The turkey sandwich is the holy grail of Thanksgiving leftovers and I’m here for it. The classic leftover turkey sandwich, in my humble opinion, is sliced turkey on a roll with some cranberry, stuffing, and gravy.
I will always and forever make sure to have one of those late night on Thanksgiving or the next day.
But, if you are like me, that sandwich can only get you so far and then I need a massive flavor switch to work through the last of Thanksgiving leftovers.
Enter this Chipotle Turkey Sandwich. A total flavor switch-up and basically a mix of a patty melt and a traditional Thanksgiving turkey sandwich.
It’s a winner!
What cuts of turkey work well for this sandwich?
The nice thing about this turkey sandwich is that it uses chopped turkey so you can use literally any cut of leftover turkey or even pick the scraps off the turkey and use those. It’s very flexible.
So use those nice slices of perfect turkey for a traditional sandwich and then clean-up the rest, chopped and mixed, for this chipotle turkey sandwich!
Cheese that works well for turkey sandwiches
I tried this sandwich with two different cheeses and I thought both worked really well. Provolone was my first choice which gives off cheesesteak vibes once it is well-melted in the sandwich.
Ultimately though, I went with just plain American cheese. It gets very melty and holds the sandwich together and we all know American cheese the best choice for grilled cheeses anyway!
(Disagree? Read my defense of American cheese!)
Ingredients for this turkey sandwich filling
Let’s talk about the ingredients that I used for this fun leftover turkey sandwich.
- Leftover turkey! This should be obvious.
- Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce. I like to mince up the peppers pretty finely and also stir in some of the Adobo sauce.
- Tomato. A small tomato gives the filling some moisture.
- Scallions. I used chopped scallions to give some onion flavor to the sandwich. A shallot would also be nice.
- Mayonnaise. I used a little mayo to add some fat to the sandwich.
- Strawberry jam. This sandwich benefits a lot from some sweetness.
Making a turkey? Don’t forget to dry brine your turkey for best results!
Cooking chipotle turkey sandwiches
This is a really easy turkey sandwich to make because you just stir together the filling and then smash it together with your sandwich bread and cheese and griddle it!
The trick to cooking this sandwich well is to keep the temperature pretty low. The sandwich is thick and it takes some time to warm through the filling and melt the cheese and you don’t want to burn the bread before the filling is melted.
The sandwich will need to cook for 4-5 minutes per side and you can flip it regularly to ensure even cooking.
Crunch Time Tips
Tips for this sandwich are pretty straightforward!
- Feel free to use a lot of filling. I used about a cup of turkey per sandwich which may seem like a lot but I like a thick sandwich.
- Be sure to taste the filling on its own. You might need to season it a little before adding it to the sandwich.
This is a very flexible sandwich situation! Here are some substitutions that crossed my mind.
- Substitute cranberry sauce for the strawberry jam. That would be better even in my opinion.
- If you are seeing this recipe not in the Thanksgiving season, you could substitute chicken for turkey without issue.
- I used standard sandwich bread for my version, but you could use sturdier sourdough bread as well.
I just love the flavor change-up in this sandwich during Thanksgiving. If you are hitting a turkey wall, try this Chipotle Turkey Sandwich for a different taste!
Chipotle Turkey Sandwiches
- 2 cups leftover turkey, chopped
- 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 3 chipotle peppers, in adobo, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ cup strawberry jam, or leftover cranberry sauce
- 2 slices American cheese
- 4 slices sandwich bread
- Butter, for griddle
- In a medium bowl, mix together chopped turkey, tomato, scallion, chipotle peppers, Adobo sauce, and taste the mixture. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper if needed.
- Preheat griddle or sturdy pan over low heat.
- For sandwiches, add mayo to one half of the bread and jam or cranberry sauce to the other half. Divide filling between the two sandwiches and add cheese. Press sandwich together.
- Melt a little butter in the skillet or griddle and cook sandwich on both sides, flipping regularly, until the filling is warm and cheese is melted, 4-5 minutes per side.
- Serve immediately!