Tea Sandwiches for Special Occasions

Cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwich
Donna Pilato

Tea sandwiches, or finger sandwiches, fit the menu whenever you're looking for a simple dish to serve that's easy for guests to eat. For special occasions, including baby showers, engagement parties, bridal showers, and cocktail parties, a couple of tea sandwich options can help to create an elegant setting for guests.

When planning your tea sandwich menu, let your imagination run wild. While the traditional white bread and cucumber sandwiches are still popular, any kind of bread and topping is possible. Think of your favorite sandwiches, and simply scale them back to a more delicate package. Here is an assortment of ideas to get you started.

Making a Tea Sandwich

For any tea sandwich, it's important to use quality bread to maximize the flavor and texture of each bite. Thinly slice the bread, trim the crusts, and cut each slice into smaller pieces—typically triangles or narrow rectangles. It's common to lightly toast the bread or to use a thin coating of butter to keep it from getting soggy.

Once the bread is prepped, add your chosen combination of condiments, proteins, and produce. The portion should be small enough that people can consume it in just a few bites. Finally, line up the sandwiches on a tray for serving.

Traditional Tea Sandwiches

If you want to keep things classic for your event, try a traditional tea sandwich people know and rely on. These sandwiches generally appeal to most tastes, so they're great for a variety of celebrations.

Meat and Seafood Sandwiches

If you're looking for a more filling sandwich, pate and cured meats can be a great solution for guests who eat meat. Likewise, seafood tea sandwiches feel light but still offer a substantial bite. These sandwiches often are a little pricier than other options, but they're worth it for the flavor they bring.

  • Layer prosciutto, asparagus, and Boursin cheese for an incredibly savory sandwich.
  • Make mini versions of a common sandwich, such as ham and cheese, especially if you'll be hosting kids.
  • Place a piece of turkey on a thin slice of apple for a little added crunch.
  • Construct petite BLT sandwiches by stacking bacon, lettuce, and tomato on a light layer of mayonnaise.
  • Combine two traditional choices with a salmon and cucumber tea sandwich.

Vegetarian Sandwiches

Always have a vegetarian or vegan choice available for those with diet restrictions or allergies. As the cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwich shows, these options can be delicious crowd-pleasers at any gathering.

  • Combine roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers and red onions, with a piece of mozzarella cheese.
  • Create your own veggie cream cheese to spread on your favorite bread.
  • Go a bit whimsical with a peanut butter and jelly tea sandwich, which is always a fun option for a children's party.
  • Place a couple pieces of thinly sliced apple on top of a nut butter spread.
  • Make a bite-sized version of avocado toast.

Tea Sandwich Accompaniments

What goes hand in hand with tea sandwiches? Tea, of course. Have both coffee and tea on hand for guests. Tea is the traditional drink of ​choice at a proper English tea party, but you should be accommodating to your guests' preferences.

To round out your event with some dessert, tea sandwiches pair perfectly with tea cookies. Both are bite-sized and look beautiful arranged on trays. In fact, if you're able to find some trays that fit with the theme of your event, the food can be a major component of your decor.