This Leftover Turkey Salad Panini with Cranberries and Pecans is a delicious sandwich, great for making with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
Well, I did it. I bought a panini maker. It’s actually a 4-in-1 indoor grill, with panini making as 1 of the 4 cool options. Until now, I didn’t have one. We had a cheapy $10 “sandwich maker” — the kind that you can for close to free at Black Friday sales. The younger kids like to make grilled cheese in that, but the heating is uneven and it works best with thin sandwich bread.
I wanted something that would make a lovely, crusty panini. Something that I could use with a hearty bread and delicious ingredients. Buying it was a bit spontaneous. I mean, I’ve been thinking about one for a while, but my lack of counter space always has me reconsidering if I really need one. When I consider buying something new, I do a pretty good job of talking myself out of it. But not this time. I just did and I’m so glad I did.
If there was a perfect way to introduce my new panini maker to you all, it would be this sandwich. This Leftover Turkey Salad Panini with Cranberries and Pecans is addictive. We had it for lunch, but I already have my 12 year old telling me that this we should have them for dinner too.
My favorite part about this panini is that it’s made with an easy turkey salad, made from leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.
I also added dried cranberries and toasted pecans to make this turkey salad recipe even better. Two of my kids aren’t the biggest fans of cranberries, but they still devoured these sandwiches.
I recommend using a ciabatta roll or bread. I went with a multi-grain one, since it’s one of my favorites. To get a crispy crust on the bread, brush the top and bottom with a bit of olive oil. Place the bottom of the roll in the panini maker, topped it with 1/4 of the mixture and then some provolone cheese, finish it off with the top of the roll. Cook in your panini maker according to the instructions until it’s hot, the cheese is melted, and the bread is browned.
Leftover Turkey Salad Panini with Cranberries and Pecans
- ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
- 2 cups turkey breast, cooked & chopped into bite size pieces
- ⅓ cup dried & sweetened cranberries, roughly chopped
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 4 multi-grain ciabatta rolls
- Olive oil
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- In an ungreased skillet, add chopped pecans and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until pecans are golden brown. Remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine turkey, cranberries and pecans. Stir in mayonnaise.
- Preheat panini maker according to manufacture instructions. Brush the top and bottom of the ciabatta roll with a bit of olive oil. Place the bottom of the roll in the panini maker and top it with ¼ of the mixture. Top with two slices provolone cheese and top with the top of the roll. Cook in your panini maker according to the instructions until it's hot, the cheese is melted, and the bread is browned.
One last tip — this is a flexible recipe. If you want less or more of any of the items, feel free to change it up. You can also substitute chicken breast for the turkey and other nuts (likes walnuts) for the pecans.
Post updated 11/21/2015:
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hidden Valley Ranch. The opinions and text are all mine.