Turkey Cranberry Sandwich Variations: Thanksgiving leftovers perfected

Turkey cranberry sandwich Thanksgiving leftovers

A turkey cranberry sandwich (a.k.a. Pilgrim sandwich or Puritan sandwich) is a traditional type of American sandwich. The core elements of this sandwich consist of roasted turkey slices, cranberry and stuffing. As you may have guessed, these sandwiches were an inevitability as a simple way to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thanksgiving is an annual holiday celebrated in the United States (and over a dozen other countries) on the last Thursday of November. Although the traditions vary by country, the primary purpose of this holiday is to give thanks for the year’s harvest while spending time with loved ones. Thanksgiving has become synonymous with family and friends indulging in large feasts consisting of a cooked whole turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, and many other accompanying dishes. With a literal cornucopia of food, it’s quite common that guests are unable to eat everything, leaving leftovers aplenty.

Unless you have a very large family, you’re bound to have some Thanksgiving leftovers. Make sure they don’t go to waste.

The easiest way to repurpose your leftovers is to stick them between two pieces of bread and turn them into a sandwich. But there are other ways to fix up your uneaten Thanksgiving food.


Although the main elements of this sandwich include turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, the Thanksgiving leftover sandwich can be modified in seemingly infinite ways. Here are some variations to change things up.

  • turkey cranberry wrap – replace bread with a tortilla
  • turkey cranberry bowl – serve in a bowl over rice
  • turkey cranberry salad – serve over a bed of leafy greens with your favorite dressing
  • turkey cranberry empanada – fold into dough and bake
  • turkey cranberry soup – cut turkey into small pieces and add all ingredients to heated chicken broth

Additionally, you can add and/or modify any of these individual Thanksgiving dishes and sides to customize your sandwich. Here are some modifications you can try out.

  • turkey: roasted, fried, baked, grilled, etc.
  • cranberry sauce: canned, whole, homemade, etc.
  • stuffing: traditional bread stuffing, corn stuffing, dried fruit and nut stuffing, bacon stuffing, etc.
  • potatoes: mashed, garlic mashed, home fries, etc.
  • gravy: light, dark, spicy, etc.
  • corn: cut off the cob, buttered, canned, elote style, etc.
  • brussels sprouts: roasted, fried, steamed, etc.

Where to find turkey cranberry sandwiches

Craving the flavors of a Thanksgiving dinner but don’t want to spend the time or money on cooking a full feast? Simply go out and grab (or stay in and order) a turkey cranberry sandwich! Use the interactive map below to find a sandwich shop or restaurant that serves these Thanksgiving-flavored turkey sandwiches near you!

How to make a turkey cranberry sandwich

Pretty much anyone already knows how to make a turkey sandwich. However, it takes a bit more know-how to make a delicious turkey cranberry sandwich. Click on the recipe below to find out the necessary elements and how to dress up your sandwich to fit your tastes.

Turkey cranberry sandwich Thanksgiving leftovers

Turkey Cranberry Sandwich: Thanksgiving leftovers perfected


  • 2 slices bread (sourdough, white, wheat, dutch crunch, focaccia, brioche, ciabatta, multigrain, rye, bolillo, etc.)
  • 2-4 slices roasted turkey (or any sliced turkey)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cranberry sauce (canned, whole, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons stuffing
  • 1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise (or ranch, horseradish, etc.
  • 1/4 cup lettuce (or arugula, cabbage, kale, spinach, etc.)
  • 1-2 slices cheese (American, swiss, provolone, cream cheese, etc.)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Toast both slices of bread or place in panini maker after completion (optional)
  2. On one slice of bread, layer the turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, lettuce, cheese, salt and pepper (as desired).
  3. On the other slice of bread, spread mayonnaise and/or other desired condiments. Place on assembled ingredients (spread side down) to complete your sandwich
  4. Slice in half and enjoy!

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Hello! I'm Kristina

Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.
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