Turn Thanksgiving leftovers into a mouthwatering barbecue turkey sandwich

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Thanksgiving means a big, juicy turkey on your holiday table. Rejoice! It also means turkey leftovers. Give thanks! We’ve got a barbecue turkey sandwich recipe, inspired by Aunt Bee’s Recipes, that will make you as excited about leftovers as you are about your holiday meal.

If your standard leftover turkey sandwich has your family yawning, surprise them with a fun and flavorful sandwich with a barbecue spin. Our barbecue turkey sandwich features shredded turkey in a thick, rich homemade barbecue sauce topped with a fresh-tossed coleslaw and sliced pickles served on a toasted buttered bun. It’s a sandwich worth celebrating.

ALSO TRY: Leftover turkey, cranberry, and stuffing panini

Let’s start with the coleslaw. Why settle for soggy cloyingly-sweet coleslaw from the deli when you can make a crisp, perfectly-flavored slaw at home?

No reason to open up a bottle of barbecue sauce when you can easily make your own.  Make now or make-ahead, this barbecue sauce can be made right before serving or it can be made and refrigerated up to one week ahead of time.

Let’s get started!

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Make dressing for coleslaw

In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, celery seeds, salt and pepper.

5D4B8694 - BBQ Turkey Sandwiches - Make dressing for coleslaw

Add cabbage

Add thinly sliced green cabbage and toss well to coat. For neatly sliced cabbage, use the slicing disk on your food processor. You can also use the shredding disk if you prefer a shredded slaw texture. Refrigerate your coleslaw until your barbecue turkey sandwiches are ready.

5D4B8708 - BBQ Turkey Sandwiches - Add cabbage

Begin barbecue sauce

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook minced garlic in melted butter until just fragrant. This will take about 30 seconds.

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Add remaining barbecue sauce ingredients

Add ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, apple cider vinegar and cayenne. Bring this mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to meld the flavors.

5D4B8765 - BBQ Turkey Sandwiches - Add remaining barbecue sauce ingredients

Add turkey

When you’re ready to dig into your barbecue turkey sandwich, add leftover shredded turkey to the sauce and heat on the stovetop.

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Finally, serve it up!

Slather butter on buns and toast them under the broiler until crisp and lightly browned. Pile the hot succulently-sauced pulled turkey onto the buns and top with your homemade coleslaw and a few sliced pickles. Set these hearty sandwiches on the table and enjoy the thanksgiving you get from your family.

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Completely homemade and so simple!

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Tangy and full of flavor!

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Makes a great party platter

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You know you want some!

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Get your hands on these buns today!

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Barbecue turkey sandwiches

Yield 4 servings



  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage

Barbecue sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne


  • 2-1/3 cups shredded cooked turkey with above BBQ sauce
  • 4 hamburger buns, buttered and toasted
  • Sliced pickles



  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, celery seeds, salt and pepper.
  2. Add cabbage and toss to blend.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Barbecue sauce

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, increase heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Place the shredded turkey in the BBQ sauce and heat until warm.


  1. Split and butter buns and toast until lightly browned.
  2. Top the buns with turkey, coleslaw and pickles.

Courses Main course

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