Leftover Turkey and Gruyère Panini

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends! We stuffed ourselves like you can only do on Thanksgiving :) It isn’t Thanksgiving without football (at least in my book), and watching the Patriots beat the Jets later that night was the perfect way to cap off a pretty fantastic day.

Did you guys brave Black Friday? We didn’t get up in the middle of the night to fight the crowds but did go out the next morning and still managed to snag a few good deals and get a jump start on our Christmas shopping. We’re actually going on vacation next month (more on that in a few days) so December is going to be even more busy than usual this year. I just might have to put aside my procrastinating ways if I hope to maintain my sanity…

Leftover Turkey and Gruyère Panini

Before we left my mom’s house on Thursday, we packed up a big container of food to bring home with us, and maybe it’s just me, but I cannot get enough of Thanksgiving leftovers. Reheated in the microwave, I find them nearly as enjoyable as they were the first time around. And after a busy week of cooking and baking, it’s kind of nice to have a few days where you can keep things simple.

That’s not to say we haven’t been repurposing some of our leftovers because we definitely have. This sandwich has quickly become one of my favorites! Leftover turkey and cranberry sauce are combined with Gruyère cheese, a little Dijon mustard and some orange marmalade for an out-of-this-world-good combo. The panini is tangy, sweet, and cheesy – guaranteed to excite even the leftover haters :) I baked a loaf of pumpkin yeast bread recently and used it to make these sandwiches but it’d be equally as good with whatever bread you have hanging around in your house.

Leftover Turkey and Gruyère Panini
adapted from The Pioneer Woman and Annie’s Eats

{Note: Obviously if you have a panini press, you can use it. I don’t, and find a grill pan and a heavy skillet work just as well and those are the instructions I’m including below.}

4 slices pumpkin yeast bread (or whatever you have around)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4-1 cup shredded turkey
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
4 thick slices Gruyère cheese

Spread one side of each slice of bread with some of the softened butter. Lay the slices of bread on your work surface, butter side down. Spread the orange marmalade and Dijon mustard evenly among all 4 slices of bread. Top two of the slices of bread with the turkey and then the cranberry sauce. Finally, lay the slices of cheese over the cranberry sauce. Top the sandwiches with the remaining two slices of bread (marmalade/Dijon side down).

Set a grill pan over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the preheated pan. Top with a large skillet and place one or two heavy cans in the pan to weigh it down (you can put a piece of foil or parchment between the sandwich and the pan, if desired). Cook the sandwiches until golden brown on the first side, then flip to the second side, replacing the skillet and cans. Continue cooking until golden brown on the second side (the cooking process went quickly for me – maybe 3 minutes total).

Makes 2 sandwiches