The Vegetarian Sprout Sandwich.

The vegetarian sandwich that’ll fool you into thinking it isn’t a vegetarian sandwich. Not because it tastes like meat but because it’s filling.  That thanks to the bagel it’s served on and the slices of nutty swiss cheese. Oh. And mayo. There’s the mayo.

I was an odd kid. I dreaded going to birthday parties, loved hammering, and took a typing course at the local highschool when I was 11. For fun.  What tween doesn’t love office supplies and such?

I’ve matured now. Grown up a bit.

I now dread going to New Year’s Eve parties, love hammering and type every single day. For money.

Clearly I’ve grown as a person.

I loved typing so much in fact, that that’s how I made money during University and for a year or so after. I’m quite a typer.  I believe at my speediest, when I was doing medical transcriptions for a living, I clocked in at about 142 words per minute.

I hated that job.  And when I say hated it I mean I HATED it.  Not the work so much, but my boss happened to be completely insane.  Do you know what it’s like to work for someone who is certifiably insane?  It’s difficult.  Ignoring the facial ticks alone is exhausting.

But the one truly great thing that came out of that job, other than the satisfaction of quitting to take my first television hosting job, was THE SANDWICH.

The office I worked in had a cafe downstairs and it was there that I was introduced to a sandwich I am still eating and loving today.

3 ingredients, 2 condiments and a whole lotta satisfaction.

Here’s how you make it …


Cut a bagel in half.  Any kind of bagel.  I like poppyseed.


Toast and BUTTER it.  With a capital BUTTER.


Lay 1 or 2 or 3 slices of Swiss Cheese on top.

Click here to see the behind the scenes food styling secret to the above shot.


Top with a huge handful of sprouts.  I like alfalafa sprouts.

Here’s how you can make them at home in 3 days!


Salt & Pepper.


Add a big squiggle of mustard …


and a slathering of mayonnaise.




The Vegetarian Sprout Sandwich

The Vegetarian Sprout Sandwich

Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes


  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Bagel
  • Butter
  • Mustard
  • Mayo


  1. Cut your bagel in half and toast it.
  2. While the bagel is toasting lay a piece of swiss cheese on your counter. Top it with a BIG handful of sprouts (I like alfalfa).
  3. Squeeze a big squiggle of mustard and mayo onto the sprouts.
  4. Remove the bagel from the toaster when it's done, butter the bottom and then quickly slip the swiss cheese and sprouts on top. (you want to get the cheese on as quickly as possible so the heat from the bagel helps soften the swiss).
  5. Top with the other half of the bagel, cut in half and enjoy.

I managed to escape the job I hated with two things.  This truly delicious sandwich and the knowledge that I can hate my job, work for an insane person and still come out of it O.K.

And a stapler.  I also escaped with a stapler.

The Vegetarian Sprout Sandwich.


  1. Chris says:

    That sandwich looks delish!! It is All About the mustard for me, love me my mustard! I am going to try to grow alfalfa sprouts now! If anyone is worried about the store-bought ones, or anything else such as cantaloupe for food-poisoning, throw them into a large bowl of water and a healthy couple of glugs of white vinegar to wash them, then rinse. Good for getting any pesticides off of your berries, too and also helps them last longer.

  2. Colleen says:

    One of my favorite bagel sandwiches is a bagel with a mixture of cream cheese, pimentos, chopped black olives, and chopped walnuts. Another one has a Denver omelet on it and topped with pepper jack cheese.

  3. Chris says:

    Doesn’t butter, mustard & mayo count as THREE condiments?? My favorite from when I was a kid and my grandma would make me anything I wanted is a hamburger patty on toasted cinnamon raisin bread.

  4. James says:

    Btw have you ever tried making fermented kefir butter? All things with butter are better if its fermented butter lol.. Not too tricky to make.. just make kefir the same way but use heavy cream instead of milk.. get your starter going and put it in a warm place for a day or two.. it should smell amazing when its done not sour at all..thats how you know you did it right.. The fermenting process will give it a lovely effervescent tang.. when its done put it in the fridge to chill.. and then once its all set and congealed stick it in a food processor in high adding a bit of sea salt for taste.. have a cheese cloth ready to strain the buttermilk and it will suddenly “clump” into glorious fermented kefir butter.

