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Classic Tomato Sandwich

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5 from 3 votes

Beautifully showcase ripe tomatoes in a tomato sandwich that is simple yet bursting with flavor. You’re just minutes away from the best summer sandwich!

Tomato sandwiches are a Southern classic and bring back some of the best memories growing up (even though I live in New England!). When I was young, my dad would take me to Gutt’s Farm Stand, a little local stand, and let me pick out heirloom tomatoes. I remember my absolutely favorite heirlooms were the Purple Cherokees for their dusky rose color, sweet flavor, and funky odd shapes. 

Now every summer, I look forward to tomato sandwiches on simple sandwich bread with a generous dollop of mayo and tons of fresh black pepper. The only necessity to make your own? Really ripe, juicy tomatoes. You want them so juicy that they may just drip down your hand. Whether you eat them over the sink or simply accept your fate with their juiciness, prepare to experience the simple magic of this perfect summer sandwich. 

Still in the mood to enjoy tomatoes while they are in season? Try my Cucumber Tomato Salad

Tomato Sandwich Ingredients

  • Large heirloom tomatoes – heirloom tomatoes are the hero ingredient! They are known for their wide array of shapes, colors, sizes, and most importantly, spectacular flavor. My favorite heirlooms are Purple Cherokees if available. You can get them locally if they are available, or at Whole Foods!
  • Soft oatmeal or sourdough sandwich bread – soft oatmeal bread is tender and moist with a subtle nutty flavor whereas sourdough sandwich bread is soft and tangy from the fermentation process. You can’t go wrong with either option!
  • Mayonnaise – you can’t beat Hellman’s mayonnaise (this is not an ad). Mayonnaise adds creaminess and complements the sweetness of the tomatoes. More importantly, it helps hold the sandwich together to prevent the tomatoes from sliding out…very important! 
  • Freshly cracked black pepper – freshly cracked black pepper over pre-ground black pepper any day! 

Best Tomatoes For A Tomato Sandwich

This sandwich is all about showcasing and enjoying tomatoes at their peak during the summer. If you can buy tomatoes at a farmer’s market that are locally grown, they are usually packed with even more flavor than store-bought. However, when it comes to the best tomato for a tomato sandwich, it is hands down heirloom tomatoes! They are exceptionally flavorful, juicy, and are uniquely different shapes and colors for added fun. Growing up, Purple Cherokee heirloom tomatoes were my absolute favorites for their dusky rose color and tangy sweetness. You can also find heirlooms at Whole Foods if they aren’t in season near you!

How To Make A Classic Tomato Sandwich

Learn how to make a tomato sandwich! Full instructions in the recipe card; this is an outline!

  1. Toast.

    Toast bread until light golden brown.

  2. Slather.

    Slather 4 slices of bread with mayonnaise to taste.

  3. Add.

    Add black pepper to mayo and a sprinkle of salt.

  4. Add more.

    Add 2 slices of tomato to each of the 4 slices of bread.

  5. Close.

    Close sandwiches.

  6. Cut.

    Cut sandwiches in half. Serve and enjoy immediately.

What To Serve With A Tomato Sandwich

Classic Southern tomato sandwiches are usually paired with potato chips and a nice cold glass of Coca-Cola or sweet tea! But if you aren’t from the South like me here are some other delish side dishes: 


A true classic tomato sandwich is just the 4 ingredients listed above, however, you can absolutely customize it with some add-ons to beef it up!  Here are a few ideas:

  • Add red onion. Red onions add the perfect zing!
  • Use sun-dried tomato pesto. Swap out the mayo for my tangy Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
  • Make a BLT. Add bacon and lettuce… you now have a classic BLT!
  • Add fresh basil. Fresh basil adds a slightly peppery and vibrant touch to the sandwich. 
  • Include a slice of cheese. A slice of fresh mozzarella or cheddar is delicious. 
  • Add a Grilled Chicken Thigh. Add some chicken for a more filling sandwich. 

Tips And Tricks

  • Quality ingredients. With a meal this simple, quality ingredients are absolutely key. Making sure you pick tomatoes at the peak of their season, the best bread, quality mayo like Hellman’s (this is not an ad) and of course, freshly cracked black pepper are all important steps to a perfect sandwich. 
  • Use a serrated knife. When cutting the tomato slices, use a serrated knife so that it requires less pressure to begin slicing. This will help avoid squishing the tomatoes causing the innards to smoosh out. 
  • Slather the mayo. Don’t skimp on the mayo! Paint the bread slices with lots of mayo and whatever you do, please do not use Miracle Whip. It truly doesn’t do a tomato sandwich justice. 

More Classic Sandwich Recipes You’ll Love!

Classic Tomato Sandwich

Beautifully showcase ripe tomatoes in a tomato sandwich that is simple yet bursting with flavor. You’re just minutes away from the best summer sandwich!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: summer
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Calories: 271kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace


  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes cored and cut into thick slices
  • 8 slices soft oatmeal or sourdough sandwich bread
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise more or less to your liking
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste


  • Toast bread until light golden brown.
  • Slather 4 slices with mayonnaise to taste.
  • Add black pepper and salt to mayo.
  • Add 2 slices of tomato to each of the other 4 slices.
  • Close sandwiches and cut in half. Serve immediately!


Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 360mg | Potassium: 373mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1035IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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