Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Pickled Onions

Do you still have some leftover turkey? Here’s an idea for a quick turkey grilled cheese sandwich. We just happened to have some sweet pickled onions in the fridge, and some arugula growing in the garden, hence the throw-together sandwich. We’ve done something a little similar with cranberries and arugula, but this one is a grilled cheese sandwich. I think the onions are essential; I would have piled on more if we weren’t already running out.

What’s your favorite leftover turkey sandwich combination? Please let us know about it in the comments.

Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Pickled Onions Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 1 sandwich

We use rye bread here, but really any bread will do. Just make sure it is sturdy enough to hold up to the ingredients,.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of rye bread
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter
  • 3-4 slices leftover turkey
  • 2-3 slices Monterey jack cheese
  • 2-3 pieces of arugula (optional)
  • A handful of sweet pickled onions or another sweet pickle

Method

1 Heat a frying pan, preferably a cast iron one, over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. While the pan is heating, assemble the sandwich, starting with a layer of bread, then cheese, then turkey, arugula, pickles, and another slice of bread. Butter the side closest to the cheese and place the sandwich butter-side down on to the hot pan to cook.

2 Once the bottom of the sandwich is browned, about 2-3 minutes, butter the top of the sandwich and carefully flip the sandwich over in the pan. Toast for another minute, then turn the heat to its lowest setting and cover the pan. Watch the cheese, and when it melts you're done. Eat immediately.

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Links:

Jalapeño bread and butter pickles - these also make a great pickle to use in this turkey sandwich
Grilled Cheese, Pear and Smoked Turkey Sandwich - from Cooking with Amy
Turkey and Cranberry Grilled Cheese Sandwich - from Wandering Chopsticks

13 Comments

  1. Garrett

    We made grilled cheese with leftover turkey, brie, cranberry sauce, and a wee bit of lightly sauteed kale. Outstanding.

  2. rebecca h.

    We had thin slices of roasted butternut squash and whole roasted onions leftover too, so we put turkey, squash and onion slices in ours, along with some green pea shoots I’ve been growing and some quince paste. Lush toasted in some fresh bread from the baker!

  3. Patti

    My mom makes an awesome post Thanksgiving sandwich. Turkey, mayo, lots of crispy bacon and a healthy slice of jellied cranberry sauce (yes, from the can!) on toast. Creamy, salty, sweet and toasty. Gotta love it.

  4. marla {family fresh cooking}

    Love those turkey sandwiches with melted cheese. Here is a link to my Thanksgiving Monte Cristo:
    http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2010/11/24/thanksgiving-leftovers-monte-cristo-sandwich-recipe/

  5. Susan

    I just love pickled onions on a sandwich. You get the flavor of the onion without that raw taste that lingers on your breath all afternoon!
    I’ll have to try your version of the turkey melt. I usually make mine on a toasted hoagy roll with whipped cream cheese topped with toasted sliced almonds, cranberry compote, a layer of turkey w/salt and pepper, then a layer of sauerkraut-(that I make with caramelized onions, the kraut, good splash of turkey stock and caraway seed) and finally, lettus and a little mayo on the top bun. Oh, Mama!

  6. Lillianne

    I’ve been making your pickled onions ever since you posted that recipe. They are good on so many difference things. Nice and crunchy, sweet and tangy. And they are so pretty.

  7. Nancy Singleton Hachisu

    It’s so funny. Tonight we had open faced tuna sandwiches with pickled onions and mozzarella cheese, though the arugula was on the side as a salad. I plucked 6 chickens for Thanksgiving and there was not one morsel left over (sadly). We’re doing an Overnight at the school this weekend, so we’ll be plucking more chickens. What is Thanksgiving without leftovers?

    Thanks for this post, I love these kismit sandwiches. Also, I’m kind of addicted to grilled cheese recently.

  8. Dara

    I love the perspective of this photo.

    The pickled onions are something I would not have thought of, but this combination sounds so appealing to me. I am a fan of adding all sorts of flavors to my grilled cheese sandwiches – chutney, cherry jam, etc. – and this one will certainly be tested at my house.

  9. bavaria

    Thanks for the pickled onion idea. Just made some yeast rolls today and used some of the fat from the turkey roasting pan as a substitute for the oil in the recipe…oh my, that is good!

  10. Akrista

    Great idea for a “grown up” grilled cheese sandwich. I love adding extra ingredients to spice up my grilled cheese sandwiches or any sandwich for that matter – and the pickled onions are on my list of must try recipes. I suppose the recipe would work just as well with sweet onions (my favorite), or both red and sweet – hmmm…., that’s an idea.

  11. Maggie

    I usually put the turkey, or another type of meat such as: eye of round roast, ham, pepperoni, etc., on a tortilla with red onion slices, shredded low – fat Cheddar, low – fat Mozzarella and Monterey jack cheeses and a piece of whatever lettuce I have handy. Then wrap it all up and heat it on a non – stick grill over medium heat until all sides are browned and the cheeses are melted. I don’t use any butter and the low – fat cheeses lower the calorie count.

    However, your recipe was great and I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks for the recipe I e-mailed it to a friend I know will love and appreciate it.

  12. Tempy

    We spent thanksgiving here down at my roomate’s mom’s house. Being southern to the bone, no matter how many years she lived in Cali, we had plenty of cornbread and collard greens left over. She makes a very spicy and tender rendition of the greens. For the last of the left-overs we had turkey sandwiches with collard greens, swiss cheese, turkey meat and a little bit of left over gravy on some think texas toast bread. It was great!

  13. Judy

    I made a Turkey Wrap instead of a sandwich, with butter-sauteed leftover roast turkey meat, with lettuce and cherry tomatoes and drizzled with a mayo-mint sauce mix! Great way to use up the turkey and its accompanying sauce with a light twist. It was all then wrapped up in a flour tortilla and chowed down while watching holiday movies =D

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