As the weather grows cooler, we begin to crave heartier foods and warmer flavors to replace refreshing flavors of summer. From apples and pumpkins to turkey with cranberry sauce, there are so many ways to create fall-inspired dishes, and many are healthy too! Try some of these fall sandwich recipes to really embrace the autumn season.
Pumpkin turkey burger
This recipe, inspired by food blog Lunch Box Bunch, combines the sweetness of maple and pumpkin with salty, savory turkey and fresh mushrooms for a melt-in-your-mouth treat.
Ingredients (makes two)
- 1/2 pound ground turkey
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 slices Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh arugula
- 2 whole wheat rolls
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine, but fresh works too if you have it)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (get the real stuff if possible)
- olive oil
- salt, pepper and pumpkin spice (optional)
First, you’ll need to whip up the pumpkin butter. Combine the pumpkin puree and maple syrup with 2 teaspoons olive oil and a dash of salt. The blog recommended sprinkling some pumpkin spice into the mixture for even more flavor as well, but it’s not necessary. Then, microwave the blend for 30 seconds and stir it well. You’ll have leftovers that you can use to enhance other foods, such as pancakes and muffins.
Form two patties with the turkey meat, adding any salt and pepper to taste. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry your turkey burgers until they’re cooked through. Use a meat thermometer to check that the middle is at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit. While the burgers are cooking, drizzle some olive oil over the mushrooms and stir them up until they’re evenly coated. You can sautée them if you want, but they’re just as good fresh. Toast the buns and spread some pumpkin butter on each side, then layer your burger, cheese, mushrooms and arugula on top and enjoy.
Apple and cheese melts
These are very easy to make, and completely customizable. Simply get your favorite bread, some Fuji or Granny Smith apples, and your favorite cheese. Brie and cheddar both work especially well, since their creamy flavors contrast with the bite of the apple, and sourdough crisps up especially nicely when grilled, but it’s up to you to choose your ingredients. Just butter one side of each piece of bread, place one slice butter-side-down on a heated grill and layer thin slices of apples and cheese before topping with the other slice of bread. Cook for a few minutes on each side – long enough for the bread to get toasty and the cheese to melt.
Thanksgiving with a twist
For many Americans, the best part of Thanksgiving is making a way-too-big sandwich out of the leftovers the following day. If you can’t wait until the end of November to get your fix, try this panini recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma.
Ingredients (makes two)
- 4 slices thick-cut whole grain bread
- 4 ounces thinly sliced turkey breast
- 2 tablespoons cranberry chutney or relish
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons mayo (optional)
- 1/2 cup arugula
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat up your panini press while you prep the sandwiches. If you don’t have one, you can still make these grilled sandwiches. Get a large skillet out to cook your sandwiches on, and heat up a smaller one that you can use to literally press the tops down – just make sure the bottom of the pan is clean first.
To prep the sandwiches, spread the cranberry chutney on two slices, and the mayo, if you’re using it, on the other. Avocado is a great healthy alternative if you want the creaminess of mayo but are watching your calories. Then, layer turkey slices and cheese on the chutney-bread. Close the sandwiches, grill them and when they’re done, open them up to add some arugula for a fresh crunch.