Leftover Turkey Sandwich

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and your fridge is packed with leftover turkey. You don’t want it to go to waste, but you’re also tired of eating slices of cold turkey straight from the fridge. What’s the best way to enjoy this holiday bounty in a new and delicious way?

By transforming it into a scrumptious leftover turkey sandwich, of course! With a few simple ingredients and a little creativity, your taste buds will find themselves celebrating Thanksgiving all over again in the form of a scrumptious sandwich.

Many leftover turkey sandwich recipes may stick to the classics like lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, but there’s no reason you can’t mix it up and create your own unique twist on this post-Thanksgiving staple. From avocado to cranberry sauce, the possibilities are truly endless, and you’ll find no shortage of inspiration to craft the perfect turkey sandwich that satisfies your palate.

Whether you’re a beginner cook or a seasoned chef, creating a delicious, mouth-watering leftover turkey sandwich is quick, easy, and fuss-free. With just a little time and the right ingredients, you’ll be savoring every bite of your reinvented Thanksgiving leftovers and appreciating the flavors of the holiday in a whole new way. So, ready those slices of bread, because your next leftover turkey sandwich adventure awaits!

Ingredients Required

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Primary Ingredients

Here’s a list of the essential ingredients for your leftover turkey sandwich:

  1. Leftover turkey: sliced or shredded
  2. Bread: sourdough, whole grain, or any type you prefer
  3. Cheese: brie, cheddar, swiss, or any other variety
  4. Spread: mayonnaise, mustard, or any of your favorite condiments

Feel free to mix and match these primary ingredients based on your taste preferences and available supplies.

Additional Options

Adding some extra ingredients can take your sandwich to a whole new level. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Cranberry sauce or jelly: a touch of sweetness to complement the savory flavors
  • Stuffing: adds texture and a Thanksgiving flair to your sandwich
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy: for an extra hearty and indulgent sandwich
  • Vegetables: options like lettuce, arugula, or romaine can add a refreshing crunch
  • Sliced tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion: introduce more color, flavor, and depth to your sandwich
  • Avocado and bacon: a combination that adds creamy richness and crispy texture

Bread Varieties

Selecting the perfect bread for your leftover turkey sandwich is crucial. Some outstanding options are:

  1. Sourdough – This tangy, chewy bread adds a pleasant contrast to the rich and savory ingredients.
  2. Whole grain – Provides added texture and a nutritious, hearty base for your sandwich.
  3. Rye or pumpernickel – These distinct, flavorful bread varieties pair wonderfully with turkey and classic sandwich fixings.

Remember, bread options shouldn’t be limited to just these! Trying new bread varieties can lead to delicious and unexpected combinations.

Cheese Varieties

Incorporating cheese into your leftover turkey sandwich enhances flavor and texture. Consider these cheese options:

  1. Brie – This soft, creamy cheese adds a touch of elegance and richness to your sandwich.
  2. Cheddar – A classic, versatile option that provides a tangy contrast to your turkey.
  3. Swiss – Its mild, nutty flavor complements the turkey without overpowering the other ingredients.
  4. Gouda – With its sweet and creamy properties, Gouda adds a unique twist to your sandwich.
  5. Blue cheese – Daring and pungent, blue cheese adds a sharp and distinctive bite to your sandwich.

Just like bread, feel free to experiment with other cheese varieties or even combine two or more for an exciting flavor experience.

Preparation and Assembly

Leftover Turkey Sandwich Recipe

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Choose your sandwich bread: sourdough, ciabatta, or whole-grain bread. Toast it lightly if desired.
  2. Spread a thin layer of cranberry sauce on one side of the bread.
  3. Layer lettuce leaves over the cranberry sauce for added freshness.
  4. Gently place slices of leftover turkey on top of the lettuce.
  5. Add any additional desired toppings or condiments, like mayonnaise or mustard.
  6. Close the sandwich with the second slice of bread, or leave it open-faced if you prefer.
  7. Enjoy your leftover turkey sandwich!


  • Cobb: You can further enhance the sandwich with leftover hard-boiled eggs, bacon, and avocado.
  • Vietnamese: Add carrots, cucumbers, and cilantro for a Vietnamese-inspired twist. Drizzle with a mixture of soy sauce and a dash of fish sauce.

Serving Suggestions

  • Pair your sandwich with a side of green bean casserole or a simple side salad.
  • Swap out your usual sliced bread for a dinner roll for a smaller, lighter option.
  • Prepare your sandwich as a toast-topping or in a lettuce wrap if you’re looking for more alternatives.

Making Ahead and Freezing

Making a leftover turkey sandwich takes only about 5 minutes to assemble, so making ahead is not necessary. However, if you wish to do so, store the components separately and assemble right before serving to avoid soggy bread. Leftover turkey can be frozen, but consider using fresh bread and lettuce when assembling your sandwich.

Leftover Management and Nutrition

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Leftover management is an essential skill after Thanksgiving to ensure that no food goes to waste and that you enjoy delicious dishes post-holiday. One great way to make use of your leftover turkey is to create a delicious sandwich for a quick and easy lunch or snack. With careful planning and the right ingredients, you can create a leftover turkey sandwich recipe that is both nutritious and delicious.

