Leftover Turkey Panini: Turkey Cuban Panini

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

My second of three panini ideas to use up that leftover turkey – Turkey Cuban Panini –  was actually inspired by Bobby Flay, my off-and-on chef crush. I had the chance to meet him about seven years ago on a visit to Mesa Grill in New York City. When he came out onto the floor in his chef whites with his name embroidered on the chest I was definitely reduced to giggling schoolgirl status. I remember he asked me where I liked to eat in Los Angeles (I was living there at the time) and I quickly debated in my head whether to try and impress him with a fine dining-type place or just go with a neighborhood favorite. I went with the latter, The Gardens of Taxco in West Hollywood. If he ever did go, I’m sure he got a kick of out of “the best moleeeeeee in towwwwwnnn…” (folks who’ve been there know what I’m referring to :-)).

These days I imagine it’s a bit harder to run into Bobby at Mesa Grill, with five more restaurants now open, the TV shows, cookbooks, product lines…and a recent partnership with Best Foods (east of the Rockies you know it as Hellmann’s). His Turkey Cuban sandwich recipe was actually one he created for Best Foods – I first saw it in a magazine ad, but you can also find it here. In addition to leftover turkey he also parlayed leftover cranberry sauce into a cranberry-Dijon mayonnaise condiment, which I thought was creative. I usually find the roast pork to be one of the best parts of a traditional Cuban sandwich, but I have to say that turkey does make a good substitute. And between the cranberry-Dijon mayo, ham and pickles the sandwiches are definitely not lacking in flavor.

Since Bobby’s recipe was for a mayonnaise company, you can believe mayo featured rather prominently in it – even spread on the outside of the sandwich! In my version, I opted to leave that step out and still enjoyed the panini immensely.

Turkey Cuban Panini


Turkey Cuban Panini
Adapted from the Turkey Cuban Sandwich recipe on BestFoods.com

Serves 2


2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices good quality Italian bread (I used ciabatta rolls)
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 slices cooked ham
6 slices leftover cooked turkey
8 dill pickle slices


Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and cranberry sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

For each sandwich: Spread cranberry-Dijon mayonnaise inside two slices of bread (or each half of a sliced roll). To one bread slice add cheese, ham, turkey, pickles and a second slice of cheese. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread.

Grill for 6 or 7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Cut in half, serve immediately and enjoy!



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
>> About Me

All-Time Reader Favorites!

Panini 101

Recent Posts


Permission Policy

All recipes, text and photographs on this site are the original creations and property of Panini Happy. Do not post or publish anything from this site without full credit and a direct link to the original post. with any requests or questions.

Browse Panini

Leave a Comment


  1. Natashya wrote:

    Sounds yummy, how wonderful to have met Bobby Flay!
    .-= Natashya´s last blog ..Further Adventures in Cheese – Mascarpone =-.

    Posted 11.27.09 Reply
  2. Kevin wrote:

    Great leftover turkey panini! The mayo, cranberry and turkey flavour combo is so good and then you add salt ham…mmm…

    Posted 11.28.09 Reply
  3. nina wrote:

    I only saw him on Iron Chef, but I’ll be happy just to eat one of his paninnis!!

    Posted 11.28.09 Reply
  4. Ingrid wrote:

    Turkey panini….sounds great right now!

    Posted 7.20.10 Reply