Turkey panini is layered with hearty turkey slices, crunchy apples, flavorful pesto, and gooey gouda cheese for one showstopper sandwich! — this is the perfect panini for turkey leftovers!
Who else is ready for an absolutely LOADED day-after-Thanksgiving panini??
Featuring the best turkey leftovers, crispy fall apples, tons of cheese, and a generous schmear of pesto. Would you expect any less??
I’m just going to hope and pray you’re not too full from yesterday to dig into this turkey panini? I’ve made many Thanksgiving leftovers sandwiches before, but this one just takes the entire grand prize.
Seriously, BEYOND excited for you to try this loaded sandwich.
If you had more turkey leftovers than anticipated this year due to smaller gatherings, I’m here to tell you that the BEST way to use them up is to make these paninis on repeat.
We’re talking 15 minute prep time, a handful of ingredients, and the most utterly insane flavors all piled between two slices of bread.
This Apple Gouda Pesto Turkey Panini features…
- Honey thyme butter brushed onto the bread slices
- Thick, hearty bread sandwiching the fillings (I recommend challah or sourdough)
- Tender turkey slices
- Rich, gooey gouda cheese and mild provolone cheese
- Crisp, sweet apple slices (I recommend a crisp apple like honeycrisp!)
- Flavorful pesto (homemade or jarred!)
Making the Turkey Panini
(scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe!)
Honey Thyme Butter
Truthfully, this butter is a little extra and if you’re running short on time, feel free to just use softened butter.
BUT. If you have literally 2 minutes to chop up a little fresh thyme and drizzle some honey into softened butter, definitely do so! It adds an incredible sweet herby flavor to the panini.
Building the Panini
Grab your challah bread or sourdough and slice off 4 hearty slices. Again, totally your preference for bread but I highly recommend using one of these two kinds for the best panini!
Spread the outside of all four slices with the honey thyme butter and spread the inside of two slices with jarred or fresh pesto.
Begin layering gouda and provolone cheeses, followed by a couple turkey slices and thinly sliced apple. Drizzle a little extra pesto on top of the apples and top with remaining slice of bread.
Cooking the Panini
If you have a panini press or other sandwich grill, this obviously works wonderfully for cooking the panini.
But it’s also extremely easy to cook these on the stovetop too! Grab a big skillet, heat it to medium-high and cook the panini until golden brown on both sides, flipping once.
Just all of the flavors and textures combined in this panini is like sandwich MAGIC.
The crispy honey sage butter bread exterior, the flavorful pesto turkey + gooey cheese + crispy apple interior…it’s just SO GOOD.
They’re also HUGE sandwiches so make sure you have a buddy around to help you eat them!
Or don’t, cause they’re seriously almost way too good for sharing. Your call!
Try these other loaded sandwiches out next time!
Apple Gouda Pesto Turkey Panini
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 slices challah or sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto, plus more for topping (jarred or fresh works here)
- 4 slices smoked gouda cheese
- 2 slices provolone cheese
- 4-6 thin slices turkey breast
- 1 large honeycrisp apple, cored and thinly sliced
- Additional thyme for serving, optional
- In a small bowl, combine softened butter, honey, and thyme until creamy. Spread the outside of each slice of bread with thyme butter. Spread inside of half of bread slices with 2 tablespoons pesto.
- On top of the pesto, begin layering cheeses, turkey slices, and apple slices. Drizzle a little extra pesto over top and add top piece of bread, butter side facing up.
- Heat a panini press or large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the sandwiches one at a time in panini press or skillet until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. (flip paninis once if using skillet) Cut sandwiches in half and serve immediately with additional fresh thyme on top if desired. Enjoy!