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Turkey Grilled Cheese—roasted turkey, smoked provolone, peppery bacon, and garlicky sage mayo on sourdough grilled in salted butter to a delightful crisp.
I am so stoked to be partnering with Duke’s Mayo to bring y’all this amazing Turkey Grilled Cheese with Sage Mayo recipe. This is the ultimate grown-up grilled cheese. It’s got juicy oven-roasted turkey breast, smoked provolone, crispy pepper bacon, and a sensational garlic sage spread made with none other than Duke’s Real Mayonnaise.
Duke’s Mayo is heralded as the mayo of the south by professional chefs and serious home cooks like myself for good reason. It’s got a creamy tanginess that shines in our down-home recipes like Southern Potato Salad. And being naturally sugar-free, Duke’s is the perfect mayo to elevate keto-friendly dishes like my Maryland Shrimp Salad. Duke’s has got that twang that takes a dish from good to great! Be sure to follow on Instagram for more bold, palate-thrilling recipe inspiration.
Ingredients and alternative options
Oven-roasted turkey– This sandwich is perfect for the day after Thanksgiving but you can absolutely make it any day of the year by switching the roasted turkey with deli turkey or even chicken breast.
Sourdough bread– Be sure to choose a firm bread—not too soft not too chewy. Try to find a wide fairly thick cut artisan type loaf. I’m using a panini-style sourdough made to endure the constant heat of a sandwich press. Not too thick but not thin at all.
Smoked provolone– Smoked provolone has great taste and melts beautifully. Other melty cheeses that would taste good with this grilled cheese include muenster, Swiss, or sharp cheddar.
Pepper bacon– I like the subtle spiciness of the pepper but any savory bacon will provide the intended saltiness and crunch to the sandwich.
Duke’s Mayonnaise – There’s clearly no substitution for Duke’s. Duke’s Mayo is the taste of the sage mayo. I’m not adding any additional seasoning other than garlic, sage, and lemon for freshness. Duke’s brings to this spread all the twang.
Roasted garlic cloves– I highly suggest roasted garlic because it’s less sharp than fresh garlic but you can certainly use fresh garlic if preferred.
Lemon juice and zest
The perfect grilled cheese
A grilled cheese sandwich should be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Contents other than cheese should have contrasting tastes and textures. To achieve this, the perfect grilled cheese requires 4 things:
The bread should be thick and firm with minimal air holes. This allows it to toast well without the risk of oozing half of the cheese.
Good melting cheese
Choose a cheese that melts well and offers a nice stringy pull when cut.
You will need a pan that can withstand constant heat without heating up too quickly. A cast-iron skillet is the right pan for the job. It conducts consistent heat evenly and doesn’t get too hot quickly. Thinner pans will burn the butter faster putting the entire sandwich at risk. Pro tip- keep the skillet buttered. A dry pan will burn bread badly very quickly. Reduce and raise the heat as needed to keep it consistent.
You want sandwich ingredients that hit the creamy, crunchy, savory factors. Oven-roasted turkey is tender but firm providing the base for the sandwich. The sage mayo brings tangy creaminess and moisture to the turkey while the pepper bacon provides a salty peppery crunch.
How to make turkey grilled cheese with sage mayo
To make this immaculate sandwich we start by making the sage mayo. To a food processor add the mayo, sage, roasted garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients well. Transfer the spread to a bowl; store in the fridge until needed.
Spread softened butter on both sides of 4 slices of bread. (For an even tangier bite, spread the sage mayo instead.) Place the skillet over a low-medium flame and melt at least one tablespoon of butter.
Layer the bread slices in the pan to brown on one side for 1-2 minutes. Flip the slices adding more butter to the surface of the pan. Once the bread is flipped, layer 2 pieces of cheese to each slice.
Then, quickly add turkey to one slice of bread followed by bacon on the other. Spread a little sage mayo over the turkey then put the bread with the bacon on top. Allow the cheese to melt for about 30-45 seconds before flipping for another minute or so.
Remove the grilled cheese sandwiches to a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut the sandwiches in half before serving with extra sage mayo and Crispy French Fries on the side.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THE RECIPE. SUGGESTIONS AND HONEST OPINIONS ALWAYS APPRECIATED. LEAVE A REVIEW IN THE COMMENTS, RATE THE RECIPE, AND SAVE IT FOR LATER!
Grilled Turkey & Cheese with Sage Mayo
- 4 slices panini-style sourdough bread
- 8 oz roasted turkey breast
- 4 oz pepper bacon cooked until crispy
- 8 oz smoked provolone
- 4 tbsp salted butter softened more as needed
- 1/3 c Duke’s Real Mayonnaise
- 3 cloves roasted garlic or 1 clove of fresh garlic
- 1 fresh sage leaf ribboned
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Lemon zest optional
- To a food processor add the mayo, sage, roasted garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients well. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
- Spread butter on both sides of 4 slices of bread. Place the skillet over a low-medium flame and brush the surface with butter.
- Layer the bread slices in the pan to brown on one side for 1-2 minutes. Flip the slices adding more butter to the surface of the pan. Place 2 slices of cheese on each bread slice.
- Quickly place the turkey breast on 2 slices of bread followed by the bacon on the other 2. Generously spread the sage mayo on the turkey then flip the bread with the bacon on top.
- Allow the cheese to melt for about 30-45 seconds before flipping both sandwiches to melt the cheese on the other side for the same amount of time if needed. Remove the sandwiches from the pan and cut in half before serving.