Everything You Need to Know About Making an A+ Leftover Turkey Sandwich

Cook, Entertain, Fall, Holidays, Holidays, In Season, Kitchen Hacks, Thanksgiving, Tips & Techniques
Charlie Parker Oakland

Chef Charlie Parker gave us a lot of advice about what makes a great leftover turkey sandwich.


The big meal may be a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean your Thanksgiving favorites are! When the feasting is over and done with, if you’re lucky enough to be stuck with what’s left, it’s time to get creative with leftover turkey sandwich recipes.


“A sandwich is just meat in between two slices of bread,” you may be thinking. We’d beg to differ; there’s an art to constructing the perfect Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. Here are a few guidelines we stand by—along with some of our go-to combinations.

Our Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Sandwich Guidelines

  • Work with what you’ve already got on hand. Don’t make or buy new ingredients for the sandwich! The first rule of the leftover sandwich is to use the same ingredients and components that went into last night’s Thanksgiving spread. Get inspired by our ideas, but use the contents of your fridge to create your own masterpiece.
  • Start with good bread. Begin with a fresh, hefty bread, thickly cut, that’s hardy enough to stand up to all of the toppings of a massive leftovers sandwich.
  • Turkey should be the star. The core of a Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich should include turkey, of course—not to mention a generous amount of stuffing.
  • Acidity is key. Balance out the richness of elements like stuffing, gravy and cheese with something tart and bright, like pickled vegetables or a swipe of mustard.
  • Remember the crunch: For that crispness element, add in thinly-sliced hard fruit or vegetables (such as apples or cucumbers), or even raw pickled vegetables (like pickled carrots or onions).
  • Throw in a few greens. Leafy vegetables like Little Gem lettuce, frisée or even fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro add a burst of freshness on the palate.
  • If you’re not averse to it, mayonnaise and aioli are great, too. For creaminess, add a stroke of mayo, aioli or even a leftover onion or chive dip from the night before.

Turkey Banh MiTurkey Banh Mi


Pickled carrots
Shredded cucumber
Sriracha sauce

Charlie Parker’s Leftovers Sandwich


Pickled onions
Pickled peppers
Apple slices
Smoked turkey
Lettuce hearts
Corn bread stuffing
Dijon mustard
Levain bread

Turkey with All the TrimmingsTurkey with All the Trimmings


Cranberry sauce
Toasted white pullman bread

Thanksgiving Panini


Cranberry chutney
Swiss cheese
Mashed potatoes
Brussels sprouts
Rye bread


What’s going on your Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich this year?

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