Want to make the best Thanksgiving leftover sandwich? It takes more than just good leftover turkey and a moist-maker. Follow our guide to building the Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich of your dreams—and make sure to update your Thanksgiving shopping list so you’re prepared come midnight.
Step 1: Pick Your Bread
A Thanksgiving leftover sandwich is no place for fancy homemade bread or a crusty loaf from the local bakery. You need something plain and processed. If you’re going with white bread, we like Nature’s Own Perfectly Crafted Thick Sliced White Bread. It’s the best white bread and it won’t get in the way of all the flavors. Plus, it’s great toasted—crunchy outside, chewy inside—and you should definitely toast your bread for a leftover Thanksgiving sandwich. If you prefer wheat, try Nature’s Harvest Stone Ground 100% Whole Wheat Bread—it’s pleasantly sweet and our pick for the best wheat bread out there. Or you could zag and opt to make a slider-style Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. If that’s the case, buy an extra bag of La Brea Bakery Take & Bake French Dinner Rolls, they’re among the best dinner rolls you can buy.
Step 2: Spread on the Condiments
Yes, I said condiments, plural. The best Thanksgiving leftover sandwich is a complex melange of flavors, and a lot of that is thanks to your choice of condiments. First, grab that gravy. After spending some time in the fridge, it should be the perfect consistency for spreading. If you don’t have any leftover gravy, grab a packet of Knorr Roasted Turkey Gravy Mix (the best store bought gravy mix) and follow the instructions, then mix the gravy with some really good mayo. We’re partial to Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, but you can also go with vegan mayo (we like Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise) or even truffle mayo (Truff Black Truffle Infused Mayonnaise is your girl). Spread your gravy or gravy mayo on one side of bread, then spread leftover cranberry sauce on the other. If you’re family’s super into cranberry sauce, keep an extra can of the best canned cranberry sauce (Stater Bros. Whole Cranberry Sauce) in the pantry. That way you balance the savory with the sweet.
Step 3: Pile on the Leftovers
Obviously you’ll want to include a slice or two of turkey (if you fried the turkey because you understand that’s the only acceptable way to prepare a turkey, be sure to include some crispy skin). Or maybe you prepped a vegan turkey roast—grab a slice or two of that. Then, it’s up to you how maximalist or minimalist you are. Personally, I like it all. I add a scoop of stuffing and a swipe of mashed potatoes. And I advise you to do the same. This is a Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich, so you need all the Thanksgiving leftovers. Yes, that even includes the yams and the mac and cheese if that’s what’s in the fridge.
Step 4: Add Some Crunch
Here’s the thing: Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches are very often very one note, texturally speaking. You can fix that by toasting the bread, of course, which also adds structural integrity. But you can and should also sprinkle something a little crunchy onto your fillings before closing up your sandwich. Our pick? Crumbled up Funyun Lay’s. These chips channel the crispy onions on top of a green bean casserole, but they’re even crunchier and much more flavorful. And then you should also grab a handful and enjoy them on the side. Because they are incredible chips. Just read our review to fully understand how good they are.
Behold: the ultimate and best Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. How do you make yours? Let us know in the comments!