Hot Turkey Sandwich Recipe with Black Pepper California Fig Jam

This hot turkey sandwich recipe features making jam with brown sugar and sweet Sun-Maid Calimyrna Figs (though you can also use Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice Golden Figs too). These golden figs meld perfectly with the fruity notes of black pepper and balances out the tang from the mustard. It’s easy making jam with brown sugar and this Calimyrna Fig jam would be perfect on a cheese board, on crackers for an easy appetizer or spread on toast with ricotta. If you don’t have a panini press, this sandwich can be made on a skillet, the same way you’d make a grilled cheese, using a spatula to press down on the sandwich to help melt the cheese. Any way you slice it this hot turkey sandwich recipe is destined to hit your panini press often!

Hot Turkey Sandwich Recipe with Black Pepper California Fig 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
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.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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