turkey repurposed

It’s the last of the delicious leftover turkey & sides, and their time is growing finite. What can you make with them that could ever be as good as Thursday’s meal (sad sigh)? We will take our lonely Tupperware containers from the fridge, to honor them one last time in a Parmesan-Crusted Thanksgiving Panini!  This is no average sandwich my friends, but a jam-packed holiday masterpiece that will have you wanting turkey & stuffing again before month’s end! I make this sandwich every year, and feel a little guilty to say it is probably my favorite part of Thanksgiving! 

Of our leftover surfeit, we’ll layer-up stuffing, mashed taters, gravy, turkey breast meat & cranberry sauce (green beans & Brussels need not partake this round). Key panini elements like Havarti cheese, fresh baby spinach and two, toasty pieces of Parmesan-crusted sourdough bread will make this sandwich complete. Stomach, you’re welcome.

This is easy, but getting the right toast to the bread is crucial! So we take a few extra minutes to optimize both sides of the sourdough, and we preheat most of the leftover components to ensure they’re good & melty.

Here’s how our skillet sandwich stacked up:

5 from 1 reviews
Thanksgiving Paninis
Turkey Day leftovers? No problem, time to repurpose them into one perfectly delicious parmesan crusted panini! All the goodness of a Thanksgiving meal in one skillet crisped sandwich. This is easy & down right delicious!
Serves: 1 large panini sandwich
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 2 large slices multi grain sourdough bread
  • 2 slices havarti cheese
  • ¼ cup baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 T butter, softened (for coating bread)
  • ~1.5 T shredded parmesan cheese (for toasting onto bread)
  • ~1/4 cup leftover turkey breast meat, in small pieces
  • ~1/4 cup leftover stuffing
  • ~1/4 cup leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2 T leftover brown turkey gravy
  • 3 T leftover fresh cranberry sauce
  • S&P to taste
What to do:
  1. Heat leftover turkey in small skillet on low, adding a little water of broth as needed, removing form heat when warm.
  2. In another small pan, heat stuffing & mashed potatoes on low, topping with the cold gray, place lid and slowly heat till warmed.
  3. Butter both sides of two large sourdough bread slices.
  4. In large skillet on stive begin to brown first side of bread on medium low till starting to brown and crisp
  5. On side-up bread surface, sprinkle slices with parmesan cheese and cover briefly with lid to help melt.
  6. Once bottom side of bread is browned and parm sticking to top, flip bread over.
  7. To one slice add 1 slice of havarti cheese (halved to fit along bread) & cover briefly as needed to help melt.
  8. To the first slice with cheese add layer of cranberry sauce, and warmed turkey meat.
  9. On second slice of bread spread warmed stuffing layer and then mashed potato layer (both have gravy on them already) then top with the fresh spinach.
  10. On first slice with turkey, now add 2nd halved cheese slice, covering briefly with lid to begin melting cheese.
  11. Add salt & pepper as desired.
  12. Then combine sandwich together, by flipping turkey & cheese side onto the stuffing spinach side, pressing together with a spatula to combine.
  13. Cover sandwich with lid to melt all components for a minute or so.
  14. Cool sandwich briefly on wire rack to further crisp bread.
  15. Slice, serve and enjoy!!
Using a more dense, multi-grain sourdough bread is best (I use San Luis Obispo Brand from my local store). We will crisp the bread with an outside parmesan crust, and layer our leftovers strategically, so to maximize melty adherence! This is very simple for a quick meal.
Serving size: 1

So simple to make, and too easy to eat. I love the crunch the skillet-browned bread gives, not to mention the creamy Havarti that binds it all together for us. Spinach? Well, thought we should throw a vegetable in there somehow. Holiday leftovers never had it so good! We transform them into something almost better than they originally were. Though I might need to take a break from poultry for awhile, I can rest assured I’ll be craving this sandwich combo before Christmas. Luckily making a small turkey breast with stuffing isn’t too difficult, so I’m already looking forward to my next go round!

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Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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