This hot turkey sandwich is easy to make, and the whole family will love it! You can use leftover turkey from your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner or buy some sliced deli turkey.
These are similar to a french dip sandwich - sliced meat, fried onions, and optional cheese all stuffed into bread and then dipped into your own individual pot of gravy. So good!
Use a french bread roll or thick slices of soft white bread. Add sliced provolone or some sharp, tangy goat cheese. We have such fab adaptions for you with this delicious hot turkey sandwich!
Holiday leftovers are so good, then suddenly they aren't, and you are sick of popping a bit of everything on your plate and eating another holiday dinner. I get it; I get bored and can't eat leftovers for days. Except stuffing... I'd eat that every day! But with leftover turkey, I like to make sure I can turn it into so many different meals so it doesn't taste like the holidays.
This Hot Turkey Sandwich is a twist on the classic french dip sandwich! The traditional French dip sandwich consists of thinly-sliced roast beef with melted cheese, and caramelized onions served on a crusty roll and topped with a savory au jus sauce for dipping.
Here we are replacing the beef with sliced turkey and using any leftover gravy as the dipping jus. But I have a quick gravy recipe for if there is none left after your holiday feast.
Can you make this with Deli turkey?
You sure can! Although we commonly make this with leftover turkey, these sandwiches make an excellent family dinner any time of year. Grab some thick-cut turkey from the deli and heat it up gently as per the instructions below.
Reheating the turkey for sandwiches
When making hot turkey sandwiches, you don't want to end up overcooking the turkey! You spent a lot of time getting the perfect juicy turkey for your holiday feast, so making sure it stays juicy and tender is essential.
To reheat the turkey, I like to add some chicken or turkey broth into a skillet and bring it to a simmer; once simmering, add the slices of turkey and allow them to sit in the hot liquid. This will warm them through without drying them out.
Once you have added the turkey to your sandwiches, you can use the broth as the dipping jus if you prefer or if you don't have leftover gravy.
I don't have any leftover gravy!
If you don't have any gravy leftover from the holidays or are making these with sliced turkey from the deli, then you have a couple of options.
You can use some chicken/turkey broth and add some dried onion flakes (or onion powder), a sprinkle of dried herbs (sage or thyme would be good), and a splash of Worcestershire sauce to make a jus.
Or make a quick small batch of gravy using my recipe below. As it is a quick gravy, it uses cornstarch, so it isn't suitable for making ahead of time or reheating.
For an easy homemade gravy that can be made ahead of time and reheated, try this homemade brown gravy or this onion gravy.
Easy caramelized onions
One of the best ways to get perfectly cooked onions for a French dip sandwich is by using the slow-cooking method. First, peel and slice two onions into thin rings. Then, heat a large pan or skillet with two tablespoons of butter or olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion slices and sauté until they are soft; this should take about 5-7 minutes. Next, turn the heat to high and keep stirring until the onions become a golden amber color. Caramelizing will give them an intense sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with turkey sandwiches!
What bread to use?
A classic French dip sandwich is usually made with a soft and slightly chewy hoagie roll or a French baguette for maximum dipping power.
However, we love the softness and crunch you get from thick slices of a farmhouse loaf.
Any bread will work; if it is thin, you can toast it to give your sandwich more stability when dipping it in the gravy!
Adding cheese to your turkey sandwich
Cheese is a delicious addition to a turkey dip sandwich, adding an extra depth of flavor and creaminess. See what is leftover from the holiday cheese board and add what you have. A soft brie, tangy goat's cheese, or sharp cheddar will work well.
But if you are shopping for cheese, a classic pairing for this sandwich is Swiss cheese, which melts nicely when combined with hot onions. However, Provolone cheese is another excellent choice, as its mild yet slightly sharp flavor pairs wonderfully with the meat. I love the spice you get from pepper jack or jalapeno jack cheese, and smoked cheeses add a great savory addition to the sandwich.
What to serve with Hot Turkey Sandwiches
A classic accompaniment to these sandwiches has to be a side of crunchy, salty french fries.
Or, if you have overindulged during the holidays, a light green salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing is another great option for a side dish.
If you're looking for something more substantial than a side salad, try making roasted vegetables with your hot turkey sandwiches. Roasting is a great way to bring out the natural sweetness of vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and squash. Just toss them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting them in the oven for about 25 minutes.
What to drink with hot turkey sandwiches
These wines make some great pairings if you fancy a drink with your leftover turkey sandwich:
White wine: Balance the richness of the gravy, cheese, and spice from the black pepper with a well-chilled bottle of Gewürztraminer or Viognier.
Red wine: A light red like a Beaujolais or Pinot Noir is perfect with the delicate flavor of turkey and sweet onions.
For something a bit different, try a sparkling cider, either an alcoholic or a non-alcoholic one.
If you make these Hot Turkey Sandwiches, remember to come back and comment. You can also tag me on social media.
Any questions about the recipe? Use the comments section below.
French Dip Hot Turkey Sandwiches
- 2 small onions -see note 1
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups broth -see note 2
- 12 slices turkey -see note 3
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 slices bread -see note 4
- 4 slices cheese -see note 5
- 1 ½ cups hot gravy, recipe below, or leftover gravy -see note 6
For the onions
- Peel and slice the onions into thin rings.
2 small onions
- Melt the butter in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
2 tablespoons of butter
- Add the onion slices and the salt, then sauté until they are soft, around 5-7 minutes.
¼ teaspoon salt
- Turn the heat to high and keep stirring until the onions become a golden amber color.
- Remove the onions from the pan and set them to one side.
To heat the turkey.
- Add the broth to the empty skillet (no need to clean it) and bring to a simmer.
2 cups chicken broth
- Carefully add the sliced turkey and heat gently for 2-3 minutes.
12 slices of turkey
- Place a slice of cheese on 4 pieces of bread, and top with caramelized onions.
4 slices of cheese
4 slices of bread
- Divide the hot turkey between the bread, and sprinkle with black pepper.
¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Close the sandwiches and serve them with hot gravy for dipping.
4 slices of bread
1½ cups hot gravy
Chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth will work. If you don't have broth, you can use water with some salt or better than bouillion dissolved into it.
Use leftover dark or white turkey. Or buy thick slices of turkey from the deli counter at the grocery store.
We prefer thick sliced country loaf, but you can use hoagie rolls or french baguette. You can toast the bread if you like.
You can use any cheese you like here. If you have leftover cheese from a cheese board, then use what you have. See the bulk of the post for suggestions on cheeses.
Use up your leftover gravy; thin it with some of the broth used to heat the turkey if it is too thick for dipping. If you need to make fresh gravy, I have a quick recipe below.
For a quick gravy
- 3 cups chicken/turkey broth
- 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage powder
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil, add the onion flakes and the sage powder and boil for 3-4 minutes until it has reduced by half.
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
¼ teaspoon dried sage powder
- Mix the cornstarch with the cold water to make a slurry.
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
- Slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the broth until it thickens to a gravy-like consistency.