Ultimate Turkey Sandwich

4 Sandwiches
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

The Ultimate Turkey Sandwich recipe that upgrades a classic deli sandwich. Complete guide for making the best ever deli turkey sandwiches!

It’s hard to beat a simple turkey Sandwich! Tender deli turkey and tangy sharp cheddar sandwiched between warm, toasty bread makes one delicious bite. When done right, a turkey sandwich proves simple doesn’t mean boring or bland. For more tasty turkey sandwiches try my Turkey Havarti Apple Sandwich and Triple Decker Club too!

Sabrina’s Ultimate Turkey Sandwich Recipe

This isn’t your plain turkey and American cheese between two tiny slices of bread! My Ultimate Turkey Sandwich recipe is a hearty, cafe-style sandwich that you could get at any bistro or restaurant. The key to the perfect sandwich is using the right ingredients and taking a few little extra steps. I created this post to walk you through everything you need to know to make the best Turkey Sandwiches! Plus, I’ve included lots of variations and suggestions so you can easily turn this classic turkey sandwich into a gourmet sandwich.

Turkey Sandwich ingredients spread out in prep bowls
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  • Turkey: To keep it simple, this sandwich is made with sliced deli turkey. I recommend getting your turkey sliced at the counter so you can get thicker slices, but it’s your preference. You could also use leftover roasted turkey sliced thinly.
  • Bread: Using good bread is an easy way to make your turkey sandwich more special! I used thick cut white bread like you get in the bakery section. Sliced sourdough, Italian, whole wheat or rye bread from the bakery would also be great.
  • Mayonnaise: ½ cup mayonnaise may seem like a lot but remember you are dividing it between 4 sandwiches. This creamy spread softens the bread just bit and helps tie all the flavors together.
  • Mustard: Swapping the regular yellow mustard with whole grain mustard is an easy way to make this sandwich taste gourmet! The slightly spicy, warm flavor bursts of the mustard seeds are extra delicious. Dijon mustard and spicy brown mustard would taste great too.
  • Tomatoes: I like to use vine tomatoes for sandwiches because they tend to be firmer in texture and not as watery as regular hot house tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are another good option but you will need more slices since they are smaller. For a super fancy sandwich, use heirloom tomatoes!
  • Greens: The sharp peppery flavor of arugula adds another layer of flavor and makes this sammie a bit more gourmet than plain lettuce. If you want to use regular lettuce, I suggest butter or green leaf lettuce. You could also use greens like mustard greens, spring mix, or spinach.
  • Cheese: Skip the packaged slices and head to your deli counter to get thick-sliced sharp cheddar cheese! You could also grab any cheese you prefer, like Swiss, Gouda, or Havarti. The deli counter sometimes has specialty flavored cheese too that are an easy way to instantly transform your sandwich.
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Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Toaster: You need a toaster or toaster oven to toast your bread to give it a bit more flavor and make it more sturdy. You can also toast the bread in your oven under the broiler, just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
  • Knife: You’ll need a knife or thin spatula to spread the mayonnaise and mustard on the sandwiches. Use a large knife to slice the hearty sandwiches in half to make them easier to eat.
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How to Make

Time needed: 10 minutes.

  1. Toast the Bread

    Toast your bread in a toaster, toaster oven, or regular oven. For oven instructions, see the Tips & Tricks section.

  2. Spread with Mayo

    On one side of all the bread slices, add a generous amount of mayonnaise and spread it in an even layer.Turkey Sandwich slice of bread on plate with mayo speed on top with knife resting on plate. Turkey and tomatoes in separate prep bowls at top of frame.

  3. Add the Veggies

    Add sliced tomatoes over the mayo on half the slices of bread. Top each with a ¼ of the arugula.Turkey Sandwich Collage of slice with tomatoes only and slice with tomatoes topped with arugula

  4. Add the Turkey

    Loosely pile 4 ounces of turkey, or a couple slices, over the veggies on each sandwich half. You want to loosely pile or accordion fold it to give it more volume.Turkey Sandwich slice of bread topped turkey on brown plate. Arugula and whole grain mustard in prep bowls in top left of frame

  5. Mustard and Cheese

    Gently spread a bit of the mustard over the turkey then top with 2 slices of cheese per sandwich.Turkey Sandwich Collage of slice topped with turkey and mustard, then assembled slice topped with cheese.

  6. Top and Serve

    Add the second slice of bread on top, mayo side facing the fillings, and press down gently. Serve with favorite sides. If serving sliced in half, I recommend using toothpicks to hold them together. Turkey Sandwich halves on plate. One half laying flavor, other half propped up on flat half. More halves stacked on plate and bowl of tomatoes in background.

