Day After Thanksgiving Panini

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Day After Thanksgiving Panini is truly a sandwich you be so thankful that you made.

Here is how you celebrate Thanksgiving (at least how you do it the next day…). It’s time to pull out your left-over turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and gravy from the big feast and bring it all together for the best-tasting sandwich of the year! And it’s ready in about 20 minutes!

A day after Thanksgiving panini that has been cut in half and stack on a cutting board next to a bowl of gravy.


If you have a panini maker, now is the time to pull it out. If not, it’s time to pull out your trusty grill pan.

And if you have neither of those, don’t fret! Grab a nice large skillet, and make these like a fabulous grilled cheese sandwich!

Watch us show you how to make Day After Thanksgiving Panini!



You really can’t go wrong when selecting a type of sliced bread for these paninis.

Our favorite is sourdough, but white, multi-grain, whole wheat or even pumpernickel are all great choices.

EXPERT TIP: If you use a whole loaf of bread, cut the slices to about 1/4 to 1/2-inch. A little on the thicker side is nice, but not too thick, otherwise, the interior of the sandwich won’t heat enough.

Two hands slicing a loaf of sourdough bread.


Just like a loaded plate of all the Thanksgiving dishes on your plate, this sandwich is the perfect melding of all the wonderful flavors of the day.

We think the perfect layering is: cheese, dressing, cranberry sauce, turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, and cheese.

EXPERT TIP: The cheese melts perfectly into the dressing, which is why we include a layer on the outermost edge of the filling for the panini.

A fork placing dressing onto a slice of bread.
A fork adding a layer of cranberry sauce onto dressing on a sandwich.
A hand adding turkey onto a day after Thanksgiving panini.


After you’ve built the sandwich, top with another layer of sliced bread.

Smear on some butter on the top slice of bread.

When you add the Day After Thanksgiving Panini to the hot skillet, you’ll carefully need to place the butter side down first.

Mashed potatoes being added to a thanksgiving sandwich.
Two hands adding a final layer of dressing onto a Thanksgiving panini.
 A hand brushing butter on to the top slice of bread on a day after Thanksgiving panini.


After you’ve laid the butter-side of the paninis into the skillet, you’ll want to weight down the sandwich.

Simply place another heavy skillet onto the sandwichs or a plate with something heavy on it, like a large bottle of pickles.

We use our trusty cast iron skillet as a weight, with a little help of a hand pressing down.

A cast iron skillet sitting on top of a panini in a grill skillet.


After a couple of minutes, check the underside, if you see nice grill marks or the bread is browning beautifully, it’s time to add some butter to the bread slices facing up, then carefully flip the panini. If not brown enough, give it a couple more minutes.

During this time, be sure to heat up the leftover gravy from the big feast.

Remove the sandwiches, slice in half, and serve immediately with the warmed gravy. WOW!!!

Another amazing dish to use up that leftover turkey is our Turkey Tetrazzini

A hand dipping a Day After Thanksgiving Panini into a bowl of gravy.

Ready to make the best sandwich you’ll have all year? Go for it!

And when you make it, be sure to tag @howtofeedaloon and #howtofeedaloon!

Day After Thanksgiving Panini and a bowl of gravy on a wooden cutting board

Day After Thanksgiving Panini

This Day After Thanksgiving Panini is just sublime. Use your favorite leftovers from the feast from the day before. It doesn't get much better than this!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Day After Thanksgiving Panini, sandwich, Thanksgiving
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 328kcal


  • Panini press, or grill skillet, or large skillet


  • 8 slices bread sliced
  • 8 slices cheese such as Provolone, Swiss, or Gruyere
  • 3 cups dressing warmed
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 2 cups roasted turkey warmed, sliced
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes warmed
  • 2 tbs oil olive oil or vegetable
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter softened, or melted
  • homemade pan gravy wamred, for dipping


  • On a cutting board, place 4 slices of bread. To the bread, layer cheese, dressing, cranberry sauce, turkey, mashed potatoes, another layer of dressing and another layer of cheese. Top with remaining bread.
  • Turn on a panini press, or heat oil in a grill pan, or large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Butter the top slice of bread for each sandwich. Carefully tranfer the sandwich to the panini press, grill pan, or hot skillet, butter-side down.
  • If desired, add a heavy skillet onto the sandwiches. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Check the underside of the sandwich. If brown, add butter to the top layer of bread, then carefully flip. If not browned, let cook for another minute or so, until browned. Then flip. (No need to do this step if using a panini press).
  • Remove from skillet, slice, and serve with warmed gravy at once.



Use your favorite type of sandwich bread. We love sourdough. Don't get too thinly sliced bread.  Thicker is better, but not too thick, if cutting yourself.
Heat all the filling ingredients briefly in the microwave before assembling the panini.


Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 942mg | Potassium: 357mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 1059IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 518mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in November 2015, but the recipe was improved and new photography and a fabulous new video were added in November 2019.


  • 5 stars
    Hi guys. Lazy Barb here!
    You two goofballs had me laughing sooooo hard.
    Wesley looked like he was playing “Jenga” but with a sandwich instead of wood!

    That sandwich looked so good.
    I’ve done a version of it, but never tried it adding mashed potatoes.
    Also, as Wesley said, sweet potatoes would be a colorful, flavorful touch too.

    Then, after it was fried and just when I expected to see you ladle a nice fat spoonful of gravy over the sandwich, you dipped it in your own little gravy boats!
    What a great idea! (You guys are full of them!)

    For me, the hardest thing would be flipping the sandwich over without burning the hell out of my one hand!

    Happy Thanksgiving to both of you and by the way, I’ll be making your delicious pumpkin pie recipe to take again this year. I’m going to concoct a pumpkin spice whipped cream with a few sprinkles spices added to the cream!

    Thanks for all your great recipes and fun videos.


    • Barb!!!! (We just can’t call you “Lazy”…you’re anything but!!). We truly hope you and your loved ones have a glorious Thanksgiving!! We are thankful for YOU!!!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

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