How to Roast a Turkey And Leftover Turkey Panini

by Alli

This shop, How To Roast a Turkey, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HonestSimpleTurkey #CollectiveBias

It’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving!  The entire family will gather for Thanksgiving dinner at my house and we’ll be celebrating family traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next.


Thanksgiving morning will begin with a late breakfast – mocha punch and cinnamon rolls – and watching the parade on TV. It’s a family tradition. After enjoying a leisurely breakfast, I’ll head to the kitchen to begin preparing the Thanksgiving feast.

At some point during the day, a touch football game will be happening in the back yard. Watching football on Thanksgiving Day is not enough for our family. We have to join in the fun! I remember playing a game or two of touch football when I was the kid and my mom was preparing the feast.

Family Playing Football - How to Roast a Turkey

I have the perfect game-plan for Thanksgiving Day. Any food items that can be made ahead is prepared the day before (casseroles, pies, etc.). On the day of, I concentrate on the main event – turkey and cornbread dressing.

How to Roast a Turkey

Head to Kroger for a Honeysuckle White Fresh Whole Turkey.

How to Roast a Turkey - Leftover Turkey Panini

For my Thanksgiving Day feast, only the best will do. Honeysuckle White Fresh Turkey has no growth-promoting hormones, no added steroids or hormones.

Plus, it is USDA processed certified and is raised by independent family farmers. Their high standards are one of the reasons I keep going back for more. It’s just honest, simple turkey and that’s what I’m looking for.

Before roasting a turkey, remove the neck and giblet packet. The first time I hosted Thanksgiving dinner, I accidentally left the neck and giblet packet inside. I was so embarrassed. Don’t forget to remove them. I always use the giblets to make giblet gravy.

Preheat the oven to 325º F. Pat the turkey dry (inside and out) and season inside with salt and pepper. I quarter a lemon, an onion and add a few rosemary sprigs to the cavity to add extra flavor. Be sure and discard before serving.

Brush the outside of the turkey with melted butter (or spray lightly with cooking spray) and season with salt and pepper.

Place turkey breast-side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and place in a preheated oven.

Helpful Hint: If the turkey gets too brown before it’s done, cover loosely with foil.

I always use an instant-read thermometer to make sure my turkey is roasted to perfection. The turkey is done when breast meat is 165º F and dark meat is 175º F.

Let rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.


Turkey Panini with Cranberry Mayo

For our Thanksgiving meal, I always make sure I buy a turkey large enough to have leftovers. I admit that sometimes I have to hide the leftovers in the back of the fridge so I can make turkey paninis with cranberry mayo. This mayo is addictive!

Turkey Panini - How to Roast a Turkey

Everything I need to make turkey paninis can be found at Kroger!

Honeysuckle White

Yield: 1 Sandwich

Turkey Panini with Cranberry Mayo

Turkey Panini - How to Roast a Turkey

Turkey Panini is the perfect sandwich for leftover turkey. The cranberry mao adds so much flavor to this turkey sandwich.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


For One Sandwich

  • 3 oz. turkey
  • 2 slices bread
  • Arugula
  • 1 slice Colby-Jack Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon cranberry mayo

Cranberry Mayo (makes enough for several sandwiches)

  • 4 Tablespoons Mayo
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Cranberry Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice


  1. Spread bread with cranberry mayo. Layer turkey, arugula and Colby-jack cheese.
  2. Butter the outside of the bread slices and toast until golden brown.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 473Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 116mgSodium 666mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 2gSugar 5gProtein 35g

Did you make this recipe?

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Turkey Panini - How to Roast a Turkey

Roasting a turkey is simple. Just be sure to use a thermometer and don’t overcook (or undercook) that bird.

What are some of your Thanksgiving Day traditions?



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