This amazing smoked turkey and provolone cheese pan bagnat sandwich recipe is a Chef Terri Milligan original—we’re so lucky she’s sharing it with us! Oh, the smoked turkey and the creamy, nutty provolone pair so well together... The spicy flavor of the arugula and the little salty bursts of the capers take the whole thing over the top. This variation on the classic stuffed French baguette is one of my favorite sandwich recipes ever.

Smoked Turkey

Meet My Friend, Chef Terri Milligan

I first met my good friend Terri while I was working on my first cookbook, A Gift of Cookies: Recipes to Share with Family and Friends. When I needed someone to edit the recipes, my art director, Maureen Barron, introduced me to Terri. Even though Terri and I live over 1,000 miles apart, we have cultivated a wonderful friendship working on the cookbook and my blog together. What can I say? I just love the woman!

In addition to being a dear friend, Terri is a seriously talented chef. As soon as you taste this (or any of her cooking, for that matter), you’ll see exactly what I mean. She had her own restaurant, The Inn at Kristofer's (on the picturesque Door County peninsula), for 23 years. It was actually one of the first fine-dining restaurants in northern Wisconsin! She even had a cooking school at the restaurant, which brings me back to her recipes.

Terri, we all thank you for sharing this smoked turkey and provolone pan bagnat recipe with us! You guys, it is so good. This is Terri’s own take on this classic French sandwich. But before I tell you why hers is so special, let’s go over the basics.

What is a pan bagnat and where does it come from?

Pronounced something like pahn bahn-yah, this perfect picnic sandwich originated in Nice, France, where it was first made as a French tuna sandwich. The classic preparation for a pan bagnat sandwich is to stuff a crusty loaf of bread with the same ingredients found in a Niçoise salad: tuna, Niçoise olives, red pepper, capers, arugula or watercress, and lots of herbs, topped off with a classic French vinaigrette. Sometimes people like to include other ingredients like more fresh veggies, hard-boiled eggs, and anchovies. Want to learn more? Check out my Classic French Niçoise Salad recipe with Tonnino Tuna! 


Chef Terri’s twist on the classic pan bagnat: savory, smoky goodness to seriously enjoy!

The best thing about a good pan bagnat sandwich is that it’s hearty and portable—that’s why I said it’s the best sandwich recipe for picnics. Terri’s version is super creative, but it sure stays true to those delicious qualities! Instead of using tuna fish, Terri’s unique pan bagnat recipe substitutes provolone cheese and thinly sliced smoked turkey. For the rest of the filling, she whips up a chickpea spread with capers, artichoke hearts, red peppers, Kalamata olives, and fresh basil. Combine it all in a food processor, and you’re ready to put your sandwich together.

Turkey and Cheese

Pro tip: Make your pan bagnat in advance for added flavor. 

This is one of those sandwiches that gets better with age. Make it at least 4 hours ahead and keep it tucked in the fridge to let those flavors meld together. You can make it up to one day in advance if you like. When you’re ready to enjoy your sandwich, pack it up in your picnic basket, warm it up in the oven, or stick it on your outdoor grill for a few minutes. Or just eat it! Hot or cold, this is one delicious summer sandwich.

Turkey and Cheese
Yield: Makes one stuffed baguette (4 servings)
Terri’s Smoked Turkey and Provolone Cheese Pan Bagnat Recipe—Stuffed French Baguette Sandwich

Terri’s Smoked Turkey and Provolone Cheese Pan Bagnat Recipe—Stuffed French Baguette Sandwich

My friend Terri’s twist on a pan bagnat sandwich is made on a French baguette with smoked turkey and provolone cheese. It’s the perfect sandwich to slice up and share with your family and friends.


  • 1 French baguette, halved lengthwise
  • ¾ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (7.5-ounce) jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1 pound thinly sliced smoked ham or turkey
  • 6 ounces sliced Provolone cheese
  • 1½ cups loosely packed fresh watercress or arugula


  1. Scoop out a ¾-inch cavity down the middle of both pieces of the cut baguette.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chickpeas, capers, artichoke hearts, olives, and peppers. Pulse to coarsely chop. Add the basil, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pulse to combine. The mixture should now be a coarse spread.
  3. Divide the spread evenly between the top and bottom halves of the hollowed out baguette. Now layer the turkey and cheese on the bottom baguette half. Top the meat and cheese layer with the watercress or arugula. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Carefully close the sandwich with the top baguette piece and press down gently on the top of the sandwich.
  4. Wrap the entire sandwich in aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to let the flavors meld together. This sandwich can be served either hot or cold.
  5. For a picnic, just grab the sandwich out of the fridge and pack it up in your picnic basket. Cut it into serving-sized pieces when you’re ready to enjoy it. For a hot version, leave the sandwich in the foil and pop it into a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or on a hot grill for 3 minutes. Unwrap and slice.
Did you make this recipe?
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May 27, 2023 — Mary DiSomma