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A Thanksgiving Leftover Twist on Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

When we think of leftovers, sandwiches immediately come to mind. But who wants another plain ol’ turkey sandwich? It’s not really top of our list.

One of our favorite lunches is grilled cheese and tomato soup, so we came up with what may be the best grilled cheese sandwich, EVER. And it uses leftovers. Think savory turkey, bacon, tomatoes, avocado, basil pesto and cheese…mmmm. Definitely not your standard leftover turkey sandwich.

To round it out, we added some sweet potato fries and soup. The fries are skinny and the soup is a combo of carrots and tomatoes, just to change things up a bit.

If you want a post-Turkey day lunch to wow your guests, this is it.

Ingredients:

Fries
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chili pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt

Soup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
- 1 pound baby carrots, chopped
- 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup cream
- 4 tablespoons basil pesto
- cream to garnish

Sandwich
- 1 loaf ciabatta
- 1/2 cup basil pesto
- 1/2 pound turkey
- 8 slices Swiss or other cheese
- 1 cup grated cheese (we used Jarlsberg and Monterey Jack)
- 2 sliced roma tomatoes
- 2 sliced avocados
- 8 slices cooked bacon

 

Skinny Sweet Potato Fries

We love sweet potato fries but not the effect they have on our waistline. Keep both trim by baking the fries. The trick is to not cook them too fast and have patience to let them crisp up after first getting a little soggy in the oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cooking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking oil. Cut sweet potatoes in strips and lay on the cooking sheet. Mix together the remaining ingredients and sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes until starting to brown and crisp, turning halfway after 20 to 30 minutes. If potatoes are soggy, keep cooking.

 

Carrot and Tomato Soup

We love tomato soup, but we think this riff using carrots is even easier and tastier to make from scratch.

In a large stock pan, melt butter and sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, and sauté for another minute. Add tomatoes, carrots, and lemon zest and sauté for 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour or until carrots are tender. Stir in honey and whipping cream. Puree soup using an immersion or normal blender until completely smooth. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dash of whipping cream and basil pesto.

 

Turkey and Bacon Grilled Cheese with Tomatoes, Avocado, and Basil Pesto

And now for the main attraction, the world’s best sandwich. Yes, it’s that good.

Slice 4 inches from a ciabatta loaf, then slice in half lengthwise. Spread one or both halves with basil pesto. Layer the bottom half with cheese, turkey, tomatoes, avocados, bacon, and more cheese. Top with the other ciabatta half.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Place the sandwich in the pan and weigh down with another pan and heavy object to flatten. If you have a panini press, use that instead. Cook sandwich for 5 to 7 minutes on each side until heated through. Remove from pan and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Repeat process to make 3 additional sandwiches.

And there you have it! Serve to your guests and you’ll win friends and influence people.  But seriously, this sandwich is ridiculously delicious. You should make it asap.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving leftover ideas? Speak to us in the comments section below or on Twitter or Facebook.