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What is a Denver Sandwich?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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A Denver sandwich, sometimes also called a Western sandwich, is a type of sandwich that simply places a Denver omelet between two pieces of, usually toasted, bread. This type of sandwich is often eaten as a breakfast dish, though it can certainly be enjoyed any time of day or night. A Denver sandwich will usually feature ham, onions, and green peppers and can be served with any type of bread. As with the omelet it is based on, the sandwich is easy to make and can be altered in a number of ways to satisfy the tastes of any eater.

The Denver sandwich usually includes diced ham, onions, and green peppers. White or yellow sweet onions are typically used, though red onions or even scallions could be used instead if someone preferred something a bit different. While green peppers are traditional, other colors of peppers could be used instead or added to the green peppers to give the sandwich more color and a slightly more complicated flavor.

A Denver sandwich typically begins by dicing the ingredients into fairly small cubes, then cooking them each in some melted butter in a skillet until the onions are translucent, the peppers are slightly withered, and the ham becomes golden brown. The ham could be replaced with something like prosciutto or back bacon to give a slightly different flavor to the sandwich. Though cheese is not mandatory on this type of sandwich, most recipes will call for a handful of shredded cheddar or similar cheese to be added with several eggs and cooked thoroughly.

The type of bread used for a Denver sandwich is typically up to the eater, though a heartier bread that can stand up to the flavorful ingredients is often preferable. Breads such as pumpernickel, rye, sourdough, and hearty whites are often used, usually toasted lightly and buttered. The cooked Denver omelet is then placed between the two slices of bread.

There are also recipes for a baked version of the Denver sandwich. The bread is selected, the crusts are removed, and then the bread is buttered and placed at the bottom of a baking dish. Diced ham, onions, and green peppers are combined with cheese and sprinkled over the bread, and then a second piece of bread is set over each piece to create a series of sandwiches in the dish. Several eggs are cracked and beaten slightly, then poured over the sandwiches. The entire dish is then baked until it becomes a Denver sandwich casserole.

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Discussion Comments

By julies — On Jun 06, 2011

I will often make Denver sandwiches in the evening for a quick, yet healthy meal. When making them at home, you can be as creative as you want to me. You can add as many extras you want to the omelet, and use whatever kind of bread you have on hand.

My favorite Denver sandwich recipe is just a simple ham and swiss cheese with some onions and mushrooms served on rye bread. I will also add some bacon if I want to go to the trouble, otherwise I leave it out. I know there are traditional ways to have this sandwich, but you really can't go wrong using your favorite ingredients.

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