Tailgate Hot Turkey Sandwiches


By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley

Every year, it seems that our family expects a large turkey to be served for the Thanksgiving Day meal. It may be the smell of the turkey or the sage in the dressing while the bird is cooking or the thought of how nice it is to have a traditional feast. But Thanksgiving Day itself, the turkey usually takes a backseat to the sides on the plate. There are just so many beautiful and tasty sides from which to choose. But the Saturday after Thanksgiving, our tailgate is all about the turkey and gravy, served hot in sandwiches that one can pick up with his or her hands and eat at a tailgate.

Here’s a great way to serve turkey sandwiches with gravy that can be picked up and eaten with your hands. If you’ve never made these hot turkey sandwiches with your leftover turkey and gravy, here’s how. It’s a “no-brainer!”


1 1/2 – 2 lbs. of sliced turkey meat.  The white meat is neat but the dark tastes better.

1 Cup turkey gravy

1 Cup cranberry sauce

Sliced sourdough or other firm bread to hold each sandwich firmly together so that it can be picked up with one’s hands.

½ lb. salted butter

Preparation:  Pack the above ingredients into seal and serve plastic containers and refrigerate overnight. On game day load your food cooler with these items. At the game heat your grill and warm the turkey gravy in a saucepan until it starts to bubble. Butter one side of the bread and place it on your grill or in a cast iron skillet. Lightly butter the turkey meat and heat it on the grill. Place a piece of toasted bread on a plate and add the meat. Cover the meat with a light coating of gravy then another slice of grill toasted buttered bread. Place an additional small bowl of a couple of tablespoons of gravy on the plate for dipping. Serve with a gherkin pickle either sweet or dill. Also add a large dab of cranberry sauce on the side.

Joe Drozda, the father of American tailgating, is the author of The Tailgater’s Handbook and can be reached at [email protected]. His columns have been read nationally since 1997.


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