Elevate Your Leftover Turkey Game with Irresistible Turkey Melts

When Thanksgiving is over, what’s inevitable? Leftover turkey. But fret not, because we have an unstoppable solution for you: Leftover-Turkey Melts. You might think you can make a turkey sandwich in a snap while standing in front of the fridge, but we’re here to show you how to take it up a notch.


The Inspired Creation

Grilled Turkey, Brie, and Apple Butter Sandwich with Arugula Recipe | Tyler  Florence | Food Network

This post-holiday turkey sandwich takes its inspiration from the classic tuna melt. Instead of simply layering slices of turkey, we shred the meat and mix it with mayo and a host of delicious ingredients. The result? A mouthwatering filling that’s slathered on hearty sandwich bread and griddled to perfection.

What You’ll Need:

To create this delectable sandwich, gather the following ingredients:

  • 3 medium celery stalks, finely chopped (about ⅔ cup)
  • 3 cups (loosely packed) shredded leftover skinless roast turkey
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped drained pickled peppers (such as jalapeños)
  • ½ cup finely chopped dill and/or parsley
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, plus more for the bread
  • 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more

The Flavor Explosion

Here’s where the magic happens. In a large bowl, mix the finely chopped celery, shredded turkey, pickled peppers, herbs, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. The turkey should be finely shredded, and the mixture will be packed with punchy alliums and briny pickled peppers. It’s a delicious combination that’s ready to ooze with molten American cheese.

Cheese Matters

A pro tip for your Leftover-Turkey Melts: Get your American cheese sliced fresh from the deli counter if possible. Avoid anything labeled "imitation" or "singles." Fresh cheese elevates the experience.

Savor the Moment

The result is a crispy, flavorful sandwich that feels intentional and well thought out—almost like you bought that oversized bird for this very reason.

Optional Sides

To make this meal even more satisfying, serve your Leftover-Turkey Melts with dill pickles and potato chips. It’s an optional but delightful combo.

Explore More

If you’re in the mood for more turkey recipes, consider trying our spicy smoked turkey, a honey-glazed dry-brined turkey, or even a DIY deli-turkey breast. We have plenty of Thanksgiving favorites to explore.

Remember, Leftover-Turkey Melts are a fantastic way to transform those post-Thanksgiving scraps into something extraordinary. So, give your leftover turkey a new lease on life and enjoy this savory delight.

Exploring Intriguing Tidbits

How do you reheat turkey melts?

To reheat turkey melts for a mouthwatering experience, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat Your Oven: Set your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Arrange the Meat: Place your carved turkey meat in a baking dish.

  3. Add Moisture: To ensure your turkey stays juicy and succulent, pour some chicken broth or turkey stock into the baking dish. The meat will absorb this liquid during the reheating process, enhancing its flavor and texture.

  4. Bake with Care: Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and allow the turkey melts to heat thoroughly. This gentle and controlled reheating process ensures your turkey melts retain their deliciousness.

By following these steps, you’ll enjoy reheated turkey melts that are as good as freshly made. Your taste buds will thank you!

How long is leftover turkey safe to eat?

3 to 4 days

Leftover Turkey Safety:

According to the USDA, ensuring the safety of your leftover turkey is crucial. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Refrigeration: Keep cooked turkey in the refrigerator (at 40°F or lower) and use it within 3 to 4 days. While refrigeration slows bacterial growth, it doesn’t completely halt it.

  • Freezing: If you’re not planning to use your turkey within that timeframe, freezing is a great option. Frozen turkey leftovers remain safe to eat for 3 to 4 months. Beyond this, they are still safe but may lose some moisture and flavor over time in the freezer.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy your leftover turkey safely while minimizing food waste.

Can you freeze cooked turkey after 4 days?

Freezing Cooked Turkey After Four Days:

If you’ve handled your turkey properly and it’s been in the refrigerator for up to four days, you have options:

  • Refrigeration and Consumption: You can safely refrigerate and consume your turkey within this four-day window.

  • Freezing: For the best texture and taste, it’s advisable to freeze your turkey within one day of cooking. However, if three days have passed, you can still freeze your leftover turkey, and it will remain perfectly fine.

By following these guidelines, you can make the most of your cooked turkey while ensuring both safety and quality.

Can I freeze leftover turkey?

Freezing Leftover Turkey: A Wise Choice

The good news is that turkey is absolutely freeze-able, and here’s how to do it right:

  • Prep Work: Before freezing, remove the meat from the bones. Slicing the turkey meat will facilitate even defrosting.

  • A Touch of Moisture: If possible, pour a bit of gravy over the meat before freezing. This not only adds flavor but also helps maintain moisture during the freezing process.

By following these steps, you can preserve your leftover turkey effectively, ensuring it stays delicious and ready for future culinary adventures.

Can you reheat turkey a second time?

Reheating Turkey: The Safety Limits

How many times can you reheat turkey? While it’s technically safe to reheat turkey as long as it reaches 165°F each time, it’s not the best practice for several reasons.

  • Food Safety Concerns: Reheating turkey multiple times poses a food safety hazard. With each cycle of heating and cooling, the food passes through the temperature danger zone (between 40°F and 140°F), which can increase the risk of bacterial growth.

For the sake of both taste and safety, it’s advisable to reheat turkey only once. Ensure it reaches the recommended internal temperature to enjoy a delicious and safe meal.

How do you moisten dry turkey?

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