Leftover Turkey Panini

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5 from 13 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes

This leftover Turkey Panini is a great way to use up leftovers from Thanksgiving or Christmas that the whole family will love.  With layers of leftovers smooshed into a crispy sandwich, this sandwich has it all!

Leftover Turkey Panini on a white plate.

The Leftover Turkey Panini is different from a hot open-faced sandwich and uses so many of your thanksgiving leftovers. After all, what could be better then tender turkey encased into two toasty pieces of bread with gooey cheddar cheese! This makes for an amazing turkey panini everyone will love.

Need help planning your Thanksgiving dinner, check these amazing recipes.


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What We Love About This Cafe Panini Recipe

Everyone loves Thanksgiving Dinner but even the best cooks can be disheartened by what to do with all the leftovers. This is one of my family’s favorite turkey sandwich recipes, it will make even the most finicky eaters taste buds sing.

  • 15 Minute Meal: So quick and easy and perfect after all the work you put into the Thanksgiving Meal.
  • Easy Ingredients: All leftovers you have on hand.
  • Family Friendly: If they loved the dinner they will love this crispy sandwich.
  • Adaptable: Can make it with anything that you have on hand,
A stacked Leftover Turkey Panini.

Ingredient Notes for Best Panini Recipes

  • Bread: Two thick slices, Italian Bread is used in this recipe.
  • Butter: You can use butter, salted or unsalted or even mayonnaise.
  • Turkey: Leftover turkey from thanksgiving, however you can use a rotisserie chicken if you wish.
  • Stuffing: leftover stuffing, it is a great way to use it up.
  • Cranberry Sauce: Store bought or homemade.
  • Mayonnaise: Try an avocado mayo or a flavored aioli.
  • Cheese: American cheese or any good melting cheese. Cheddar, gruyere or swiss.
  • Gravy: Leftover gravy or make a quick version such as Turkey Gravy without Drippings.
A plate of the finished Crock Pot Turkey and Stuffing with sides and gravy.

Equipment Needed, the Best Panini Press

How to Make Best Turkey Panini

These are the basic steps for making thanksgiving panini. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions and nutrition information such as cholesterol,and your daily values for your calorie diet and total time.

Press for the panini.

STEP 1: PREP

First, heat your panini press up in medium heat and then spread butter on outside of each slice of bread, then spread mayo in the other side. Place one side on the hot panini press top with the leftover turkey.

STEP 2: SPREAD

Next, spread a spoonful (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.

STEP 3: GRILL

Then grill and meanwhile reheat your leftover gravy. When sandwich is a golden brown cut and serve with the gravy.

Prep and Storage Tips for Turkey Panini Recipes

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME

The whole point of this turkey panini is to use up leftovers. Therefore it really isn’t something that you can make ahead of time. You can use your prep time to have all your ingredients ready for when you want to make this panini.

HOW TO STORE THIS RECIPE

Store the leftover ingredients in the refrigerator in airtight containers. Wrap leftover sandwiches in foil or keep in an airtight container.

HOW TO FREEZE THIS RECIPE

These Leftover Turkey Paninis are great to freeze. So wonderful to use up all the leftovers. Wrap individually and place in freezer bags for up to three months.

HOW TO REHEAT THIS RECIPE

Heat the panini up in the microwave, wrapped in wet paper towels, or reheat in the air fryer until warmed through.

Frequently Asked Questions about Turkey Panini

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE HEALTHIER?

Truly, this recipe is not for the calorie conscious. However, there are a few small changes that you can make to this sandwich to save a few calories, such as use a low fat or fat free mayo or a butter alternative. Also, try a low fat cheese.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE BASIL PESTO FOR THE MAYO?

To change up the flavors, try adding a tablespoon pesto to create a turkey pesto panini.

CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED OR HALVED?

Of course, you can make as many of these paninis that you want. Freeze some or make enough for a crowd.

HOW TO MAKE A PANINI WITHOUT A PANINI PRESS?

Make a press by using a large skillet or grill pan. Cover a brick with foil and place on top of the sandwich. If you do not have a brick use a cast iron pan or other heavy object.

HOW LONG IS LEFTOVER TURKEY GOOD FOR?

According to the Food and Drug Administration, refrigerated turkey leftovers are usually considered safe to eat within three to four days after initial cooking.

Side view of the turkey panini. Dipped in the gravy.

Expert Tips for Making This Recipe

  • 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.
  • Bacon: Go ahead and add some extra meaty flavor.

What to Serve with Leftover Turkey Panini

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Leftover Turkey Panini on a white plate.
5 from 13 votes

Leftover Turkey Panini

Yield: 1 sandwich
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
This leftover Turkey Panini is a great way to use up leftovers from Thanksgiving or Christmas that the whole family will love.  With layers of leftovers smooshed into a crispy sandwich, this sandwich has it all!
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Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 slices thick bread, I use Italian sandwich bread
  • butter
  • mayonnaise
  • leftover turkey
  • leftover stuffing
  • cranberry sauce
  • American cheese
  • leftover gravy

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Expert Tips

  • 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.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Leftovers, Thanksgiving, turkey, sandwich, lunch

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6 thoughts on “Leftover Turkey Panini”

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this really tasty Panini recipe! Super easy to make, will surely have this again! Highly recommended!

    Reply

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