  5. Becky G. says:

    It’s even better if you toast the bread in the oven so the cheese gets all nice and melty, and if you use Epicure’s sweet & spicy mustard instead of the regular French’s. NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS.

  6. Becky G. says:

    OH my good lord, this sandwich was amazing. I had one for lunch. And then I had another for dinner. And then I may have had another for an evening snack. And I may or may not have one for lunch again today, but please don’t tell. Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Wow. That’s a LOT of bagels, LOL! Yup. It’s a good sandwich! Sounds a bit unusual, but tastes great!~ karen

  7. Feral Turtle says:

    You are so funny you stapler thief. Gotta hate those bosses from hell.

  8. Mondo says:

    sandwich looks good, minus the mayo, of course. perhaps a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and I’m rarin’ to go.

  9. Susan says:

    I’ll have to try this one, lighter mayo and mustard, though. Sounds yummy. The best sandwich I ever had was in the 1970’s in Hawaii, there was a small health food store on a side street off University Ave. near the University of Hawaii. I worked nearby. They made their own fresh multi-grain bread, and their own delicious mayo equivalent, but thinner and better for you, I’m sure. They’d cook up some turkeys, cube the meat, and make turkey salad with the mayo. That would go on the fresh whole wheat, topped with fresh alfalfa sprouts. OMG, it was heaven. It sold for $1, but had the heft of a $5 sandwich. I had one of those sandwiches at least twice a week for over a year, and never got tired of them. I’m quite a bit older, now, and have had many, many sandwiches since, but that one came immediately to mind when I read the title of your post. Yummmmmmmm.

  10. Laurinda says:

    Sounds yummy- NOW I’m hungry!!

  11. Barbie says:

    Crappy bosses and jobs….always have an upside if your willing to look for it….I had one of those too….upside is I worked in a bakery for a crazy, tooth missing boss, but learned how to decorate wedding cakes like a champ! I still use it to this day!

  12. Maureen Locke says:

    Wow, do I ever feel like a small town hick.
    A sandwich is usually ham, chicken salad or bologna, with mayo or mustard, a cheese slice and bread.
    I feel as though I’m missing a lot though those sprout things aren’t ringing my bell.
    Maybe I’ll get brave some day and try it. :)

  13. Deborah says:

    When shopping, my parents would drop me off at the office supplies instead of the toy department. I could play with typewriters, calculators, and cash registers for hours. It was the BEST!

  14. Ronda says:

    I may have to try that…I really miss them!

  15. Ronda says:

    This sounds great and I absolutely love sprouts but since they made number ONE on the riskiest foods to eat for food poisoning we have gone our separate ways. Been there, done that…do not want to do it again.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ronda! True about the sprouts. But if you grow your own like I do you’ll be O.K. Plus they taste much better and only take 3 days. ~ karen!

  16. Rktrix says:

    A red stapler, perhaps?

    Ah yes – typing class. The record with the lessons and their dopey little songs. Taught by the football coach. My sister’s teacher would walk into the room, plug in the record player, and the lessons would resume. One day, he plugged in the player and instead of dopey songs and typing instructions the class got “I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE…” LOL!

  17. Linda S says:

    Karen, I have not subscribed to your blog for years and years like some others, but even I would know not to mention “the stapler” to this crowd. Can I go on record as saying/speed typing that your sandwich looks yummy just as it is…nothing deleted, nothing added!

  18. toekneetoni says:

    great idea: the blow dryer food styling tip.

    i can’t do sprouts. and mustard i don’t like so much. but i totally get the sandwich. i have a similar fave bagel sandwich. i haven’t followed your blog for long, but so far i’m counting two “borrowed” items, first the beaker from science class, now the stapler. i’m concerned. on 2nd thought, the psycho boss deserved it. should’ve taken every stapler in the joint.

  19. Your old boss says:

    Wait, who’s insane?

    You live in the city with chickens.
    You use a hairdryer to melt swiss cheese.
    You make your own maple syrup, sandwich wrappers etc …

    Okay, fair enough, you would recognize insane when you see it.

    PS: I would like my stapler back.

