The Ultimate Guide to Pairing Cheese with Turkey: A Delicious Culinary Journey

I’m a huge fan of turkey sandwiches. I enjoy them best with lots of mayo, fresh bread, and flavorful cheese.

I’m the one who makes a large sandwich with leftover turkey and cranberry sauce the day after Thanksgiving. That’s really the perfect way to use Thanksgiving leftovers.

However, I try to think of ways to incorporate beloved American dishes into Italian recipes here at Mortadella Head.

It’s made with a really nice deli style turkey. The same kind you usually get on a turkey sub.

When making a tasty turkey sandwich, there are a plethora of cheese options to select from.

I believe I created the ideal sandwich after experimenting with a few different kinds of cheese.

It was the greatest turkey sandwich the man who fixes our deli slicer has ever had, he told me. And throughout the years, he has visited numerous delis.

It’s easy enough to throw together for a quick lunch, but it’s also impressive enough to feed a large gathering of loved ones.

The harmonious pairing of cheese and turkey is a culinary masterpiece, a symphony of flavors that tantalizes the taste buds and leaves a lasting impression. Whether you’re crafting a festive Thanksgiving feast, assembling a delectable sandwich, or simply seeking a delightful snack, understanding the nuances of cheese and turkey pairing can elevate your culinary experience to new heights.

Understanding the Flavor Profiles

Turkey: Turkey boasts a mild, slightly sweet flavor with a delicate texture. Its versatility allows it to be enjoyed in various forms from roasted and sliced to ground and incorporated into dishes.

Cheese: The world of cheese offers a vast array of flavors and textures, each with its unique characteristics. From the creamy richness of Brie to the sharp bite of Cheddar, the possibilities are endless.

Matching Flavors for a Perfect Pairing

The key to a successful cheese and turkey pairing lies in finding complementary flavors. Here are some guidelines to help you navigate the world of cheese and turkey combinations:

Mild Cheeses:

  • Brie: This creamy, buttery cheese melts beautifully, adding a luxurious touch to turkey sandwiches and platters.
  • Gouda: Gouda’s mild, slightly sweet flavor pairs well with smoked turkey, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
  • Gruyere: This nutty, slightly salty cheese melts beautifully over grilled turkey, enhancing its savory notes.
  • Monterey Jack: Monterey Jack’s mild, buttery flavor complements roasted turkey, especially when melted over the meat.
  • Parmesan: This sharp, salty, and nutty cheese adds a delightful depth of flavor to cold turkey, especially when grated over the meat.
  • Provolone: Provolone’s mild, creamy, and slightly salty flavor pairs well with roasted turkey, particularly when melted over the meat.

Medium-Intensity Cheeses:

  • Cheddar: Cheddar’s sharp, salty flavor complements the richness of turkey, especially when melted over the meat.
  • Havarti: Havarti’s mild, buttery flavor with a hint of sweetness pairs well with both roasted and smoked turkey.
  • Swiss: Swiss cheese’s nutty, slightly salty flavor adds a unique dimension to turkey sandwiches and platters.

Strong-Intensity Cheeses:

  • Blue Cheese: Blue cheese’s tangy, salty flavor adds a bold counterpoint to the richness of turkey, creating a complex and intriguing flavor profile.
  • Gorgonzola: Gorgonzola’s pungent, creamy texture and sharp flavor pair well with roasted turkey, adding a touch of sophistication to the dish.
  • Stilton: Stilton’s intense, pungent flavor is best enjoyed with smoked turkey, creating a memorable flavor combination.

Additional Pairing Considerations

  • Texture: Consider the texture of both the cheese and the turkey. A creamy cheese pairs well with a tender turkey, while a harder cheese complements a drier turkey.
  • Temperature: Serve the cheese at the same temperature as the turkey. If you’re serving a warm turkey, the cheese should be warm as well. If you’re serving a cold turkey, the cheese should be cold as well.
  • Accompaniments: Consider the other flavors in your dish when choosing a cheese. For example, if you’re serving cranberry sauce with your turkey, a sharp cheddar cheese would be a good choice.

Recipes for Delicious Cheese and Turkey Pairings

Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches:

  • Spread mayonnaise on two slices of bread.
  • Layer turkey slices, cheese, lettuce, and tomato on one slice of bread.
  • Top with the other slice of bread.
  • Cut the sandwich in half and enjoy!

