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!
HOW TO MAKE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING PANINI
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!
SELECT YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF BREAD
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.
BUILDING THE LAYERS
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.
BUTTER THE TOP LAYER OF BREAD
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.
HOW TO COOK THE 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.
LEFTOVER GRAVY IS THE PERFECT DIPPING SAUCE
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
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
- Panini press, or grill skillet, or large skillet
- 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.
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.