Hot Turkey Sandwich

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Every year, for as long as I can remember, my parents have prepared a huge (18-20 pound or more) turkey for our family on Thanksgiving Day. And every year, without fail, my mother or father prepares open-faced, hot turkey sandwiches with leftover turkey and gravy for days following.

You would think that the day after turkey day, the last thing any one of us would want would be more turkey. But I think on Thanksgiving Day itself, the turkey can take almost a back seat to the sides on the plate. There are just so many sides to choose from. But the next day? It’s all about the turkey. And the gravy. The bread is there so you can call it a sandwich and eat it for lunch.

Hot Turkey Sandwich

This really isn’t a recipe as much as it is a tradition in our family. But if you’ve never made hot turkey sandwiches with your leftover turkey and gravy, here’s how. It’s as easy as it seems.

Hot Turkey Sandwich Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

The amounts are approximate, we never measure.


  • 1 1/2 lb leftover turkey meat, sliced
  • 1/2 cup or so of leftover turkey gravy
  • Stock or water (to thin the gravy if needed)
  • 4 large slices of rustic bread


1 Heat gravy in a skillet until bubbly. If the gravy is too thick, thin with a little stock or water.

2 Add pieces of sliced cooked turkey meat to the gravy. Coat with the gravy on all sides and heat until the meat is heated through.

3 Arrange a slice of bread (rustic French or Italian loaf would work great) on a plate. Top with sliced turkey and gravy.

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Showing 4 of 13 Comments

  • Mallory

    Yep we always do this with our leftovers too! It’s especially good with a dollop of cranberry sauce right on top!

  • Cookie

    Oh, wow…thanks. THAT’S the step I was missing: heating up the gravy with the turkey slices.

    We never did turkeys when I was growing up. Always a pair of fresh capons, roasted on a spit over a charcoal fire in the large dining room fireplace of our 19th-c Bucks County farmhouse. I remember basting the birds with melted butter and red wine vinegar to the whine of the rotisserie motor and the spitting of the juices on the coals. My dad had installed a 1′ by 4′ by 6″ deep open charcoal grill “basket” with a removable electric rotisserie in the big old fireplace. Can you picture that? Sans the rotisserie, we’d also grill thick marinated Porterhouses year-round. Not quite the fireside cooking the original owners had known, but it was so commonplace for me that I didn’t realize till years later how unusual those meals were.

  • mazwe

    Oh yeah. I had an open faced turkey sandwich for lunch today, and it was amazing. I did add some butter, stock and garlic powder to get rid that gamey taste.

    I think I have enough for one more. Looking forward to it!

  • Susan

    Amen! The hot turkey sandwich is what it’s all about after Thanksgiving day in our house, too. We do it two ways, either on bread or on leftover stuffing and always for dinner only. For lunch it’s a cold turkey sandwich, on white with a scoop of the leftover sauerkraut and a scoop of leftover cranberry sauce. Yum!

  • Whitney PoohPooh

    This is a delicious way to enjoy the last of the Thanksgiving turkey, so simple. We have already had the second heating of the leftovers, and snacked on Chuck’s Mac & Cheese (best we ever tasted, hubby said was better than his Grandmother’s!). I was making traditional turkey with some leftovers when my husband insisted that I add tomatoes. Wow! It was delicious! I never had it that way before. Now there is only enough turkey left for sandwiches. I’m going make this hot turkey recipe with toasted texas garlic bread and enjoy on this rainy day. My little family has much to be grateful for this year.

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