Delicious Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich Recipes

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It happens every year. The morning after a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, you wake up, open the refrigerator and are faced with an overwhelming amount of leftover food. Sandwiches are the perfect way to use it up creatively without much additional preparation.

Leftover Combination Sandwiches

If you haven't had time to get to the store the morning after Thanksgiving, here are a few lunchtime ideas for sandwiches that make use of all the food left in your refrigerator:

Thanksgiving Dinner Sandwich on French Bread

  1. Butter and oven toast your leftover French (or Italian) bread.
  2. Pile on turkey slices, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce to create a hero style sandwich.
  3. Warm it up in your conventional oven or microwave.

Toasted Cranberry-Cheese Open Sandwich

  1. Toast a slice of leftover bread or a dinner roll and butter it.
  2. Spread on leftover cheese from your Thanksgiving appetizers. Brie or Gorgonzola work particularly well for this.
  3. Top with leftover cranberry sauce.
Ready for Planting Finished Product

American Deli Ideas

Resist the temptation to run out for quick sandwiches rather than even look at those leftovers with these easy deli-inspired ideas:

Turkey BLT

To make this yummy comfort sandwich, you'll need:

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Fresh lettuce
  • Leftover turkey slices
  • Ripe red tomato slices
  • Bacon
  • Mayonnaise.

Simply fry the bacon, toast the bread, then assemble the sandwich. For a truly unique BLT, add melted cheddar cheese and crisp green apple slices.

Turkey Reuben

To create this variation of the classic Reuben, start with:

  • Butter for frying
  • 2 slices of rye bread
  • Russian dressing, to taste
  • 2 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 3 to 6 slices cooked turkey
  • Sauerkraut, to taste.
  1. Butter on side of each slice of bread, and place butter side down on a clean plate or piece of wax paper.
  2. Top one slice of bread with slice of cheese and some turkey.
  3. Squeeze extra moisture from sauerkraut, and put some on top of the cheese and turkey. Drizzle on some Russian dressing.
  4. Cover with remaining turkey and another slice of cheese.
  5. Close sandwich with the other slice of bread, butter side out.
  6. Grill over medium heat on both buttered sides until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
  7. Cut sandwich in half and serve hot.

Turkey Salad Bagel Sandwiches (makes about 5 sandwiches)

This turkey salad takes only a few minutes to prepare after breakfast, and will be all ready for your lunch. Start with:

  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 cups cooked turkey, cubed
  • 1 8-ounce jar pickles, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • ½ to 1-cup mayonnaise, to taste
  • Salt, pepper and onion powder, to taste
  • Lettuce and tomato slices
  • 5 toasted bagels, any flavor.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and chill in the refrigerator for about 3 hours. Serve on bagels with lettuce and tomato.

Turkey Melt

This hearty sandwich will take the chill out of a raw, winter morning. You'll need:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Brown gravy
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced turkey
  • Pumpernickel bread
  • Butter.

Layer mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey and cheese on bread to form a sandwich. Pan-fry in butter until bread is toasty brown on both sides and cheese is melted.

Indian and Asian Inspired Sandwiches

Give your leftovers the exotic flavors and aromas of the East with these savory sandwiches:

Curried Turkey Sandwich

  • Mayonnaise, sufficient to coat turkey
  • Turmeric, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste
  • Chopped turkey
  • Chopped celery
  • Chapatti or naan bread (Pita is fine if you can't find any Indian bread.)
  • Stuffing and/or mashed potatoes

Flavor the mayonnaise with spices to taste. Mix in chopped turkey and celery. Serve with leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes on Indian chapatti or naan bread.

Asian Spiced Turkey Sandwich

  • Cooked turkey, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon peanut butter
  • Dash of Asian chili sauce
  • Grated cucumber and carrots
  • Whole-wheat wrap.

Mix first five ingredients in a bowl and serve on a whole-wheat wrap.

South of the Border Sandwiches

Send your taste buds on a Mexican vacation with some zesty south of the border sandwiches:

Turkey Quesadillas

  • 2 9-inch flour tortillas
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 4 oz cooked turkey, cut into thin strips
  • 6 tablespoons grated cheddar or jack cheese
  • Guacamole, salsa and sour cream, to taste.
  1. Brush non-stick pan with olive oil, and heat on low for about 15 seconds.
  2. Place a tortilla in the pan and top with half the cheese, cooking about a minute until the cheese begins to melt.
  3. Cover with half the turkey strips and heat an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Top with salsa, guacamole, sour cream or a combination.
  5. Repeat with second tortilla.

Chipotle Ranch Turkey with Bacon

  • Sliced Turkey
  • Bacon
  • Chipotle ranch salad dressing
  • Fresh avocado slices
  • Romaine lettuce leaves
  • Mexican bolillo bread (A hard roll is fine if you can't find the bolillo.)

Cook the bacon and serve first five ingredients layered on a warm bolillo roll.

European Inspired Sandwiches

For a taste of Europe, try these international sandwich ideas:

Parisian Turkey Sandwich

  • Croissant
  • Butter
  • Thick turkey slices
  • Gruyere cheese
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Grainy mustard
  • Caramelized onions

To make this sandwich, Spread butter and grainy mustard on both sides of a cut, warm croissant. Fill with turkey slices, Gruyere cheese, cranberry sauce and caramelized onions.

Mediterranean Turkey Flatbread Sandwich

  • Cubed, cooked turkey
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Rosemary (fresh or dried)
  • Goat cheese, crumbled
  • Large flatbread or focaccia bread.

Layer first five ingredients on flatbread and toast open sandwich in oven.

With flavors inspired from worldwide cuisine, leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches are anything but boring.

Resources:

  • http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2007/11/serious-sandwiches-the-ideal-thanksgiving-lef.html
  • http://www.marthastewart.com/356128/tasty-turkey-leftovers-turkey-banh-mi?czone=food/thanksgiving-center/thanksgiving-center-leftover
  • http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/11/skinny-turkey-cuban-sandwich.html
  • http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2009/11/recipe-for-turkey-and-guacamole.html
  • http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/annies-turkey-salad/detail.aspx
Last Updated: November 17, 2011
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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