Thanksgiving Leftovers Panini


Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We had a great time this year, hosting at our house.  My cousin joined us for Thanksgiving and a good friend dropped by for dessert.  The food was tasty, company was awesome, and there was lots of laughter.  The big question after Thanksgiving is always what to do with the leftovers?  My mom always makes an amazing turkey soup, which I had planned on doing, along with turkey pot pies.  I love cold turkey with Russian dressing (mayonnaise with a little ketchup) and have since I was a kid.  In fact let’s be honest, I like side dishes and dessert over turkey. I like leftovers for about a day then it just gets old.  I caught a Pioneer Woman episode while on the treadmill with Thanksgiving leftover ideas (yes, I watch food shows while I workout, don’t judge J ).  One of the ideas was for a sandwich with turkey and sides from Thanksgiving then when I saw a tweet from Williams Sonoma about ideas for leftovers and saw a turkey Panini, I decided I needed to try this sandwich.  I am so glad I did, we have had it every day since Thanksgiving.  Who would have known all these side dishes put together on one sandwich would be so amazing?  The recipe below is for 1 sandwich, which we split and was very filling.  Just increase the amount of ingredients if you want more sandwiches. I added brie cheese but you can use any other kind of cheese or omit if you don’t have any on hand. You don’t need a Panini press or even a grill pan, you could make this in a regular skillet.  If you are using a grill pan or a skillet, I would suggest weighting the sandwich down with a heavy pan or another skillet (see pictures below).


Thanksgiving Leftovers Panini
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Makes 1 hearty sandwich


2 slices good sandwich bread (I used a peasant loaf, sourdough would be amazing!)

Olive oil or butter for bread (I used olive oil in a Misto Spray bottle)

2 teaspoons mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons cranberry sauce

2-3 ounces roasted turkey (use what you have or prefer, we used white meat)

½ cup cooked stuffing

3 slices of brie cheese

Turkey gravy for dipping


  1. Spray one side of each slice of bread with olive oil.

  2. Take one slice of bread and on the side of bread without olive oil, spread the mayonnaise,   cranberry sauce, turkey, stuffing, and brie (in that order).  Place other slice of bread on top (olive oil side on the outside) and gently press down.

  3. Cook sandwich on griddle pan, Panini press, or skillet on each side until brown about 3-5 minutes).  See below for pictures using a griddle pan to weigh the sandwich down so it flattens slightly.

  4. Serve with a side of turkey gravy for dipping.


How to weigh down a sandwich when using a grill pan or griddle using baking sheets.  I use 2 baking sheets in the beginning but usually towards the end take one off once the sandwich is done on one side.  I also place a piece of parchment paper between the sandwich and bottom of the pan.



Lindsay Lou

Slightly adapted from: Williams Sonoma and the Pioneer Woman


Thai-Style Ground Turkey

I tried this recipe and it was a hit at our house! The original recipe was Thai-Style Ground Beef, but I had ground turkey on hand so that is what I used. You could use any kind of ground meat.

Cooking spray
1 cup thinly sliced leek
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lbs turkey (original recipe called for ground sirloin – you could use any ground meat)
1 tsp red curry paste
1 cup tomato sauce (I prefer salt-free)
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 tsp grated lime rind
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon Asian Fish sauce
Green onions for garnish (optional)

Coconut lime rice

Lettuce (optional)

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Coat a pan with cooking spray.
3. Add leek; saute 5 minutes.
4. Add Garlic; saute 1 minute.
5. Add turkey; cook 7 minutes or until lightly browned (stirring to crumble).
6. Stir in curry paste and tomato sauce; cook until 1/2 of liquid evaporates about (2-4 minutes).
7. Add milk, brown sugar, lime rind, lime juice, and fish sauce.
8. Cook about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
9. Clean lettuce and use large pieces to make wraps. (You could also use tortillas.). Serve with Coconut-Lime Rice

Source: Slightly Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Lindsay Lou