As the Thanksgiving festivities come to an end, you may find yourself with an abundance of leftover turkey. Instead of reheating the same old meal again, why not transform those leftovers into a delicious and satisfying dish?
Say hello to the Leftover Turkey Melts, an incredible recipe that repurposes your leftover turkey in a tasty new way.
This easy-to-make Leftover Turkey Melt recipe allows you to enjoy the holiday flavors with a fresh twist. Requiring just a few simple ingredients and minimal cook time, these mouthwatering turkey melts are the perfect remedy for beating the post-Thanksgiving blues.
In the following paragraphs, we will be guiding you through the making process step by step. Don’t worry if you’re not a culinary expert – this recipe is designed to be accessible to everyone, regardless of your kitchen experience. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s upgrade your leftover turkey game.
To make delicious leftover turkey melts, gather the following ingredients:
- Leftover turkey: 12 oz of cooked turkey, sliced or shredded
- Bread: 8 slices of sourdough or your favorite sandwich bread
- Cheese: 8 slices of Havarti, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Mozzarella, or Brie
- Spread: 1/4 cup mayonnaise mixed with 1/4 cup of cranberry sauce for a sweet and tangy twist
- Ripe tomato: 1 large tomato, sliced
- Red onion: 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Butter: 2 tbsp, softened for spreading on the bread
- Seasonings: Salt and black pepper for taste.
Nutritional contents per serving of leftover turkey melt are approximately:
Please note, these values may vary depending on specific ingredients used.
To enhance the taste of your leftover turkey melt, consider adding:
- Crispy bacon
- Dill pickles
- Slices of avocado
- Different combinations of cheeses
Feel free to get creative with your sandwich to make your own unique version!
To make your turkey melt, you’ll need:
- A skillet, preferably cast-iron, or a baking tray if using a broiler
- A spatula for flipping the sandwich
Having an oven rack or broiler pan for melting the cheese is optional, but may produce better results as it can effectively distribute heat.
- When buying pre-cooked turkey from the deli counter, look for low sodium options to balance the salt content.
- Opt for fresh, ripe tomatoes and crisp red onions to enhance the flavor and texture of your turkey melt.
- Choose sourdough or another hearty sandwich bread that can hold up well under the weight of the ingredients.
Now that you have all the essential ingredients, tools, and tips, you’re ready to make your delicious leftover turkey melts!
The Leftover Turkey Melts recipe is perfect for turning your dinner leftovers into a delicious lunch or light dinner. With a total time of just 15 minutes, you’ll be enjoying your sandwich in no time. Here’s the breakdown of time spent on each step:
- Prep time: 5 minutes
- Cook time: 10 minutes
Follow these heating instructions to make the perfect Leftover Turkey Melt:
- Set your oven rack about 6 inches away from the heating element and preheat the broiler.
- Lightly coat both sides of your bread slices with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and broil them for 1-2 minutes until they are golden brown on one side.
- Flip the bread slices over, add your desired amount of turkey, cheese, and any other leftovers (e.g., mashed potatoes, stuffing) to the golden brown side of the bread.
- Place the baking sheet back in the oven, and broil for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the edges of the bread are golden brown.
Be cautious when using the broiler, as the bread can quickly turn from golden brown to burnt. Keep an eye on your oven during the cooking process.
Turkey Melt Variations
This turkey melt sandwich recipe allows for various creative twists to elevate your leftovers. Here are some ideas for variations:
- Tuna Melt: Replace the turkey with canned tuna for a classic lunch favorite.
- Grilled Cheese: Omit the turkey altogether and double down on the cheese for a comforting grilled cheese sandwich.
- Open-Faced Turkey Melts: Skip flipping the bread and simply broil one side of the bread with toppings to create an open-faced sandwich.
Enhance your turkey melt recipe with some advanced techniques:
- Add a spoonful of homemade cranberry sauce on top of the turkey for a touch of sweetness.
- Mix some leftover gravy into your mashed potatoes for added flavor and to keep them from drying out in the broiler.
By following these preparation steps, using variations, and incorporating advanced techniques, you’ll be able to make the most of your dinner leftovers and create an irresistible turkey melt sandwich. Enjoy your delicious lunch!
