Best to worst: 2014's Christmas sandwiches rated

The turkey specials are back, but which one has the killer filler?


Festive Full Works, EAT. £3.65

It’s not often the phrase ‘sausage party’ makes us open our mouths in expectation, but then it’s not often we get to enjoy the perennial fave that is Eat’s Festive Full Works. A dense meat feast supported by mayo and cranberry, it’s the Christmas sandwich equivalent of ‘Everything but the kitchen sink’. And even if the kitchen sink was included, it would still be delicious. There’s no doubt about it: this is 2014’s finest seasonal sarnie. If only it was for life and not just Christmas…

Turkey & Pigs in Blankets, M&S. £3

Pigs in blankets are the Christmas dinner novelty snack that everybody’s pleased to see, and we applaud M&S for bringing the little guys to our lunchtimes. Sage and onion bread provides the herb-based back-up, and the generously meaty middle wins you over quicker than the John Lewis Christmas ad. Without the associated nausea.

Turkey Feast, M&S. £3.30

The best cranberry sauce in a sandwich this year, bar none. And, actually, you could probably say the same for the hefty portion of stuffing. Add a generous helping of turkey and you’ve got the kind of sandwich you’d like to make yourself at home with a load of leftovers. Although, if they were this tasty, we doubt you’d have left them over in the first place.

Christmas Lunch, PRET. £3.60

Once upon a time, this was the true king of Christmas sandwiches. But he’s been deposed, and absolutely no one saw it coming. Packed with tasty turkey, tangy cranberry sauce and a pork, bacon and apricot stuffing, this Pret wedge is still a seasonal favourite, though this year it doesn’t blow our flashing Rudolph socks off.

Brie and Cranberry baguette, PRET. £3.45

Everyone loses it for a nut at Christmas, so we were ecstatic to see a sackload of pistachios atop this Pret favourite. Crunchy artisan bread, sweet cranberry sauce and slabs of creamy, buttery brie mean that even people with a lethal nut allergy may come running for this one, EpiPen at the ready.

Turkey Feast, Tesco. £3.

This bad boy isn’t for the faint-of-heart. Nor is it for those with afternoon plans. It’s a bread-induced coma waiting to happen, with smoky bacon, succulent Lincolnshire sausage and perfectly palatable turkey in a soft malted bloomer. The pork stuffing is a little dry, but it still managed to take us to sarnie nirvana.

Smoked Scottish Salmon, Prawn and Dill Mayonnaise, Sainsbury's. £2.90

Mulchy bread and a dubious 'fishmonger at closing time' aroma means a pre-packaged seafood sandwich can often be an erroneous choice. But this maritime megamix is an unexpected triumph. Between two slices of brown bread, sweet slices of Scottish smoked salmon are surrounded by juicy prawns and smothered, not drenched, in a flavoursome dill and mustard mayo. This is the on-the-go version of Delia's seafood cocktail from back in '75.

Orange and Whisky British Ham with Wensleydale, Sainsbury's. £3

Less a ham and cheese sandwich than a ham sandwich which has been smeared with a Wensleydale-flavoured cream. As is apparently de rigeur this year, it tastes a tad like it’s been dropped in a jar of marmalade. However, it teams with the creaminess of the Wensleydale sauce to not unpleasing effect.

Ham and Festive Chutney, PRET. £3.65

What does a sandwich have to do to count as a Christmas sandwich? It probably should do more than this, but the chutney in this satisfying baguette has more than a hint of the mulled wine about it, and the thick-cut ham is excellent. So we’re saying there’s room at the inn.

Turkey, Bacon, Stuffing and Cranberry, Boots. £2.75

There’s a pleasing smokiness to the bacon that peps up this traditional sandwich’s turkey, chutney and stuffing. This, sadly, is the best you can say for it. Otherwise, it’s a chewy, bland affair, slathered with a translucent mayo, emanating a quality of sadness.

Chestnuts about Christmas, M&S. £2.80

Extra Frankincense has been awarded for the lovely pun, and the eponymous chestnuts are used in very tasty chunks of stuffing. Sadly those chunks have been drowned in too much cranberry and are partnered with nearly raw, weirdly rubbery slices of carrot. Not totally wrong, but not quite right either.

