This post has been sponsored by Sara Lee® Artesano™ Golden Wheat Bread. All opinions expressed within this post are 100% my own.
It’s no secret that the best activities of the year happen during the beautiful fall season. The leaves begin to change colors, the temperatures outside are crisp and cool, and families begin making plans for celebrating together during the holidays. This fall in particular is going to be the biggest and best one yet for my family, because we’ll be putting the finishing touches on our brand new home we’ve been building and will be moving in before Thanksgiving!
My entire family will be coming over to our new home for Thanksgiving day, so I’ve already made a jump-start at making menu preparations for the big day. Because there will be roughly 11 or 12 people in my house at one time, I’ve really been trying to think not only about Thanksgiving dinner itself, but also the other daily meals surrounding it.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday to celebrate, and getting to prepare both traditional and new recipes to put on the dinner table for everyone to share always gets me really excited. Unfortunately, I’ve always struggled a bit with getting excited about leftover turkey and finding a delicious way to give it new life and dress it up into something completely new. That is, until now!
I think the normal go-to dish for using up leftover Thanksgiving turkey is to make a simple sandwich, though if you can jazz it up with some amazing bread like Sara Lee® Artesano™ Golden Wheat Bread, it’s even better! Grab two slices of bread, slap a little mayo and mustard on there, pile on the turkey and bada bing, bada boom. That’s all well and good, but we don’t want to lose focus of that delicious turkey! This Carved Turkey, Cheddar and Homemade Apple Butter Sandwich really elevates the leftover turkey sandwich to a whole new level, and it has two kick-butt ingredients that make it stand out above the rest!
With the fall season finally upon us, my mind tends to naturally shift to focusing on recipes using apples. My social media feeds are filled with families heading out to their local apple orchard to pick baskets full of beautiful and colorful fall apples. While we don’t have any apple orchards here in the deep south, I can always count on my local farmer’s market to have some of the most plump and delicious apples during this time of year that I’ve ever seen in my life!
When I was thinking of a way to revamp the classic turkey sandwich, my mind immediately went straight to apples, and the idea to make a sweet homemade apple butter spread to drizzle over salty turkey breast sounded like a match made in heaven!
I make a small batch of apple butter almost every year during the fall. It’s incredibly easy to make, and your whole entire house will smell absolutely amazing while it’s bubbling away on the stove! To get started, peel and slice 6-7 medium sized apples and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Pour apples into a large pot and sprinkle with 2 Tbs of lemon juice. Add in 2/3 cup light brown sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup apple juice and tsp vanilla extract and bring to a low boil.
Cook the apples until they are very tender, being sure to stir every few minutes to prevent any scorching. Once the apples are tender, transfer apple mixture into a blender and puree until there are no more chunks. Return mixture to the pot over low heat and allow to simmer.
The key to knowing when your apple butter is cooked to perfection it to drag the side of a spoon through the apple butter while it’s in the pan to create a line. If the gap remains stiff and does not quickly close, your apple butter is ready to go! For me, this process took about 25 minutes.
This apple butter creates a beautiful contrast with the saltiness of the turkey and the sharpness of the cheddar cheese when used on this sandwich. As I was planning out all of the remaining ingredients for my Carved Turkey, Cheddar and Homemade Apple Butter sandwich, I made sure to use Sara Lee® Artesano™ Golden Wheat Bread to serve as the perfect canvas for this fabulously fall-themed meal!
Sara Lee® Artesano™ Golden Wheat Bread is my go-to when it comes to picking out the perfect loaf of bread that I know my entire family will love. It’s made with olive oil, sea salt and a touch of honey that really shines through, and you can really get the beautiful, rich flavors with every bite you take. It’s also made with no high fructose corn syrup or added colors or flavorings, and the thick, flour-dusted edges really give this bread an authentic and high-quality appeal.
Plus, this bread crisps perfectly when grilled and holds the weight of all of the contents of this sandwich without any drooping at all, and it still somehow manages to remain soft and fluffy with every single bite!
Here’s a free printable version of my recipe for my Carved Turkey, Cheddar and Homemade Apple Butter sandwich if you’d like to give it a try!
Carved Turkey, Cheddar and Homemade Apple Butter Sandwich
- 1 Loaf Sara Lee® Artesano™ Golden Wheat Bread
- Leftover carved Thanksgiving turkey or thick deli-cut turkey breast
- 5-6 slices bacon cooked
- 1 Apple thinly sliced
- Sharp cheddar cheese slices
- 1 handful chopped lettuce washed and dried
- 3 Tbs homemade apple butter
- For Apple Butter:
- 6-7 apples peeled, cored and sliced
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- For Apple Butter:
- Add peeled and sliced apples to a large pot and add all remaining ingredients
- Allow to simmer over medium-low heat until the apples are very soft and tender
- Transfer apple mixture into a blender and puree until there are no chunks
- Return contents back to pot and simmer over low heat until the mixture becomes very thick and jam-like.
- The apple butter is done when a spoon is dragged through the center of the apple butter and the gap does not quickly fill
- Store in refrigerator for 5-6 days
- For Sandwich:
- Lightly toast or grill 3 slices of Sara Lee® Artesano™ Golden Wheat Bread
- Spread a tablespoon of apple butter across the top of one slice of bread, followed by the remaining ingredients in this order: Cheddar cheese, turkey, lettuce, bread, apple butter, apple slices, bacon, apple butter and bread.
- This sandwich can be eaten as a club, or the lettuce can be removed and it can be eaten as a gooey grilled turkey and cheese sandwich!
This particular sandwich is a real winner in my book, simply because of how versatile it is! You can opt to leave the sandwich as a club, or you can remove the lettuce and serve this sandwich as a gooey turkey & apple butter grilled cheese (just like this scrumptious Apple Picker’s Harvest Grilled Cheese Sandwich!) The crisp apple slices give a nice contrasting fresh crunch, and every bite tastes like all of the goodness of fall harnessed between two slices of delicious bread!
Do you have a yummy recipe that embodies all of your favorite fall elements? Do you make a dish that utilizes leftover turkey in a yummy and delicious way? Leave a comment below and share the love!
While you’re at it, post your own favorite fall recipes on social media using #ArtesanoGoldenWheat! You’ll find lots of amazing ideas on how to create beautiful sandwiches and meals that are perfect for fall using Sara Lee® Artesano™ Golden Wheat Bread!