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Turkey Cranberry Brie Sandwich

Make the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers and make a sandwich, but not just any sandwich. This Turkey Cranberry Brie Sandwich showcases a winning combination of tender turkey, vibrant cranberry sauce, and rich & creamy brie in a mouthwatering panini on sprouted whole-grain bread.

turkey cranberry brie sandwich on a plate with salad greens

If you’re unsure what to do with those Thanksgiving leftovers, this turkey cranberry brie panini is an excellent place to start. Inspired by the Panera Thanksgiving grilled cheese, this healthier take offers a new and improved way to savor the leftovers from your turkey day feast in a delicious handheld.

Let’s break down this simple yet sophisticated leftover turkey sandwich. First, I love making this sandwich on sprouted grain bread or a good, quality sourdough because it’s higher in specific nutrients, including protein and fiber, but you can use a different type of sliced bread, of course (more on that below).

Moreover, everything between the bread is truly where the magic happens. Imagine biting into golden, toasted bread sandwiched around warm, juicy turkey, ooey-gooey melted brie cheese, and sweet-tart cranberry sauce. Need I say more? Bring out the panini press (or the George Forman!), and let’s get started.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This is the best way to repurpose holiday leftovers! It gives your standard leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich a healthy, elegant upgrade.
  • Preparing it panini-style results in gorgeous grill marks and irresistibly melty cheese.
  • You can get creative with the fillings and flavors.
  • It’s a quick, easy hot meal guaranteed to be a family favorite. These paninis are a big hit with my kids.

Ingredients You’ll Need

turkey brie cranberry sandwich ingredients on a cutting board
  • Multi-grain bread – Or other types of bread that will stay intact. You have many options, but most important is that you use thick slices of bread that are strong enough to hold the weight of the panini press (see below for the best bread to use for paninis).
  • Turkey breast – If you don’t have leftover roasted turkey, feel free to use good quality hand-carved turkey cold cuts from the deli.
  • Dijon mustard – Adds moisture and a touch of dry, tangy heat to the sandwich. If you’re not a fan of mustard, a bit of mayo or aioli is a tasty substitution.
  • Brie cheese – Cut into eight thin slices, leaving the rind attached. It melts like a dream and takes this panini to the next level.
  • Cranberry sauce – I prefer homemade cranberry sauce, but if your Thanksgiving leftovers include slices of canned cranberry sauce, it is perfectly suitable for this sandwich.
  • Olive oil – Helps toast the bread and prevent it from sticking to the panini press.
  • Salt & pepper – Helps balance the complex meaty, mustardy, Earthy, sweet, and tangy flavors in this insanely delicious turkey cranberry sandwich.
  • Optional greens– I love adding arugula or fresh baby spinach to this sandwich.

How To Make A Turkey Cranberry Panini with Brie

Step 1: Prep. Preheat your panini maker, or heat a skillet over medium-high heat if you’re using a cast iron press.

Step 2: Assemble. Spread a thin layer of Dijon on all four pieces of bread. On the two bottom pieces, add a layer of thinly sliced brie cheese (about two slices each). Next, add a layer of thinly sliced turkey (about three slices each), followed by cranberry sauce. Add a small handful of greens (if using), then top with a layer of the remaining brie. Here I’ve made one with greens and one without.

3 step photos showing assembling the turkey cranberry sandwich

Step 3: Cook. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and place the other piece of bread on top. Drizzle with olive oil and cook until the turkey is warm and the brie oozes out from the sides. Enjoy!

a turkey cranberry brie panini with arugula sliced in half with cheese oozing out the middle

Recipe Tips

  • When assembling your sandwich, ensure the bottom and top layer of the sandwich fillings are brie, so as it gets nice and melted, it holds the bread and fillings together.
  • To achieve that distinct panini crunch, brush olive oil (or melted butter) on the outside of the bread before toasting.
  • If you do not have a panini press, no worries. This turkey, brie, and cranberry panini is just as delicious prepared as grilled cheese. The only difference is you will need to flip it halfway through to toast both sides.

Best Bread For Panini

For grilled cheese and paninis, sprouted grain bread (like Ezekiel bread) is my personal favorite, but you can use any bread that will hold up to the weight and the heat. A thick, sturdy sourdough is a good option, along with crusty Italian bread like focaccia, ciabatta, and baguettes. You can also make your panini on flatbread, pita, or rye bread.


