Thanksgiving Leftover Panini

Happy Monday, friends – as happy as it can be to try to get back into the daily grind after a holiday weekend which hopefully included a lot of merriment and feasting! Ours included all of that, even though – and perhaps because – it was our first Thanksgiving as just a little family of three. Normally we travel to visit one set of parents each holiday, alternating who we see on Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, but this year we made the decision not to drag our little man all over the country. Instead, we’re being homebodies.

Let me tell you, we didn’t leave the house or even get out of our pajamas last Thursday, and the newly renamed Pajamasgiving is awesome.

What’s also awesome? Having lots of leftovers to do delicious things with. We packaged some of them into our favorite compartmented meal prep containers {you can seriously not have too many of these!} so that we have ready-to-go Thanksgiving lunches, gave some away, and started plotting some creative leftover reimaginings.

This Thanksgiving leftover panini is one of my personal favorites.

Take all your favorite flavors of Thanksgiving, layer them between some mustard and mayo and your favorite crusty rolls, and press them on a griddle brushed with butter, and it’s an absolutely amazing bit of flavor. We like them hot off the griddle, but you can also wrap them up in paper and take them cold with you, as the flavors keep really nicely. The combination of sauces and cranberries and gravy prevents the turkey from even thinking about tasting dry or bland and the butter just takes it over the top.

On top of that, it’s ridiculously easy to make as long as you’ve got a good griddle or panini press. We like this particular one from Cuisinart:

We bought our griddler originally to make my dad’s amazing Cubanos, but it has a huge number of uses, whether for paninis, grilling brats and burgers, or laying out flat and cooking pancakes or eggs or anything else you need a hot cooktop for in a hurry. It’s pretty much always at work on our counter.

And yeah, I was today years old when I realized I could take the sticker on the handle off. It’s off now. Sigh.

Thanksgiving Leftover Panini

Makes 2 sandwiches.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 hoagie rolls or other crusty sandwich bread
  • 2 tbsp honey mustard spread
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced leftover roast turkey
  • 1/4 cup leftover stuffing
  • 1/4 cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • gravy, if you prefer {we don’t use it unless the turkey’s gotten really dry}
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

How to Make Them:

1. Heat your griddle to medium and brush with butter. Cut the hoagie rolls in half and press cut side down onto the griddle to toast. Let toast until golden brown and remove.

2. Brush each piece of bread with a little mustard and a little mayonnaise. Arrange the turkey on the lower side of the roll. Layer onto the turkey a slice of provolone cheese, leftover stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Press the top of the sandwich down over the sauce layer.

3. Brush the griddle with butter again and place the sandwiches on the griddle. Brush the tops of the sandwiches with butter and close the top of the griddle. Cook until the edges of the bread are toasty and golden, the cheese is beginning to melt, and the turkey is hot.

4. Slice, plate, and serve!

We served a nice Riesling with our Thanksgiving dinner, but as you can tell, we think this sandwich pairs pretty well with a nice cold Guinness, or your dark wintry beer of choice. Hope you enjoy!

What’s your favorite way to reimagine Thanksgiving leftovers?

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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