Turkey Sandwich Trio

Hello Friends! Welcome to Djalali Cooks. We’re taking a diversion from Pizza and a Movie today to talk turkey leftovers. Alex and I particularly love sandwiches. And while there may be millions of recipes other than sandwiches for your Thanksgiving leftovers, I want to focus on a few turkey sandwiches that go way beyond the typical sliced turkey with mayo. I have a Turkey Sandwich Trio that might just change how you feel about that regular ol’ leftover turkey sandwich.

Turkey Reuben

First on the list is a Turkey Reuben. This has everything you expect a Reuben to have with a couple twists: we have rye bread, sauerkraut and I am using Thousand Island dressing instead of Russian. And I have a couple slices of provolone instead of Swiss. The turkey breast is thinly sliced and lightly browned in a skillet with a little olive oil.

reuben with pickle

Toast the bread on both sides in a skillet with butter and then load one side with the browned turkey and one slice of cheese, the other slice of cheese goes on the second slice of bread. Then, those go under the broiler to melt the cheese. Meanwhile, I warm the sauerkraut in the skillet I toasted the bread and the turkey in. Pull out the bread, pile on the sauerkraut and pour on the dressing. Get yourself a dill pickle spear, and grab a few napkins because it’s gonna be messy!

reuben sandwich

The Italian: Pesto, Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato

Next up is an Italian-inspired combination: Pesto, fresh mozzarella and tomato on a toasted ciabatta roll. Slice the ciabatta roll and toast the cut sides in a hot skillet with butter.

sliced turkey and pesto

I have lightly browned thick-cut turkey breast in some olive oil. Smear pesto on one side of the ciabatta roll, lay the the turkey slices on and add more pesto.

Tomato slices on sandwich

Add the tomato slices and season with flaky salt and cracked pepper. Then lay on the fresh Mozz and drizzle with olive oil.

Fresh Mozzarella

Top with ciabatta and buon appetito!

The Italian Sandwich

Super Special Grilled Cheese

I have saved my favorite for last. Grilled Cheese with Turkey, Gruyere, Caramelized Onions and Cranberry Sauce on crusty Italian bread. First, I lightly browned thinly sliced turkey, transferred it to a plate and then wiped out my skillet. Add a pat of butter to the warm skillet. You may have heard this before, but the trick to getting beautifully toasted bread is to put a thin layer of mayonnaise on the outside of your bread slices.

Toasting Bread

I build this in the skillet and you want to keep the flame very low so as not to burn the bread as you build. So, I very lightly toast one side (this will be inside). Then flip them over to the mayo-coated side and add the grated gruyere. I like to grate the cheese so it melts easily and quickly.

Melting Cheese

Then add your turkey, caramelized onions and cranberry sauce.

Grilled Cheese

Top with the other slice of bread and voila!

I hope this Turkey Sandwich Trio has inspired you to take the humble turkey sandwich to the next level! They are definitely more involved than a typical turkey sandwich, but so worth the extra effort. The perfect sustenance for all the Black Friday shopping! I hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday yesterday. Take care and be well everyone, see you Sunday. xo Kelly

Turkey Sandwich Trio

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 3.75 out of 5)
Lunch, Main Course, Sandwich American-ish
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 1
Prep Time: Varies Cooking Time: Varies Total Time: Variable

Three takes on Leftover Turkey Sandwiches: The Reuben, The Italian, and the Grilled Cheese


  • Turkey Reuben
  • 2 Slices Rye Bread
  • Thinly Sliced Turkey, lightly browned in skillet with olive oil
  • 2 Slices Provolone
  • Sauerkraut
  • Thousand island Dressing
  • The Italian
  • 1 Ciabatta Roll, sliced in half
  • Thickly Sliced Turkey, lightly browned in skillet with olive oil
  • Pesto
  • 2 Tomato Slices
  • Flaky Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 Slices Fresh Mozzarella
  • Olive Oil for drizzling
  • The Super Special Grilled Cheese
  • 2 Slices Crusty Italian Bread
  • Thinly Sliced Turkey, lightly browned in skillet with olive oil
  • Grated Gruyere Cheese
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Cranberry Sauce


Turkey Reuben


Lightly brown thin-sliced turkey in a skillet and set aside.


Toast both sides of rye bread in a skillet with butter.


Add turkey and cheese to bread and broil until cheese is melted.


