This isn't exactly a copycat recipe of the Panera Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich, we improve on it by serving it hot and grilled!
Over the past few years, one of my favorite sandwiches to make at home has been the Panera Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich. Obviously, Panera knows what they are doing so the sandwich tastes great cold, as it is served in their restaurant, but I swear to you this popular Panera Bread sandwich is even better as a grilled sandwich! I'll show you how to make both.
What is it?
The Bacon turkey bravo sandwich is served as a cold sandwich at Panera Bread. It is one of their signature sandwiches. This popular deli sandwich features oven-roasted turkey and applewood smoked bacon on tomato basil bread, with smoked gouda, fresh emerald greens, and tomato. The sandwich is finished by dressing with their signature sauce.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Tomato Basil Bread - This needs to be purchased from Panera. Slices of Panera's tomato basil bread cannot be substituted if you wish to replicate the flavors at home. It is the secret ingredients that makes this work.
- Oven-roasted turkey breast deli meat
- Bacon - Use regular cut bacon for best results, rather than thick cut.
- Gouda cheese - Smoked Gouda cheese is the best choice if you can find it, otherwise regular slices of Gouda is the best alternative.
- Baby Spinach - You can substitute other fresh greens like argula or romaine lettuce.
- Vine riped tomato
- Caesar dressing - In leui of trying to recreate their signature sauce at home, Caesar dressing is a great pairing for this delicious sandwich. Thousand Island is a good substitution that will also pair well.
If you haven’t tried Panera's Tomato Basil Bread I highly recommend it. This soft loaf has the tart taste of tomato which is balanced nicely by the sweet taste of basil. But my favorite part is the top of the bread. The crust is coated in a deliciously sticky tomato basil spread! Oh, and you can buy entire loaves of it at Panera to make your own homemade Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich!
How to make it
Begin prepping to make your bacon turkey bravo Panera sandwich by cooking the bacon until crisp and warm the turkey deli meat in a skillet set over medium low heat. Alternatively, you can briefly heat the turkey meat in the microwave. If using a microwave, lay the deli meat in a single layer and microwave for 20 seconds or until warmed through.
Butter the exterior of the bread slices, then assemble the sandwich by adding the turkey meat, two slices of crispy bacon, and cheese. I assemble it in the skillet so I don't get butter all over.
Grill the sandwich in the skillet set over medium-low heat until both slices of bread is golden brown and toasted and the cheese has melted. You can add a cover on the skillet to help the cheese melt if needed.
Remove the sandwich from the skillet and open it up. Add your spinach, sliced tomatoes, and Caesar dressing. Close the sandwich, slice sandwich in half, and serve with a half sour pickle and tomato soup.
Customize this recipe
You can customize this sandwich however you would like. I often add sweet onion slices and swap out baby spinach for lettuce or arugula. Since they don’t share the recipe of their special sauce with me I think Caesar dressing is the perfect condiment for this sandwich, though mayo would certainly suffice, or spice things up with my chipotle mayo or hot sauce. Finally, you can eat this as a cold sandwich like it is served at Panera, or you can grill it up like a panini. I recommend the grilled sandwich.
Eating it as a cold sandwich doesn't require any special equipment. However, if you want to make it as a grilled sandwich, a panini press would make quick work of it. However, I prefer to use a good 12" nonstick skillet to brown each side of the sandwich.
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Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich - Panera Bread
- 1 Nonstick skillet or panini press
- 2 slices Tomato Basil Bread from Panera
- ¼ pound oven roasted turkey deli meat
- 2 slices bacon cooked
- 1 slice Gouda cheese
- 1 handful Baby Spinach
- 2 slices tomato
- 1 tablespoon Caesar dressing
- 1 tablespoon Butter divided
- Gently warm turkey meat in a skillet set over medium low heat, just until heated, not browned.
- Butter outside of two pieces of sliced bread.
- Assemble bread, turkey, strips of bacon, and cheese into a sandwich.
- Toast the exterior of the panini in the skillet, buttered side down, until it starts to brown.
- Flip the panini over and toast the other side as well.
- Remove from pan once both sides are toasted and the cheese has melted.
- Open up the sandwich and add spinach, tomato and Caesar dressing.
- Slice in half and serve.
You'd be closer to the bravo sauce using thousand island fyi... I work at panera...other than that pretty spot on and I agree about the toasting... good luck with the thousand island...
Fox Valley Foodie
Thanks for the tip!
This isn't close at all. The special ingredient is the Bravo Sauce, nothing else. Otherwise it's just a turkey club sandwich.