The beauty of this turkey cranberry sandwich is that it’s customizable from top to bottom. You can switch up the cheese, layer more than one cheese type, change the protein and fruit spread, and even add other leftovers. There are SO many possibilities.

  • Cheese – Brie is THE best, but you can use other types to achieve that signature gooey cheese pull like American, cheddar, gouda, Havarti, or mozzarella.
  • Meat – Instead of turkey, make this panini with thinly sliced roasted chicken or pork tenderloin. A few slices of bacon per sandwich is also an option.
  • Fresh fillings – Add a layer of raw veggie filings like arugula or baby spinach, thinly sliced red onion, avocado, apple slices, tomato, etc.
  • Fruit spreads – Roast turkey and brie pair well with fruit flavor. You can swap the cranberry sauce with any fruit sauce like raspberry compote, blackberry compote, or cherry compote.
  • Additional leftovers – Leave room in your panini for other Thanksgiving leftovers like stuffing and roasted vegetables.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: This turkey cranberry sandwich is best enjoyed hot off the panini press. Keep leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic and keep them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Set the sandwich at room temperature for 30 minutes before reheating, then warm it in a skillet with a bit of olive oil.

Freezing: Technically, leftovers can also be kept in the freezer, but I don’t recommend it.

Recipe FAQ

What goes with turkey brie paninis?

I usually pair them with a nice salad. A good winter fruit salad with greens would be an epic side dish for this meal. You can also whip up this amazing broccoli in no time flat; it’s a winner with my kiddos. 

How long does a panini take to cook?

The precise time to finish cooking will vary based on the bread you use and how high you stack the sandwich fillings. Begin checking for doneness around the 5-minute mark, and adjust the cooking time as needed.

Can you use parchment in a panini press?

Yes, you can wrap your sandwich in parchment paper securely (but not too tight), creating an envelope to catch the gooey cheese and oils. This makes cleanup a breeze and makes it easier to grab your turkey cranberry panini hot from the press as soon as it’s ready and go!

Easy Sandwiches and Handhelds You’ll Love

Caprese Avocado Grilled Pitas

Low Carb Reuben Wrap

Easy Homemade Sloppy Joes

Easy Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sliders

If you love this recipe I would be so grateful if you could leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below. I love reading your comments and feedback!

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a turkey panini with brie cheese and cranberry sauce slice in half on a plate with salad.
close up of a turkey cranberry brie sandwich with cheese oozing out

Turkey Cranberry Brie Sandwich

This panini is a delicious way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey in a healthy whole-grain sandwich!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 443kcal
Author: Amee


  • 4 slices sprouted grain bread such as Ezekiel bread (if frozen, thaw before preparing)
  • 6 oz white meat turkey breast about 6 thin slices
  • 4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 50 g brie cheese with rind about 8 thin slices
  • 4 tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: a small handful of arugula or fresh baby spinach


  • Heat the panini maker, or heat a skillet on medium-high heat (if using a panini iron press).
  • Spread 1 tsp dijon on each slice of bread.
  • Top two pieces of bread with 4 thin slices of brie cheese.
  • Layer turkey and cranberry sauce on top, then add greens if desired.
  • Add the remaining 3-4 slices of brie on each sandwich.
  • Top with bread, brush with olive oil and cook in a skillet or panini press until cheese is ooey-gooey and oozing out from the sides.
  • Serve warm.


  • When assembling your sandwich, ensure the bottom and top layer of the sandwich fillings are brie, so as it gets nice and melted, it holds the bread and fillings together.
  • To achieve that distinct panini crunch, brush olive oil (or melted butter) on the outside of the bread before toasting.
  • If you do not have a panini press, no worries. This turkey, brie, and cranberry panini is just as delicious prepared as grilled cheese. The only difference is you will need to flip it halfway through to toast both sides.


Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 605mg | Potassium: 404mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 148IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg
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Amee Livingston
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  1. I LOVE the combination of cranberries and brie, so yummy! I’d make myself a panini using just those ingredients and no turkey and be perfectly content 🙂

  2. Mmmmm, this looks so good. I love the mix of the brie with the sweet and tangy cranberry sauce and spicy mustard! I have a panini maker and I use it a lot. I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  3. Cranberry and brie may be one of my favorite sandwich combos in the world. I LOVE that picture of the cheese slabs just sitting on there waiting to be melted! Happy happy holidays!

5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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