15 Best Cheeses For a Turkey Sandwich in 2023 [You'll Drool]
Sandwich enthusiasts will agree, finding the perfect cheese to accompany your turkey sandwich is truly an art. Picking just the right variety can significantly elevate your sandwich experience, transforming it from a mere meal into an explosion of flavors. Just like the all-important choice of bread, the essence of cheese in a turkey sandwich cannot be overstated. Whether it's the bold bite of Cheddar, the smooth creaminess of Provolone, or the buttery richness of Brie, the role cheese plays is vital in creating that desired satisfying crunch and sublime balance of tastes.
This culinary journey will take you through some of the best cheeses for a turkey sandwich. So, buckle up your seat belts, fellow sandwich lovers; we're about to delve into the wide world of cheeses. And who knows? By the end, you just might find yourself a new favorite cheese to compliment your turkey sandwich. It's a world of flavors out there waiting to be explored. Happy sandwiching!
Also Read: Best Cheeses for Charcuterie Board
15 Best Cheeses For a Turkey Sandwich in 2023
Allow me to introduce you to Havarti, a delightful Danish cheese that's undeniably amazing in a turkey sandwich. With its buttery and somewhat fruity flavor, Havarti brings a complementary tanginess to turkey, creating a gastronomical masterpiece that will genuinely delight cheese lovers!
1. Gouda Cheese
Ah, Gouda. Originating from the picturesque Netherlands, Gouda's timeless, semi-hard texture and wonderous creamy-yet-firm goodness is a cheese lover's dream. This delightful cheese ranges from mild and smooth when young, to a more robust, deep flavor as it ages, unfolding complex layers of taste [bold]. It boasts a beautiful yellow color, and its nice melting property makes it a star feature in a turkey sandwich. Gouda pairs excellently with whole wheat and rye bread, letting the subtle nuttiness of the cheese shine through and blend perfectly with the savory taste of turkey [bold].
I'd highly recommend experimenting with a smoked Gouda for a turkey sandwich. The rich, smoky flavor adds a whole new level, creating a sandwich that is an absolute flavor bomb.
2. Provolone Cheese: The Creamy and Versatile
Provolone, as versatile as they come, is an all-time classic Italian cheese hailing from Southern Italy. Best described as buttery and slightly tangy when aged, Provolone melts well and doesn’t lose its flavor, making it an excellent choice for any turkey sandwich. This semi-hard cheese comes in various sizes and shapes but always offers a tasty creaminess that blends oh so well with turkey, especially when coupled with a cranberry sauce or a dash of mustard for that extra zing [italic].
Grilling your turkey sandwich with provolone just slightly until it’s melty would get you an ensemble that’s rich in taste and high on satisfaction.
3. Cheddar Cheese: A Universal Favorite
When we talk about cheese, how can we not mention Cheddar? It is, after all, a universal favorite. Originating from the town of Cheddar in England, this cheese has a flavor profile that ranges from smooth and creamy to sharp and complex, depending on its age. Cheddar's excellent melting ability and rich texture make it a versatile choice for a turkey sandwich.
The sharpness of an aged Cheddar wonderfully balances the flavors of the turkey and condiments. A turkey sandwich with some mature Cheddar, lettuce, and smearing of cranberry sauce can create an irresistible combination of flavors that is bound to satisfy your sandwich cravings!
4. Brie: A Luxurious Cheese For Your Gobble Sandwich
French in its origin, Brie is nothing short of decadence in the world of cheeses. Its unique creamy texture and mild, fruity flavors can add a touch of luxury to your turkey sandwich. When combined with turkey, Brie melts into a lusciously creamy texture, bringing forth an unparalleled depth of flavor to your sandwich.
For an unforgettable gastronomic experience, try using Brie cheese with your turkey sandwich. Spread some sweet, tangy apple chutney for a sweet-salty contrast and some crisp lettuce for that added crunch - a wholesome feast!
5. Emmental Cheese: A Swiss Classic For Your Sandwich
If you are a fan of cheese with character, look no further than Emmental, a classic Swiss cheese with a distinctive, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor. With its signature holes and pale-yellow hue, Emmental is easily recognizable and a favorite among cheese connoisseurs. It perfectly complements the taste of turkey, providing a fondue-like creaminess when melted that is balanced with a subtle crunch from its natural rind.
