No frills, no fuss—just a straightforward, delicious solution to your post-holiday food leftovers. Turkey, cran sauce, cheese and a few other ingredients. And a good piece of bread, of course. A sandwich so easy to make, it practically puts itself together.
I like waking up the day after big festivities, those that have the good food and once a year dishes and eat the leftovers. I look forward to it as much as to the main event.
This sandwich checks every box.
Why make this sandwich
- Flavor combination: the contrast between sweet cranberry sauce and savory turkey, creamy mayo and cheese, fresh lettuce and crunchy bread makes this sandwich a winner. Use a seeded or white bread from a good bakery. Or make your own (we love this semolina bread and sometimes add seeds).
- Quick and easy: after lightly toasting the bread you just pile the leftovers. It doesn't get much easier than that.
- Versatile: you can use different types of bread and cheese and customize it to your liking.
What type of bread is best for a turkey cranberry sandwich?
The choice ultimately depends on personal preference, but some popular ones are multigrain, seeded bread, sourdough, white bread like ciabatta or semolina bread, store-bought or homemade baguettes.
Some sweeter specialty bread options like cranberry nut or sweet potato bread can complement the flavors.
- Turkey: dark or white meat.
- Cranberry sauce.
- Cheese: we favor Swiss, Fontina or brie.
- Butter lettuce.
- Bread slices: multigrain, seeded, sourdough or ciabatta.
See the recipe card towards the end of this post for quantities.
Variations & substitutions
- Cheese: we like Swiss cheese, but brie, Fontina, gruyere and cheddar work very well.
- Mayo: spice it up with pinch of nutmeg, Tabasco or add garlic to it.
- add crushed potato chips (ketchup chips!)
- Club sandwich: use crustless, thin bread slices and make a triple decker.
- Wrap or quesadilla: ditch the bread and use flour or corn tortillas with the same filling.
- Crosissant sandwich: this is a sweeter version and more sophisticated.
How to assemble a turkey cran sandwich
The order of the ingredients can be varied, but we have a certain way of piling them on the bread slices.
Lightly toast the bread. It should be soft. Add a few tablespoons of cranberry sauce on one side and mayonnaise on the other slice.
Top the sliced turkey and cheese on the cran sauce. Place the lettuce leave on top of the mayo. Close the sandwich, press down a little to compress and enjoy!
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- Overloaded sandwich: using too much of each ingredient can make it difficult to eat and lead to competing flavors. Focus on a few key ingredients that complement each other well, such as turkey, cranberry sauce, and a mild cheese. This ensures a harmonious combination without overwhelming the palate.
- Warm sandwich: consider using a panini press or grilling the assembled sandwich in a skillet for a few minutes on each side. This warms the ingredients and adds an extra crispness to the bread.
- Dry turkey: this can be a problem, especially if using breast meat. Besides the cranberry sauce and mayo, you can drizzle a bit of warm gravy (if there is any leftover) or olive oil. This not only adds moisture but also enhances the flavor.
Related recipes you might like:
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- 6 slices turkey breast
- 4 tablespoons cranberry sauce
- 4 sliced seeded bread (artisan style)
- 2 lettuce leaves (without stalks for a softer bite)
- 2 slices Swiss cheese
- Toast the slices of bread until they are light golden brown.
- Spread cranberry sauce on one side of each slice of bread.
- Layer sliced turkey on top of the cranberry sauce on one slice of bread.
- Add a slice of Swiss cheese on top of the turkey.
- Spread mayonnaise on the other half of bread and top with lettuce.
- Top with the second slice of bread and cut the sandwich in half.
Bread: the choice ultimately depends on personal preference, but some popular ones are multigrain, seeded bread, sourdough, white bread like ciabatta or semolina bread, store-bought or homemade baguettes.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Sandwiches
- Method: Toasting + layering
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: turkey cranberry sandwich