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Diner-Style Hot Turkey Sandwiches

These Diner-Style Hot Turkey Sandwiches served open-faced with a simple homemade gravy are always a favorite and are perfect for a quick and easy dinner or lunch!

Slices of soft bread topped with deli-sliced oven-roasted turkey breast smothered in a delicious homemade gravy…now that’s what I call comfort food. Ready to eat in just 15 minutes, it makes for an awesome weeknight dinner when time is tight!

Don’t you just love some really good diner food? Sure, it may not be fancy fare, but it is most definitely very tasty and super satisfying.

Ever since I was a little girl, just about every time I go to a diner, I order the same exact thing: an open-faced hot turkey sandwich (always with a side of fries, and gravy on the fries too, please!).

I don’t even know why I bother looking at the menu because I already know what I’m going to get. It’s such a treat!

As you know, a diner hot turkey sandwich is not the same as the one you might make after Thanksgiving with all of your awesome leftover turkey and gravy.

Nope. It’s just a couple of slices of basic white sandwich bread, turkey from the deli counter, and an almost-too-salty gravy that probably comes from a powdered mix, a can or a jar. And it’s sooo good!

Since I live way out in the country and don’t get out to diners very often, I’ve been making my own version at home for quite a while now.

I use high-quality sliced oven-roasted turkey breast from the deli…the kind that you can tell is pretty close to being carved right from the bird. That super-thin lunchmeat that comes pre-packaged just isn’t the same.

And instead of using a mix or a canned or jarred gravy, I make my own quick gravy using butter, flour, and chicken broth that comes together in a flash (and I make a generous amount so I have enough to put on those fries!).

I dare say that this might even be better than a lot of the diner hot turkey sandwiches I’ve eaten!

a pot of turkey and gravy with a serving spoon and slices of white bread on the side

Ingredients you need:

  • Roasted chicken base (such as Better Than Bouillon (#notsponsored))
  • Water
  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Sliced oven-roasted turkey breast from the deli
  • White sandwich bread
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)

Here’s a look at how to make Diner-Style Hot Turkey Sandwiches

Note: This is just a quick overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

two images; one of chicken broth in a measuring cup with a whisk with text that says whisk together chicken base and water, set aside; the other of butter melting in a pot with text that says in a medium saucepan, melt the butter
two images; one of flour added to the melted butter in the pot with text that says add the flour; the other of the mixture in the pot stirred together with a whisk with text that says cook, stirring constantly, for one minute
two images; one of broth added to the mixture in the pot with text that says while whisking, slowly add the chicken base/water mixture; the other of the gravy simmering in the pot with a spoonful being taken out with text that says bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened
two images; one of turkey added to the gravy in the pot with text that says add turkey, stir and heat until warmed through, season; the other of the finished hot turkey sandwich on a dish with text that says serve turkey and gravy over sliced bread, enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Use good-quality turkey from the deli counter rather than pre-packaged lunchmeat. It makes a big difference!
  • Some diner hot turkey sandwiches can be on the salty side. To better control the amount of salt in this dish and avoid it being too salty:
    • Use unsalted butter.
    • They also have a low-sodium roasted chicken base if you’d rather use that (I find that the regular version is just fine for me).
    • The longer you cook the gravy, the more concentrated the flavor becomes, so simmer it just until it has thickened (this should only take a minute or two). Once you add the turkey, simmer it just until the turkey has heated through.
    • Wait to add any salt and pepper to the gravy until after you add the turkey, as the turkey may also have some saltiness to it.
  • There is a roasted turkey base as well that you can use. I can’t always find that one, though, so I just stick with the chicken (plus, I like the flavor of the chicken base a little better).
  • You can use 3 cups of canned or boxed chicken (or turkey) stock or broth in place of the roasted chicken base and water. I prefer the flavor of the chicken base, so that is what I use. Homemade broth or stock would be excellent if you have it!
  • If you want a darker gravy, you could add a few drops of Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet.
  • Lightly toasted white bread is also a good base for this sandwich.
diner-style hot turkey sandwich on a white plate with a forkful being taken out

Like I said, I love my hot turkey sandwich with a side of fries, but it’s also yummy with mashed potatoes. Serve with your favorite vegetable or a salad, and dinner is done!

I hope you try this recipe for Diner-Style Hot Turkey Sandwiches and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Diner-Style Hot Turkey Sandwiches

These Diner-Style Hot Turkey Sandwiches served open-faced with a simple homemade gravy are always a favorite and are perfect for a quick and easy dinner or lunch!
5 from 2 votes
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Estimated Calories: 416

Ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons roasted chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon (regular or low-sodium)
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound deli-sliced oven-roasted turkey breast, cut into large pieces (I usually quarter mine)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large measuring cup or a bowl, whisk together the roasted chicken base and water until well-combined; set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan (I use a 3-quart pot), melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  • When the butter has completely melted, add the flour. Whisk to combine and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute (this will cook out the raw flour taste).
  • Slowly add the roasted chicken base mixture to the pot while whisking constantly; whisk until smooth.
  • Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the gravy has thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the turkey and stir to combine, breaking up any clumps of meat. Continue simmering over low heat just until the turkey is heated through. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  • For each serving, place 2 slices of bread on a plate and top with one-fourth of the turkey and gravy (there should be plenty of gravy to top some fries or mashed potatoes if you are serving them). Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Notes

  • Use good-quality sliced oven-roasted turkey breast from the deli counter rather than using pre-packaged lunchmeat. It makes a huge difference!
  • You can use canned or boxed chicken stock or broth in place of the roasted chicken base and water (use 3 cups). I prefer the flavor of the chicken base, so that is what I use. Homemade broth or stock would be excellent if you have it!
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating




Briel

Saturday 11th of June 2022

This was a delicious recipe! I also added a splash of heavy cream and ate with sliced turkey and mashed potatoes. The kids loved it as well and went back for seconds.

Michelle

Saturday 11th of June 2022

Thank you, Briel! So glad you all enjoyed it! And the splash of heavy cream sounds yummy, and I'll have to try it!

Carrie

Tuesday 31st of May 2022

This was really tasty and so simple , I’m gonna have the grandkids make it next time . They search for recipes they might like then send it to me to review for them . I served it with a Syrian salad w/ lemon mint dressing 😋

Michelle

Wednesday 1st of June 2022

Hi, Carrie! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!

Sharon White

Sunday 8th of May 2022

This is real ole’ time comfort food that takes me back to my childhood! I doubled the recipe and took the other portion to a sick friend! She is a picky eater but she devoured this Turkey recipe with some mashed potatoes and wanted to have the rest as dinner later that day! Thank you so much for this blast from the past!!

Michelle

Monday 9th of May 2022

Thanks very much, Sharon! What a nice compliment! I'm so happy that both you and your friend enjoyed it!