Emmental’s flavor is not overly cheesy, yet holds its own, making it a brilliant choice for those who like their sandwiches well-balanced and not overpowered by cheese. Picture this: a turkey sandwich with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, a generous helping of Emmental cheese, and a dollop of tangy mustard for a tingle — isn’t it a match made in sandwich heaven?
In the realm of cheeses, rest assured there is something for everyone. A little bit of curiosity mixed with an adventurous taste spirit could lead you to discover the perfect cheese for your turkey sandwich. So, go ahead, take a chomp, enjoy the ride, and remember, a sandwich is only as good as its ingredients!
6. Monterey Jack: The Perfect Mellow Cheese For Your Sandwich
Monterey Jack is a cheese that is truly all-American! Originally from the West Coast of the United States, this cheese has a mild flavor and creamy texture that is bound to charm cheese novices and aficionados alike. With its smooth consistency and great melting ability, this mellow cheese gets along famously with the robust taste of turkey. What's more? Its mild demeanor does not overpower the taste buds, working to enhance the flavor of the turkey.
Monterey Jack and turkey sandwiches are downright delicious, add in some sliced avocado, a dash of hot sauce, or some crispy bacon, and you've got yourself a turkey sandwich that'll transport you straight to flavor town!
Also Read: Best Cheeses For Chili
7. Parmesan Cheese: Upgrade Your Sandwich
If you're in the mood for an intense flavor kick, look no further than Parmesan cheese. Known for its uniquely rich and bold flavors, this hard Italian cheese can take your turkey sandwich to a whole new level. Grated over the sandwich, it adds a nutty and salty touch, complimenting the turkey beautifully.
To incorporate Parmesan in your turkey sandwich, try using generous shavings instead of slices for that added texture. Layer it with turkey, spread some luscious pesto to match Parmesan's robust personality, add some fresh arugula, and boom- a turkey sandwich like no other! Adventures in the kitchen, after all, are some of the best ones!
8. Edam Cheese: Guaranteed To Elevate Your Turkey Delight
Named after a town in the Netherlands, Edam cheese is celebrated for its nutty taste and semi-hard texture. It boasts of an affable flavor, neither too bold nor too mild, which makes it well-suited for a variety of dishes, not to mention a lip-smacking turkey sandwich. It nicely balances the strong flavor of turkey, resulting in a sandwich that's quite a delight to your taste buds.
Complement your turkey sandwich with Edam cheese and a thick layer of Dijon mustard for a tangy kick. Trust me, a bite into this concoction, and you'll be transported straight to culinary heaven!
9. Cranberry Sauce: A Sweet Finish to Your Turkey Sandwich
Now, this isn't a staple cheese, but no list talking about turkey sandwiches would be complete without mentioning cranberry sauce. Cranberries balance the savory turkey with their natural sweetness, and their use as a condiment in a turkey sandwich, particularly during the holiday season, has been an American tradition. When paired with a creamy cheese like Brie or a bold one such as Sharp Cheddar, this sweet delight tastefully counteracts the intensity, producing flavors that are nothing short of extraordinary.
Ready to give it a whirl? Layer your turkey sandwich with slices of your favorite cheese, and don't forget a generous spread of cranberry sauce. It's like Thanksgiving on a sandwich!
10. Bacon: Cheese's Salty Counterpart
Equally unmissable in a turkey sandwich is bacon. Bacon's crunchy texture and salty taste work exceptionally well with almost all types of cheese. Its smokiness marries the flavors of the turkey and cheese, adding a whole new dimension to your sandwich. Imagine biting into a sandwich with crispy bacon slices, indulgent cheese, turkey, and some classic mayo - a heavenly blend of creamy, salty, and crispy elements.
Take my recommendation and toss some bacon into your next turkey sandwich—you'll undoubtedly be in for a delightful surprise! A turkey sandwich with cheese and bacon is not just a meal, it's an experience.
11. Colby Jack: America's Own Cheese For Your Sandwich
Nothing screams 'American cheese' more than a sandwich laden with Colby Jack. A unique blend of two cheeses, Colby and Monterey Jack, this cheese is known for its gentle flavor and great melting ability. Its superbly creamy texture harmonizes with the turkey, creating an unforgettable sandwich escapade.
