Turkey Cheddar Melt with Grilled Onions and Spicy Mayo

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Melted cheddar, thick-sliced turkey, grilled onions, and spicy mayo combine into a hot and filling sandwich. So good!

Turkey Cheddar Melt with Grilled Onions and Spicy Mayo

I am a sandwich, soup, and salad girl. Inevitably, at restaurants, I will order one or more of those options. At home, those are my go-to meals. With the right ingredients, I never tire of these easy but potentially flavor-packed soups, salads, or sandwiches.

I’m not talking boring white bread with a sad slice of bologna in the middle. Though that does have its merits with a swipe of mayo, some crisp iceberg, and a handful of potato chips on the side. Takes me back to third grade, that does.

But, sandwiches have evolved over the years, there are never-ending combinations and flavors that you can stuff into good bread to make a truly great sandwich.

When we added a panini press to our collection of small kitchen appliances, it was a game changer. While I love a hot, buttery, “bird cheese” sandwich, the panini press allows me so much more flexibility. I can stuff that sammy full of good stuff and not worry about flipping it and keeping it all intact.

Grilled Turkey Melt

The press allows me to layer multiple flavors into a hot sandwich. Last winter I shared my formula for a tasty hot sandwich:

  1. Good bread
  2. Tasty meats and cheeses
  3. Savory spreads and toppings
  4. Heat

This Turkey Cheddar Melt is one such creation that embodies this formula and makes a great meal. In between slices of rye bread with layers of cheddar cheese, a generous helping of grilled onions, thick sliced turkey breast, tomato slices, fresh spinach, a spicy brown mustard-mayo spread.

The order of the components makes a big difference to the success of the sandwich. The cheese is on the bottom next to the heating element. The grilled, chopped onions find structure in the cheese. These won’t fall out  of the sandwich because they are glued in by the melted cheddar. The spinach goes near the top right next to the creamy spread. As the spread heats up, it blends with the spinach in quite a nice way. And of course, spinach can stand the heat better than lettuce. It’s all in the design, people.

This sandwich is a winner. Go make one today.

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Turkey Cheddar Melt with Grilled Onions and Spicy Mayo
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sandwich, Turkey cheddar melt
Servings: 4
Calories: 615 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (for 1 cup chopped)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 4 ounce sliced cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces thickly sliced turkey breast
  • 2 roma tomatoes for slicing
  • 1 package spinach leaves
  1. In a small skillet heat the oil. Saute the onions in the oil until golden brown, about ten minutes, stirring. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and mustard. Set aside.
  3. Layer the sandwich as follows: rye bread, cheese, onion mixture, turkey slices, tomatoes, spinach. Spread desired amount of mayo across one side of the top bread slice. Place it mayo side down onto the spinach.
  4. Grill the sandwich on a panini press. Serve hot.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate and are based on 1/4 of the recipe for each sandwich. Refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 4 days.

Nutrition Facts
Turkey Cheddar Melt with Grilled Onions and Spicy Mayo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 615 Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value*
Fat 40g62%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 1517mg66%
Potassium 760mg22%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 7218IU144%
Vitamin C 26mg32%
Calcium 337mg34%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 What’s YOUR favorite hot sandwich?

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About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Janet says

    We have two favorites at our house. On a cold, wet day you still can’t beat the classic grilled cheese sandwich accompanied by a piping hot bowl of tomato soup with homemade croutons floating on top. Our other favorite is a Philly Cheese Steak served with homemade salt & pepper French fries.

    • Jessica says

      @Janet, I don’t think I’ve ever had a proper Cheesesteak. What do you put in yours?

      • Janet says

        @Jessica, Well now that all depends on what part of the country you come from. I grew up in Nebraska. There you start with thinly shaved roast beef; caramelized onions and sweet green peppers sautΓ©ed in olive oil with a teaspoon of minced garlic; salt and pepper; and melted Provolone cheese all served on a toasted hoagie roll. If you live in Philadelphia Cheeze Whiz is the topping of choice instead of the provolone cheese.

  2. Sue R says

    We love the cheese steak as well. No Cheeze Whiz here though, it’s Provolone or American. We also love Ruebens with the Thousand Island dressing on the side for dipping. We are in the middle of a snow storm, perfect day for soup and sandwiches!

  3. Harriet says

    I bought a Cuisinart Panini maker at a yard sale for $5 still wrapped and in the box πŸ™‚ We eat hot ham and cheese or grilled cheese.

  4. Jennifer says

    We eat swiss or provolone, onions, bell peppers and mushrooms on our cheese steak . We are pastrami Reuben fans, too! : ) I also make tons of quesadillas with various combinations of fillings (BBQ pork/beef, spicy shrimp, fresh spinach, cheese etc) We should get a panini press so we can cram more goodies into our sandwiches/quesadillas and not have them fall apart when I flip them. : )

  5. Diana says

    This is my hubby’s kind of sandwich! Mine too, now that he introduced me to them πŸ™‚ Thanks for the explanation of why you layered the ingredients that particular way. Makes perfect sense, and will be easy to transfer to other sandwiches with other types of fillings. Now I just need to make some! πŸ™‚ (Oh, and you know what’s really good? A dash of sesame oil in with the mayo πŸ™‚ )

  6. I don’t have a panini press – it’s a unitasker, and my boyfriend, Alton Brown, says there’s only one unitasker ever allowed in the kitchen: a fire extinguisher. πŸ˜‰

    that being said., the only reason we don’t have one is because I am seriously running out of space in our condo (it’s about 2k square feet…). Instead…I use my waffle iron! My kids LOVE it.

    And hey, it’s cheaper than coughing up $100 on a press I will inevitably a. break b. drop or c. set on fire eventually.


    • Jessica says

      @Andrea, you made hubby and I both laugh. We like AB, too. I never would have bought one, but was given it as a gift. We use it all the time. Plus, you can make it do other things. Check out Panini Happy. She shows how to make it NOT be a multi-tasker. http://paninihappy.com/

  7. Jennifer Hoffman says

    This sandwich was amazing!!

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