Smoked Turkey Barbecue Sandwiches Recipe

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Smoked turkey stands in well for barbecued pork in a Carolina-style sandwich. The hot, vinegary sauce adds moisture to reheated turkey, which makes for some very fine drippings over coleslaw.

Carolina-style barbecue sauce recipe comes from Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are. The recipe makes more than you need; leftover sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for months.

Why this recipe works:

  • Smoked turkey works as a leaner and smokier stand-in for pulled pork while preserving the sandwich's flavors.
  • Our coleslaw delivers cool crunch without watering down the sandwich.

Recipe Facts



Active: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Makes: 8 sandwiches

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  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound smoked turkey, pulled or chopped
  • 8 steamed or toasted potato rolls (such as Martin's)
  • Creamy cole slaw


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together cider vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, and salt until sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside to rest for at least 20 minutes.

  2. Heat turkey in a microwave or in a foil-covered skillet in the oven or toaster oven until warmed through. Transfer turkey to a bowl. Add sauce a few tablespoons at a time, tossing with your hands after each addition and tasting until desired level of acidity and heat is achieved.

  3. Split open potato rolls, add a small handful of turkey, then a small handful of cole slaw. Serve immediately.

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