Give your next turkey sandwich a spin by melting some Colby Jack on top, throwing in juicy slices of tomato, fresh lettuce, and some spicy sriracha mayo. It's sure to leave your palate asking for more!
12. Butter or Mayonnaise: The Ultimate Turkey Sandwich
As I mulled over the butter vs. mayonnaise debate, I've come to realize that both of them contribute uniquely to the sumptuous experience of a turkey sandwich. Smooth, velvety butter enriches your sandwich and enhances the flavors of the turkey and cheese, akin to an orchestra conductor orchestrating a harmonious melody. On the other hand, mayo's creamy, tangy essence adds depth, producing a tantalizing blend of richness and tanginess.
I'd encourage you to try out both and decide which you prefer. Ultimately, whether you choose butter or mayonnaise, you've got a winning turkey sandwich on your hands!
13. Keeping it Fresh: Salad in Your Turkey Sandwich
A fresh burst of greens in your turkey sandwich adds not just color but a refreshing crunch and a contrast to the rich, creamy, and flavorful cheese and succulent turkey slices. From delectable arugula, and crisp lettuce, to peppery radish slices, the options are endless.
Give your turkey sandwich a delightful crunch and a fresh dimension by adding a handful of your favorite salads. It will not only add an element of surprise to your sandwich but also balance out the heaviness of the cheese and turkey.
14. Avocado: Advancing Your Sandwich Game
Avocado is in a league of its own when it comes to elevating the taste of turkey sandwiches. Its creamy texture aligns beautifully with the rich flavors of the cheese, and its subtle, buttery flavor does not overpower the turkey. With ripe avocados, you can add an extra layer of creaminess and a burst of healthy goodness to your sandwich.
Why not give it a shot in your next lunch creation? Just be sure to sprinkle a little salt and pepper on your avocado slices to further bring their flavors alive!
15. Havarti: A Danish Treat for Your Turkey Sandwich
Our last entry is Havarti, a Danish cheese known for its versatility. It has a cream-to-yellow color, a smooth and slightly bright surface, and tiny irregular holes. Havarti is famed for its buttery aroma and mild, slightly sweet flavor; the perfect match for succulent turkey.
Next time you assemble your turkey sandwich, remember the Havarti. Pair it with juicy slices of ripe tomato and a touch of mustard for a turkey sandwich as delicious as a gourmet meal.
Also Read: Best Cheeses for Salad
How to Perfectly Melt Cheese on Your Turkey Sandwich?
Achieving the perfect melt of cheese on your turkey sandwich is something of an art form, and a skill that will take your sandwich-making game to the next level. Here are the steps you need to follow to get that perfectly draped, gooey cheese layer that will make your turkey sandwich irresistible.
- First, choose the right cheese. As we know, not all cheeses are created equally. Some melt with ease and elegance, while others serve better in their solid form. For a turkey sandwich, a great melting cheese like Monterey Jack, Gouda, or Provolone is always perfect.
- Second, it's all about the thickness of the cheese slice. Thick slices are less likely to melt evenly and can actually make your sandwich heavy and unappetizing. The ideal cheese slice should be just thick enough to feel it in your sandwich but thin enough to melt quickly without overcooking the turkey or burning the bread.
- Third, the heat is crucial. You want a gentle and consistent heat source. An open flame or a broiler might be tempting for speed, but they can easily burn the sandwich. On the other hand, a pan over medium heat or toaster oven set at a moderate temperature will do the trick nicely.
- Now, let's talk about the layering strategy. Cheese placed directly onto the bread is more likely to melt than cheese placed on top of the turkey. For optimal results, place a layer of cheese both below and above your sliced turkey. This ensures a delicious melted, cheesy experience with every bite.
Why Freshly Grated Cheese is a Game-Changer for Your Sandwich?
If you've always used pre-packaged and pre-sliced cheese for your turkey sandwiches, let me introduce a concept that could redefine your sandwich experience - freshly grated cheese.
So why should you consider grating your own cheese? For starters, freshly grated cheese melts more evenly. Pre-packaged cheese slices or shreds often have additives to prevent sticking which can affect how they melt and even their taste. Freshly grated cheese doesn't have these issues, so it'll give you a beautiful, smooth melt every time.
