Smoked Turkey Tea Sandwiches

Turkey tea finger sandwiches on a wooden cutting board.

If you’re in charge of hosting the next luncheon or a fun afternoon tea party, this is a recipe you need in your repertoire! Smoked Turkey Tea Sandwiches are made from a recipe that comes from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. You can find the original recipe in her first cookbook  The Barefoot Contessa.

Smoked Turkey Breast Tea Sandwiches Recipe

Turkey tea finger sandwiches on a white platter.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’…. Shall We?? 🙂

My Aunt Mary Lou loves the celebration of tea. She fell in love with the custom when visiting London years ago and began having tea herself (and with others like my Mom and I) each afternoon as a way to enjoy a few minutes of down time and a light meal.

When I came across this turkey sandwich recipe (they are also called turkey finger sandwiches, btw) in the Barefoot Contessa cookbook, I was intrigued at the combination of raisin bread with smoked turkey and fresh basil – I HAD to try it.

I’m so, so glad I gave that recipe a whirl – it has become one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE RECIPES! And, it’s one of my most-requested recipes, too. Just about everybody who experiences the flavor combination of these party sandwiches definitely wants the recipe. It’s a KEEPER.

What to love about these smoked turkey breast tea sandwiches

  1. The longer they sit, the more moist the raisin bread becomes and the more tender the sandwiches get.
  2. Sooooo addictive! You’ll never be able to eat just one or two, so be warned.
  3. They are delicious as part of a luncheon or afternoon tea party, no matter the season.

Ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe

  • Dense raisin bread
  • Thinly sliced smoked turkey breast (deli sandwich meat)
  • Cream cheese
  • Scallions
  • Fresh basil (don’t even make these sandwiches if you don’t have fresh basil, just sayin’)
Turkey Tea Sandwiches being assembled.

How to make Smoked Turkey Tea Sandwiches

Make the cream cheese sandwich spread by combining the cream cheese and scallions in a mixing bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper; reserve.

Lay out 8 slices of raisin bread on your work surface. Spread each slice with a thin-ish layer of the prepared cream cheese/scallion mixture. Mound the turkey breast meat on top of 4 of the slices of slathered bread, then place 2-3 basil leaves (depending on how big they are) over the turkey; top with the other 4 slices of bread, cream cheese side down.

Lay the sandwiches on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with a sheet of parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap. Lay very lightly dampened paper towels over the sheet of plastic wrap, then add a second layer of plastic wrap over the paper towels.

Refrigerate the sandwiches for 3-4 hours or over night; the cream cheese should be chilled and firm before slicing the sandwiches into tea fingers.

When ready to serve, place the chilled sandwiches onto a large cutting board. Using a very sharp knife (I usually use serrated knife), slice off the crusts all the way around each sandwich; now slice each sandwich into 3-4 fingers, depending on how large your bread is. Each sandwich finger should be about an inch wide. Serve chilled.

**Please note: slicing the crusts from the sandwiches is completely optional, but does make the sandwiches look pretty and makes them more dainty for serving at a tea party. I typically never cut off the crusts when making these sandwiches for myself, though….I like them!

Smoked Turkey Tea Sandwiches side by side.

Answers to Common Questions Asked About This Recipe

Which tools are helpful for making finger sandwiches?

I like using a 13-inch angled icing spreader for spreading the cream cheese onto the raisin – it makes short work of this task.

The serrated knife I like to use for slicing the sandwiches into tea fingers is this one. I also use this knife for slicing tomatoes super thinly – works greats.

The rimmed baking sheet that I use for chilling the sandwiches is an aluminum half-sheet pan that’s the standard size of 13×18 inches. Always wash your sheet pans by hand, never in the dishwasher if you want them to last a long time.

For the task of mincing scallions (and fresh herbs, for that matter) I love, love, love using my kitchen shears. When mincing or slicing the scallions, you can hold a bundle of them in one hand and chop with the shears in your other hand, always starting at the green ends FIRST for best results.

Can you use other types of deli meat when making these finger sandwiches?

Yes! Thinly sliced ham is also delicious when making this recipe.

If I can’t find fresh basil should I still make this recipe?

NO! The fresh basil totally MAKES these sandwiches. If you can’t find fresh basil in your produce department, just fore go until it’s available.

Can I use low-fat cream cheese in this recipe?

Yep, and I do it all the time.

Tea sandwiches with turkey and basil.

Printable Smoked Turkey Tea Sandwiches Recipe

Raising bread, smoked turkey, and fresh basil with cream cheese in a finger sandwich.

Smoked Turkey Tea Sandwiches

If you're in charge of hosting the next luncheon or a fun afternoon tea party, this is a recipe you need in your repertoire! Smoked Turkey Tea Sandwiches are made from a recipe that comes from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 18 finger sandwiches
Calories: 146kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions, white and green parts both
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 slices dense raisin bread
  • 24 thin slices smoked turkey breast (deli meat)
  • Fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • Make the cream cheese sandwich spread by combining the cream cheese and scallions in a mixing bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper; reserve.
  • Lay out 8 slices of raisin bread on your work surface. Spread each slice with a thin-ish layer of the prepared cream cheese/scallion mixture.
    Mound the turkey breast meat on top of 4 of the slices of slathered bread, then place 2-3 basil leaves (depending on how big they are) over the turkey; top with the other 4 slices of bread, cream cheese side down.
    Lay the sandwiches on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with a sheet of parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap. Lay very lightly dampened paper towels over the sheet of plastic wrap, then add a second layer of plastic wrap over the paper towels.
    Refrigerate the sandwiches for 3-4 hours or over night; the cream cheese should be chilled and firm before slicing the sandwiches into tea fingers.
    When ready to serve, place the chilled sandwiches onto a large cutting board. Using a very sharp knife (I usually use serrated knife), slice off the crusts all the way around each sandwich; now slice each sandwich into 3 fingers (or if the raising bread is pretty large in size, slice 4 fingers). Each finger sandwich should be about one-inch wide. Serve chilled.
    **Please note: slicing the crusts from the sandwiches is completely optional, but does make the sandwiches look pretty and makes them more dainty for eating at a tea. I typically never cut off the crusts when making these sandwiches for myself. 🙂

Notes

**Be sure to check the blog post for tips and tricks, specific instructions, recommended tools, and FAQ’s for making this recipe.
Course: Afternoon Tea, Breakfast/Brunch, luncheon, Party Food
Cuisine: British
Keyword: afternoon tea, finger sandwiches, tea party food, tea sandwiches, turkey breast

Nutrition

Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 366IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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