A key aspect of managing your leftovers is to avoid waste by properly storing and using them. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Store leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking.
  2. Freeze any excess turkey within 3 to 4 days to ensure freshness.
  3. Mix and match sides to create different meal combinations.

Now, let’s dive into the nutritional aspects of a leftover turkey sandwich recipe.

First, choose the right sliced bread for your sandwich. Opting for whole-grain bread can add fiber and nutrients to your meal. Next, consider including Thanksgiving leftovers such as roasted vegetables or a thin layer of cranberry sauce to boost the flavor and provide additional nutrients.

To maintain a well-balanced meal, be mindful of the total calories. A standard turkey sandwich might include the following:

IngredientCalories (approx.)
Whole-grain bread200
Lettuce and tomato10

Remember, you can have healthy and tasty alternatives to the traditional chips and fries as sides, such as carrot sticks, fruit salad, or a tasty quinoa salad.

With a little attention to the ingredients and portion sizes, a leftover turkey sandwich recipe can serve as a perfectly nutritious and satisfying meal. Planning your post-Thanksgiving meals doesn’t have to be a chore – in just 5 minutes, you can create a delicious and healthy sandwich that everyone will enjoy, whether you’re at home or back at work.

Popular Pairings

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When it comes to making a leftover turkey sandwich, the possibilities are endless. There are so many delicious combinations to try, and the perfect pairings can elevate your lunch experience. Here are some popular pairings you might want to consider for your next leftover turkey sandwich adventure.

Cheeses can play a significant role in enhancing the flavor of your turkey sandwich. Some classic options include Swiss, cheddar, provolone, and pepper jack. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different variations, such as brie or blue cheese.

Adding some vegetables not only provides nutritional value but also introduces a delightful crunch to your sandwich. A few favorites include tomato, lettuce, and avocado. Keep in mind that you can always substitute these with other options like spinach, cucumber, or sprouts.

For those who appreciate a smoky and savory touch, bacon is a must-try pairing for your leftover turkey sandwich. Crisp bacon can be piled on top of the turkey for a satisfying crunch. Alternatively, a lean option like turkey bacon will maintain that smoky flavor while reducing the number of calories.

When it comes to the base of your sandwich, selecting the right bread can make all the difference. Sourdough, whole grain, and ciabatta are versatile options that compliment turkey. You might also like to try a baguette, a wrap, or even a bagel for a unique dining experience.

The choice of sides can truly complete your leftover turkey sandwich meal. For a lighter accompaniment, pair your sandwich with a salad or some raw vegetables and crackers. If you prefer something more indulgent, chips or fries are classic options that never disappoint. For those craving some comfort food, reheated mashed potatoes will hit the spot.

Lastly, a generous spread of mayonnaise will add a smooth and creamy texture to your sandwich. If mayo isn’t your preference, try alternatives like Dijon mustard, cranberry sauce, or even hummus. The key is to find a condiment that complements your chosen turkey sandwich ingredients.

Now that you’re filled with inspiration for your next leftover turkey sandwich recipe, go ahead and get creative in the kitchen!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a simple and delicious way to make a leftover turkey sandwich?

A simple and delicious leftover turkey sandwich starts with toasted bread, add a spread of mayonnaise and cranberry sauce, layer on sliced turkey, lettuce, and tomato, and finish with a slice of cheese of your choice. Close the sandwich with another slice of toasted bread, and enjoy!

How can I make a healthy turkey sandwich with Thanksgiving leftovers?

To create a healthy turkey sandwich, opt for whole grain bread and a lighter spread, such as Greek yogurt mixed with Dijon mustard. Layer on sliced turkey, plenty of vegetables like spinach, cucumber, and bell pepper, and finish with a slice of avocado or a sprinkle of sprouts.

What ingredients can I add to a turkey stuffing sandwich?

A turkey stuffing sandwich is all about layering flavors. Start with your choice of bread, add a spread of mayonnaise or cranberry sauce, and then layer sliced turkey, stuffing, and a small amount of mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. Add a small drizzle of gravy for extra flavor before closing the sandwich with another slice of bread.

How do you moisten turkey for sandwiches?

To moisten turkey for sandwiches, simply warm up the leftover turkey in a pan with a small amount of chicken or turkey broth. Cover and cook on low heat for a few minutes, allowing the turkey to absorb the moisture from the broth.

How long is leftover turkey good for in the refrigerator?

Leftover turkey can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or place in an airtight container to ensure freshness. If you would like to store it for a longer time, consider freezing the turkey for up to 3 to 4 months.

What is a popular leftover turkey sandwich recipe by a renowned chef?

A popular leftover turkey sandwich recipe by a renowned chef is the “Monte Cristo” by Bobby Flay. This recipe involves using leftover turkey, cranberry sauce, Swiss cheese, and a mustard spread on slices of thick bread, dipped in an egg batter and fried in butter until golden brown. The sandwich is then dusted with powdered sugar and served with a side of maple syrup for dipping.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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