Leftover Turkey Panini is packed with layers of juicy turkey, tangy cranberry sauce, and melted cheese. This panini sandwich will revolutionize the way you enjoy those Thanksgiving leftovers.
This Leftover Turkey Panini is not just a sandwich; it’s a celebration of flavors, convenience, and creativity. In just 15 minutes, you can transform those post-holiday ingredients into a family friendly favorite that’s easy to prepare and completely adaptable to your preferences.
Why We Love Thanksgiving Recipes for Leftovers
Thanksgiving recipes for leftovers are a culinary gift that keeps on giving, offering you the chance to savor the flavors of the holiday feast all over again. Not only do these recipes help reduce food waste, but they also provide easy, make ahead solutions for post-holiday dining.
- 15 Minute Meal: In just 15 minutes, you can enjoy a warm, crispy sandwich packed with Thanksgiving goodness. Make with or without a panini grill.
- Easy Ingredients: Since you’re using leftovers, you already have everything you need at hand, so perfect with the succulent chicken and the cheese is melted!
- Family is Going to Love: Kids can be picky, but they’ll love this panini! The combination of flavors and textures are a hit with little ones! The grilled turkey paninis can be made like a grilled cheese. You’ll love the versatility.
Ingredients Used for Easy Turkey Panini Recipe
- Bread: 2 slices of Italian Bread are used in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite bread like focaccia.
- Butter: Butter, salted or unsalted, works perfectly for giving your panini that irresistible crunch and flavor.
- Sliced Turkey Breast: Turkey meat from Thanksgiving works perfectly, but you can also use rotisserie chicken if you wish.
- Stuffing: If you have leftover stuffing, it’s a great way to use it up and add a delightful, savory element to your panini.
- Cranberry Sauce: Whether store-bought or homemade, cranberry sauce adds a sweet and tangy touch that elevates the sandwich.
- Cheese: American cheese is a classic choice for its excellent melting properties. But use pepper jack cheese or whatever you want.
- Gravy: Use leftover gravy for an extra burst of flavor, or simply make a quick homemade version to make sandwiches.
See the recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements and the full recipe.
Variations and Substitutions for this Easy Sandwich Recipe
From ingredient swaps to flavor enhancements, discover how to tailor your panini to your exact cravings and culinary preferences. Golden brown and so scrumptious.
- Mayo: Swap out the butter for mayo if you prefer a creamier texture.
- Add Veggies: Enhance the nutritional value and taste of your panini by adding vegetables like tomato slices, spinach, roasted red peppers, or mushrooms.
- Different Cheese: Experiment with your choice of cheese, such as cheddar, provolone, gruyere, swiss, pepper jack or your favorite cheese slices.
- Bacon: For those who crave extra meaty flavor, bacon is a delicious addition to your panini.
- Turkey and Pesto Panini: Basil pesto is a wonderful flavor to add to this turkey melt recipe. Turkey pesto panini recipe is one of the favorite leftover turkey recipes. Make with smoked turkey breast, flavorful pesto and melty cheese.
How to Make The Best Turkey Sandwich
These are the basic steps for making The Best Turkey Sandwich. Refer to the full, printable recipe card below for detailed instructions and nutrition information.
Step 1: Prep
Begin by heating up a panini press or skillet. Grab your bread and butter on side of each piece. Then spread mayo on the other side of each piece. Take one slice of bread and place it, butter side down, onto the hot panini press or skillet.
Step 2: Assemble Panini
Take some slices of leftover turkey and place them on top of the bread in the skillet. Then add a generous spoonful of cranberry sauce. Next, layer on some stuffing and then finish it off with some cheese and the second piece of bread.
Step 3: Ready to Grill and Press the Sandwich
Grill the sandwich until both sides are crispy. Make sure to press down the sandwich while it cooks. Reheat the gravy and use it to dip your sandwich in.
Recipe Frequently Asked Questions to Make a Turkey Panini
Expert Tips for Making This Recipe for a Melty Turkey Panini
Elevate your panini-making game with these expert tips that will take your sandwiches from good to gourmet. Whether you’re a panini pro or a novice, these insights and tricks will help you achieve that perfect turkey panini.
- Don’t Have a Panini Maker If you don’t have a panini press, no problem just use a grill pan or cast iron skillet, place a second heavy pan or skillet on top of the sandwich to press it and achieve that perfect crispy exterior.
- Fruity Twist: For a fruity twist, add some apple slices to your panini for a sweet and refreshing touch to the tasty turkey sandwich.
- Avocado: Is a wonderful healthy fat to add to this recipe or try artichoke hearts for the best panini.
- Condiments: Don’t forget to spread some mustard on your panini for an extra zing of flavor to the delicious turkey sandwich.
What to Serve with Leftover Turkey Panini (Thanksgiving Panini)
- Slow Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter
- Grandma’s Sage and Onion Stuffing
- Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
- Giblet and Turkey Neck Gravy
Leftover Turkey Panini
- 2 slices Thick bread, I use Italian sandwich bread
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup Leftover turkey
- leftover stuffing
- cranberry sauce
- American cheese
- leftover gravy
- Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.
- Spread mayo on the other side.
- Place once slice of bread, butter side down, onto a panini press or hot skillet.
- Top with slices of leftover turkey.
- Spread a spoonfull (or two) of cranberry sauce on top of the turkey.
- Place a layer of stuffing on top of the cranberry sauce.
- Top with cheese.
- Place remaining slice of bread, mayo side down, on top.
- Grill until toasted on both sides.
- Use a sandwich press (or a plate and sauce pan) to press down on the sandwich while it’s cooking.
- While the sandwich is cooking, reheat the gravy.
- Slice the sandwich in half and serve. Use the gravy as a dip.
- Add Vegetables: Try adding a little veget to your panini with tomatoes, tomato slices really brighten the meal or try spinach, pepper or mushrooms.
- Different Bread: Feel free to try ciabatta rolls, sourdough bread or other hardy bread slices.
- Different Cheese: Provolone cheese, sharp cheddar or whatever you have.
- Deli Turkey: Sliced turkey from the deli can be a great replacement.