Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pesto Panini — Damn Delicious

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Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pesto Panini

This loaded panini is one of the perfect ways to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

Can you feel it? That anxiousness and excitement where you’re so ready for Thanksgiving that you can’t even sleep, eat or focus at work?

Or wait, is that just me?

I kind of think my anxiousness has taken over my better judgement though. I made cornbread last night so it could dry out for the chestnut-pancetta stuffing I’m planning to make today but at around 12:30AM where I “taste-tested” it, I knew that something was way off. And of course I realized I forgot the sugar.

This is the second time this has happened to me with cornbread. Ugh.

So I threw it out and started over. All at 1AM. To top it all off, I ran out of cornmeal with this second batch and I still need to make another cornbread today, which means I have to go to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving.

Yeah, like I said, I get way too anxious.

Anyway, let’s talk about something more pleasant.

You can’t forget leftovers with this holiday, right? The part where you come home from Thanksgiving dinner with way too much turkey and have no idea what to do with it? Yeah, that’s when you make this. A full-on packed panini with homemade (or store-bought) pesto, avocado, tomatoes and ooey gooey melted mozzarella. And if you have some cranberry sauce left, feel free to throw some on there.

This may not be the moistmaker but it definitely comes to a close second!

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pesto Panini

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

This loaded panini is one of the perfect ways to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 loaf of French bread, cut into
  • 3-4 equal pieces
  • 1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
  • 4-8 ounces mozzarella, sliced
  • 2 cups chopped leftover Thanksgiving turkey
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and sliced


  1. Heat olive oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Spread 2 tablespoons pesto over 1 side of French bread and top with mozzarella, turkey, tomatoes, avocado and top half of bread. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.
  3. Add sandwich to pan and grill until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Did you Make This Recipe?

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