Leftover Turkey Panini with Cranberry Sauce, Apples, and Brie


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Photo by @rachelgurjar

The best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. There, I said it. Leftovers are better than your intricately designed apple pie and the little gravy volcano that you make in your mashed potatoes. The best way to make the best use out of those leftovers? A turkey panini, that’s what! Layer it high with sliced apples, arugula, and brie for a sandwich that truly has it all. Dunk it in some gravy--I’m not here to tell you how to live your best panini life.

Make this sando your own--if you have leftover stuffing, mashed potatoes, or green beans that are taking up room in your fridge, throw ‘em in here! The key to this sandwich is cooking them over medium low heat. If your pan is too hot, the bread is going to turn to a golden crisp in minutes, but the inside of the sandwich will still be cold. Go low and slow so that all the components of the sandwich are ready at the exact same time. 

Black Friday? Never heard of it. This is what I’ll be doing the day after Thanksgiving!

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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 10mins
Cook time 25mins
Serves or Makes: 4

Recipe Card


  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, divided
  • 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • 8 ounces brie, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 12 slices leftover turkey
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  • Step 1

    On each slice of bread, divide and spread mayonnaise on one side and cranberry sauce on the other side (the mayonnaise side is the outside of the sandwich). On 4 slices of bread, layer brie, arugula, apple slices, and turkey slices. Top each with remaining slices of bread, ensuring the mayonnaise side is the outside of the sandwich.

  • Step 2

    In a large cast iron skillet over medium low heat, gently melt butter. Add sandwiches, two at a time, to skillet and cook until bread is golden brown and brie has completely melted, about 6 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining two sandwiches and serve immediately.