Have Leftovers? Transform Them into the Perfect Sub

Some days it seems impossible to cook for two – especially around the holidays. They don’t exactly make turkeys, prime rib, or cured ham for two people. So, my husband and I usually end up making a huge amount of food which always turns into an astronomic amount of leftovers. This year, I decided I’m taking charge of my leftovers by transforming them into the perfect sub.

We took some inspiration from our friends over at Fix and their amazing How to Make the Perfect Sub infographic. Then, we twisted it slightly to work with your leftovers. We’re left with some pretty amazing sandwiches!

how-to-make-the-perfect-sub
Fix.com

Italian Hoagie

Let’s start at the beginning – the Italian hoagie. Well, it’ll be called hoagie if you’re in Philadelphia but you could also call it a “grinder” if you live in New England, a “po’boy” if you’re in New Orleans, or a “hero” if you’re in New York).

The Italian cold cut sandwich is loaded up with thinly sliced Italian meats. Pepperoni, salami, and capicola ham are classic. Since we have so much leftover holiday ham, I’m going to thinly slice that and toss it on my sub!

Finish it off with provolone cheese, thinly sliced onions and tomatoes, and a jar of hot or sweet peppers. And don’t forget that shredded iceberg lettuce dressed in red wine vinegar & olive oil – that’s a huge part of what makes this sandwich taste so iconic.

Meatball Sub

The meatball sub is my favorite way to use up last night’s meatballs. In fact, sometimes I make meatball pasta just as an excuse to whip up the perfect sub the next day!

This sub is warm, it’s messy, and it’s ultimately comforting on a cold winter’s day. All you really need is meatballs, cheese, and marinara, but there’s also a secret ingredient – sliced pepperoni! The salty, spicy slices of pepperoni really take this sub to the next level. Placed on a toasted bun with melted provolone and mozzarella cheeses, you’ll find yourself in your happy place.

Cheesesteak Sub

It doesn’t get much more classic Philadelphia than a cheesesteak sub. Veterans know one very important thing – the cheesesteak is all about simplicity, which means your ingredients have nowhere to hide. If you’re not using high-quality steak, you’ll be able to taste it.

Talk about the perfect way to use up leftover prime rib! Thinly slice that roast and heat up the slices along with some caramelized onions. You can add peppers and mushrooms, but a true Philadelphia native would tell you they’re completely unnecessary. Just ladle on the cheese wiz (yes, I said cheese wiz) and enjoy. If you’re not into the wiz, melt on some provolone – just know it won’t be a completely perfect sub that way!

Smoked Chicken Breast Sub

During the holidays, I usually sub-in my leftover turkey in this sub. But, since we’re only two people, we regularly have leftover chicken when we roast a whole bird so this sandwich is great any time of the year.

This sub is simple and light without skimping on flavor. Thinly sliced (or shredded) chicken is the star, so make sure you use a flavorful, brined bird or one that has been tossed onto the smoker. All you really need is to top it with crunchy shredded iceberg, savory mayonnaise, and a thin layer of provolone cheese. But, sometimes I throw on all kinds of leftover vegetables on this one (and maybe some bacon, too). The perfect post-holiday, healthy sub after all of that overindulgence!

Need more sandwich inspiration? Check out these 43 combinations that make the best sandwiches ever.

Watch: How to Make Pecan Cream Pies