Smoked Turkey Sandwich with Spicy Mayo

This is the ultimate smoked turkey sandwich – toasted rye bread, spicy mayo, melted havarti cheese, crispy bacon, alfalfa sprouts, creamy avocado, marinated red onions, and fresh dill. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures, all layered into one very satisfying sandwich.

Smoked Turkey Sandwich cut in half on a serving board

smoked turkey sandwich – the details

When the craving for a really good turkey sandwich hits, you want to do it right. And while taking the time to marinate red onions or make your own spicy mayo is important, I’d say the most important thing when it comes to any sandwich is starting with really good ingredients.

It might not be something you can do on an everyday basis, but over the weekend or when you have a little extra time, sourcing the best possible ingredients makes all the difference.

open-faced sandwich showing the turkey sandwich layers

The main two ingredients in this sandwich that I’d pay extra attention to are the bread and the turkey. A really good loaf of rye bread (sourdough would be great, too), one that is crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, and has that “just baked” quality will do this turkey sandwich wonders.

And for the turkey, freshly sliced smoked turkey from a local butcher adds so much when it comes to flavor and texture…compared to the pre-packaged (somewhat slimy) alternative found at most stores.

I bought both of these ingredients from one of my favorite local Chicago shops, Publican Quality Meats, a butcher and little market with all sorts of delicacies.

Smoked Turkey Sandwich cut in half on a serving board

For the rest of the sandwich, I drew inspiration from a California-inspired club sandwich.

We’ve got a spicy mayo that’s really easy to whip up (and so good to have on hand), melted havarti cheese that’s flavorful and adds a decadent cheesy texture, crispy bacon for richness, alfalfa sprouts for a light crunch, avocado for creaminess, marinated red onions for tang, and some fresh dill.

It’s a turkey sandwich combination that I promise you’ll keep coming back to over and over again!

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Smoked Turkey Sandwich with Spicy Mayo

smoked turkey sandwiches on toasted rye bread with spicy mayo, melted havarti cheese, bacon, sprouts, avocado, marinated red onions, and dill

yield: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¾ lb raw, thinly sliced bacon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 8 slices of fresh rye bread (approx. 8” in diameter + ¾” thick)*
  • 6 oz thinly sliced havarti cheese
  • ¾ lb thinly sliced smoked turkey
  • 2 oz alfalfa sprouts
  • 2 small avocados, halved + thinly sliced
  • flaky sea salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a half sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Add the sliced red onions, olive oil, and vinegar to a bowl. Toss well to coat the onions. Let the onions sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to marinate, tossing halfway through.
  3. Lay the bacon onto the sheet pan. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Remove the parchment and replace with a new piece. Raise the oven temperature to high broil.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, hot sauce, smoked paprika, cayenne, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
  5. Place all 8 slices of bread onto the sheet pan. Spread half of the spicy mayo onto the “bottom” 4 slices of bread and top with the slices of cheese. Place the pan into the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes, or until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Spread the remaining spicy mayo onto the remaining “top” 4 slices of bread.
  6. Distribute the turkey, bacon, alfalfa sprouts, avocado (sprinkle with flaky sea salt), marinated red onions, and dill onto the bottom slices of bread. Close the sandwiches and cut each in half before serving.

Notes

I found a great rye bread for this sandwich that had similar qualities to sourdough – really crusty on the outside and soft/airy/chewy on the inside. If you don’t find a loaf of rye bread that seems similar, I would use sourdough!

Smoked Turkey Sandwich cut in half on a serving board

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