A colleague this week told me his family decided to celebrate Thanksgiving at a restaurant this year. It was great, he said, because no one had to cook or clean. But (here comes the lament) no one had Turkey Dinner leftovers, either.
What a pity. Some of the best meals we have all year make good use of Thanksgiving leftovers. But the best of the best – and why I will year after year roast, grill or otherwise cook a Thanksgiving turkey – are the fantastic turkey sandwiches.
More people use leftover turkey and other Thanksgiving fixings in sandwiches, making them into treasured gourmet meals.
In honor of favorite Turkey Sandwiches all, we present our picks for the Top Turkey Sandwiches of all time. It’s a virtual Hall of Fame of favorite sandwiches made to be served for lunch or dinner, some hot some cold.
- Hot Turkey: An open-faced sandwich using the favorite bread of your choice (we like top-quality rye) accompanied by leftover mashed potatoes and/or stuffing. The entire plate is smothered in gravy.
- Homage to Thanksgiving Monte Cristo: We alter this All Recipes version using a layer of leftover stuffing in between two generous layers of turkey surrounded by bread, pan fried in Panko Bread Crumbs. Yum.
- Turkey, Brie & Pear: We usually have a cheese board at our gathering with Brie. I fell in love with this delicious sandwich combo last year and it quickly became a favorite. If you find yourself with leftover Brie, I can’t think of a better use for it.
- Turkey Picadillo: This is a version of Turkey Barbecue that will feed a family. Substitute leftover turkey for the ground turkey and let it simmer a slow cooker.
- Gourmet Turkey Sandwich: It’s so much fun using fresh cranberry sauce (this year’s version courtesy the Barefoot Contessa), in sandwiches. Years ago, we discovered what a great sandwich condiment cranberry sauce makes. Add the cream cheese and grainy mustard and it’s a truly gourmet sandwich.
- The Leftover: As demonstrated by this recipe on wikiHow, people put all manner of leftovers together to create the perfect concoction. Stuffing is great. We also like to do sweet potatoes as a layer (cranberry sauce, turkey and sweet potatoes). Experiment with what you have left over and Viola! You have your own new favorite.
- Turkey Cheddar Apple: We like to serve this grilled. Grilled or not, you can not go wrong pairing tart apple with tangy cheddar and turkey!
- White Bread -n-Mayo: This version is done with Hellman’s on Challa bread. I add iceberg lettuce for a distinct crunch.
- Turkey Bacon Swiss: A variation on the BLT. Serve it grilled if you like your sammies warm.
- Turkey, Pesto and Provolone: Adapted from Emeril and posted on the Big Fat Sandwich site. Pesto as a condiment is vastly underrated, and pairs very well with turkey, whether you decide to press the sandwich (as in this recipe) or not.
Customize by using your favorite bread, but always choose quality bread for the best leftover turkey sandwiches. Add your favorite fresh veggies, too. Don’t have leftover turkey? No problem. Roast a small turkey. That’s what my friend who ate Thanksgiving at a restaurant did!
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