Monday, June 20, 2011

Cooking When You Have Young Kids, Part 4: Shortcut Sandwiches


I just shared a few pizza shortcut recipes the other day. So, now I thought I would share some sandwich shortcuts. Sometimes you want a filling meal that takes the same amount of time as throwing in a store-bought frozen dinner into the oven...but you want it to taste better than a frozen dinner.

That's where shortcuts come in to play. These sandwiches take so little preparation, it's ridiculous. If you want to go all out on preparation, go to town on the side dishes, but take it easy on the main dish with these recipes.

The first sandwich is a French dip/Arby's style sandwich. Now, I know that some TV shows (particularly Family Guy and Simpson's) make fun of Arby's. But I love Arby's. I don't know why they get a bad rap sometimes. I like their roast beef!

The second sandwich is a more casual take on Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Take it easy and have a sandwich!

Shortcut French Dip Sandwiches (Arby's Style Sandwiches)


14-16 oz thinly sliced roast beef
1 can French onion soup (condensed, from a 10.5 oz can)
1 can beef consomme (10.5 oz can)
1 cup water
6 hoagie rolls or hamburger buns


Place beef in a slow cooker (separate each slice of beef, don't just place the beef in the slow cooker if it is still stacked together). Pour French onion soup, beef consomme, and water over top.

Cook on high for 1 hour.

Toast hoagie rolls or hamburger buns. Place drained deli roast beef slices on top of rolls or buns. Dip in slow cooker dripping/au jus, if desired.

Source: This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found on (though I didn't follow their recipe exactly). You can find that recipe here.

Notes: Basically, the changes I made were to add a can of French onion soup and omit the Provolone cheese. I felt like I didn't need the extra calories from the cheese.

Also, if you would like, you can do a big batch of this and use a slow cooker instead of heating it on the stove top. Though if you use the stove top, it is ready in only a few minutes.

You don't need to use fancy deli roast beef for this recipe. I've made it twice now. The first time, I used freshly shaved roast beef from the deli counter. The second time, I used 2 containers of Kroger - Deli Thin Sliced Roast Beef 96% Fat Free. I actually preferred the pre-packaged roast beef for this recipe. It will save you a lot of money too.

Above: Here are the sandwiches served on a hamburger bun to more closely resemble an Arby's style sandwich as opposed to a traditional French dip sandwich.

Shortcut Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches


6 frozen breaded chicken patties
6 slices of ham
6 slices of Swiss cheese
Honey mustard dressing
6 rolls/buns
Sliced tomatoes
Green leaf lettuce
Additional toppings, if desired (see notes below)


Cook chicken patties according to package directions. During last 5 minutes of cooking time, add a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese to each patty. Cook until the chicken patties are done, the ham is warmed through, and the cheese is nicely melted. Serve on top of roll/bun.

Source: This recipe was inspired by Betty Crocker. You can find their original recipe here.

Notes: The first time I made this, I slightly changed their recipe. They spread their rolls with honey mustard and placed lettuce on the sandwich as well. I didn't do it that way originally because I don't associate honey mustard with chicken cordon bleu. It was a delicious, easy, satisfying sandwich the way I made it, but I tried it following the recipe and it was really yummy their way too. Make it to suit your own tastes.


Above: This is the honey mustard dressing I used and it worked beautifully. Tasty stuff!

Above: This is the kid friendly version. Stripped down and simplified. Just croissants, chicken, ham, and cheese.

Above: This was fantastic with the added toppings. The croissants were quite large compared to the chicken patties this time around, so I used two patties on my husband's sandwich. Just build this sandwich to suit your own tastes!

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