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Sandwiches for a Large Group

While I’m not generally a fan (we can do SO much better guys), there ARE times when logistical constraints dictate a nice deli sandwich.  For example you may have limited cooking/prep/re-heating facilities, or limited cooks or limited time.  In those cases, this is not a bad option.  There is nothing at all wrong with the following lunch menu:


Lunch menu

  • Deli sandwich
  • Bag of chips
  • Apple or Orange (A bag of veggies is an option, but will add time and prep, plus you’d want dip to go with it.  I’d stick with the fruit)
  • Cookie


1 sandwich consists of

  • Deli meat = 3 ounces minimum to 5 ounces more generous
  • Cheese = 1 ounce (1 slice) minimum to 2 ounces (2 slices
  • Bread = 2 slices
  • Lettuce = 1/15 of a head of lettuce


  • Mustard – Serve individual packets from Sam’s Club.  This helps speed up the serving line and reduces waste.  If serving mustard in squeeze bottles, assume ½ tablespoon mustard (.25 ounce) per person, and probably a 50% – 75% or up-take.
  • Mayonnaise – Serve individual packets from Sam’s Club.  This helps speed up the serving line and reduces waste.  If serving mayonnaise in squeeze bottles, plan on 1 tablespoon (.5 ounce) per person.
  • Tomatoes – Serve a plate(s) of tomato slices on the side
  • Onions – Serve a plate(s) of very thin onion slices on the side.  By far, the easiest way to slice the onions is using a mandolin on the 1/8th inch setting.  This is the quickest method and will insure the onions are not sliced too thick.  It will also get you the highest yield of onion slices per onion if you’re watching costs.


Hoagie Sandwiches

Sandwiches for a large group
  • Wal-Mart will provide very good made-to-order Hoagie Sandwiches.  They will also individual wrap these if you ask.
  • If you make your own, here’s how:


Hoagie to serve 4 – 6

  • 12-inch Italian-style hoagie roll, slice and then layer in the following:
  • Deli-sliced ham – 4 ounces
  • Deli-sliced capicola – 4 ounces
  • Deli-sliced provolone cheese – 4 ounces
  • Deli-sliced Genoa salami – 4 ounces
  • Shredded Iceberg lettuce – 2 cups
  • Thinly sliced tomato – 2
  • Thinly sliced white onion – 1
  • Italian dressing drizzled over the ingredients
  • Hot peppers, optional
  1. Slice the rolls horizontally, making sure not to slice all the way through.
  2. Open up the rolls and layer on the meats, cheeses, tomatoes and onions.
  3. Drizzle with Italian dressing and top with shredded lettuce and peppers if desired.
  4. Slice roll into 4 to 6 slices.


Sandwich Assembly Game Plan

If you have the luxury of 10 – 20 feet of counter space, I’ve found the quickest way to assemble the sandwiches is as follows:

  • Have one or more people slice the tomatoes and onions and plate them.
  • Set out rows of 2 slices of bread, spreading the slices in one of the rows with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise as they are setting them out (this will be be bottom of the sandwich) and leaving all of the slices in the other row plain (these will be the top of the sandwich).  This is most easily done using a mayonnaise spreader or off-set spatula.
  • A second person (or team) should follow behind the first team putting the meat on each sandwich.
  • Another person (or team) should follow behind the ‘meat team’ putting the cheese on each sandwich.
  • If you’re serving immediately, a final person (or team) should follow behind the ‘cheese’ team adding the lettuce and other condiments, then putting the top slice of bread on the sandwich.
  • If you’re bagging them, a final team should follow behind the ‘lettuce’ team bagging the sandwiches.
  • Your teams can consist of 1 or more people, depending on number of workers available and sandwiches required.
  • Once the first batch has been completed, repeat until all sandwiches are assembled.


The sandwiches can be assembled, WITHOUT MUSTARD, MAYONNAISE, TOMATOES OR CONDIMENTS the afternoon prior, although the morning-of the event is far preferable.   DO NOT PRE-ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICHES WITH ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE MEATS AND CHEESES IN ADVANCE.  If you’re preparing these in advance, get single serving packets of mustard and mayonnaise and serve the tomatoes, lettuce and other condiment items on separate platters.

Bagged, prepared sandwiches must be refrigerated or in a cooler.  They should be stored on multiple racks to prevent the sandwiches from flattening.

You may want to offer a second choice for the vegetarian or non-meat eater.  This could be as simple as a buffet area set up with one or more loaves of bread, some lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, sprouts with mustard and mayo.  It’s been my experience about 2 – 3% of my guests (including teen events) would prefer a vegetarian meal.

Leftovers cannot be frozen.

Shopping List for the Menu

Serving = 1 sandwich each25100200425
Shaved deli meat
(3 ounce serving)
4.68 pounds 18.75 pounds37.5 pounds80 pounds
Pre-sliced cheese
(1 ounce serving)
1.56 pounds
(25 ounces)
6.25 pounds12.5 pounds26.56 pounds
Loaf bread
Sara Lee Whole Grain White Bread
(2 slices each)
3 loaves
(20 oz. loaf, 2 pk.) (20 slices per loaf)
10 - 11 loaves20 - 2242 - 48 loaves
OR Rolls
(1 each)
(1 tablespoon (.5 ounce) serving)
12.5 fl. ounces 50 fl. ounces100 ounces
OR 1 gallon jar Hellmann's® Real Mayonnaise - Total net weight 128 fluid ounce) (Sam's)
213 ounces
OR 3 packages Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise (36 oz., 2 pk. Total net weight 72 fluid ounce each 2 pk.) (Sam's)
(1/2 tablespoon (.25 ounce) serving)
6.25 fl. ounces25 fl. ounces50 fl. ounces107 fl. ounces
(1/15 of a head of lettuce each)
2 heads7 heads14 heads29 heads
Tomato, sliced
1 slice (served on a plate on the side)
4 pounds13 pounds26 pounds56 pounds
Sweet Onions, sliced thin
1 slice (on a plate on the side) (Assume 50% uptake)
1.75 pounds7 pounds14 pounds28 pounds
Ziploc Easy Open Tabs Sandwich Bags (500ct.)
(1 each)
30105205 1 (500ct.) box (Sam's)
Frito-Lay Flavor Mix Chips and Snacks Variety Pack (50 ct.)
(1 each)
25 small bags2 (50 ct.) packs4 (50 ct.) packs9 (50 ct.) packs
Apple or orange
(1 each)
(Nothing with peanuts please)
Hoagie Sandwich for 30
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 30 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
  • 6 (1 foot) loaves Italian bread
  • 4 pounds (thin slice cold cuts) turkey, salami, pastrami, bologna, etc.
  • 2 pounds cheese, sliced assorted varieties
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1 quart mayonnaise
  • 3 onions - very thinly sliced
  • 6 large tomatoes - thinly sliced
  • 1 quart kosher dill pickles - thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 jar mustard
  • 1 jar mayonnaise
  1. Slice loaves in half with a serrated knife. 

  2. Spread one half of bread with mayonnaise and the other half with mustard. Then layer on the meats and cheeses. 

  3. If not serving immediately, lay the sliced onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and other condiments on a separate plate to prevent sandwich from getting soggy.   

  4. Cut each of the 1 foot loaves into 5 sandwiches

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