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Burger vs Sandwich: What’s the Difference? Is a Burger a Sandwich?

Ask any person you encounter on the street “Is a burger a sandwich?” and chances are you’ll get all kinds of answers—not to mention fierce opinions.

Let’s take a look at both of these delicious food items so you can decide for yourself!

Burger vs. Sandwich: Is a Burger a Sandwich?

What Is a Burger?


At its core, a burger is a simple food: it’s a ground beef patty served on a sliced bun.

However, most burgers include several more elements. Vegetables like lettuce or tomato are common, and lots of people like to top their burgers with cheese.

Additionally, condiments such as ketchup or mustard add extra flavor, and sometimes hamburgers include pickled foods, too.

In recent years, burger offerings have expanded to include options for plant-based diets [1] and are often made with meat substitutes, like veggie patties.

What Is a Sandwich?


A sandwich is also a simple food: it consists of two slices of bread that hold meat, cheese, and veggies.

However, the sandwich has a longer history than the hamburger, as it goes back to the 18th century. It was named after John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, who popularized this food type.

Nowadays, there are many different sandwich types. Two of the most successful in the United States are the club sandwich and the Reuben.

A club sandwich includes sliced chicken or turkey with bacon, lettuce, and tomato, while a Reuben is made with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing.

Burger vs. Sandwich: Differences Between Them

Now let’s take a look at the difference between a burger and a sandwich.

Type of Bread

The most obvious divergence between hamburgers and sandwiches is the type of bread used.

A sandwich consists of two slices of bread, while we put hamburger patties between a roll that’s been cut in half.


They’re different in nutrition, we made an infographic to help you understand it better:

burger vs sandwich
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Another significant difference between the two is the cooking requirement.

Hamburgers were initially served in the early 1900s tartare (in other words, with raw ground meat), but cooks soon began to cook them to avoid illness [2]. Nowadays, all hamburgers are cooked, whereas sandwiches are not.

Sandwiches make use of pre-cooked meats, such as ham or chicken, that are convenient to put together. Though you can get fancy by toasting your sandwich, all you have to do is grab the ingredients from the fridge.


The shape is another difference between the two.

Because of all the bread choices available, sandwiches come in a variety of shapes. Rectangles are the most common sandwich shape, but many restaurants serve them as a triangle.

Burgers, on the other hand, maintain a consistent round shape that allows you to see all the layers.


Finally, the prevalence of these foods differs slightly.

Sandwiches are found pretty much everywhere nowadays, regardless of the region or culture.

Burgers have gained in popularity, but they still aren’t quite as ubiquitous around the world as sandwiches are.

Easy & Tasty Burger and Sandwich Recipe

How to Make a Burger

Though making a burger is a bit more involved than making a sandwich, this dish is easy to make.

Step 1: Toast Bun

Most people will agree that a toasted bun is a hamburger must, so while you preheat your skillet, toast the buns.

Step 2: Cook Meat to Perfection

Grab your patties and place them on the hot skillet. Let them cook just enough to scorch without overdoing the meat.

Most patties require about three or four minutes of cooking only, and limit flipping to just once–otherwise, you run the risk of drying them out.

Step 3: Add Toppings and Condiments

Once you’ve placed the patty on the bun, it’s time to add your favorite toppings and condiments.

There’s no right or wrong thing to add, but some favorites include lettuce, pickles, onions, tomato, and cheese. Condiments can include things like ketchup, mustard, and barbecue sauce.

How to Make a Sandwich

Anyone can make a decent sandwich–all you have to do is throw some lunch meat between two slices of bread.

But if you want to take your sandwich to the next level, a little extra attention is necessary.

Step 1: Select the Bread

The right bread makes all the difference in a sandwich, but what’s most vital is to select your favorite type.

Some of the best sandwich bread include:

  1. Baguettes
  2. Rolls
  3. Brioches and challahs
  4. Whole-grain bread
  5. Sourdoughs
  6. Focaccias or ciabattas

Step 2: Add Condiments

Add a generous helping of the condiment of your choice.

Most people choose either mayonnaise or a mustard variation, such as Dijon, honey mustard, or whole grain mustard.

Placing your condiment on the bottom slice gets the taste closer to your taste buds.

Step 3: Add Meat

Next, add the meat of your choice to the bottom slice. Some people like to mix meats, but that choice is up to you.

If you like cheese, now is the time to add cheese as well. A one-fourth ratio of cheese to meat is ideal.

Step 4: Top Things off with Veggies

Finally, add any veggies on top of your cheese and meat. Tomato and onion should form the next layer, which should go under any lettuce you add.

FAQs About Burger & Sandwich

Is a cheeseburger a sandwich?

Yes, a cheeseburger is a sandwich. Generally, any food is placed between something to make it easier to eat can be qualified as a sandwich.

Is a chicken sandwich a burger?

They are slightly different. Chicken burger is a variation of chicken sandwich.

Chicken sandwich is usually made of fried or grilled chicken breasts, while chicken burgers are mainly made of grilled or fried patty of ground chicken.

What is the difference between a burger and a hamburger?

They’re the same thing. Hamburger is the “original” which is derived from a German city – Hamburg.

While “burger” is a nickname for the “hamburger” in America.


So, is a burger a sandwich?

Opinions about this question will vary considerably, but we can all agree on a few things.

If we define a sandwich as meat placed between two slices of bread, then yes, a burger is a sandwich.

However, even though burgers and sandwiches share some commonalities (more so than they do with soup, for example), they evoke different feelings in our hearts.

So is a hamburger a sandwich? The answer depends on who you ask.


I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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