Can this be made ahead of time?

The key to prepping sandwiches ahead is to wait to add any condiments or veggies until you are ready to eat it. Assemble the toasted bread, turkey and cheese then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag. You can keep them in the fridge for up to 2 days or you can even keep them in the freezer for about 2 months. If you freeze them, let them thaw overnight in the fridge then pop them in a toaster oven to crisp the bread back up. 

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Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Ultimate Turkey Sandwich
Amount Per Serving
Calories 613 Calories from Fat 333
% Daily Value*
Fat 37g57%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 15g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 122mg41%
Sodium 948mg41%
Potassium 544mg16%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 40g80%
Vitamin A 1035IU21%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 385mg39%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Tips & Tricks for Turkey Sandwiches

How to Toast Bread in Oven

You can also toast all the bread slices at once with the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for about 5 minutes until the tops are golden. Flip and toast another 4-5 minutes.

Don’t Go Overboard with Fillings

You can absolutely load up this turkey sandwich with all your favorite ingredients but it’s better if you stick to just a couple swaps or additions. This way you don’t lose that classic, delicious turkey flavor!

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What Goes Well on A Turkey Sandwich

The mild flavor of turkey goes well with practically everything! Tangy cheeses, smoky bacon, creamy spreads all taste delicious. Here are some combinations and ideas for how to dress up this classic sandwich:

  • Chipotle Turkey Club: Mix some chipotle powder with the mayonnaise and add bacon to your sandwich to add some amazing smoky flavor and bit of heat. For even more heat, swap the cheddar cheese for pepper jack.
  • Double Onion: This is a great sandwich to use up some leftover Caramelized Onions (or whip some up real quick). Swap the regular bread for onion rolls or onion bagels.
  • California: Make this a California-style Turkey Sandwich by swapping the cheddar with provolone cheese and adding cooked bacon and sliced avocado.
  • Italian: Use mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar and make the sandwich on Italian Bread. Skip the mustard and add Pesto Sauce to your mayo for more Italian flavor.
  • Cranberry: Add some Cranberry Sauce to your sandwich to give it instant holiday flavor! Turkey Cranberry Sandwich would taste best with a creamy cheese like brie or goat cheese.
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How to Store

Store: To keep the Sandwich in the fridge, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and store it for up to 48 hours. If you’re having the sandwich in a packed lunch, either put it in the fridge where you are or put a cool pack in your lunch bag.

Freeze: It might sound crazy but sandwiches with deli meats like this Turkey and Cheese Sandwich actually freeze well. Wrap the plain turkey cheese sandwiches in plastic wrap then store in a freezer safe bag. Thaw them in the fridge before adding any veggies and spreads.

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More Ways to Make a Turkey Sandwich

Leftover Turkey: If you have Roasted Turkey leftover from the holidays, turn it into a simple, delicious sandwich. Just slice turkey into thin strips and assemble it with the rest of the sandwich ingredients. 

Warm Turkey Sandwich: If you’d like a warm sandwich, closer to grilled cheese, start by warming up the turkey in a skillet over medium heat. Once the meat is warmed through set it to the side. Add the mayonnaise to your bread, and place 4 of the bread slices down to toast. Add the sandwich filling, including the turkey to the bread. Top it off with the second slice of bread. Once the bottom slice of bread is toasted, flip the sandwich to toast the other.

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Frequent Questions

What is the best condiment on a turkey sandwich?

If you are making a simple, straightforward turkey sandwich, you can’t go wrong with the mayo and mustard combo as condiments. I recommend using whole grain or brown mustard to add just a bit more flavor.

What kind of cheese goes well with turkey?

Again, the mild flavor of turkey goes well with pretty much every cheese. The sharp cheddar on this sandwich balances the mild smoky flavor but you could also use Swiss, Havarti, provolone, pepper jack, muenster, or Gouda.

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Recipe Card

Ultimate Turkey Sandwich

The Ultimate Turkey Sandwich recipe that upgrades a classic deli sandwich. Complete guide for making the best ever deli turkey sandwiches!
Yield 4 Sandwiches
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 16 ounces turkey , sliced or leftover turkey
  • 8 slices thick sandwich bread
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
  • 2 vine tomatoes , sliced
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese


  • Toast sandwich bread.
  • Spread mayonnaise on one side of bread slices.
  • Layer with sliced tomatoes, arugula, turkey, whole grain mustard, and cheddar cheese.
  • Top with second slice of toasted bread.
  • Press down gently and serve.


Calories: 613kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 948mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1035IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 385mg | Iron: 3mg

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Turkey Sandwich halves on plate. One half laying flavor, other half propped up on flat half. Recipe Name across bottom.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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