Breakfast, Lunch & Snack Recipes




Burger vs. Sandwich: The Differences Between Two Meal Staples

Burger vs Sandwich

Burger vs. Sandwich: The Differences Between Two Meal Staples

One of the most common lunches to eat is a sandwich. They are quick and easy, and children love them! There are many different types of sandwiches that we will get into later. Then you have your burger. Kids love them, too, and so do adults. With the popularity of both of these staples, have you ever given much thought to the difference between a sandwich and a burger? 

Sometimes, people mix the two up, calling a hamburger a sandwich or vice versa. However, there are some fundamental differences between the two. Basically, a sandwich is ingredients between two slices of bread. Often, those ingredients are lunch meat and cheese, but not always. A burger, on the other hand, is some type of patty between two buns. Although they are similar, the differences set the two apart.

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Burgers and sandwiches also vary in ingredients, history, and flavor. There are many different ways to make a sandwich and a burger! If you are a vegan, meat eater, or picky eater, with all the variety, it's possible to find one or the other you love. 

Sandwich vs. Burger: What are the Differences?

So, what is the real difference between a sandwich and a burger? The first difference is the technical definition. A burger can be a sandwich. A sandwich is when an ingredient, usually meat, is between two slices of bread. However, not all sandwiches are burgers. A sandwich more often contains plain sandwich bread and lunch meat. 

On the other hand, a burger has a grilled or fried patty of meat. Some do eat a burger patty on sandwich bread, yet that's not the typical way to eat one. Technically, in order to be a burger, a patty needs to be between a split roll or buns. 

Another difference is in taste. Burgers are heartier than sandwiches. Sandwiches are quick to make and aren't heavy meals. However, a burger is heavier and often eaten for dinner or when someone is craving something with more robust meat. 

Sandwiches also do not have to include meat. There are many different types of sandwiches that we will explore below. 

Grilled ham and cheese. Sandwich with cheese and ham on the grill.
Sandwiches are a great option for a quick and easy meal for busy moms!


Different Types of Sandwiches

There are many different types of sandwich options worldwide. One of the most popular types of sandwiches is a lunch meat sandwich. Another popular sandwich is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This is an excellent option for young children because it is quick, light, and nutritious. 

More sandwiches include grilled cheese, seafood, chicken, egg, BLT, Club, and BBQ sandwiches. Sandwiches also do not have to be basic! Many enjoy sandwiches like pinwheels, open-faced sandwiches, wraps, or even a double-decker! A club sandwich is also a delicious way to enjoy a variety of meat and toppings.

Different Types of Burgers

Burgers are popular around the world. They are prevalent when someone wants to grill or walk into a fast food joint. There are many delicious burger joints around the world as well! 

The most basic types of burgers are hamburgers and cheeseburgers. However, you do not have to stop there. A turkey burger is a great alternative if you want a healthier version! Bean burgers are also great substitutes for beef burgers. There are also chili burgers, portobello mushroom burgers, and many more. The possibility is endless; you can top your burger with virtually anything. Making them versatile and absolutely scrumptious.

What is a Sandwich?

The technical definition of a sandwich from Merriam-Webster Dictionary is this, “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between.” 

This brings us to the ever-popular question, is a burger a sandwich? Technically, yes. If you are going by the definition of a sandwich, a burger is a patty between two slices of bread. However, not every sandwich is a burger. 

Sandwiches are perfect when you are in a hurry or do not feel like making a big lunch. They make a great picnic or quick lunch after church or during school. 

Have you ever thought about the history of sandwiches? It is said that John Montagu created the sandwich in 1762. He was the 4th Earl of Sandwich. You see, John loved to play cards so much that he spent much of his time at the table. He could not be bothered with getting up and eating lunch. Therefore he asked for his meat between two pieces of bread. This would make eating with his hands easier, and he wouldn't even have to get up!

patty melt sandwich is a variant of the classic American cheeseburger using crispy bread, cheese, and tender onions closeup on the wooden board on the table. Horizontal
Sandwiches come in many shapes and sizes. You can eat a sandwich melt, a BBQ sandwich, or even an egg sandwich!

©AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock.com

What is a Burger?

Now, let's take a look at a burger. The definition of a burger from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “a sandwich consisting of a patty of hamburger in a split typically round bun.” 

A burger can have many various toppings on it. Some enjoy eating a burger with cheese, which will immediately turn it into a cheeseburger. Others love lettuce, tomatoes, or even pickles. The possibilities are endless! Burgers are so popular that you cannot walk into a fast food joint without some sort of burger option available. 

No one is entirely sure where the start of a burger came about. However, the most popular way of thinking is that it is derived from Texas. It is also believed that the hamburger came on the scene between 1885 and 1904

Home made hamburger with lettuce and cheese
Burgers are delicious and versatile. There are many options for toppings and ingredients that can make your hamburger unique!


Nutritional Value Chart

When it comes to the nutritional value of a burger or sandwich, the value does not vary much. The nutrition of your sandwich or burger will depend upon what you put on top of each and what they are made of. A grilled cheese sandwich will have fewer calories than a loaded cheeseburger. However, a quick snapshot between the two shows the overall values. Take a look below at the comparison chart. 

Burger vs Sandwich Nutritional Facts


Can You Substitute a Sandwich for a Burger?

Technically, the two are so different; there's no possible way to substitute one for the other. Regardless, if you would rather eat one of the other, that is all about personal preference! It is possible to substitute healthier versions of meat. For example, if you love the robust flavor of a burger yet do not like beef, try substituting it for a veggie or turkey burger. There are many options available between the two! 

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In Conclusion

Infographic comparing burgers and sandwiches.
All burgers are sandwiches, but not all sandwiches are burgers.
  • A burger always contains meat that is grilled or fried. Sandwiches can contain a wide variety of ingredients, including meat, vegetables, and cheese.
  • Burgers are served on buns or split rolls. If a burger is served on sliced bread, it is often called a patty melt instead. Sandwiches can be served on all kinds of different breads.
  • A sandwich usually makes for a lighter meal than a burger, but this is not always the case.

Sandwiches make mothers' lives easier everywhere. Nothing is quicker than throwing a thawed Uncrustable in the cooler and going for a fun picnic. Sandwiches are easy and quick and help busy mothers and people everywhere get the nutrients we need when we are short on time. The different options mean finding a type of sandwich you or your child loves can be easy.

Burgers are also convenient and fun to make. Placing different toppings and experimenting with your burger can create a memorable dinner! Try having a burger bar one night and allow your children to explore various flavors and textures. 

When it comes to the differences between sandwiches and burgers, there are many! The two are more different than similar, from taste and history to variety. Whether you prefer to eat a sandwich or a burger depends on your own taste buds. Try experimenting with the two to see which one you prefer! 

Burger Recipes

Sandwich Recipes

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Ultimate Chicken Sandwich

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  • Author: Moms Who Think



6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup reduced fat biscuit/baking mix
½ cup cornmeal
1½ teaspoons paprika
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 onion or Kaiser rolls, split
6 lettuce leaves
12 tomato slices


1. Flatten chicken to ½ inch thickness.

2. Pour buttermilk into a large resealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

3. In a shallow bowl, combine the biscuit mix, cornmeal, paprika, salt, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne. Remove chicken one piece at a time, allowing excess buttermilk to drain off. Discard buttermilk. Coat chicken with cornmeal mixture; place in a 13 in. x 9 in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.

4. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 8 to 12 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reaches 170° and coating is lightly browned. Serve on rolls with lettuce and tomato.

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