This Leftover Turkey Salad Panini Sandwich with Cranberries and Pecans is a fast and easy way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
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We finally bought a panini maker. Well, 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 and top 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.
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. Here is the full recipe, ready for you to print. If you aren’t ready to use it yet, be sure to save it to your Thanksgiving or sandwich board on pinterest.
Here is the full recipe, ready for you to print. If you aren’t ready to use it yet, be sure to save it to your Thanksgiving or sandwich board on pinterest.
Leftover Turkey Salad Panini Sandwich 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,
cranberriesand 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.
Updated 11/21/2015: This post was originally a sponsored post on behalf of Hidden Valley Ranch. This recipe originally used Hidden Valley™ Smoked Bacon Ranch Sandwich Spread, instead of mayonnaise. Due to the product being discontinued, I have updated the recipe with the use of mayonnaise.