24 Tea Sandwich Recipes, Tips, & How to Make Them Ahead of Time

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Get step-by-step instructions and tips on making tea sandwiches for tea parties at home. If you’re looking for finger sandwiches that are cute and delicious, find them all here!

Six photo collage of six tea sandwiches.

What are Tea Sandwiches?

  • Tea sandwiches (also called finger sandwiches) are small sandwiches made to be eaten in 2-3 bites with your hands. They’re usually crustless to give them a dainty and delicate look and makes them easier to bite into.
  • They’re served as a first course of an afternoon tea before scones and sweets. Afternoon tea is a light mid-day meal so each course consists of small bites.
  • Because they’re small, tea sandwiches are great finger foods to serve as appetizer for parties or for baby and bridal showers.

Learn more about afternoon tea, tea etiquette, and how to properly make a cup of tea.

Expert Tips to Make Them Perfect

  • To get perfectly uniform tea sandwiches, use a cookie cutter to cut the sandwich ingredients. A simple shaped cookie cutter (like circles), without any intricate details, work the best.
  • Frozen bread cuts a lot more neatly, and holds its shape better than room temperature bread. Put the bread in the freezer for a couple of hours, or store in the freezer and take it out when you’re ready to make the sandwiches.
  • Avoid the crust so that the tea sandwiches are easier to bite into while giving them a neater appearance.
  • If you’re not using a cookie cutter to cut the bread, make the sandwich then cut using a serrated knife.
  • Tea sandwiches are meant to be eaten in 2-3 bites so don’t make the sandwiches too big.
  • Lightly butter or put on a thin layer of mayo the bread to prevent the bread from going soggy and limp.
  • Blot dry cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, or any wet ingredients before assembling the sandwiches. Again, this is to keep the bread from going soggy.

How to Prepare Tea Sandwiches Ahead of Time

  • The sandwich fillings can usually be prepped a day or two before and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • To make sandwiches ahead of time, assemble sandwiches the night before and loosely cover them with wax paper then a damp paper towel in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will keep the sandwiches fresh overnight without drying out the bread. Don’t let the damp paper towel touch the sandwiches since it’ll make the bread soggy.
  • Take tea sandwiches out of the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving so that they’re not cold. Tea sandwiches should be served when they are room temperature.
  • Cucumber sandwiches are the trickiest to keep fresh so I would recommend assembling the day of but the bread and cucumber slices can be prepped the day before.

Questions You May Have

What kind of bread is best for tea sandwiches?

Thin, white bread is traditionally used to make tea sandwiches since they’re the easiest to bite into but you can use whole wheat if you like.

How many tea sandwiches should I make for each person?

Make 4-5 tea sandwiches per person.

How many different kinds of tea sandwiches should I make?

Up to 5 different kinds of tea sandwiches can be made so that each person getting 5 tea sandwiches can get one of each. But making 5 different tea sandwiches is highly ambitious so I would stick with making 2 or 3 for a little variety.

What kind of tea should be served with tea sandwiches?

Traditionally, black tea is served with afternoon tea and they pair great with tea sandwiches. Earl Grey, English breakfast tea, and Assam are all great black tea options.

What are some classic, traditional tea sandwiches?

Cucumber is the most popular tea sandwich and can be found in almost all afternoon tea menus. Smoked salmon and egg with mayo are also popular and are considered classics.

24 Delicious Tea Sandwiches

Easy Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Dainty and delicious cucumber finger sandwiches with chive butter.
SEE RECIPE

Easy Ham & Cheese Tea Sandwiches

Adorable ham and cheese sandwiches perfect for afternoon tea, parties, and snack time!
SEE RECIPE

BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato) Tea Sandwiches

An adorable mini version of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato (BLT) sandwich.
SEE RECIPE

Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Tea Sandwiches

Adorable bite-sized tea sandwiches perfect for afternoon tea or for party appetizers.
SEE RECIPE

Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches

Adorable and delicious, these egg salad finger sandwiches are easy to make!
SEE RECIPE

Peanut Butter and Jelly Tea Sandwiches

Kid-friendly tea sandwiches perfect for a children's tea party.
SEE RECIPE

Fluffernutter Tea Sandwiches

Crustless tea sandwiches made with peanut butter, Marshmallow Fluff, and Nutella perfect for a children's tea party.
SEE RECIPE

Radish Rose Tea Sandwiches

Gorgeous red radish rose tea sandwiches recipe.
SEE RECIPE

Prosciutto Tea Sandwiches with Goat Cheese

Adorable and delicious, these prosciutto sandwiches are perfect for tea time.
SEE RECIPE

Roast Beef & Watercress

Mini roast beef tea sandwiches with a kick from a little horseradish.
SEE RECIPE

Turkey Tarragon

“Imagine your favorite chicken salad, with the gourmet factor turned up.”
SEE RECIPE

Spicy Avocado Egg Salad

“Creamy avocados, hard boiled eggs mixed with sour cream, and a few hot spices” make up these adorable (and spicy) tea sandwiches.
SEE RECIPE

Patriotic Ribbon

What sets these pretty treats apart from regular finger sandwiches is an extra layer of colorful filling and super thin-cut bread.
SEE RECIPE

Prosciutto, Apple, and Brie

“Prosciutto, brie, apple slices and peppery radish and arugula go quite well together here…”
SEE RECIPE

Deviled Egg Salad

Classic deviled egg salad sandwich recipe with tips on how to prep them days ahead.
SEE RECIPE

Ham and Pimento Cheese

“Pimento cheese is not only a Southern staple, but also a classic tea sandwich filling…”
SEE RECIPE

Vegetable Spread

“These small finger sandwiches are delicious & perfect for those who are health conscious.”
SEE RECIPE
Smoked Salmon Mini Bagel Tea Sandwich

Smoked Salmon Mini Bagel Sandwiches

Mini savory bites of smoked salmon and cream cheese.
SEE RECIPE

Sharp Cheddar & Branston Pickle

One of the easiest tea sandwiches to make, this Sharp Cheddar & Branston Pickle is tangy and hearty.
SEE RECIPE

Foie Gras

Creamy and sweet, it’s the perfect tea sandwich for foie gras lovers!
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Goat Cheese and Fig Jam

Creamy, tangy and sweet, this open faced tea sandwich is a perfect two-bite.
SEE RECIPE

Smoked Salmon

Chopped salmon with cream cheese tea sandwiches are easy to make and so easy to eat!
SEE RECIPE

Avocado & Quail Egg

A mini version of avocado toast topped with a tiny quail egg.
SEE RECIPE

Brie & Black Forest Ham

A delicious combination of ham, brie and honey mustard.
SEE RECIPE

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9 thoughts on “24 Tea Sandwich Recipes, Tips, & How to Make Them Ahead of Time”

  1. Hi Jee,
    So glad to have come across this article! I am hosting a bridal tea in a few weeks and have a question about prepping the tea sandwiches. You mention freezing the bread first for getting neat edges. Do you make the sandwiches on the frozen bread then cut off the crusts? I plan to play around with gluten free bread as an option for some of my guests.

    Reply
    • Hi Lori, I cut the frozen (slightly thawed) bread first then assemble the sandwiches. The bread circles are pretty small so it thaws fairly quickly so it most likely won’t be frozen when you make the sandwiches.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for the article, links, recipes! Ordered the cookie cutters which worked perfectly, and the little wooden forks were just right!! Everyone loved the spicy avocado sandwiches (I made with dark rye as I could not find pumpernickel at any of my local stores), and the cucumber ones were refreshing! Thanks again!!

    Reply
  3. Coming over from the tea drinkers group! These all look fabulous! We have our own herbal tea farm and tea shop online. We have a great affiliate program if you are ever interested 🙂 Cheers!

    Reply

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