Veggie Christmas Lunch, PRET. £3.25

We’ve never been quite convinced of the festiveness of a nut roast. And this sandwich certainly isn’t going to change that. So aromatic and orangey, you wouldn’t be hugely surprised to find the label reading ‘sweet potato curry’.

Christmas Hot Smoked Salmon & Orange Relish, Waitrose. £3.95

Is it christmassy? Hmm. Does it taste good? Also hmm. A portion of generous, firm salmon is moderately let down by being paired with a marmaladey sauce. But be warned: if you’re worried about the presentation of your sandwich, steer clear. Our fish was sweating a neon orange goop that looked like The Snowman had blown his nose over it.

Turkey, Cranberry and Bacon, Waitrose. £2.75

Wholesome in theory but dull as dishwater in reality, this is the Queen's Speech of Christmas sandwiches. Sure the bread was fresh and the bacon tasty, but the turkey was bland and feeble, with the synthetic cranberry sauce offering absolutely no redemption. Like that pair of Ultraheat Thermal socks you got in your stocking, it's an acceptable offering but it's really nothing to wet yourself over.

Turkey and Cranberry Christmas Wrap, EAT. £3.50

A rare misfire from the eaterie behind one of the city’s finest Christmas sarnies. Whereas their awesome Full Works is a flavourgasm, the turkey here tastes of… well, almost nothing. Smother it with a wrap and the whole effect is like biting into a soft tube of blandness. There’s the occasional kick of rocket or cranberry, but really: why would you buy this when you can buy Eat’s Festive Full Works?

Waitrose LOVE Life Turkey, Cranberry and Bacon, Waitrose. £2.75

We’re big fans of Roquefort in sandwiches. But in general, we prefer our sandwiches to taste of Roquefort only if it’s one of the listed ingredients. Sadly, it's the overwhelming artificial sage flavouring that cause this turkey sanger to taste like a dehydrated version of pongy blue cheese. Not ideal.

Ham and Red Cabbage, Sainsbury's. £2.80

Here's one of the biggest Christmas disasters since Nan got totally shitfaced on sherry and slurred her way through 'Baby Got Back' on the karaoke machine. Theoretically this Boxing Day combo sounds like a winner, with the expectation of chunky ham and zingy, crunchy cabbage. But in reality this neon sanger (the ham blushing pink and the cabbage shocking purple) is wet from watery meat and slimy cabbage, and offers only the taste of a diluted vinegar. We're wondering if the Grinch prepared this one…

Wensleydale and Christmas Chutney, Waitrose. £2.20

We thought you couldn’t go wrong with a cheese and pickle sandwich until we bit into this sinister exhibit. Mincemeat does not count as chutney, Wensleydale shouldn’t taste like curdled cottage cheese and you should never, ever surprise people with chunks of celery. Shame on you, Waitrose.

Christmas Triple, Sainsbury's. £3.50

This sandwich is deserving of being categorised as a Christmas sandwich in much the same way that reindeer deserve to be considered viable methods of aviation. So there’s a prawn mayo sandwich that tastes of propane, what seems to be a yellow plastic and pickle sandwich (although it could have been cheese), and a mulchy stuffing-fest of a turkey sandwich. Oh, Sainsbury’s, you humbugs.

Three Bird Roast Wrap, Waitrose. £3

It may look all fun and friendly with its cracker packaging and its jolly triple poultry filling, but, just like a department store Santa, a Christmas wrap can be smiles on the outside and sadness within. There was barely a change in texture between flabby wrap and flaccid turkey, and any flavour that the meats began with cowered behind strawberry jam (that claimed to be cranberry sauce) mixed with a slick of mayonnaise. The Herod of the line-up.

Once again, it’s the time of year when supermarkets and cafés are filled with more festive sarnies than you can shake a turkey leg at. Helping you to avoid a Christmas sandwich catastrophe, we've rated all the seasonal sangers you could possibly get your mittens on over your lunch break.


Valerie S
Valerie S

Your no 3 sandwich seems to have the wrong picture as it has turkey and obvious BACON, but looks yummy - what is it ???, as it isn't the one with cranberry sauce.


Who could leave out the Leon Christmas Wrap? Turkey, bacon, stuffing, port & orange cranberry sauce, olive oil mayo & baby spinach. It's literally to die for. Shame on you, time out. I demand you try it immediately.