Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

If you’re hosting an afternoon tea, chances are you’re serving tea sandwiches. And would like to find some easy make-ahead recipes and ideas.

We’ve gathered some delicious ideas and beautiful presentations. Plus some excellent advice from the pros on making them ahead.

Plus, if you’re hosting a tea party, be sure to visit our article on “How to Throw an Easy Afternoon Tea Party”

You might also want to check out our post, “How to Serve an Easy Afternoon Tea Party” for all kinds of tips on decor, serving courses and their order, etiquette… and even how to host a “no-frills” afternoon tea.

RELATED: 15 Beautiful Edible Flowers to Brighten Your Dishes

English Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Pro Advice On Making Sandwiches Ahead

A recent reader asked for advice on making tea sandwiches ahead. Here is some excellent advice from two pros:

Pro Tip 1: 

Egg salad – make day ahead, cover tightly and refrigerate

Chicken salad or tuna salad – two days ahead, cover tightly and refrigerate

Smoked salmon with crème fraiche, or else plain yogurt mixed with a little sour cream and dill. You can freeze the packaged smoked salmon well ahead, defrost in the fridge the night before, cut into smaller slices for sandwiches the day of. The Crème Fraiche can be made ahead or purchased a few days before. The yogurt/sour cream mixture could be made the day before, cover tightly and refrigerate. You may need to drain some water off the top on the day of.

Cucumber sandwiches – the day before, you could slice the cucumbers. Cucumbers drain a lot of water, so line a baking sheet with paper towels or a not-fuzzy dishcloth. Lay out the sliced cucumbers in a single layer on the sheet. If you fill up the sheet, add another layer of paper towel or dish towel, then just keep laying out cucumbers. Cover the final top layer with paper towel or dish towel. Put tray in refrigerator, keep very cold so cucumbers don’t wilt. Assemble sandwiches the next day.

Pro Tip 2: 

“We occasionally did tea sandwiches for my 30 year catering company. Fillings were all made ahead (mushroom duxelles, curried egg salad, salmon mousse, no cucumber). Four or five days ahead of the event, no problem. One day before, the sandwiches were made and cut and layered with damp doubled paper towels in a fish bin (or on a sheet pan, and then saran wrapped) and refrigerated. The amount of filling is pretty mniscule so soggy bread was never an issue, and drying out was not an issue because of the paper towels and containers. We preferred to use Pepperidge Farm thin sliced white and Pepperidge Farm thin sliced wheat. You can cut the sandwiches into 4 triangles or 3 bars- for variety.”

Pro Advice on Freezing Tea Sandwiches

Questions on freezing ahead tea sandwiches always come up when planning for weddings, larger afternoon teas, and gatherings.

The Easy Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwich above is a great choice for freezing ahead.

Here are some pro tips on freezing tea sandwiches:

Years in event planning has taught me well that anything that can be done ahead of time is a lifesaver. Especially when it comes to events with details. Like afternoon teas. The good news is, tea sandwiches can be frozen ahead, picking which ones is key.

Pro Tip 1: Tea Sandwich Fillings that Freeze Well

“There are several sandwiches you can freeze ahead for your tea party, but you must select your fillings carefully. Egg, mayonnaise or salad dressing-based fillings CAN NOT be frozen successfully.”

Some ideas for fillings that freeze well include: 
cream cheese and fruit/nut combinations
pureed shrimp and butter
deviled ham
thinly sliced ham, roast beef or smoked salmon
cheese spreads with a butter base instead of a mayonnaise base

Pro Tip 2: Pinwheel Tea Sandwiches

Spread the filling on a single slice of bread. Roll each slice like a jelly roll, wrap tightly in waxed paper, and double wrap in plastic wrap to prevent ice crystals. Freeze for up to 3 weeks.   

The morning of the party, remove the rolls from the freezer, thaw just enough to slice into 1/2-inch pinwheel slices with a sharp knife. Place on a servings tray and cover loosely with waxed paper under a slightly dampened tea towel to prevent drying. They will thaw in about an hour. 

Pro Tip 3: Freezing the Bread Ahead of Time

Even if you are not freezing the tea sandwiches ahead of time, consider freezing sliced bread alone. Freezing the bread before spreading and trimming makes for easier handling, especially if the bread is very fresh or tender.

