This Leftover Smoked Turkey Sandwich is the best way to use up leftovers! Toasted hoagie rolls are topped with smoked turkey and veggies, slathered with BBQ sauce, and layered with melty cheese. Using up leftovers doesn’t get better than this!
Let’s be honest…there is always leftover turkey. Luckily, it lasts for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. The key, though, is to find a way to use it. Well, these leftover smoked turkey sandwiches are the perfect solution to that problem (if you can even call it a problem.)
While I do have a few other ways you can use leftover smoked turkey, these turkey sandwiches are always everyone’s favorite. Why? Well, 1. It’s smoked turkey, 2. It’s tossed in BBQ sauce, 3. It’s layered with thick slices of colby jack.
Does that answer your question?
What you need to make this recipe
- Canola Oil
- Smoked Turkey Leftovers – picked over and chopped. I usually chop the dark meat and slice the white meat. This makes it easy to use for sandwiches or as a salad topping. TIP: save and freeze the bones to use them for homemade stock later on.
- Onion and Red Pepper – both minced to be easily incorporated with the turkey.
- BBQ Sauce – I use Head Country Bar-B-Que Sauce, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Hoagie Rolls
- Colby Jack Cheese – or whatever melty cheese you like.
- Fresh Arugula – for garnish, if desired.
How to make a smoked turkey sandwich
The best part about using leftovers in another recipe is that most of the prep is already done! Just assemble and devour!
Preheat the oven to broil, then heat the oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet.
Working in batches, heat the turkey through, then remove from the pan and set aside. Using the same pan, sauté the onion and pepper until softened.
Add the turkey back in, then toss the turkey/veggie mixture with BBQ sauce.
Split and toast the rolls in the oven, then fill each roll evenly with the turkey mixture.
Cut the cheese into strips, then layer it onto each roll, using as much or as little as desired.
Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until the cheese is melted, then garnish with fresh arugula and serve!
I like the mild, smooth flavor of colby jack with the smokiness of the turkey, but you can use any melty cheese you want.
This turkey sandwich would also be delicious with provolone, gouda, mozzarella, Monterey jack, you name it.
Whatever you like! The great thing about these sandwiches is you can change the flavor easily. I like to use classic BBQ sauce but you could use other BBQ sauces like apple habanero to heat things up or a chipotle blend for added smokiness.
You could also skip the BBQ sauce altogether and use mayo, mustard, or even cranberry sauce for a holiday twist.
Absolutely. These smoked turkey sandwiches are great for tailgating or camping and can easily be prepped ahead of time.
If enjoying within 5-7 hours of cooking the turkey: follow the instructions as listed, fill the sandwiches, but skip the cheese. When you’re ready to eat, add the cheese and warm the sandwiches/melt the cheese over the grill or fire.
If enjoying more than 8 hours in the future: follow the recipe up until the turkey and veggies are tossed with the BBQ sauce (make sure there’s extra sauce so it doesn’t get dry.)
Then, instead of stuffing the sandwich, wrap the turkey filling up tightly in foil to be reheated over the grill or campfire When you’re ready to eat, you can warm the turkey filling, melt the cheese on the bun while you toast it, then assemble the sandwiches.
I recommend serving the assembled turkey sandwiches right away for the best texture. The rolls get soft if they sit too long.
If you’re looking to bulk up your meal a bit, try serving the sandwiches alongside any of these side dishes:
Other leftover turkey recipe ideas
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Leftover Smoked Turkey Sandwich
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 lbs smoked turkey leftovers picked over and chopped
- 1 onion minced
- 1 red pepper stemmed, seeded and minced
- 1 – 2 cups your favorite Head Country Bar-B-Que Sauce
- 6 hoagie rolls
- 9 slices colby jack cheese
- fresh arugula for garnish
- Preheat the oven to broil.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, heat the turkey through.2 tbsp canola oil, 2 lbs smoked turkey leftovers
- Remove from pan and saute the onion and pepper until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.1 onion, 1 red pepper
- Add the turkey back to the pan and toss it all with the Head Country Bar-b-Cue sauce.1 – 2 cups your favorite Head Country Bar-B-Que Sauce
- Meanwhile, split and toast the rolls.6 hoagie rolls
- Fill each roll evenly with the turkey mixture.
- Cut the cheese into strips and cover each layering up as desired.9 slices colby jack cheese
- Place the sandwiches onto a baking sheet and toast once again, until the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh arugula for serving.fresh arugula for garnish
- See notes on tailgating or campfire prep for this recipe
To make this recipe for campfire or tailgating:
- mix the turkey with the sauteed veggies and sauce ahead of time and chill.
- Stuff each hoagie roll with the filling and top with cheese.
- Wrap in foil tightly for transport.
- Grill over coals, in foil, until the leftover smoked turkey sandwich is heated through and the cheese is melted.
- Use the foil wrapper to keep hands clean while enjoying!
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Made this with some leftover smoked turkey breast I did Franklin BBQ style. Was awesome! Didn’t have a fresh pepper but subbed some jarred roasted red peppers and gruyere cheese. Hit the spot for lunch!
Great use of my leftover smoked turkey. Good flavor. My bread started to burn after 2 minutes of broiling yet sandwiches weren’t hot through and through. I wonder if baking for a bit before broiling very briefly might have worked better?
Hey Hey Claire, yeah, broiling will blacken that bread! I head my filling through in the cast iron before I put it in the bread, so that it’s warmed before it goes into the rolls. The last moment in the broiler is just to melt the cheese on top.