Healthy sandwich deli meat


An healthy version of sandwich deli meat that you can easily make at home. We could call it a turkey cold cut, or even “turkey ham”.

We are talking about a whole piece of turkey breast to cure for 48 hours with herbs and spices, then boil into an air-tight bag. After that, a water bath of 1 hour allows the turkey to desalinate. Once it will cool down, it can be sliced with a slicing machine or with a very thin knife, like the one for sushi.

Recipes with turkey deli meat

The recipes with this healthy lunch meat are endless. I like to eat it as main dish, with a side of vegetables. It’s low in fats and high in proteins, but stil very tasty.
Otherwise, you can add it to your sandwich with your favourite pickles, tomatoes and lettuce. In this case, I highly recommend to add some tuna sauce, made with mayonnaise mixed with some canned tuna. You can’t imagine how these two go well together!
It can also serve as a perfect snack for every low fat diet.

What spices and herbs can I use?

You can definitely choose your favorite herbs and spices to cure the meat piece. I used a Mediterranean mix of rosemary, oregano and fennel seeds. Likewise, all green hers like thyme, marjoram, sage work really well in this. You can also add crushed black pepper, paprika, curry, masala powder…I would only discourage bay leaves since they could result in a bitter taste.

Healthy turkey cold cut

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Course: MainCuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time


Resting time




  • 700 g / 2 lbs of turkey breast

  • Mix of spices and herbs of choice

  • 50 g / 4 tbsp salt

  • 30 g / 2 tbsp sugar

How to

  • Blend together salt, sugar and all the spices. Or chop everything very finely.
  • Spread the mixture over the turkey breast, on every side. Then place the meat in a strainer over a bowl, cover and place in the fridge for 48 hours.
  • After this time, take out the turkey and wash gently under water.
  • Soak the meat in a cold water bath for 1 hour.
  • Dry the turkey with paper towels until dry. Tie it up like a roast (optional, but this make it easier to slice it at the end).
  • Place the turkey in an air tight bag (suitable for vacuum cooking). Optionally, you can add herbs and spices too.
  • Cook it in boiling water for 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can boil it directly in the water, it will just lose some of the flavors.
  • Let it cool down and slice. It can be stored in the fridge up to 5 days.


  • Chicken breast works good to, in that case it’s better to use 2 or 3 pieces and tie them up together.

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To learn more about how to tie up your turkey breast, you can follow this tutorial online.

Other main meat recipes

Looking for other meat mains dish for your next family dinner? Try out my easy roast beef, roasted directly in the pan and ready in 40 minutes.

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Homemade turkey ham
Homemade turkey ham

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