Not Sad Desk Lunch

A Trick for Better Lunch Sandwiches

As a defiant respone to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: The trick to better lunch sandwiches is hiding in your office vending machine.

Homemade Potato Chips

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A week's worth of turkey sandwiches is a clear sign that your lunches need an upgrade. But here's the good news: There's a small bag hiding in your office vending machine that's ready to improve every sandwich you might ever bring for lunch. It's the one that's full of potato chips.

Almost any kind of chip will work -- ruffled, spicy, or tangy -- the only requirement is a delightfully salty crunch. Potato chips are the cure-all for your sad lunch sandwiches, adding a pinch of seasoning and a crisp bite. And while we encourage you to make your lunch sandwiches at home, they will drastically improve almost any store-bought sandwich.

More: Wrap your lunch sandwich in style. 

Pan Bagnat: Le French Tuna Salad Sandwich

Here are a few of our favorite chip-friendly sandwiches:

Mayo-Based Sandwiches
Whoever invented the art of mayonnaise-y salad squished between two toasted buns, we thank you. Whether it's tuna salad, shrimp salad, egg salad, or chicken salad, potato chips are the perfect crispy complement to creamy sandwiches. Our favorite, though, is this super-portable French version.

Classic Deli Meats
If deli meats are part of your lunch routine, be sure to buy the good stuff. Smoked turkey and good-quality ham, plus simple additions like Dijon mustard and crisp lettuce, are just asking for a layer of chips. 

More: For all you overachievers out there, here's how to make chips at home.

Grilled Cheese
Surprisingly (or not), potato chips and melted cheese are a phenomenal pair. Just pry open the bread and tuck the potato chips into the gooey cobweb of cheese that lies beneath. You can also add chips to a warm panini or tuna melt, but let the cheese cool a bit first to ensure maximum crunch. Soggy potato chips make for a sad desk lunch.  

Hands down, this is one of the best sandwiches of all time -- and potato chips make it even better. Incorporating chips into a PB&J allows creamy and crunchy to live side by side in perfect harmony. It's the perfect balance of sweet jelly, sticky peanut butter, and a salty bite.

Tell us: What's your favorite way to perk up a lunch sandwich? 

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Join The Sandwich Universe co-hosts (and longtime BFFs) Molly Baz and Declan Bond as they dive deep into beloved, iconic sandwiches.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Syreeta Stewart
    Syreeta Stewart
  • Melinda Flannery
    Melinda Flannery
  • CarlaCooks
  • Kal Kamyszek
    Kal Kamyszek
foodstuffs is my interweb home where i log recipe projects, new foods i’m tasting, and any other stuff i feel like sharing. come stop in!


Syreeta S. February 8, 2015
I like Cheetos in my PBJ. kind of weird, but oh so good
Melinda F. August 24, 2014
Agree with everything but including grilled cheese in a story about desk lunches!
CarlaCooks August 24, 2014
I've been a fan of corn chips in my pb&j since I was old enough to make my own sandwiches.
Kal K. August 20, 2014
A sandwich I make all summer long when I can get fresh grown local tomatoes; toasted good hearty bread, open face or otherwise, butter, then a light coating of mayo, sliced tomatoes, salt & pepper, slices of sweet onion, fresh dill weed. Cut in 1/4's and enjoy. Delicious!