On Thanksgiving, there are plenty of us who just want to fast-forward to the really good stuff: that first leftover turkey sandwich on white bread, slathered in mayo. But after, oh, two of these, it’s time to start mixing it up. Try one of these mouth-watering numbers:
1. Waffled cranberry-cream cheese turkey sandwiches: When Courtney Rowland of Neighbor Food got sick of her go-to leftover sandwich (turkey and Miracle Whip on sweet Hawaiian rolls), she created this makeover of the Monte Cristo: a turkey sandwich on crispy waffles, with a cranberry-cream cheese filling, arugula and a dusting of powdered sugar. It’s even fancy enough for a weekend brunch, she adds.
2. Ultimate turkey grinder: Guests staying at the Four Seasons Resort Vail can order this show-stopping Thanksgiving sandwich in the lounge or via room service this year, but for those of us who can’t make the trip, chef Kevin Erving gave us the secrets to what he calls the “Ultimate Turkey Ciabatta Grinder.” Start with crusty bread (like ciabatta). Slice and grill it. Layer on turkey, stuffing, mayo, cranberry sauce, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, and — wait for it — celery leaves (a classic chef trick). Eat it hot, or dip in warm gravy, he says.
3. Stuffed sandwich: Fans of the New Orleans muffaletta will dig this stuffed sandwich from Stef Smith, author of the blog 300 Sandwiches. Cut a “lid” out of a round of white bread, then hollow it out, and layer in lettuce and any leftovers you’d like (turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce). Replace the “lid” and flatten with a heavy pan or other weights before serving. Smith, a sandwich fanatic who has several other to-die-for turkey sandwiches on her site, says she’ll be unveiling even more leading up to the big day.
4. Caesar BLT Club: Fans of Caesar salad will love this take on a classic turkey club from Laurie McNamara, author of Simply Scratch. She makes her own dressing from scratch — and promises homemade mayo is not as scary to make as it sounds (though you could cheat it with store-bought). Bacon and sturdy whole grain bread are musts.
5. Healthy cucumber: For those feeling overstuffed the day after T-Day, try this idea from food blogger Shay Shull: She slathers thin sandwich bread with garlic-herb cheese and layers on turkey and cucumber slices for a leftover sandwich that could pass as spa food.
6. Hummus wrap: South Carolina food blogger Amy Johnson uses up her turkey and cranberry sauce in these four-ingredient wraps. The final ingredient, after the tortillas? Hummus — something you’re likely to have on hand during the holidays, too.
Find more creative ways to use leftover turkey: Turkey chili, turkey soup, turkey enchiladas and more ideas beyond the sandwich.