Warm sauerkraut in skillet and add on top of cheese.


Pour on thousand island dressing.


Top with other slice of rye.

The Italian


Lightly brown thick-sliced turkey in a skillet and set aside.


Toast cut side of ciabatta bread in a skillet with butter.


Top one side of ciabatta roll with pesto and add turkey.


Add tomato and sprinkle with flaky salt and cracked pepper.


Add fresh mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil.


Top with other ciabatta half.

Super Special Grilled Cheese


Lightly brown thin-sliced turkey in a skillet and set aside.


Lightly coat one side of each slice of bread with mayonnaise.


In a buttered skillet, lightly toast the side of bread without the mayo.


Flip bread to mayo side down and add grated gruyere to each slice of bread.


Add turkey to one side, add caramelized onion on top of turkey, add cranberry sauce on top of onions.


Top with the other slice of bread.

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  • Arna
    November 23, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Those look amazing! Love turkey sandwiches!

    • Kelly Djalali
      November 23, 2020 at 11:45 am

      Thanks Arna! It was really fun to come up with these sandwiches…more fun to eat them! Have a great Monday! xo Kelly

  • Sylvia Espinoza
    November 23, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    You’re amazing, as are these sandwiches! I love gourmet-like sandwiches and these three elevate turkey to gourmet! Hope to try all three 🙂 Hugs!~

    • Kelly Djalali
      November 23, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Sylvia, Thank you so much! ☺️ We so often have sandwiches that we are quite happy to come up with new combinations. I am glad you are tempted by all three! Thank you for writing in today, I enjoy hearing from you. xo Kelly

    • Suzanne Smith
      November 27, 2022 at 11:41 am

      These all look like winners. I’m definitely going to try them all. I love the sound of the pesto one—and I have sone roasted red peppers that would be good on that, too, I think. Thx for the ideas.

      • Kelly Djalali
        November 27, 2022 at 1:40 pm

        Hi Suzanne, Roasted Red Peppers are a great addition to the Italian Turkey Sandwich! Enjoy, xo Kelly

  • Laura Taylor
    November 28, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    Made the super special grilled cheese for lunch. It was absolutely delicious! To anyone thinking of making it: We can highly recommend!

    • Kelly Djalali
      November 29, 2020 at 8:36 am

      Hi Laura! I am so glad you enjoyed that sandwich, it’s definitely my favorite of the three. Thanks so much for giving it your recommendation!
      ☺️ xo Kelly

  • Laura Griffen
    December 2, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    So very anxious to give these sandwiches a try … they absolutely look so scrumptious … we enjoy sandwiches as well… !! We also were blessed with snow … these will be on the weekend menu … !!

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 2, 2020 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Aunt Laura, Aren’t sandwiches the best?! We love all kinds. How pretty to have fresh snow! We are only just now getting our Christmas decorations up; all the twinkling lights are pretty this time of year. Thank you for stopping by the blog today, your support means the world to me! xo Kelly

  • Mari
    November 25, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    These all look like winners and I will be making several of them after Christmas, which is generally turkey day for us I was so happy to see the sandwich with cranberry sauce, and to know there are other people in the word that like it. My go to post holiday sandwich has always been turkey with cranberry sauce and Mayo. My children aren’t fans. I never thought to add cheese and grill it. That might bring them around. My daughter was recovering from a knee injury and just back on her feet on Tuesday. She heated up leftovers, but there was stuffing, so everyone was happy. It was a lovely no fuss holiday, and we al had a great time. The one hour drive took one and a half hours. Both ways. I didn’t expect traveling to be so heavy on the day itself, but it was crazy. Only one accident which is good for the Beltway any day, and especially a holiday. Of course that was only while we were driving. There may have been more before and after. Still in the three hour period where we were driving, that was a miracle. I’ve seen way more accidents on a rainy day. I thought I was finished buying presents, but there is always one more thing to buy, and here we go again! Happy National Leftovers Day to Kelly, Alex, Terry and the pups.

    • Kelly Djalali
      November 26, 2022 at 9:17 am

      Hi Mari, I am glad you had a wonderful holiday! I am sure you will enjoy that grilled turnkey and cheese. I love cranberry sauce on a sauce on a sandwich, it’s such a great savory/sweet/tart combination. Have a great weekend, xo Kelly