Our gluten-free Hot Turkey Club Sandwich Casserole makes leftover turkey a real treat!
Imagine the layers of a turkey club sandwich—turkey, bacon, tomato, cheese—layered in a deep dish, covered in an egg custard, and baked golden brown.
The first time I made this Turkey Club Sandwich Casserole for an Emeril cookbook promotion, I immediately thought of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner leftovers. Many families prepare turkey and ham during the holidays, and the original recipe incorporates both.
I skipped the ham in this version, but it is simple to layer right on top of the turkey if you want. Making it gluten-free was straightforward, with a loaf of brown rice bread and sweet rice flour for the Béchamel sauce.
And leftovers taste amazing too. One daughter enjoyed the leftovers after work so much that she came into the office to proclaim, “I don’t know what you made last night, but it was GOOD!” Ah, music to our ears, the unsolicited delight of those we serve.
Turn a Turkey Club Sandwich into a Hot Casserole
The classic turkey club sandwich is piled high with turkey, bacon, tomato, cheese, lettuce, and mayo on three slices of bread.
There’s nothing wrong with a simple cold sandwich, but turning a turkey club sandwich into a hot casserole makes a warm and hearty breakfast or brunch entree.
This sandwich casserole recipe is a twist on the classic club layering all the essentials except the lettuce and mayo. Here we use bechamel to replace the mayonnaise and egg custard to hold it together.
The egg-soaked bread forms a crust over melted cheese and meats, reminiscent of the favorite lunchtime club sandwich, yet warm and satisfying. The hot, melty cheese and golden crust are for sure a bonus!
Adding a light salad or roasted asparagus to serve on the side stands in for the classic sandwich lettuce and makes a complete meal.
Lunchmeat or Leftover Roasted Turkey?
Roasted turkey lunchmeat or leftover roast turkey from a holiday meal work equally well in this casserole. Even smoked turkey meat tastes amazing too— just be sure to slice the turkey thin for the best results when cutting and serving.
Layering the Casserole Step by Step
- Spread 1 slice of bread spread with 1 tablespoon of the béchamel and lay in the bottom of the casserole dish (bechamel up)
- Layer each piece of bread with turkey
- Layer 1 or 2 slices of tomato
- Add a couple of pieces of the bacon (broken to fit the sandwich)
- Top with a second piece of the bread spread with béchamel (béchamel side down) on the top
- Pour the egg-cream mixture evenly over the assembled sandwiches; Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the casserole and place a second casserole dish on top of the paper to help the top crust make contact with the custard.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
- Bake at 350°F uncovered, until puffed and golden, 40 to 50 minutes
Recipe Variations and Tips
- Add sliced ham to the layered dish along with the turkey
- Add a few sun-dried tomatoes along with the fresh tomatoes
- Add a layer of caramelized onions
- Substitute gruyere or Swiss cheese for the cheddar
- Substitute basil pesto for the bechamel sauce
More Turkey Recipes You’ll Love
- Easy Brine Roasted Turkey
- Smoked Turkey Bean Soup
- Cranberry Avocado Turkey Sandwich
- Turkey Pot Pie
- Turkey Tetrazzini
Hot Turkey Club Sandwich Casserole [Gluten-Free]
FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE:
- 1 tablespoon butter , plus more to top of crust
- 1 tablespoon sweet rice flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- pinch sea salt — to taste
- pinch freshly ground white pepper
- pinch ground nutmeg
TO ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICHES:
- 8 slices gluten-free bread crust removed
- 1/2 pound thinly sliced turkey breast
- 2 medium tomatoes cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound bacon cooked until crisp
- 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
FOR THE EGG CUSTARD:
- 4 large large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard or stoneground, or Dijon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch ground nutmeg
FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE:
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in the sweet rice flour and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 1 to 2 minutes; do not allow to brown.
- While whisking constantly, add the milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook the mixture, stirring, until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and transfer to a small heat-resistant bowl. Place a piece of parchment paper on the surface of the béchamel and then set aside to cool. NOTE: Leftover bechamel can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen to add to soups or stews.
ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICHES:
- Grease the bottom and side of a 8X8-inch glass baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the crusts off the bread so that the slices fit into the dish in a single layer without overlapping. Assemble 4 sandwiches by layering the ingredients this way: 1 slice of bread spread with 1 tablespoon of the béchamel laid in the bottom of the casserole dish (bechamel up); top with 1-ounce turkey, 1 slice of tomato, and bacon (broken to fit the sandwich), and 1 slice of cheese; finish with a second piece of the bread spread with béchamel (béchamel side down) on the top. Brush the top of the bread with butter. (There should be 4 sandwiches in an 8×8-inch dish.)
FOR THE EGG CUSTARD:
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, salt, mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg.
- Pour the egg-cream mixture evenly over the top of the assembled sandwiches. Place a piece of the parchment paper on top of the casserole and place a second casserole dish on top of the paper to help the top crust make contact with the custard. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. The bread should absorb most of the egg mixture.
- Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and place in the oven on the center rack. Turn on the oven to 350°F and bake the casserole, uncovered, until puffed and golden, 40 to 50 minutes. (It will take the oven a little extra time to come to temp with the cold dish.)
- Once the top is golden brown and the egg custard is set, remove from the oven and cool briefly before serving.
Emeril demonstrated this recipe on the Rachael Ray Show, and she included the recipe on her site. To view the video and get the original recipe: Emeril’s Turkey Club Casserole Recipe
John / Kitchen Riffs says
What a fun idea! A tasty one, too. Gotta try this — thanks.
Jessica K says
Do you think this could be made a freezer meal?
Judy Purcell says
Hi Jessica, Yes, I do think you could make this as a freezer meal, though I haven’t done so myself. Uncooked eggs are pretty stable in the freezer, especially when mixed with other things. I anticipate the bread will soak up more of the egg mixture as it sits longer before baking which I believe will give it a softer texture when baked. Make sure it is completely thawed in the fridge before baking (give it 1-2 days, depending on the depth of the dish). And for sure let me know how it goes! 🙂
Can the Turkey Club Casserole be made a day ahead
Hmm, the recipe indicates “up to” 2 hours for the egg-cream mixture be refrigerated once it is poured over the sandwiches. I think you could assemble the sandwiches the day before and then put the egg-cream mixture on the following day, following the rest of the recipe from there.
Tara Evans says
Wow, after seeing a pic of this, now I want to make it! I think I just read the title and thought, “eh… I think I’ll make something a little more interesting than a turkey club, but thanks anyway Emeril.” haha… Now that I see how it’s put together and how beautifully it presents on the plate – I love this idea! Thanks for making this one 🙂
This looks great! It’s so interesting to make sandwiches in a casserole! Love the idea of the egg soak… kind of like a Monte Cristo in a sense 🙂
I know some folks who might like this after Thanksgiving! Nice touch with the asparagus.
The Elegant Eggplant says
What an amazing idea! I cant wait to get Emeril’s book… I need more one pot meals in my life, especially in my dishwasher-less apt 🙂
Hannah (BitterSweet) says
Wow… This is kind of a mind-blowing concept to me. A baked sandwich casserole. I’m so intrigued! It seems like the perfect thing to prep in advance and serve to a crowd, perhaps for the holidays….
A buck twenty-five says
This looks like a great and simple recipe! I hadn’t even connected using the holiday meal leftovers. Such a great idea.
Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray says
This one looked so good–but I was a little scared off by what must be an off the charts calorie count! I bet it tastes amazing though!
Chris @ TheKeenanCookbook says
This looks really good! We make a Reuben casserole, similar idea, so I think we’d love this. You really can’t beat one pot wonders, both for simplicity and taste 🙂
Donna Currie says
Great that you were able to make it gluten free!
Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide says
I’m seriously salivating!
Savory Simple says
This looks fantastic!
That step by step process makes me hungry, great recipe!
Looks amazing! And definitely inspiring!
This looks incredible, just incredible. Nice one!