The flavor is another significant factor here. Fresh cheese is always more flavorful than pre-packaged cheese. When you freshly grate cheese, you're releasing all those locked-in, mouth-watering flavors, allowing you to fully appreciate all its complexities. Conversely, pre-packaged cheese often tastes flat in comparison.
Then there is the versatility. When you grate your own cheese, you're not bound by the limitations of grocery store options. You can choose from a wider variety of cheeses and even combine different ones for a unique flavor profile for your turkey sandwich.
Lastly, let's not forget about cost-effectiveness. Whole blocks of cheese are almost always cheaper per ounce than pre-packaged, pre-grated cheese. So, if you're watching your grocery budget but don't want to skimp on taste, freshly grated cheese is the way to go.
Next time you're adding cheese to your turkey sandwich, give freshly grated cheese a try. I promise, once you've tasted the difference - there's no going back.
How to Balance Flavors in Your Turkey and Cheese Sandwich?
Mastering the art of the turkey sandwich involves more than just slapping together bread, cheese, and turkey. It's about striking that perfect balance of flavors that delights the taste buds and makes every bite an exciting gustatory adventure.
When it comes to turkey and cheese, their flavor profiles can vary widely. For instance, the turkey tends to be mild and subtle, while the cheese can either be sharp like cheddar, mellow like Monterey Jack, or creamy like provolone. Moreover, there can be a huge difference in flavor depending on whether the turkey is smoked or oven-roasted. Besides, the texture plays a huge role too.
To ensure balance, it's crucial to consider three basic taste elements: sweet, salty, and tangy. The mildness of turkey is flawlessly interrupted by the saltiness of the cheese. At the same time, adding something sweet like cranberry sauce or honey mustard can provide a contrast to the salty cheese and lean turkey, finishing off with a tangy pickle or sauerkraut to awaken your senses. And let's not forget about the crunch of lettuce or cucumber, which introduces a new textural element and freshness.
In terms of bread, remember that it's not just a carrier for the fillings. Your choice of bread can affect the overall flavor. A soft brioche introduces a hint of sweetness while a classic whole-grain bread provides a hearty, nutty flavor that compliments the richness of the cheese.
Lastly, don't forget about the condiments. Whether it's mayo, mustard, or a specialty aioli, these can amplify flavors and bring a moist edge to the sandwich.
Why Pairing Cheese and Turkey is a Classic Combination?
Isn't it fascinating how the mild, lean turkey tastes so good with a variety of cheeses? It has to do with the principle of flavor contrast. When two food items with contrasting flavors are put together, they enhance each other's taste. This is why cheese and turkey is a timeless, classic combination.
For starters, turkey has a neutral, but enticing flavor that pairs well with a wide range of cheeses. On the other hand, cheese can be sharp, tangy, nutty, or creamy. The savory depth of cheese complements the mild flavor of turkey, creating a pleasing contrast that tastes oh-so-good.
Consequently, turkey with its flexible flavor profile offers a unique opportunity to experiment with different kinds of cheese. You can play with the sharpness of cheddar, the creaminess of brie, or the smokiness of gouda. The opportunities are virtually endless, and the results are always spectacularly delicious.
In essence, turkey acts as a canvas that allows the diverse flavors of different cheeses to shine through—this timeless combination tickles your food-loving soul and keeps you asking for more.
Now that you're aware of how to balance the flavors and why turkey and cheese are such a classic combo, you're all set to level up your sandwich game. Feel free to experiment with different turkey-and-cheese pairings and discover your ultimate gourmet sandwich. Remember, food is all about exploring and having fun!
Why a Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwich is Irresistible?
There's something genuinely special about a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich. The warmth, the gooey, melted cheese, the toasty bread, and the slightly smoky flavor all combine to create something truly fantastic. Let's unfold exactly why it stands as an irresistible staple in our lunchtime repertoire.
The Transformation of Flavor and Texture
Firstly, grilling transforms the sandwich from a simple combination of ingredients into a complete, harmonious dish. The heat permeates all the layers, giving the bread an appealingly crisp, golden crust, while also enhancing the flavors and textures inside the sandwich. Turkey, already flavor-packed meat, elevates onto a new level of deliciousness as it warms, taking on a more tender texture that pairs wonderfully with melted cheese.
