Don’t know what to do with that leftover turkey… How about panini’s?

This post is sponsored by The Kraft Heinz Company, but all opinions, awesome ideas, and typos are my own

Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, but in our house the traditional meal of turkey with all of the fixings graces our table throughout the season when celebrating holidays with family and friends.   One of my favorite things about turkey, are the leftovers. 

So once I’ve had enough of holiday dishes, and football games are quiet, it’s time to make creative use of our leftovers and stretch out our love of turkey.  It’s time for a sandwich – or as the Italians often say, a “panini”.

 Today I'm whipping up a delicious panini sandwich with leftover turkey from the big bird and a few things I picked up from my local Price Chopper.  Because you know, the day after Thanksgiving, you want to keep it simple to all things kitchen oriented!

Kraft Expertly Paired Cheese Panini

So, I'm going to take that leftover turkey and make it into an ooey, gooey, crispy, crunchy, delightfully delicious sandwich - and you don’t even need a fancy, schmancy panini press! 

What you need:

Here’s how:

First, heat-up your panini press.  Oh wait, I don't have one.  No need friends, here are a couple alternate panini press options.

1)  If you have a grill pan, pull it out and heat it up on the stove.  Have another heavy pan ready to use for the "press".  If you don' have a grill pan a regular skillet will work just fine.  No ridges...but still fabulous.

2) You can also use the grill itself! Fire up the gas grill for a perfectly toasty, truly "grilled" cheese.

Next, take a whole grained bread, add MIRACLE WHIP Dressing, thinly sliced turkey, plum tomatoes, a bit of red onion, and a slice of KRAFT Expertly Paired for Grilled Sandwiches, Mozzarella & Cheddar Cheese!   

Lastly, butter both sides of the sandwich and toast away! Grill for 4 minutes on each side or until sandwich is golden brown and cheese is melted. So there you have it, no panini press required.

Panini grilling in pan

KRAFT Expertly Paired for Grilled Sandwiches, Mozzarella & Cheddar Cheese is perfect for any type of grilled sandwich. Why you ask? (Assuming you would have asked) Because it combines mozzarella and cheddar into ONE cheese slice.  What!?  Yes!  And it makes things easy because you only need one slice to get the combination of a softer melty cheese with the harder, classic cheddar.  Perfect for the toasty panini sandwich.  Yummmm.

.Panini expertly paired Cheese

I want to add that NEW KRAFT Expertly Paired Cheeses take all kinds of dishes, such as tacos, pastas, pizzas, casseroles and egg dishes, to the next level.  You can find all new varieties of KRAFT Expertly Paired Cheese at your local Price take a look-see!

Of course, I can't let you go without sharing how to make panini’s for a crowd, because you know I'm all about having friends over.  Simply choose a side dish you'd like to serve with your sandwiches...maybe a make-ahead soup or salad?  Then prep your sandwiches up to four hours in advance and keep them in the refrigerator until your guests arrive.  Pull them out and start Paniniing (I’m pretty sure that’s a real word!).  Awesome, right?

Easy panini using a grill pan

Now, go have yourself a no muss, no fuss Panini Party and use up that leftover turkey!

xx, Lauren

Pasta & Sauce Pairing Guide

Click here to get right to the free download:)


My husband frequently grumbles about dinner out when I want to go to my favorite Italian restaurant. Insert eye roll. He says “why would I want to pay $20.00 for a plate of spaghetti when you make it so much better at home?”  Awe, super sweet, and maybe he has a point!  There are a few tips and tricks about paring and cooking pasta that simply take pasta to the next level.

Pasta Bologanese

Over this past year, I’ve had the joy of collaborating with Cervasi, Kansas City Italian food importers. This has exposed me to a vast range of pasta types and pushed me to explore the sauces that highlight these beautiful varieties of pasta.

pasta puttanesca

So, I thought to myself, this is a thing worth exploring!  Pasta is at its heart a thing of simplicity.  It is basically flour and water.  These, my friends, are not complex ingredients.  Pasta makers have a rich history in understanding what makes a great pasta and how each shape pairs to its perfect complement (or sauce).  Cervasi creates pasta with 100% durum wheat semolina flour which is a very traditional flour for pasta.  It adds a heartiness and texture that will help a variety of sauces cling to the noodles.  It’s also frequently used in dried pasta because it’s an essential ingredient in ensuring the pasta retains its shape as it is cooked. No one wants a flat rigatoni…am I right? 

Cerasi Pasta Cuts

Soooooo, let’s get to it! Let’s explore the different pasta shapes and the most recommended sauce pairings to ensure the perfect bite…..the perfect balance of noodle to sauce.

Click below and download a free copy of my Pasta Pairing Guide!

I’ve included:

  • Which pasta pairs well with every type of sauce.

  • Cooking tips to ensure your pasta will turn out perfect every time.

  • Serving tips so you can enjoy your bowl, I mean “plate” of pasta, just like the Italians.

  • I even threw in the Italian Pronunciation so you can sound super cool and Italian like:)

Buon appetito!

This post was graciously sponsored by KC local importer of Italian foods, Cervasi. Shop local, eat pasta:)

PS Cervasi also has several great recipes here! Just click on a pasta type, and it will take you several perfect recipes. Sweet huh?