Hot Turkey Sandwich Recipe with Fig Black Pepper Jam

Hot Turkey Sandwich Recipe with Fig Black Pepper Jam

This hot turkey sandwich recipe is an easy upgrade on a classic filling by adding in a fruit jam. Making jam with brown sugar brings a figgy flavor to a sizzling sandwich.

Making jam with brown sugar is easy and delicious in a California Fig jam with black pepper that adds a bit of spice to this hot turkey sandwich recipe.

Making Jam with Brown Sugar

Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs add a punch of sweetness with just enough heat from black pepper. Grinding the black pepper as soon as you need it ensures the potency of the spice giving it a pop of piquant flavor. Use our Mission Dried Figs for a more intense, deep sweetness or try our Golden Dried Figs for a milder, nutty flavor. Making jam with brown sugar deepens the caramel notes in this quick jam and is our pick over using granulated sugar.

What Else Can You Do With Fig Pepper Jam

Dried Figs meld perfectly with the fruity notes of black pepper, balancing out the tang from the mustard in this hot turkey sandwich recipe, but don’t stop there. The peppery fig jam would be perfect on a cheese board, spread over cream cheese to serve with crackers for an easy appetizer, or as a toast topping with ricotta. Then again, you could thin out the jam a bit for a sauce to simmer hors d’ouevre meatballs.

Heat Up Your Sandwich Game

If you don’t have a panini press, this hot turkey sandwich recipe can be made in a skillet—the same way you’d make a grilled cheese, using a spatula to press down on it to help melt the cheese. Any way you slice it, as long as you have the ingredients on hand, it’s easy to make this hot turkey sandwich recipe whenever the craving strikes (or even when you need to feed a large group. It’s the kind of lunch that’s easy and destined to hit your panini press often!

Hot Turkey Sandwich Recipe with Black Pepper California Fig Jam

What can make a turkey sandwich recipe simple but adds flavor? Quick homemade black pepper fig jam! Our simple turkey sandwich recipe is then panini-pressed.
turkey panini with black pepper jam
Servings 4 people


  • 6 ounces Sun-Maid California Calimyrna Figs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 3/4 pound sliced turkey chicken or ham
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Butter


  • Make the jam: add the figs, water, sugar, pepper, and salt into a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Uncover, and let sit for 5 minutes before processing in a food processor or blender until a chunky jam/chutney mixture starts to form.
  • Make the paninis: spread a thin layer of the fig jam on 4 slices of bread followed by about 1/4 cup of cheese, 1/2 cup of the baby arugula, a quarter of the sliced meat and then another 1/4 cup of the cheese. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise and mustard on the other 4 slices of bread. Then, top the sandwiches with those pieces of bread, buttering the tops of the bread. Place buttered side down in a panini press and butter the other side. Press according to the directions on the panini press (I pressed mine for about 4 1/2 minutes).


Recipe and photos by Esteban Castillo

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