If you're looking to wow your guests at a tea party, try spicing up your menu with some creative and delicious tea sandwiches. There are plenty of options for creating a scrumptious and flavorful savory spread for afternoon tea, brunch, Mother's Day and more. Here are four recipes that we have tested and recommend:
Our Take on Tea Sandwiches
Traditional tea sandwiches tend to elevate presentation over flavor and nutrition. Why else would anyone serve cucumbers and cream cheese on white bread with the crusts cut off? They can be a bit bland but inoffensive, created to tide you over until the real meal. That's my theory, anyway.
Turns out, it doesn't have to be this way! With some new twists on traditional afternoon tea fare that make tea sandwiches tasty and visually appealing, you can have your petit fours and eat it too.
For the very first full-on tea party I planned with a foodie friend, we decided NOT to sacrifice flavor for presentation. If we were going to make tea sandwiches, they were going to be adorably dainty and scrumptious, gosh darnit! 😊And yes, while good tea sandwiches require a decent amount of work and ingredients, they can be prepped in advance—and the fillings make great leftovers.
BLT Tea Sandwich
My friend's husband is a huge BLT fan. And since he agreed to take on the dreaded task of washing the china by hand (the dishwasher in our AirBnB was broken!), we wanted to treat him to at least one sandwich we knew he would love.
After using a cookie cutter to prepare your bread slices, slather aioli on every other slice of bread. Add lettuce followed by tomato, bacon and avocado and the final slice of bread. Pierce the sandwich with the toothpick to keep it all together. Thread on an extra little piece of bacon (we also added a little carrot) garnish…and voila!
All in all, we were very pleased with the way the little sandwiches came out. A world of flavor packed into two bites and a real crowd pleaser. It wasn’t especially traditional—but neither are we. The garnish part came together on the spot. We had extra bacon, and you can’t waste that.
Pro Tip: The carrot came out shapely because I used a julienne peeler. Instead of peeling your carrots with your standard peeler, use a julienne one instead. This way, whatever you’re peeling will result in deep grooves into the carrot. When you slice, each slice will have decorative, wavy edges—a fun and easy trick I learned in a cooking class.
Curried-Chicken Tea Sandwich
Add some zest to your tea party menu with a flavorful curried chicken tea sandwich. Spread 2 slices of whole wheat or French bread with a thin layer of ghee. Top with shredded cooked curried chicken filling (which you can and should make in advance!). Then, sprinkle with black pepper and a pinch of sea salt and enjoy. We used the recipe from Eating Bird Food to make the filling--it was delicious and created just the right balance with our other savory sandwich options.
Mediterranean Cucumber Yogurt Tea Sandwich
Most versions of the simple cucumber sandwich have mayonnaise or cream cheese. Instead we adopted a Mediterranean twist from a recipe by the Mediterranean Dish, mixing labneh (a soft and slightly tangy yogurt spread) with dill, parsley, and basil for a spread that takes these sandwiches to the next level! We opted for a dark bread for color contrast and added a little carrot garnish, too.
Fancy Egg Salad Tea Sandwich
We used the recipe by tea blogger Oh How Civilized to make our egg salad tea sandwiches. Then we sprinkled in some Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel spice to make them "fancy." The recipe did not disappoint. Plus, her tips and tricks were especially helpful in planning for all the other items we served.
Learning that cutting into frozen bread makes cleaner edges was something I never would have thought of—and is a total game changer!
There you have it, four recipes to take your tea party or lunch to the next level. If you're going by the traditional tea party rules, plate your tea sandwiches on the bottom tier of a lovely 3-tier serving tray followed by scones and sweets. Serve and enjoy!
Let us know: What are your favorite tea sandwich recipes? How do you typically serve your tea party treats? Leave a comment below!