Stacked high with turkey, ham, bacon, lettuce, and juicy, ripe tomato layered between three slices of toasted white bread with tangy mayo, this club sandwich is a crave-worthy classic.
The famed club sandwich may as well be the mascot of room service food, and it’s also an old-school American diner standout. A stacked marvel that’s turkey and ham-meets-BLT, there are not two, but three slices of mayo-slathered, buttery toasted bread with extra-long toothpicks holding it all together. The triple-decker sandwich gets sliced into cute little triangles and is typically served with fries or chips and a pickle (a must). If you can easily get your mouth around the first bite, it’s probably not as good as it could be. While the individual ingredient layers are thin, together they literally stack up. It’s the very sandwich you instantly envision and crave when you hear the word “sandwich.” Grab the napkins and your appetite, and let’s get into it.
Why Do They Call It a Club Sandwich
It’s said that “club” is an acronym for “chicken and lettuce under bacon,” but the original club sandwich never had bacon. The club sandwich dates back to the 18th or 19th century, with The Saratoga Club House, in Saratoga Springs, NY claiming they created the sandwich in 1894. However, New York City’s Union Club maintains they debuted a “clubhouse sandwich” on their menu a few years prior. Regardless, the original club likely had ham instead of bacon and some say roast chicken was the main protein. Union Club’s version was made with two slices of graham bread (wheat bread ), turkey or chicken, and ham. The sandwich evolved over the years and by the 1970s it famously became known as a stacked sandwich with three slices of bread, chicken or turkey, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and bacon.
What’s in This Club Sandwich
Club sandwiches don’t require a lot of ingredients, so use good ones—your favorite mayo, quality bacon, and the ripest tomato you can find.
- White sandwich bread (trust me, it’s the best for this sandwich)
- Mayonnaise (I like Duke’s or Hellman’s)
- Bacon (preferably applewood)
- Tomato (the best, ripe slicing tomato you can find—bonus points if it’s straight from the garden)
- Iceberg lettuce
- Smoked deli turkey
- Deli ham
How to Make This Club Sandwich
This sandwich may be a mammoth, but don’t let that intimidate you, because it’s so simple to make. One thing that’s key is buttering your bread (generously, just as you would with grilled cheese). The two fats—butter, coupled with the mayo—help ensure the sandwich will be extra toasty.
Here’s how to make this club sandwich:
Cook the bacon. Layer the bacon in a heavy bottom or cast iron skillet and heat to medium. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until desired crispness then drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Toast your bread. I like to do this while the bacon is cooking.
Butter & mayo. After you’ve toasted your bread, lightly spread one side of each slice with some butter then top with mayo.
Layer your sandwich. Top one slice of the bread with the bacon, followed by the tomato, and then lettuce. Then top with one of the other slices of bread, mayo-side down. Spread mayo on top of that slice of bread, then add the turkey and ham. Top with the last slide of bread, mayo-side down. Secure the sandwich with a toothpick in four corners of the sandwich, then cut it into triangles.
Does a Club Sandwich Have Three Pieces of Bread
Yes, club sandwiches are typically made with three pieces of bread—usually white sandwich bread, buttered and toasted.
Is a Club Sandwich the Same as a BLT
While club sandwiches and BLTs are very similar, club sandwiches are bigger (with a third slice of bread) and have more meat (ham, turkey, and bacon).
Club Sandwich Variations
There are many variations you could do on this sandwich. Here are just a few ideas:
- Mix up your mayo: add fresh herbs like basil or tarragon, or make a chipotle or hot sauce-spiked mayo, or an aioli
- If mayo isn’t your jam, add mustard
- Add cheese if you like (mild yellow cheddar, Havarti, Jarlsberg, or Swiss would be great)
- Swap out one of the deli meats for grilled chicken breast
- Add avocado
- Try a different bread like multigrain or pumpernickel
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
How to Make a GREAT Club Sandwich
- 3 slices sandwich bread , (I like good old-fashioned white for this)
- 3 strips of bacon , (preferably applewood)
- 1 juicy, ripe tomato , sliced
- iceberg lettuce
- 3 slices (or 1.5 oz) smoked deli turkey
- 3 slices (or 1.5 oz) deli ham
- Layer the bacon in a heavy bottom or cast iron skillet and heat to medium. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until desired crispness then drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Toast the bread slices, then lightly spread both sides with some butter. Spread one side of all three bread slices with mayo.
- Top one slice of the bread with the bacon, followed by the tomato, and then lettuce. Top that with one of the other slices of bread (mayo-side down). Spread mayo on top of that slice of bread, then add the turkey, and ham. Top with the last slide of bread (mayo-side down). Secure the layers with toothpicks in four corners of the sandwich and cut it into 4 triangles. Serve with potato chips and enjoy.
More Sandwiches You’ll Love
- BLT Sandwich
- Croque Monsieur
- Classic Egg Salad Sandwich
- My Favorite Reuben Sandwich Recipe
- Green Goddess Cream Cheese Veggie Sandwich
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