Turkey and Cheese Casserole:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Brown ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add chopped onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and celery and cook until softened.
  • Stir in condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk, grated cheddar cheese, and bread crumbs.
  • Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Turkey and Cheese Platter:

  • Arrange a variety of cheeses, such as Brie, Gouda, Swiss, Cheddar, and Goat Cheese, on a platter.
  • Add sliced turkey, crackers, bread, and fruit.
  • Serve with a selection of chutneys, jams, and mustards.

Pairing cheese with turkey is an art form that allows you to explore a world of flavor combinations. By understanding the flavor profiles of different cheeses and turkeys, considering the texture and temperature, and experimenting with various accompaniments, you can create culinary masterpieces that will impress your guests and tantalize your taste buds. So, embark on a delicious journey of cheese and turkey pairings, and discover the perfect combinations that will elevate your culinary experience.

How to Make the Best Turkey and Cheese Sandwich

I started off by making my pesto mayo. I simply mixed together mayonnaise basil pesto.

I then used a spoon to stir it around until it was thoroughly combined.

Then I cut my sub roll into 2 pieces. The top and the bottom.

I covered the two halves of the sub roll with mayo. I made sure there was plenty of mayo on each piece of bread.

I prefer mayo to be spread on the side of each piece of bread.

​My next step was to slice the cheese. I like to slice it fresh because I have a slicer in the Mortadella Head kitchen.

I covered the bottom roll with lots of cheese.

The next thing I did was slice the turkey.

Since it’s the best method, I sliced it very thin. I loaded piles of turkey onto the bread.

If prepared properly, the thin turkey slices will be fluffy and delicious.

I took the mixed greens and evenly topped the turkey with them. I drizzled on some of the red wine vinaigrette.

I cut the tomato into slices and arranged them atop the greens. I made sure the tomato slices were evenly distributed.

Lastly, I added plenty of salt, black pepper, and olive oil to season everything.

The Best Cheese for A Turkey Sandwich FAQs

Almost any deli turkey can be used to make this sandwich. You can use turkey breast that has been smoked, peppered, or herbaceous.

Easy Turkey and Cheese Melt…with Amazing Sauce..Mighty Fine


Which cheese is best with turkey?

A turkey sandwich could use provolone, or havarti, or Muenster, or Swiss or American, or gouda —aka, any mild cheese, if you don’t want the cheese to be intrusive. Or you could use stilton or bleu or chèvre, or any pungent cheese to make you take notice of it.

Is turkey better with Swiss or provolone?

Really, most any of the “harder” (a cheese that will hold its shape after cutting: one that doesn’t “crumble” like Feta and ‘Blue Cheese will pair well with turkey. Personally, I prefer white cheeses like Swiss, Gouda, Brie, Havarti, Muenster, Provolone, Mozzarella, white cheddar, and others.

Is turkey and cheese a good combo?

These hot turkey & cheese is the perfect upgraded lunch or even dinner! Especially in summer when you want dinner to be quick & easy! This sandwich is loaded with turkey, melty cheese, tomato, and the most delicious sauce. We paired it with a lightly dressed salad for a perfect meal!

What cheese goes with Turkey?

What cheese goes with turkey ? The best cheese for turkey is usually a mild cheese, like Gouda, Edam, Colby, Havarti, Swiss, or even Muenster. If you want to taste the cheese more, you can use an aged, pungent cheese like Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Asiago, or you can go for a blue cheese.

Can one have turkey and carrots?

Eating turkey and carrots is part of healthy habits. The turkey has meat like chicken and is another healthy poultry option. Carrots are rich in carotenoids, it is a source of vitamin A, fiber, potassium and vitamin B3.

What is the best cheese for a turkey sandwich?

The best cheese for turkey is usually a mild cheese, like Gouda, Edam, Colby, Havarti, Swiss, or even Muenster. If you want to taste the cheese more, you can use an aged, pungent cheese like Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Asiago, or you can go for a blue cheese. There are really two ways you can make a turkey sandwich, and both are up to you.

Should I use a mild cheese for my Turkey?

We recommend you use a mild cheese if your turkey is really flavorful or smoky. It’s a strong flavor and adding strong cheese will only crowd everything. So here’s what we recommend. Gouda, Edam, Colby, Monterey Jack, Havarti, Swiss, American, Muenster are all mild cheeses.

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