Tips and Recommendations
To ensure your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers remain tasty and fresh, store them properly. Wrap the turkey tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate within two hours of cooking. You can also freeze the turkey, but make sure to use airtight freezer bags or containers to prevent freezer burn. To reheat the turkey, use a skillet with some melted butter or warm it in a sheet pan in the oven.
A fantastic way to enjoy your leftover turkey is in delightful Leftover Turkey Melts. Consider adding some bacon or deli meat to give it an extra boost of flavor. You can also spread some gravy on your sandwich bread for additional moisture. For a crispy texture, try adding a layer of potato chips inside the melt.
Affiliate Product Recommendations
To make it even more convenient for you, we’ve included some affiliate links for a few essentials you might need:
- A quality, non-stick skillet for optimal results: Amazon link
- A sturdy sheet pan for easy reheating: Amazon link
By using these affiliate links, you’ll be supporting our site and helping us continue to provide valuable content.
Picking the perfect cheese for your turkey melt can make all the difference. Here are a few popular options:
- Monterey Jack: A versatile cheese that melts beautifully and offers a mild flavor.
- Pepper Jack: Similar to Monterey Jack but with a spicy kick, thanks to the addition of jalapeños or other peppers.
- Mozzarella Cheese: A classic choice known for its incredible meltability and mild, creamy taste.
- Brie: A soft cheese that lends a creamy, luxurious texture to your sandwich.
Remember, you can always mix and match cheeses to create the ultimate turkey melt!
The bread you choose for your melt is almost as crucial as the cheese selection. A few great options include:
- Sourdough bread: Offers a crispy texture and tangy flavor, perfect for complementing the turkey and cheese.
- Sandwich bread: A classic choice that provides a soft, fluffy base for your melt ingredients.
- Multigrain bread: Adds an earthy, hearty flavor and a bit more texture to your sandwich.
When preparing your melt, don’t forget to butter the outside of the bread to ensure a golden-brown, crispy crust!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some good cheese options for turkey melts?
You have a variety of cheese options for turkey melts. Classic choices include cheddar, Swiss, provolone, and Monterey Jack. For a more unique flavor, try smoked gouda, fontina, or pepper jack. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite cheeses to find your perfect combination.
What is the best bread to use for a turkey melt?
The best bread for a turkey melt is one that toasts well and complements the flavors of the sandwich. Some popular options include sourdough, ciabatta, and whole-grain bread. Rye bread can also be a great choice if you like its distinctive taste. Choose a bread with a sturdy texture to avoid sogginess and ensure it can hold your sandwich together.
How can I add a unique twist to a turkey melt recipe?
Adding a unique twist to your turkey melt recipe can be as simple as incorporating unexpected ingredients or modifying the preparation method. Try adding sliced apples or cranberry sauce for a sweet contrast to the savory turkey and cheese. You could also experiment with flavored mayonnaises, different spreads like pesto, or layering in unique veggies like arugula or roasted red peppers.
What are some healthy alternatives to mayonnaise for turkey melts?
If you’re looking for healthier alternatives to mayonnaise, consider using Greek yogurt, hummus, or mashed avocado as your spread. These options still provide creaminess and flavor but with added health benefits and lower calorie content. Experiment with different herbs and spices to make your own signature sauce or spread.
Do I need to cook the turkey further before using it in a melt?
You do not need to cook the leftover turkey further before using it in a turkey melt. Since the turkey is already cooked, simply reheating it as you grill the sandwich will suffice. However, if you prefer a crispy texture or want to add more flavor, consider briefly sautéing the turkey with some seasoning before assembling your sandwich.
What are some delicious side dishes to serve with turkey melts?
Turkey melts pair well with a variety of side dishes. Some classic options include coleslaw, potato salad, or a simple green salad. For a crunchier option, consider serving your turkey melt with potato chips or sweet potato fries. To bring more veggies to the meal, roasted or grilled vegetables make a delicious and healthy side dish. Keep your desired level of healthiness and overall meal theme in mind when selecting the perfect side to complement your turkey melt.