Turkey-Swiss Sloppy Joe

October  4, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes 2 sandwiches
Author Notes

This sloppy joe is native to New Jersey, where the term—elsewhere reserved for tomato saucy ground meat on a bun—means something different entirely. Here, it is a cold, triple-decker, rye bread sandwich, stacked high with meat, cheese, cabbage slaw, and so much Russian dressing. I like turkey and Swiss, but feel free to sub in your favorites, from roast beef with cheddar to ham with provolone. —Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Have You Met the Other Sloppy Joe? —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage (packed)
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons minced bread-and-butter pickles
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Unsalted butter, softened, for smearing
  • 6 slices NY deli-style rye bread (as thin as possible)
  • Sliced turkey, roasted or smoked
  • Sliced Swiss cheese
  • Pickles, for serving
  1. Toss the cabbage with a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Let hang out while you make the Russian dressing: Combine the mayo, minced pickles, and ketchup in another small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add just enough Russian dressing to the cabbage to wilt, like a coleslaw.
  2. Build the sandwiches. Butter the bread slices so that all sides facing the interior of the sandwich are taken care of (so, the top and bottom slices of bread will be buttered on one side; the middle will be buttered on both). Stack in this order: bread, turkey, Swiss, Russian slaw, more Russian for good measure, bread, turkey, Swiss, Russian slaw, more Russian for good measure, bread. Slice in half and serve with a pickle.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Austin Burges
    Austin Burges
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • Alison
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

3 Reviews

Alison March 1, 2018
as a native of northern NJ (although I have been an ex-pat for many years, living in the Rockies), I am delighted to see a recipe for the classic sandwich that my family got from the "Town Hall Deli". The traditional version had tongue in it, but turkey would be fine (and easier). I will definitely make this for old times' sake, but I remember it as very tasty.
Austin B. February 27, 2018
Isn't this just a Rachel (Turkey Reuben)?
Emma L. February 28, 2018
Hi Austin! Similar, but not quite. A Rachel is pressed (so, served hot), can be made with sauerkraut or coleslaw, and only has two slices of bread.