This Leftover Turkey Sandwich is the EASIEST way to transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into a hearty, scrumptious breakfast/brunch sandwich recipe the next day.
The secret to a great leftover turkey sandwich is to steam leftover turkey in the oven so that the meat stays tender and juicy without drying up!
Post-Thanksgiving blues are no fun. You had a fabulous meal, had a great time with family, and now you’re spending the rest of the evening with your pants unfastened to accommodate that over-sized food baby. And you think you’re done with turkey, but you have enough Thanksgiving leftovers for the next day, and a few more days after that!
There are plenty of fantastic ways to revamp those Thanksgiving leftovers and give them delicious, new life! The simplest way to revamp leftover turkey or leftover Thanksgiving food is to make a tasty Leftover Turkey Sandwich!
This Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich is so easy and adaptable. You can use whatever you have leftover to make them. And since I like to serve these for breakfast/brunch the following day, my leftover turkey sandwich ALWAYS has an egg on top – that’s pretty much non-negotiable for me.
How can I make sure the leftover turkey isn’t dry the following day and stays perfectly juicy?
Dry turkey isn’t going to make this Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich particularly appetizing. Sure, gravy can fix it to an extent, but not really. Your tender, juicy, succulent turkey from the previous day quickly turns dry and insipid the next day as you reheat it, and that’s enough to ruin a great sandwich. The red meat of turkey isn’t so much of a problem, but the white meat (turkey breast) is usually the culprit.
So here’s the secret to keeping that turkey juicy the following day as well – steam the leftover turkey! Gently reheating the turkey wrapped in foil or parchment paper is a simple way to ensure that your leftover turkey tastes just as good as it did the previous day.
Since I made a few different Thanksgiving turkey recipes for the blog this year, I had two types of leftover turkey to choose from.
You can slice the turkey roast into any thickness you prefer. You can go thick for the turkey roulade (Thanksgiving turkey roll), and thin for the turkey breast, if you like. Then place the sliced turkey in separate pieces of foil, along with a knob (or two) of butter on top of the turkey, and fold the foil into separate parcels.
Then I place these foil packets in the oven and reheat them at a low temperature until they are nice and warm, and properly reheated. I prefer to make several smaller foil packets (with few slices of turkey per parcel), rather than one large parcel containing all the leftover turkey, so that it’s faster and the turkey steams evenly. This can take between 15-30 minutes, depending on how thick the slices are, and how much leftover turkey you have, so keep an eye on it.
I’ve tried heating the turkey in the microwave, and on the pan, but the meat dries out very quickly with both methods. But steaming the leftover turkey the oven, always gives me great results. But if you feel like using the stove-top is easier for you, go for it – you can use a non-stick pan, and add some butter, and heat the turkey on low-medium to keep it as juicy as possible.
What can I put on my leftover turkey sandwich?
The best thing about this Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich is how adaptable it is. You can add whatever you like.
Turkey gravy – I love adding turkey gravy because it’s got SO MUCH flavor! And like I said, the turkey gravy can mask dry turkey meat to an extent. Just be prepared for the gravy dribble though…
Cranberry sauce – Adds a delightfully tart sweetness to this leftover turkey sandwich. The sweet and savory combo of cranberry sauce is always a winner, and there’s a reason why cranberry sauce and turkey belong together.
Roasted vegetables – I mean, why not? I haven’t added any for the leftover turkey sandwich pictured here (because I didn’t have any leftover roasted veggies), but I have done that in the past, and I usually like to add brussels sprouts, or smashed roasted potatoes, or roasted carrots.
Other extra additions for this sandwich
- Egg (fried, poached, scrambled, omelette – whatever you like!)
- Cheese (I didn’t want cheese in mine, but a slice of cheddar would be delicious too)
- Sauteed onions
While I prefer to make these sandwiches with brioche bread, you can use any kind of bread you like too.
- Bread slices
- Burger buns
- Hot dog buns
- Whole-grain bread
- White bread
- Gluten free bread
But the bottom line is that you just can’t go wrong with this leftover turkey sandwich! Steam the turkey so that it retains that tender, juicy texture, and then go ahead and add whatever Thanksgiving leftovers you’ve got!
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Leftover Turkey Sandwich
Reheating Leftover Turkey
- 3 - 4 servings of leftover roast turkey sliced (about 3- 4 slices per person)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic minced
- Pinch of salt
- 4 brioche buns or 8 slices of thick bread (of your choice)
- Unsalted butter
- Leftover cranberry sauce
- Leftover turkey gravy
- Shredded lettuce
- 4 fried eggs
Reheating leftover Turkey
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Place the sliced roast turkey on a piece of foil, and add the butter, garlic and a pinch of salt on top. Wrap the turkey with the foil.
- Place the foil parcel on a quarter sheet pan and transfer to the preheated oven, to reheat the turkey. This will take about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your turkey slices. Check after 15 minutes, and return to the oven if the meat needs to be reheated for longer.
- Remove from the oven, and increase the oven temperature to 350°F to toast the buns/bread.
- Split the brioche buns and spread a thin layer of butter. Place the buns (cut side up), on a sheet pan and transfer to the preheated oven. Toast the buns until the edges are toasty, but still soft in the middle. Remove the buns from the oven.
- You can serve all the ingredients separately, so that each person can assemble their sandwiches themselves.
When ready to serve
- Spread cranberry sauce on the top bun.
- Place turkey slices on the bottom bun (3 - 4 slices per person), and top with shredded lettuce.
- Pour gravy on top, followed by an egg and the top bun (with cranberry sauce). Enjoy!
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