  20. Anemone says:

    Your sandwich looks delish!
    I can’t find a damn hungry emoticon…(>_<)

  21. This blog post seriously made my mouth water! And thank you for sharing the food styling tip…I was looking at your pics thinking, “How does she take such great shots? It looks like stuff in a magazine!”

  22. Jayne says:

    This looks amazing!

  23. Shauna says:

    blowdryer sweat and all, it looks delicious! :)

  24. Stephanie says:

    Mmmmmmmm…. butter, cheese, AND generous mayo? That’s my kind of lunchtime excess. Sprouts make any sandwich better, IMO, and poppyseed bagels are the best, well worth the flossing afterward. Looks yummy, but you forgot the ham or turkey slice under the cheese.

  25. mimiindublin says:

    Looks yummy but I hate cheese!
    Could eat it with maybe pastrami..
    Love the food styling tip!

  26. Debbie says:

    Karen, Sprouts the dreaded health food of the late 70’s for those old enough to remember. If you ordered something it has those darn things were on it or in it. I am talking sprout milk shakes! Of course I live in Portland Oregon the greenest place in the United States. One other item it reminded me of a commercial of the same time I think it was for a health cereal maybe grape nuts. His name was Euell Gibbons he would say ever eat a pine cone many parts are edible. The joke was ever eat a rats ass many parts are edible. Pardon the ass if its offensive it was the 70’s.

  27. Kris Wilson says:

    It does look delicious, but my wheat belly says ‘NO!’ Just trying this wheat deprivation to loose weight, but it’s not working (and it’s not worth it!) Question: totally off the bagel topic, Karen. Did you ever find your perfect grey paint colour? I am also looking. Suggestions?

  28. Trissi V. says:

    The question is…was it a red stapler?

  29. Wendy says:

    I think that sandwich looks yummy, mustard, mayo and all.

    Here’s a good one:
    Cheddar cheese (thickly sliced, but maybe only one layer. Avocado (sliced, not squished, onto your bread of choice. Tomato. Mustard (I prefer dijon) on one slice of bread. Mayonaise (on the other.)
    Bread: I’m gluten-free these days, so my options are limited. If they weren’t, I’d pick a pumpernickel bagel from “What a Bagel” or two slices of sunflower rye that you buy in the deli or fancy bread section at the grocery store, toasted. Now, I just choose whichever yummy gluten-free option I have going on in the freezer and toast it. I ignore the bread, and enjoy the filling.

  30. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Love poppy seed bagels..Love Swiss cheese..Love sprouts..I think I am going to love this sandwich..Now I have to go shopping today..And yes..I know what it is like to have an insane boss..

  31. Jeannie B says:

    Forgot to mention cucumber slices too in my graddaughter’s sandwich.

    • Melanie says:

      My mother owned a smoothie, fresh juice, and wrap shop when I was a teenager and one of her most delicious wraps was just hummus, grated carrots, and sprouts!

      When my dad went on a 30 day juice fast -my family goes through cycles of being health nuts- all he craved to eat was a wrap (one of the good expensive ones with the little seeds in it) with goat cheese and diced cucumber.

  32. Jeannie B says:

    Your sandwich looks delicious Karen. I haven’t had sprouts for years. Yesterday, my daughter sent me a picture of my four year old granddaughter having a picnic outside. She was eating a sandwich made with whole grain bread, cream cheese, grated carrots and hummus. It sure looked good. We always get the cheddar cheese bagels at Fortinos. They’re delicious too.I keep them sliced in half and frozen in the fridge freezer.I really must try making those sprouts at home.Have a great day Karen.

  33. Reg says:

    Looks yummy. My only change would be to some other kind of bagel. I’d be flossing forever trying to get the poppy seeds out from between my teeth.

  34. Amanda says:

    I’m not a big plain mayo fan, but make it a flavored aioli and I’m IN. YUM.
    Of course, this makes me want MY favorite sandwich: toasted bread, goat cheese spread on one half and pesto on the other, layer with roasted eggplant, peppers, and arugula (mixing the arugula in a little balsamic & olive oil). Yum yum yum too.

  35. Lisa says:

    I got lost at sprouts.

