Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pulled BBQ Turkey Sandwich (CEIMB)

I think I died and went to BBQ heaven. Seriously.

I had a bit of trepidation about this week's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe, as many people commented that the recipe didn't have enough flavor. Taking this into account, I tweaked the ingredients to add a bit more zing and sweetness - I reduced the molasses and water, added honey and red pepper flakes. I also slightly increased the ratio of liquid smoke. And I don't know if it was my tweaks, or what, but there was so much flavor in this sandwich, I don't even know what to say.

This BBQ sauce is packed with spice and smokiness. I am officially a convert to the magic of liquid smoke. I bought the bottle just for this recipe, thinking I'd probably never use it again, but I was soooo wrong. I can foresee all sorts of recipes featuring liquid smoke in the future.

The original recipe called for a rotisserie chicken, but I opted for a roasted turkey breast, since both my husband and I steer away from brown chicken meat, and I thought this way I could use the entire thing and not waste any of it. It made the sandwich feel a little bit extra special, and I think come Thanksgiving time we should all remember this recipe for using the leftover turkey meat. You can certainly use chicken meat here if you prefer.

I can't say enough about the beautiful flavor combination in this sauce. Please, just try it. Words cannot express how good it is.

Pulled BBQ Turkey Sandwich
adapted from Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger (2008)
serves 3


2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 roast turkey breast, skin removed, shredded into thin strips (about 2 cups)
3 whole wheat hamburger buns
3 large green lettuce leaves


1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, honey, water, vinegar, molasses, pepper, liquid smoke, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add the shredded turkey meat and stir to combine well. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Serve on buns with lettuce leaves.



  1. Oh my, this sounds wonderful!

  2. so happy to hear you liked this one, it has been a favorite of mine. Liquid smoke is a great thing. I bought it a while back for another bbq sauce and loved it too. :)