Skip to Content

Turkey Pesto Sandwich

This simple baked turkey pesto sandwich on ciabatta is loaded with roasted red pepper, spinach, Havarti cheese, and more and takes just 25-minutes to prepare.

Two halves of a pesto turkey sandwich on a black plate with a towel and knife.

Jessica Halverstadt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What’s to love about this recipe?

  • The sandwiches are loaded! These sandwiches are layered with so much goodness it’s difficult to keep it all contained between the two halves of the ciabatta roll. They’ve got pesto, roasted red pepper, turkey, Havarti cheese, spinach, red onion, and sliced tomato. You best be hungry if you plan to indulge in this beast of a sandwich.
  • It’s simple! By the looks of this sandwich, you may be thinking it’s a bit complicated BUT it’s not!!! While you could make your own pesto which would require a bit more effort, purchasing pesto from the store is perfectly acceptable and gives you one less thing to worry about. Other than that, all you have to do is process the roasted red peppers, assemble the sandwiches, and throw ’em in the oven. The whole process takes only 25-minutes and most of that is hands-off.
  • It can be served warm or cold! Although I highly recommend baking this sandwich so the cheese is melted, the turkey is hot, and the bread is nice and toasty, you could certainly eat it cold – it would still be tasty!
Plate of sandwiches.

Ingredients + notes & substitutions

Ingredients for turkey pesto sandwich (see recipe card).
  • Roasted red peppers: What you’re looking for here is the jarred variety of roasted red bell peppers. The peppers are preserved in an acidic brine which alters the flavor a bit as compared to freshly roasted red peppers. Although you could certainly roast the peppers yourself, for ease I recommend you just pick some up from the store. You can typically find them in the section with the olives and pickles.
  • Ciabatta rolls: Hailing from Italy, Ciabatta, is a chewy white bread with a crisp exterior. If you’re unable to find ciabatta rolls, sourdough is comparable, making it the best alternative.
  • Basil pesto: You can use store-bought or make your own. If you do purchase it, make sure it is made with quality ingredients. I realize it may be tempting to buy an inexpensive jar of pesto but for best results, I encourage you to splurge a little bit on this ingredient.
  • Oven-roasted deli turkey: I experimented with different varieties of deli turkey and by far preferred the oven-roasted. Feel free, however, to use whichever kind you desire.
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Sliced tomato: In my opinion, the best slicing tomatoes for a sandwich are beefsteak, black krim, or Cherokee purple as they are juicy and have lots of flavor.
  • Havarti cheese: Havarti is a semi-soft, Danish, cow’s milk cheese that is creamy and subtle in flavor. It melts gloriously and has buttery and slightly acidic and sweet notes.
  • Sliced red onion: Because every sandwich needs some onions for both flavor and a bit of crunch.

How do you make this turkey pesto sandwich? + tips

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Process the roasted red peppers without the brine in a food processor fit with a blade attachment. Once processed, transfer to a strainer over the sink to drain the excess liquid.
Processed roasted red bell pepper.

3. Spread all four halves of the ciabatta with pesto.

4. Top the two bottom halves with the roasted red pepper.

5. Layer on the turkey followed by spinach, Havarti cheese, tomato, and red onion; crown with the top half of the ciabatta roll.

Process shot compilation of sandwich construction.
Process shot compilation of sandwich construction.

6. Place the sandwiches on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Serve warm.

How to store

These sandwiches are best enjoyed fresh but may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.

Baked sandwiches on sheet pan.
Close-up of turkey pesto sandwich cut in half.

More sandwich recipes you may like:

  • Chicken Caprese Panini: A summer favorite; this chicken caprese panini includes grilled chicken, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, artisan bread brushed with basil oil, and a balsamic drizzle.
  • Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese w/ Pesto, Asparagus, & Spinach: Enjoy fresh spring vegetables like asparagus and spinach with this goat cheese grilled cheese sandwich with pesto. It’s simple to prepare in less than twenty minutes and vegetarian-friendly.
  • Turkey Avocado Sandwich: This simple and refreshing turkey avocado sandwich is layered with chive cream cheese, mashed avocado, turkey, and plenty of fresh veggies including sprouts, cucumber, and red onion.

If you make this turkey pesto sandwich I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Plate of sandwiches.

Turkey Pesto Sandwich

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This simple baked turkey pesto sandwich on ciabatta is loaded with roasted red pepper, spinach, Havarti cheese, and more and takes just 25-minutes to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces roasted red pepper, the jarred variety, 
  • 2 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half horizontally 
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto 
  • 2/3 pound sliced oven roasted deli turkey
  • Handful baby spinach 
  • Sliced tomato
  • 2 ounces or about 4 deli sandwich slices Havarti cheese
  • Sliced red onion

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Process the roasted red peppers without the brine in a food processor fit with a blade attachment. Transfer to a strainer to drain the excess liquid.
  3. Spread all four halves of the ciabatta with pesto.
  4. Top the two bottom halves with the roasted red pepper.
  5. Layer on the turkey followed by spinach, tomato, Havarti cheese, and red onion; crown with the top half of the ciabatta.
  6. Place the sandwiches on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Serve warm.

Storage: These sandwiches are best enjoyed fresh but may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

marilyn hall

Tuesday 8th of June 2021

Oh my gosh! We had these for supper tonight and they were to die for! I used canned chicken as that's all I had but it worked out fine. Thanks for the recipe!

Jessica Halverstadt

Thursday 10th of June 2021

So glad to hear that! Thanks for trying the recipe!

Skip to Recipe