Melted Cheese - A Pleasure Trigger
The cheese is, of course, the star of the show in a grilled sandwich. As it heats, it softens and spreads, melding with the turkey and acting as a delicious glue that holds the ingredients together. Research states that the creamy, molten texture of melted cheese triggers pleasure sensors in our brains, releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter often called the "feel-good hormone". This is definitely part of the allure of this scrumptious dish.
The Impact of Bread Choice
The choice of bread also plays an indispensable role. The grilling process caramelizes the sugars in the bread, adding a slight sweetness to the overall taste. A good crusty bread like sourdough or ciabatta becomes irresistibly crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside.
An All-Round Experience
At the end of the day, a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich is not just about the flavors and textures; it's an experience. Think about the sizzle as the sandwich hits the griddle, the tantalizing aroma that fills your kitchen, and the first warm, comforting, oozing bite. Now that's why it's irresistible!
From the flavorful turkey, and the golden crusty bread, to the rich, melt-in-your-mouth cheese, a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich is a tasteful delight that owes its charm to a magical mixture of transformed flavors, textured balance, and a sensory experience that is impossible to resist.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Which cheese has the best melting properties for a turkey sandwich?
Gouda and Monterey Jack cheeses are known for their excellent melting properties, making them perfect for a warm, melty turkey sandwich.
Why should I grate my own cheese instead of buying pre-shredded packages?
Pre-packaged shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents that can affect the taste, texture, and melting ability of the cheese. Freshly grated cheese does not have those additives and tends to taste fresher and melt better.
Can I mix different types of cheese in my turkey sandwich?
Definitely! Mixing different kinds of cheese can add complexity to your sandwich. Just be sure the flavors of your chosen cheeses complement each other and the turkey.
How important is the order of ingredients in my sandwich?
Ingredient order can actually make a big difference in how your sandwich tastes. For example, placing cheese next to bread can prevent the bread from becoming soggy from other ingredients.
Can I use cheese in my vegan turkey sandwich?
Yes, numerous brands offer vegan cheeses made from a variety of plant foods including nuts, soy, and root vegetables.
I’m lactose intolerant. Can I still add cheese to my turkey sandwich?
Definitely! There are several types of low-lactose or lactose-free cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan. Beyond that, there's a world of lactose-free alternatives made from almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk.
Are there any cheeses I should avoid in my turkey sandwich?
Preferably, strong, pungent cheeses like blue cheese can overpower the turkey. Mild to medium cheeses tend to work better. Ultimately, it's all about your personal preference!
How can I store my cheese to ensure it tastes fresh when I use it?
Most cheese should be stored in the refrigerator, ideally in the vegetable drawer where the temperature is cool and steady. Avoid tightly wrapping cheese in plastic; instead use cheese paper, parchment paper, or wax paper.
Why does lettuce make my sandwich taste better?
Lettuce adds a refreshing, crunchy texture to your sandwich that contrasts perfectly with the creaminess of cheese and the softness of turkey. The slight bitterness and juiciness can also balance out any richness of the cheese.
Why do my grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches taste so good?
Grilled sandwiches are irresistible because the heat caramelizes the sugars in the bread, resulting in a sweet, toasty flavor. The heat also melts the cheese, enhancing its flavor and creating a heavenly creamy texture.
So there you have it, a spotlight on some of the best cheeses to take your turkey sandwich from good to mind-blowingly delicious. It's quite a delight to see how each of these cheeses, with their unique flavors and textures, marry so beautifully with turkey. The journey doesn't stop here, though. There are still plenty of cheese varieties out there for you to discover and pair with your favorite turkey sandwich.
Remember, the perfect cheese not only elevates your sandwich but also provides an opportunity to explore a fusion of global flavors right in your kitchen. Each bite of your turkey sandwich can be a trip to a different place, whether it's the Swiss Alps with a slice of Emmental or a voyage to Italy accompanied by Provolone. Turn your sandwich-making into a culinary adventure by trying these fabulous cheeses. After all, there's no limit to the exploration of taste. Happy tasting!