Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Pickled Onions

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

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1 sandwich


  • 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


1 Heat a frying pan, preferably a cast iron one, over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.

2 Assemble the sandwich: 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.

3 Butter and cook one side: Butter the side closest to the cheese and place the sandwich butter-side down on to the hot pan to cook.

4 Butter top side, flip sandwich, and cook other side: 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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  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • marla {family fresh cooking}

    Love those turkey sandwiches with melted cheese. Here is a link to my Thanksgiving Monte Cristo:

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Garrett McCord

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