Thanksgiving Leftover Make-Over–BBQ Pulled Turkey Sandwiches

I don’t know if any one in your household is getting sick of turkey sandwiches.  Around here, we love them on toasted bread slathered with mayonnaise and topped with thick slices of zesty dill pickles.    Of course, there is one person in our household who is not overly thrilled about turkey leftovers.  This person is Miss Sue Chef.  She is not a big fan of turkey, so for her, I try to mix it up.

This is one of those recipes that is so ridiculously simple that I’m almost embarrassed to publish it.  For something so simple, I was actually surprised that it tasted so good.  All that’s really required is three ingredients–leftover turkey, barbecue sauce, and a vehicle on which to serve it.  I had leftover sub rolls, but this would be delicious on dinner rolls and served as BBQ Turkey Sliders, and this would be perfect to serve to a bunch of football fans who are hanging out in front of the TV.

In my recipe below, I added a sprinkling of garlic and onion powder  to the turkey when I was heating it up before stirring in the barbecue sauce.   What can I say?  We love the flavor of onion and garlic.   The secret is to ensuring moist turkey in the sandwiches is reheat the meat in a small amount of water in the sauce pan, sprinkling it with the additional onion and garlic powder.  Allow most of the water to evaporate then stir in your favorite barbecue sauce.  Heat it through and serve it on buns or dinner rolls.

On this occasion, I piled it onto the sandwich buns, topping it with sliced Swiss cheese.  Then, I popped the open faced sandwiches into a 35o degree oven and baked them for 20 minutes.  When they were hot, I replaced the top over the melted cheese and served them.  bbq turkey sandwich with melted swiss cheese

The final result was a delicious pulled turkey sandwich on a crispy bun.  They were great with a side of fully loaded mashed potato cakes, but would go great with baked oven fries, too.  Give the recipe a try, and let me know what you think.  As always, thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

BBQ Pulled Turkey Sandwiches
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
This is a simple way to transform that leftover Thanksgiving turkey into something that seems entirely different. The recipe below calls for cheese and serving it on sandwich rolls, but serving it on dinner rolls makes delicious bbq turkey sliders.
  • 1½-2 cups leftover turkey chopped or shredded
  • ¼ cup water
  • Pinch of Garlic Powder (optional)
  • Pinch of Onion Powder (optional)
  • ½ bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce for poultry
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese cut in half
  • 6 sandwich rolls
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put turkey meat in sauce pan with ¼ cup of water.
  3. Add onion and garlic powder if using.
  4. Cook until most of the water is evaporated.
  5. Stir in barbecue sauce, adding more if necessary to reach the desired consistency.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  7. Spread ¼ to ⅓ cup of turkey onto bread and top with two half slices of cheese.
  8. Arrange sandwiches, open faced, onto baking sheet and place into oven.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bun is lightly toasted.


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