This Grilled Turkey Pastrami Sandwich is one of my favorite sandwiches of all time! It's made with peppery, smokey turkey pastrami, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and my homemade thousand island all griddled up between two slices of buttery marbled rye bread. And since it’s grilled and the turkey is reheated to 165F degrees, it’s pregnancy-friendly!
I swear, I crave turkey sandwiches while I'm pregnant ALL THE DANG TIME!
And I know we're not supposed to have them but I can't help myself.
Although I'm not a doctor and only recommend that you do what you're comfortable with, I've done a lot of research on how I can get around it.
And the answer? Heating the turkey up to 165F degrees so that any possible bad stuff is killed off.
So as you can imagine, I've been eating a ton fo grilled turkey sandiches!
This one in particular was from a time in my life when I worked as a cheesemonger at Depanneur in Brooklyn.
We had a variation of this sandwich that was a HUGE hit!
Over the years, I've tweaked that recipe and turned it into this one.
It's creamy, crispy, tangy and super flavorful!
You're going to love it!!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Boar's Head Turkey Pastrami - If you can't find this, you can also use their smoked turkey! Both work wonderfully.
- Swiss Cheese - Swiss is classic on a reuben but you can def switch it up for white cheddar for a tasty change.
- Sauerkraut - I love using plain ole sauerkraut but I've also subbed it for red cabbage kraut and it's super delicious!
- Marbled Rye - Marbled rye bread is not required but it is delicious! A regular rye, sourough or basically any other sturdy bread you have on hand will work!
- Salty Butter - If you don't have salty butter, feel free to use unsalted and add a pinch of salt. Or you could use olive oil or another neutral oil if you're in a bind.
- FOR MY HOMEMADE THOUSAND ISLAND - here's what you'll need but also feel free to use store bought thousand island if you'd rather not make it!
- Mayo - I always use Duke's but you can use whatever brand you'd like!
- Ketchup - No real sub for ketchup but I guess you could use BBQ if you really had to!
- Sambal -This is the trick to my thousand island.... but if you can't find it, you can use sriracha... but maybe only ½ tbsp as it's much spicier than sambal.
- Wickle's Pickles Relish - Honestly, this is the only relish that matters! It's sweet, spicy, and SO flavorful! This is the brand that I use in my macaroni salad, deviled eggs, and more! It's the best!
How to make it
Making this turkey pastrami sandwich is super easy!
To begin, you'll want to start by making my famous homemade thousand island. It's super simple but super flavorful!
To do so, grab a small bowl and stir together mayo, ketchup, sambal and wickle's pickles relish. Once combined, set aside then cover and refrigerate after use.
Now it's time to assemble the sandwich.
First, grab one slice of marbled rye bread then smear 1 tbsp of thousand island onto it.
Now top that with some swiss cheese and all of the turkey pastrami.
Next, it's time for the sauerkraut layer. My biggest tip to making this sandwich is making sure that the sauerkraut is strained of all the liquid. I also like to pat it dry to remove any other moisture that might be there. If you don't do this, the sandwich tends to get soggy while getting grilled!
After that, add a little bit more swiss cheese and smear some thousand island on the other piece of bread. Put it on top (sauce side down of course) and close up the sandwich.
Now it's time to grill it!
Add some salty butter to a fry pan over medium heat and smear it around so it melts. Place the sandwich right on top of the melted butter and cover with a lid.
Let the sandwich cook for a few minutes until it’s golden brown on the bottom and the bottom layer of cheese has started to melt.
Now either push the sandwich to the side or remove it from the pan completely. Add the remaining butter and flip the sandwich over on top of the melted butter.
Cook for a few more minutes or until both sides are golden brown and the cheese has melted.
Oh and if you’re pregnant, be sure that the turkey has reached 165F degrees to kill any possible harmful bacteria.
What to serve it with
If I were serving these turkey pastrami sandwiches for lunch, I would pair them with this turmeric couscous salad, this polish cucumber salad or even this BBQ Chicken salad (but hold the chicken!).
If you want even more tasty turkey recipes, check out this turkey pesto sandwich, this turkey bagel sandwich, or even these baked cheddar and turkey sliders with a sweet and smokey dijon sauce.
Save this recipe for later
If you'd like to save this turkey pastrami sandwich for later, I got you!
You know love it when you save my recipes on Pinterest and share it with your followers! It's the best!
And if you don’t already, feel free to follow me on pinterest for more cheesy goodness like this!
Turkey Pastrami Sandwich
For the Homemade Thousand Island
For the Sandwich
- 2 slices marbled rye
- 2 tbsp homemade thousand island recipe above
- 4 slices swiss
- 6 thin slices boarshead pastrami turkey or smoked turkey breast
- ½ cup sauerkraut strained and patted dry
- 1 tbsp salted butter divided
For the Homemade Thousand Island
- In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup mayo, 1 tbsp ketchup, 1 tbsp sambal and 1 tbsp wickles relish. Once combined, set aside the refrigerate.
For the Sandwich
- Now assemble sandwich by smearing 1 tbsp of thousand island onto a slice of bread. Then top with 2 slices swiss cheese, all of the turkey, the sauerkraut (making sure that it’s as dry as possible to keep the sandwich from getting soggy) the remaining two slices of swiss cheese.
- Smear 1 tbsp of thousand island onto the other slice of bread and put it on top - sauce facing down.
- Add ½ tbsp of butter to a nonstick frying pan over medium heat and smear it around so it melts. Place the sandwich on top of the melted butter and cover with a lid. Let the sandwich cook for a few minutes then remove the lid once it’s golden brown on the bottom and the bottom layer of cheese has started to melt.
- Remove the sandwich, add the remaining butter and flip the sandwich over on top of the melted butter. Cook for a few more minutes or until both sides are golden brown and the cheese has melted.
- ***If you’re pregnant, be sure that the turkey has reached 165F degrees to kill any possible harmful bacteria.***