Hot Turkey Sandwich

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.

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Hot Turkey Sandwich Recipe

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

The amounts are approximate, we never measure.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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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26 Comments

  1. Melissa K

    My husband totally does this, too. I, on the other hand, must have my Day-After turkey sandwich on fresh white sandwich bread, with mayo, stuffing, and cranberries. Oh, so good.

  2. Alana D

    That is to die for!

  3. Alanna Kellogg

    Ditto in my family except that mashed potatoes are there too and it’s called a “Hot Turkey” a la “Hot Beef”. (It’s a Minnesota thing, your dad may know.)

  4. tomoko

    Going to make some, right now!! :)

  5. SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen

    We’ve been eating this every day since Thanksgiving — it’s my favorite way to enjoy leftovers.

  6. Amanda

    You mean there are people who have never had this? Yum!

  7. Kitten with a Whisk

    We did this as well on Friday. The only difference was using leftover rolls and adding some stuffing on there too.

    So so so so yummy.

  8. DebbieWS

    We just had this for lunch today. And it the gravy is done. Just have enough turkey for Turkey Salad Sandwich tomorrow. It’s a recipe I learned from a Deli I work in back in the late 70’s.

  9. Marty

    Love that. And with a little smear of homemade cranberry sauce? Perfection! Great sandwich.

  10. lynn @ the actor's diet

    want! i didn’t get nearly enough turkey this year.

  11. Omeghan

    O M G ! A hot turkey sandwich! I love these. Only thing missing is a side of home made chips (french fries)

    These are common leftovers here in Canada, (Ontario & Quebec) Also done with roast beef or chicken.

    Now, I can barely wait til I have my own Christmas turkey & leftovers….

  12. Fran

    These photos are evil, but extremely helpful! The sandwich looks crazy good!

    All I had this year was one plate at Thanksving. I was sent home with a sandwich that I wrapped up with a banana and an apple in a sac to carry on the plane and just remembered that I forgot to bring it with me! That lunch is going to be a museum piece or science experiment by the time I return for my first trip back home to the US! Time to find someone to go throw it out for me.

  13. Paula

    We went to my Mom’s for Thanksgiving so I had to make a 18lb turkey on Friday because we didn’t have leftovers. We had turkey dumpling soup on Saturday. We inhaled your turkey enchiladas yesterday and my kids can’t wait for lunch to eat the last of the turkey. The 4 of them are eating this now for breakfast (with white bread, we are out of Italian bread).
    Hubby says that this is the true breakfast of champions. I think that it beats flipping pancakes. I am thankful for all of your great recipies!

  14. Becki's Whole Life

    We are doing these for dinner tonight. I think one of the key things with this recipe is to definitely simmer the gravy with the turkey before hand. You can’t skip that step or the turkey doesn’t get nice and moist and it needs to be completely covered by the gravy. Yum, your pictures are making me hungry for dinner.

  15. minnehonk in Maine

    my favorite meal at Thanksgiving is this sandwich, with stuffing and cranberry sauce heated up, the next and final meal is turkey soup

  16. homegrown countrygirl

    Ohmygosh. I totally agree with JC… you can’t go wrong with bread and gravy. And yours does look particularly amazing…

  17. 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.

  18. Melanie @ Melanie Cooks

    Nice looking sandwich! What a great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

  19. KariVery

    Uh oh… we went to father in law’s for Thanksgiving this year, and he made an abso-fab prime rib instead of a turkey. I was a little sad that I’d have no left over turkey this year, but I was okay with that… until now. Guess I’ll have to roast me a turkey and make some gravy so I can have a hot turkey sandwich!!

  20. Lisa

    This may look better to me in a few months…for right now, we are pretty much over turkey.

  21. Beth

    In the services we called this sh*t on a shingle.

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. Trish-in-MO

    Not enough leftovers this year!! I hope you had a lovely time with your lovely family!

  26. Mallory

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

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