The second-best thing after a large Thanksgiving turkey dinner? The turkey sandwiches that last for several days afterwards, of course. Somehow, the leftover turkey keeps winter’s festive spirit alive until the Holidays come along, and many people even confess that they look forward to this annual treat more than the actual Thanksgiving spread.
Knowing that many ingredients of a traditional Thanksgiving meal is good for your eye health – no matter what it does to your waistline – is another solid reason to let the good times continue. The Bird, for example, is loaded with zinc, an essential eye nutrient, especially for people suffering with macular degeneration. The meat also contains B6 and Niacin, a vitamin that protects eyes from cataracts. Cranberries, the other Thanksgiving staple, fights diabetic retinopathy, while sweet potatoes and carrots are loaded with beta carotene… The pro-vision qualities of a classic Thanksgiving turkey meal are substantial, and we’re packing all of that goodness in 5 of our favorite leftover turkey sandwich recipes, that are both healthy and delightfully different from the usual slap-up.
1.) Open-Faced Leftover Turkey Enchilada
- 2 rolls (sliced in half)
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 1 cup leftover turkey, shredded
- 1/2 of a15 ounce can black beans, (drained and rinsed)
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup leftover cranberry sauce
- 1/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
1.) Butter each slice of the rolls and toast lightly.
2.) Combine the remaining ingredients except the Swiss cheese slices in a bowl and mix.
3.) Divide the mixture on top of each roll half.
4.) Top with 2 slices of Swiss cheese and broil until the cheese is melted and the roll becomes crispy and golden brown.
5.) Remove from the broiler and serve warm. (Source: Runningtothekitchen.com)
2.) Leftover Turkey and Pesto Panini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 loaf of French bread, cut into 3-4 equal pieces
- 1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
- 4-8 ounces mozzarella, sliced
- 2 cups chopped leftover Thanksgiving turkey
- 2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and sliced
1.) Heat olive oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat.
2.) Spread 2 tablespoons pesto over 1 side of French bread and top with mozzarella, turkey, tomatoes, avocado and top half of bread.
3.) Repeat with remaining slices of bread.
4.) Add sandwich to pan and grill until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes per side. (Source: damndelicious.net/2012/11/21/leftover-thanksgiving-turkey-pesto-panini)
3.) Salvadoran Leftover Turkey Sandwich
- 1 1⁄2 cup light beer
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 tsp pepitas (dried pumpkin seeds; optional)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1⁄2 tsp annatto seeds
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 large turkey drumsticks (about 4 lbs.)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
- 2 small yellow onions, 1 chopped, 1 thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 6 (6″) crusty Italian bread loaves, ends trimmed, split in half lengthwise
- 1 bunch watercress
1.) Preheat oven to 350°.
2.) In a blender, purée beer, oil, peppercorns, sesame seeds, pepitas, oregano, annatto, garlic, bay leaves, and 1 cup water.
3.) Combine purée and turkey in a dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4.) Bring to a boil on the stove, cover, and braise until turkey is very tender, about 2 hours.
5.) Purée tomatoes, chopped onions, peppers and 1 cup water in blender.
6.) Transfer turkey to a plate (leave sauce in the pot) and let cool.
7.) Add purée to the pot and boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 45 minutes.
8.) Discard skin and bones from turkey and shred the meat into thick pieces.
9.) Stir turkey into the sauce, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes.
10.) Season with salt and pepper.
11.) Divide stew between loaves; garnish with sliced onions and watercress.
4.) Spicy Cranberry Salsa and Leftover Turkey Sandwich
- Freshly baked sourdough bread slices
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Sliced turkey
- Apple slices
- Thin red onion slices
- Spicy Cranberry Salsa
- Perfectly cooked bacon
- Crisp lettuce
1.) Spread mayonnaise on 1 slice of bread, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2.) Layer turkey, apple slices, and red onion on bread.
3.) Spoon on cranberry salsa.
4.) Top with bacon and lettuce, and crown with another slice of bread. (Source: Myrecipes.com)
5.) Cuban Turkey Tea Sandwich
- 1 Cuban roll or brioche bun
- 2 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp. strawberry jam
- 3 oz. sliced turkey breast
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1.) Split roll and spread cream cheese on bottom half. Place the turkey above this.
2.) Spread jam on top half of the roll and close the sandwich.
3.) Heat butter in a 10″ skillet over medium heat.
4.) Cook the sandwich, weighing down with a cast-iron skillet and turning once, until golden brown and heated through, in 3-4 minutes.
5.) Cut in half, and serve hot. (Source: Saveur.com)