Leftover Turkey Panini

How To Roast A Turkey

by Alli

Leftover Turkey Panini was compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. I’m including tips on how to roast a turkey. 

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.

I always hope for leftover turkey so I can make a Turkey Panini the day after Thanksgiving. 

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 backyard. 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 a 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.

Tips On Thawing and Roasting A Turkey

Head to Kroger (or your favorite grocery store) to purchase 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.

How To Thaw A Turkey In The Refrigerator

Don’t forget to thaw the turkey. It takes several days! 

I always set a reminder on my phone so I won’t forget when to transfer the turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator. This is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature.

This method takes some time, so allow one day for each 4 – 5 pounds of weight. If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will take about four days to thaw.

Don’t Forget To Remove The Giblet Packet!

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. Oops. I was so embarrassed.

So, don’t forget to remove those giblets. 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, and 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 it 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

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Turkey Panini

  • Turkey 
  • Sliced bread
  • Arugula
  • Colby-Jack Cheese
  • Cranberry mayo (recipe included down below in the recipe card!)

Cranberry Mayo (makes enough for several sandwiches)

  • Your Favorite Mayo (I always use Dukes)
  • Cranberry Sauce (make sure you save that leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving Dinner) 
  • Fresh lemon juice


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?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

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?

You May Also Like

How to Deep-Fry a Turkey

Giblet Gravy, Chicken and Dumplings, Southern Fried Chicken - Deep Fried Turkey

How To Set A Formal Dinner Table

How to Set a Formal Dinner Table

Mom’s Deep Fried Turkey Rub

Most Viewed Posts - Giblet Gravy, Mom's Chicken and Dumplings

Adorable Thanksgiving Kids’ Tablescape

Adorable Thanksgiving Kids Table

Cozy Rustic Thanksgiving Tablescape

Rustic Glam Thanksgiving Day Tablescape

Mom’s Cornbread Dressing

Mom's Cornbread Dressing

Dixie’s Pecan Pie Cobbler

Dixie's Pecan Pie Cobbler


Sarah Bailey November 11, 2016 - 12:59 pm

Oh yum now this sounds like the perfectly roasted turkey and that left over sandwich sounds delicious!

Jacqui @FlightsFancyMom November 11, 2016 - 1:46 pm

I’ve never cooked a turkey, but I know I will have to at one point! I like to see how people cook them differently. And I love a good panini. I always get one when I go to a local shop around my old hometown.

Jenn @ EngineerMommy November 11, 2016 - 3:55 pm

I love finding creative ways to use the turkey meat after Thanksgiving! This panini sounds absolutely incredible! Thanks for the tips on properly roasting a turkey, too!

Pam November 11, 2016 - 3:56 pm

I always hate finding ways to use up leftovers because I am not super creative. This panini with cranberry mayo is perfect for leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

Heather November 11, 2016 - 5:55 pm

Yum. The leftovers are better than the main event. Regrettably, my husband’s family is so big we rarely have them.

Wendy Polisi November 11, 2016 - 6:05 pm

I love how you create the Turkey when it is left over. It looks fantastic.

Bella November 11, 2016 - 7:17 pm

I am extremely excited for Thanksgiving – and the left overs! This sandwich sounds amazing, I will definitely be trying it.

Angelic Sinova November 11, 2016 - 8:32 pm

Woah, that Turkey Panini with Cranberry Mayo looks super yummy! One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is all the yummy things I get to make with all the leftovers (I usually live off Thanksgiving leftovers for two or three days!).

zan November 11, 2016 - 9:58 pm

The turkey looks like I want to eat this right now! I love the idea of adding the rosemary sprigs and lemon on the inside. Your Thanksgiving family day sounds like so much fun. Pinned the recipe!

Liz Mays November 11, 2016 - 10:53 pm

I like your guide! We’ll be roasting a large turkey this year. I think that panini would go over very well with my family.

Dawn McAlexander November 12, 2016 - 8:13 am

The worst thing about having a turkey at Thanksgiving is figuring out what to do with the leftovers. I guess you just solved that problem for me!

Brandy November 12, 2016 - 10:13 am

It is that time of year, we just purchased a turkey here but we won’t have kids this year for Thanksgiving (they go with their co-parents every other year for this holiday) I think we will use your idea to roast a turkey if we do cook up ours we purchased!

Valerie November 12, 2016 - 2:27 pm

The game looks like so much fun. I love your dog. The panini looks great. Thanks

Terri Beavers November 12, 2016 - 6:54 pm

Your Turkey Panini sounds absolutely scrumptious. The first turkey I ever made had the neck and giblets still inside when I served it, lol. I’ve learned a little since then but not how to make my turkey juicy. Maybe I just need one of these this year.

Annemarie LeBlanc November 12, 2016 - 8:09 pm

My sister will be taking over the turkey chores this year so I will be passing this over. The sandwich looks divine. I have to make sure there will be left over turkey so I can make paninis too.

Rebecca Swenor November 13, 2016 - 6:23 am

These are great tips for roasting a turkey and great ideas for Thanksgiving day activities with the football games. It is nice to have traditions like playing football while the food is cooking on Thanksgiving day. The recipe for the turkey panini’s with cranberry mayo made with leftovers is something I will have to make for the family. Thanks for sharing the tips and the recipe.

Mary November 14, 2016 - 5:06 am

Making the turkey is such a responsibility. Thank goodness my husband is willing to take care of that
The panni looks great. My mouth is watering already !

Nikka Shae November 14, 2016 - 6:44 pm

You had me at Turkey panini! I can’t wait until Thanksgiving week!!!

lynzy November 15, 2016 - 12:06 am

Such great tips! I love your idea for a leftover turkey panini – genius! I need to try it!

Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen November 21, 2016 - 3:48 pm

The Roasted Turkey sounds delicious! I love the idea of a leftover turkey sandwich too!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe