What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers?
In my opinion, the only lunch option on the day after Thanksgiving should be some form of leftovers. For the traditionalists, there is the leftover plate – simply the same plate of food they made the day before, reheated. For those looking for a slight twist on the traditional leftover plate, there is the classic leftover sandwich, or bread topped with everything from the day before. I’ll admit, I like one traditional plate of Thanksgiving food after the big day, but after that it gets a bit boring. This year, we’re taking it a step further than the turkey sandwich with a Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese. Turkey, cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon mustard, melty gruyere cheese, and golden butter toasted bread come together for a sandwich that rises high above other family members’ boring leftover plates.
We’ve done Thanksgiving leftovers in breakfast form with sweet potato biscuit sandwiches, in case you are looking for a whole day worth of leftover recipes, but gooey, melted cheese on warm toasted bread with all of the Thanksgiving toppings is hard to resist for Friday lunch. Granny Smith apples get slightly softened by the heat, but still add a little crunch and balance out the cranberry sauce perfectly and the Dijon provides a flavor you may not have tasted the day before.
Maybe you plan on shopping all day for Black Friday? This is a great welcome home sandwich that those non-shoppers can make for you. It is quick, easy, and delicious, and uses up tasty leftovers too! The best combination.
Repurposed leftovers forever!
Thanksgiving Leftover Grilled Cheese
Makes one sandwich, but is easily multiplied
½ tablespoon butter
2 slices hearty bread
2-3 slices of leftover turkey
5 thin slices of granny smith apple (about ¼ of the apple)
4 ounces gruyere cheese, grated (can also use sharp white cheddar cheese)
2 ½ tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
swipe of dijon mustard, to taste
I’m giving you exact measurements here, but feel free to adjust the measurements and make this how you like it!
Spread butter on the outside of one slice of bread. Spread cranberry sauce on the inside of one slice of bread and mustard on the inside of the other slice. Top both slices of bread with grated cheese (putting cheese on both sides will hold the sandwich together), then top one side with the turkey and apple slices. Put the two halves together.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted and bubbling, place your sandwich in the skillet, with the buttered bread facing up (so the bread that was not buttered is now in the hot buttered skillet). Toast until golden, then flip and toast until golden on the second side and the cheese is melty. Serve immediately.