  36. mary says:

    Karen… where do you find your poppy seed bagels? (or plain or sesame for that matter) They look Montreal style.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary – They are indeed. I get them from my local grocery store (Fortinos/Loblaws) which if you’re in America is no help to you of all, LOL. Sorry. ~ karen!

  37. Emily says:

    I hope it was a red Swingline stapler! LOL

  38. Just looking at that picture I got seeds stuck in my teeth.

  39. Ann says:

    I love doing medical transcription. I am self taught. It was something I figured out how to do in my down time as an xray tech. I was familiar with the terminology and I had spent many an hour proof reading the reports others had typed. So why not? But I probably could only do radiology reporting since that is my niche. I can remember with hilarity, trying to figure out what new foreign docs were dictating. Who knew that “peri-fairy” was periphery? But alas, a few times I also worked for someone totally insane. And I willingly walked away from that job, where I could literally do it all. But then I landed at Children’s Hospital where I had the very best job of all time. Doing MRI’s on all kinds of sick kids and trauma patients. Yes, I do know I am crazy. But somebody’s gotta do it.

    Your sandwich looks amazing. But my fav is grilled gouda cheese with tomato. But it has to be a good tomato and right now no tomato is close to what could be honestly called good. Summer time, here we come.

  40. Mary Kay says:

    Was the stapler red???? A Swingline Red Stapler??

  41. Tara says:

    Oh man, I love sprouts on a sandwich. Too bad pregnant ladies aren’t supposed to have sprouts. Yeah, I definitely see myself breaking that rule for this sandwich.

  42. Shelly says:

    That sounds suspiciously like MY favorite sandwich, but I add a handful of spicy banana peppers…and it’s also yummy on a chewy roll. Great. Now I’m hungry…

  43. Shirley says:

    Re your food styling tip: I was wondering what happened to all the poppy seeds in the Swiss cheese shot. Bet you’re still cleaning them up!
    Or perhaps they just blended in with all the construction debris?

  44. Laura Bee says:

    Oh God. No. Not the mustard! Mustard is the monster under my bed.
    Looks like a lovely sandwich otherwise.

  45. Bernard says:

    OK…the bagel thing is great (of course),but here’s something not many people have tried ( I think ) and at first glance…You’re WT!

    “Try it, You’ll like it”, he said in his best NYC accent.

    LIGHTLY toast favorite bagel and slather (loving that word so it must be spoken, not just read, aloud) with copious amounts of butter and cream cheese. The proportions of said condiments are yours for the putting. Apply a handful of Bar-B-Que potato chips to the base bagel and scrunch the top half down upon the base (without destroying the sandwich).

    Now, take a deep breath, bite, and chew …. slowly.

    Delicioso ( or something like that).

  46. Lori says:

    P.s. it sorta does look good,thought I could just be hungry ? Hehe

  47. Lori says:

    Haha i got lost a the alfalfa sprouts! Hahah

  48. Nikki F. says:

    Sounds great to me!

    I also like a similar sandwich but substitute Munster for the Swiss, and add a little lettuce. Also if you want it to be a heavier meal add a breaded cooked chicken cutlet.

  49. Jenn says:

    I count 8 ingredients.

  50. I was ready, I was ready to follow you down the heavenly sandwich path. But I got lost at the corner of mayo and mustard. I am sad now.

    • Jenny says:

      Mustard is the devil’s work.

      At the last company I worked for there was this awesome Chinese place that had the BEST Hunan chicken.

      I’ve not found a comparable place. And I can’t cook so I’m SOL.

    • Sandy says:

      Hi there, I know what you mean, when you hear co-bo’s that sound like “what” but sometimes you gotta just try it. One of my favorite sandwhiches, roast beef, tomatoes and a little bit of mustard warmed up. Well one day, I had every thing but the roast beef, tried it, and yum! Then another day during tomato season,no bread just did the mustard, wierd but yum again!
      Sometimes wierd things are worth a try!

    • Langela says:

      She lost me at Swiss cheese and the green grass stuff. Between the two of us, we like your sandwich, Karen. :)

      • Marti says:

        Mayo. I can’t bear “slathering” of mayo. Ever.

        Must have been an “mentality acquired” while working in that office. And by “mentality acquired,” I mean mayo insanity. :(

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