Here’s an epic way to use your Christmas leftovers – make a toasted bread bowl sandwich!
Perfect portable food, this is certainly not your average sandwich. Crispy and buttery on the outside, mine is stuffed with Christmas leftover ham, turkey, spinach, antipasto type things and cheese. But anything goes!
ANYTHING GOES IN THIS BREAD BOWL SANDWICH!
Christmas Leftovers are precious around these parts. It only rolls around once a year, and everyone in our family really makes an effort with their allocated dishes.
So quite often, you’ll find various family members sidling up to the leftover ham or whatever dish took their fancy in particular that year to pack themselves a generous quantity of it before all the remaining leftovers are shared out equally and fairly to everyone.
We’re shameless. 🤷🏻♀️
So. When it comes to consuming leftovers in any form other than reheating it as is, it needs to be worthy.
I promise – this bread bowl sandwich is worthy!
NOT YOUR USUAL SANDWICH!
This is somewhat different to your usual sandwich. I call it a bread bowl because it’s made by hollowing out a bread loaf (use the leftover bread for Meatballs!) then filling it with all manner of things (Christmas leftovers in this case) before popping the lid back on, weighing it down with something heavy (I use a cast iron skillet) then baking it until it’s toasty.
The bread bowl shape isn’t just a “hack”. It allows us to stuff this sandwich with way more things than you can between 2 slices of bread. It holds all that goodness in when we weigh it down while it bakes so all the flavours meld together and it makes the crust super crispy.
And if that wasn’t enough, did I mention that we brush it with garlic butter too?? Inside AND out! 🙂
THE FILLING: THERE ARE NO RULES
Anything goes here. Leftover ham, turkey, pork, roasted veg, cheese, fresh salads. You’re only restricted by your imagination!
I probably wouldn’t use medium rare cooked meats like Prime Rib or Roast Lamb because it seems like a bit of a shame to cook a meat to perfect blushing pink only to cook it through in this Bread Bowl Sandwich.
But other than that, I can’t think of many things that would make our Christmas table that I wouldn’t put inside a Bread Bowl Sandwich. See above the video for an extensive list of ideas!
TERRIFIC PORTABLE FOOD
This is the sandwich that I make to share with friends and family on international flights because it travels so well and is made for sharing. It’s one of those foods that’s terrific fresh out of the oven OR the next day because the flavours have had time to meld even more.
Granted, I don’t usually make this with Christmas Ham!! 😂 This special Christmas edition Bread Bowl Sandwich is a once a year thing. And to be honest, the video plus some of the photos had to be shot with deli turkey and ham because I ran out of leftovers from this years’ Glazed Ham and juicy Roast Turkey.
So usually, I make this Bread Bowl Sandwich with deli cold cuts. And actually, this recipe is based on an Italian sandwich called Muffuletta which is made the same way but usually using a round bread loaf and of course, Italian cold cuts and antipasto things.
Muffuletta’s seem to be all the rage at the moment. At least, here in Sydney. So you can feel very “cool” if you make this!! 😂 ~ Nagi x
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Christmas Leftovers Toasted Bread Bowl
- 1 round or oval bread loaf (Note 1)
- 300 g / 10 oz ham, turkey and other cooked meat slices
- 1 cup roughly chopped antipasto things (olives, sun dried tomato, chargrilled peppers, artichokes, feta etc)
- 4 - 6 slices cheese of choice (I used Swiss in the video)
- 3 big handfuls baby spinach (~75g / 2.5oz)
- 50 g / 3 tbsp salted butter , melted
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Mix butter and garlic.
- Cut the top off the bread loaf. Pick out bread from the loaf and the lid, leaving a wall and floor about 1.5cm / 3/5" thick.
- Place bread on a large sheet of foil on a baking tray.
- Dab / brush inside with butter. Layer with: half spinach, turkey, antipasto things, remaining spinach, ham, cheese.
- Tuck flappy bits inside the loaf, top with lid.
- Brush with butter all over. Wrap with foil.
- Weigh down with something flat and heavy - cast iron skillet is ideal.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove skillet and foil.
- Bake for a further 10 minutes until golden.
- Cut into thick slices and serve immediately!
LIFE OF DOZER
When Dozer (and I) spotted the gingerbread house….