Hot Turkey Pesto Sandwiches are super fun panini to make. They’re uber-comforting, freezer-friendly, and great for budget potluck meals. Grab this pesto sandwich recipe and get pressing these gooey, cheesy, delicious, turkey sandwiches in less than 30 minutes!
Serve them alongside a Simple Romaine Salad or a Chopped Salad with Avocado and Radish for a complete meal. These hot turkey pesto sandwiches are the ultimate rendition of a Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
If you’ve been looking for some easy Freezer Sandwiches to stash away for busy nights, rest easy. The search is over. This Turkey Pesto Sandwich recipe is amazing! Like a grilled cheese on steroids, it’s packed with flavor, freezer-friendly, and the ultimate crowd pleaser.
Why Make This
It takes just four ingredients but packs a punch! The ingredient list on this pesto sandwich recipe is short: sliced turkey breast, Havarti cheese slices, ciabatta rolls and basil pesto, all easy ingredients to keep on hand in the fridge or freezer.
It’s very make-ahead. You can assemble the turkey pesto sandwiches in the morning to grill later in the day or evening — or you can stash them already assembled in the freezer for next month!
It’s a versatile kind of sandwich. I’ve been dreaming up all kinds of flavor combinations for swapping in and out different ingredients: roast beef and cheddar with herbed mayo, chicken and Monterey Jack with chipotle mayo, Italian sausage and mozzarella and pizza sauce.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this turkey pesto sandwich recipe:
ciabatta rolls – I love these Italian rolls for their hearty texture, but you can also use thicks slices sourdough bread if you prefer.
Havarti cheese slices – Havarti is a great cheese for melting, but you can also use mozzarella cheese or provolone if you prefer.
deli sliced turkey breast – Use whatever type of turkey sandwich meat you like. You can even use turkey leftovers from a holiday meal.
basil pesto – The classic Italian condiment brings a lot of punch to these turkey pesto sandwiches. If you want to cut costs a bit and have some basil growing in the backyard, you can substitute Easy 3-Ingredient Basil Sauce for the pesto. You can freeze pesto if you end up with too much after making this recipe or use it in one of these pesto recipes.
Spruce it up: Feel free to add other goodies to your turkey pesto sandwiches if you like, such as sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, cranberry sauce, avocado, or sliced olives.
To make gluten-free turkey pesto sandwiches: Schar has a good gluten free ciabatta roll. Read the ingredients labels on the other ingredients to avoid cross-contamination issues.
Here’s how to make your turkey pesto sandwiches:
- Split the rolls open and place them on a work surface. Divide the cheese among the roll halves, on tops and bottoms. Dollop the pesto among the six roll halves and spread pesto to coat.
- Divide the meat among the rolls. Put the roll halves together.
- If making ahead, place the closed rolls into the roll bag and refrigerate until ready to cook. If you’re going to freeze the rolls, double bag them for added insulation and be sure to squeeze all the air out of the bag.
- When you’re ready to cook the turkey pesto sandwiches, heat the panini press. Cook the sandwiches in batches until the cheese is melty and the rolls are toasty and golden brown.
In lieu of a panini press, you can wrap the sandwiches in foil and cook them for 4 hours on low in a slow cooker or bake them at 350 for about 20 minutes.
To freeze: store the turkey pesto sandwiches, double wrapped, in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator before heating.
Pesto is a fantastic condiment to use in sandwiches. Layer on different cheeses and meats, being sure not to choose too many rich elements as the flavors can compete with one other. Pesto is delicious in vegetable, turkey, chicken, and cheese sandwiches.
Choose a mild cheese to complement your turkey pesto sandwich, such as mozzarella cheese, Havarti, or provolone.
Turkey is a great base to include in a sandwich. Complement it with a strong cheese, like cheddar or a rich spread such as pesto or horseradish. Cranberry sauce is also tasty in a turkey sandwich.
More Great Ways to Use Pesto
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Hot Turkey Pesto Sandwiches
- panini press
- bread knife
- 6 ciabatta rolls , sliced in half lengthwise
- 7-8 oz havarti cheese slices
- ½ cup pesto
- 8 oz deli sliced turkey breast get herbed if you can
- Split the rolls open and place them on a work surface. Divide the cheese among the roll halves, on tops and bottoms. I had to tear a few slices in half to make it even.
- Dollop the pesto among the six roll halves and spread to coat. We’re spreading this on the cheese slices so as not to make the bread soggy since we’re cooking them later. If you’re cooking the sandwiches right away, you could spread the pesto directly on the surface of the roll.
- Divide the meat among the rolls. Put the roll halves together. Place the closed rolls into the roll bag and refrigerate until ready to cook. If you’re going to freeze the rolls, double bag them for added insulation and be sure to squeeze all the air out of the bag.
- When you’re ready to cook the sandwiches, heat the panini press. Cook the sandwiches in batches until the cheese is melty and the rolls are toasty.
This post was originally published March 17, 2018. It has been updated for content and clarity.