More ideas on how to freeze sandwiches can be found here >>


Recipes and Ideas:


Radish-Poppyseed Tea Sandwich

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“These Radish-Poppyseed Tea Sandwiches are a delectable treat. Pictured with English Pea Salad in Phyllo Cups.”
Get the recipe >


Cucumber Sandwiches with Herb Aïoli

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“These Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Herb Aïoli are a great addition to your upcoming afternoon tea events.”
Get the recipe >


Strawberry Tea Sandwiches

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“These sandwiches bring together sweet berries, fragrant herbs and creamy cheese in an unforgettable afternoon snack.”
Get the recipe >


Asparagus, Serrano Ham, and Goat Cheese Tea Sandwiches

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“Asparagus, Serrano Ham, and Goat Cheese are perfect for afternoon tea in the springtime.”
Get the recipe >


Radish Tea Sandwiches with Creamy Dill Spread

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“In this radish sandwich recipe with a creamy dill spread, the delicate tea sandwiches are served open-face to show off the pretty sliced radishes on top.”
Get the recipe >


Salmon-Watercress Finger Sandwiches

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“Cream cheese, smoked salmon, watercress leaves, chives, and fresh lemon zest give these Salmon-Watercress Finger Sandwiches plenty of flavor.”
Get the recipe >


Strawberry–Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“Fresh strawberries and mandarin oranges add a touch of sweetness to Strawberry–Chicken Salad Sandwiches.”
Get the recipe >


Roasted Chicken Sandwiches with Tarragon-Watercress Aïoli

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“Tarragon-Watercress Aïoli adds a zip of flavor to these Roasted Chicken Tea Sandwiches.”
Get the recipe >


Kentucky Benedictine Tea Sandwiches

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“Cucumber, cream cheese, and fresh herbs make the filling for this delightful finger food. Add a festive trim with spicy micro-greens.”
Get the recipe >


British Tea Sandwiches

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“These classic sandwiches with a delicious twist are perfect for afternoon tea, picnics or lunchboxes.”
Get the recipes >


Mosiac Tea Sandwiches

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com

“Tea sandwiches are back in style! Our Mosaic Tea Sandwiches are colorful updates on the classic finger food that are all flavor and no fuss.”
Get the recipe >


More Recipes

Asparagus Rollups
Rolled Olive Sandwiches
Checkerboard Cheese Sandwiches
Chicken-Mandarin Orange Spread Sandwiches
Cucumber-Salmon-Watercress Sandwiches
Cucumber Sandwiches
Creamy Vegetable Sandwiches
Curried Chicken Tea Sandwiches
Dried Tomato-and-Basil Sandwiches
Bacon-Olive Party Sandwiches
Egg Salad Club Sandwiches
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Goat Cheese-Olive Sandwiches
Mini-Muffuletta Bacon-Olive Party Sandwiches
Party Ham Sandwiches
Chicken-Cucumber Canapes
Artichoke-Cheese Spread
Chicken-Artichoke-Cheese Spread
Curry-Almond Cheese Spread
Pimento Cheese Spread
Peppered Cheese Spread

Afternoon Tea Resources

From ways to serve an Easy Afternoon Tea to recipes for each course, including seasonal ideas, here are some of our best resources for Afternoon Tea.

 

Afternoon Tea Ideas from Amazon

If you click through and make a purchase from Amazon.com using the following links, we may receive a small referral credit at no additional cost to you.

Seasons of Afternoon Tea

Hosting a Christmas Tea to Celebrate the Holidays

Celebrating seasons of Afternoon Tea. Easy recipes and ideas for serving Christmas Afternoon Tea for the holidays, a cozy Winter Afternoon Tea, a warm and rich Autumn Afternoon Tea, and an Easy Summer Afternoon Tea. Also, travel to Scotland for some authentic and delicious ideas for serving a Scottish Afternoon Tea.

Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party | 31Daily.com
Easy Tea Sandwiches to Make Ahead | 31Daily.com
Easy Tea Sandwiches to Make Ahead | 31Daily.com
Favorite
“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

4 thoughts on “Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches for Your Next Tea Party

  1. Colette Jensen

    Very good information….thank you.

  2. Janice La Pointe

    If my nephew is getting married on a Saturday, how far in advance would we start making tea sandwiches and freezing them?

    1. Hi Janice! Certain fillings can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 4 or 5 days before the event. They are then assembled the day before, refrigerated with damp paper towels to prevent drying, and served the next day. These fillings would be egg salads, salmon mousse, mushroom, smoked salmon, etc. It’s also possible to fully make the sandwiches ahead and freeze wrapped tightly in saran. There is the possibility the texture won’t be exactly as if they were made fresh. Another option would be to freeze the bread slices ahead of time. On the day of, remove from the freezer, spread the filling, trim and cut the sandwiches. Freezing the bread ahead of time makes the trimming and slicing easier and quicker. Good candidates for fully freezing tea sandwiches would include pureed shrimp and butter, a deviled ham, thinly sliced ham, roast beef or salmon or butter-based cheese spreads.

      One more note — cucumber sandwiches need to be made the day of the event, although the cucumbers can be sliced and stored on a paper-towel-lined pan the day before. Also, when filling sandwiches, be sure the filling is no thicker than a single slice of the bread.

      Hope this helps! Have a wonderful wedding!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.