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Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich

November is here, which means it’s time to prep for all things Thanksgiving. Recipe by Mike Castaneda.

Alright guys, we all know Thanksgiving is quickly upon us and I feel the biggest complaint I hear from people all the time is how dry and bland turkey is. A lot of people don’t even realize they can actually like it because they’ve never had one prepared right! Never fear Grilla family, I’ve got a pretty foolproof recipe for a great turkey breast that can transform into an amazing leftover sandwich I lovingly dubbed, “The Gobbler”. This sandwich was actually a huge hit on my food truck, so much that I was brining and roasting 2 turkey breasts every day for a month!

You can use this brine recipe for a full bird as well. I’d just suggest letting this thing brine around 24-36 hours instead.

The Gobbler Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich

Turkey brine

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Knorr chicken bouillon
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 8 lbs. ice

The Gobbler

  • Texas toast
  • Brown gravy
  • Stuffing (I use Stovetop)
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Leftover turkey

Cranberry sauce

  • 8-10oz. bag of real cranberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Vanilla


Start by heating the water, salt, sugar, bouillon in a large stock pot until it all dissolves. Then put the herbs in your hands and rub your hands together to work up the flavor. Drop it into the hot brine and let it sit for around 5 minutes. Once you’ve got some flavor working from the herbs, throw your ice into the brine and let it cool so it doesn’t start cooking your turkey early. Once it’s cooled, submerge your turkey or turkey breast and let it sit. If it’s the breast I try to brine around 12-18 hours but like I mentioned, if you’re going with a full turkey, let it rest at least 24 hours but I’d shoot for 36.

To cook your turkey, rinse the brine off, pat dry and brush a little oil all over it and season it with some famous Grilla AP.

Set your Grilla to 375 and cook for an hour and a half or so (for turkey breast) or until the internal is 165. You can pull it around 5 degrees earlier to compensate for carryover heat.

Cranberry Sauce

Start by using real cranberries in a stock pot with around 1/3 c water. Get the water boiling then drop to simmer and let the cranberries cook down and start to pop. Once they start to soften add ¾ c of sugar for an 8-10 oz bag of real cranberries and mix well. Continue to simmer. Once the cranberries seem like they’re thickening you can cut the heat, smash the mixture well then finish with some vanilla. My wife can’t get enough of this stuff.

To finish, butter and toast your bread, stack your turkey and stuffing, top that with gravy and spread on some of that cranberry love then bask in the gloriousness of this monster.

And as always, make sure you take a picture of your creations and tag us in your dishes! We’d love to feature your work!

Make sure once your turkey is fully cooked to give it a nice rest. First off it’s not much fun burning yourself trying to slice this stuff but also it ensures all those delicious juices don’t run everywhere!

Now sure, you can stop here and just serve this beautiful dish as it is, orrrrr, you can create the gobbler with a few things you probably already have at home! Yeah, you could chef it up by making your own stuffing and gravy but if you’re like me and cooking for a lot of people this holiday season, make it easy on yourself and use the box stuff.

Mike Castaneda

Mike Castaneda

A Little Love for Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwiches

Creative pitmasters who give lots of time and love to their Thanksgiving turkeys want to use up every ounce of precious, perfectly smoked poultry. In addition to tossing turkey bits into soups and stews or grinding turkey into balls for pasta dishes, making thanksgiving leftover sandwiches remains a much-loved trick for ensuring the turkey never goes to waste.

As you can see from our gobbler sandwich recipe, we stick with the traditional turkey sandwich ingredients. However, we encourage you to get creative. Try adding dressing or stuffing, mashed potatoes or even sliced, smoked Brussels sprouts to your Thanksgiving sandwich recipe.

Why Wait Until Thanksgiving to Make a Turkey Gobbler Sandwich?

Most people associate turkeys with Thanksgiving, but there is nothing wrong with tossing a turkey in brine and grilling it on your wood pellet smoker any time of year. The temperature outside can be 20 degrees or 90 degrees — your family and guests will always appreciate how delicious their turkey gobbler sandwiches are!

Of course, you’ve probably noticed that turkeys are more expensive at times other than the end-of-year holidays. If you have a freezer, why not buy a few extra turkeys when they go on sale? That way, you will always have one on hand to grill up when the mood strikes your fancy. Who could resist a taste of Thanksgiving in June?

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