Savory Tea Sandwich Recipes

Tea Sandwiches,

Every Tea Party Deserves Mouthwateringly Good Tea Sandwich Recipes

As the first course in the traditional Full Afternoon Tea, it's up to the tea sandwiches to make a good impression.

If you are one who assumes tea sandwiches are tasteless bits of fluff, you have several savory surprises in store!

Get tea sandwich ideas ranging from "classic" to "out of the box" and find out what 5 characteristics make a tea sandwich different from any other sandwich.

Traditional Tea Sandwiches Share Five Characteristics:

  • They're small. Regular-size sandwiches are cut into 4 squares or triangles, or about 3 fingers. Less often, they are cut into decorative shapes with a cookie cutter, but much of the sandwich goes to waste that way.
  • They're crustless. Remove the crusts before cutting the sandwiches to size.
  • They're thin-sliced. Several types of bread come thin-sliced. Another option is to purchase square-topped unsliced loaves of bread and have the bakery slice them thinly for you. Or you can do it yourself with a sharp knife or electric carving knife and a little practice. A 2-pound loaf of bread yields at least 20 slices, 10 uncut sandwiches, 40 tea sandwiches.
  • They're flavorful. (Yes, even the cucumber sandwiches.) Tea sandwich recipes are savory fare, not sweet, often prepared with scallions, garlic, spicy mustard, pepper or hot sauce.
  • They're never soggy. Each tea sandwich is spread with soft butter or cream cheese, or something similar, to prevent soggy sandwiches. Peanut butter (with banana slices or jelly) is just right for a child's tea party.

Tea Sandwich Recipes

Wheat, white, sourdough, pumpernickel, rye…the choice of bread is yours. Or, for a creative checkerboard effect, use one white slice and one wheat per sandwich.

It takes about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of soft butter or cream cheese spread, 1 to 1 1/2 cups of spreadable filling, (2 cups if it is a composite of spread and meat, seafood, cheese, or nuts, etc.), and 3/4 lb. of sliced meat to make 10 sandwiches, 40 quarter sandwiches.


At least one of these should grace every tea party.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Tomato Tea Sandwiches


Delicious sandwiches prepared in the traditional tea-sandwich way, with both an outer spread and a filling.

Triple Pesto Sandwiches

Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

Pepper Cheese Sandwiches

Crab Sandwiches

Pineapple Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Almond Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Deviled Egg Sandwiches

Out of the Box

Hummus and Pita Bread is a classic combination, but for your tea party? Sure. It is not a traditional tea sandwich but it exhibits most of the same characteristics. Just don't try cutting the crust off the pitas!

Hummus in Pita Bread

3 cups hummus
12 mini pitas
Chopped olives and tomatoes, optional
Cut the pita pockets in half and fill each with about 2 tablespoons of Hummus. Top with chopped olives and tomatoes, if desired.

Makes 24 tea sandwiches.


For fun, choose a variety of tea sandwiches for your gathering or a combination of sandwiches and appetizers. Figure that your guests will consume about 4 tea sandwiches apiece (1 whole sandwich), or the equivalent, served with a variety of menu items like scones and tea cakes.

Return to Tea Party Recipes Homepage

Scone Recipes

How to Brew Tea

4-Minute Fine Tea Guide

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