.
Tesco Festive sub – 7/10 (£2.85) – chicken, bacon, stuffing and cranberry sauce between soft white sub roll made for a satisfying Christmas sandwich.
Tesco Festive Chicken, Bacon & Stuffing Wrap – 7/10 (£2.85) – moist and flavoursome, very meaty, but not very festive. A good choice for those who aren’t a fan of cranberry sauce but love stuffing.
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