The Pioneer Woman: Leftover Turkey Panini Is a ‘Weird Sandwich’ That Works, According to Ree Drummond

The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, is getting creative with Thanksgiving leftovers. The celebrity chef and Food Network star has many Pioneer Woman Thanksgiving recipes but it’s her Leftover Thanksgiving Panini she’s dubbed weird yet delicious. 

Ree Drummond’s Leftover Turkey Panini has element of Thanksgiving dinner

Ree Drummond poses in her kitchen where she tapes "The Pioneer Woman."
Ree Drummond | Discovery Press/Food Network

Drummond, the author of Super Easy, leaves nothing out of this sandwich. Essentially, it’s Thanksgiving dinner in panini form. The 52-year-old combines classic Thanksgiving dishes — think stuffing, cranberry sauce, turkey, and gravy — with standard sandwich ingredients including mustard and cheese.

She piles everything between two pieces of bread — Drummond suggests sourdough — and with a thin layer of butter on the outside the sandwich heads for the panini maker. After getting the sandwich golden brown, the Pioneer Woman has a cheesy sandwich filled with layers of Thanksgiving flavor. It may not be the average leftover turkey sandwich, however, similar to Giada De Laurentiis’ Post-Thanksgiving Monte Cristo, it’s a different way to serve leftovers. 

Don’t have a panini maker at home? Don’t worry, this recipe can still happen. According to Food Network, Drummond’s recipe instructions say a grill pan or skillet will work fine too. Simply put another heavy pan or skillet on top to get the signature panini look.

The Food Network chef’s Leftover Turkey Panini is an unusual combination that works

Drummond is the first to admit this recipe might sound a little weird. But, as she said during the “Top Thanksgiving Leftovers” episode of The Pioneer Woman, it all works out in the end. 

“This is kind of a weird sandwich,” she said while making a Leftover Turkey Panini at her lodge in Pawhuska, Okla. “It has every single component of a Thanksgiving dinner on the sandwich but it all combines to make this heavenly, heavenly sandwich.” 

The Food Network star promised it’s the type of sandwich the Drummond kids, more specifically her daughters Paige and Alex, “go crazy” for once Thanksgiving dinner’s over. And, after a few minutes in the panini maker, it’s easy to see why. “The cheese is melted, the gravy is hot” and “everything is just yummy and gooey,” Drummond said.

Reviewers love the Pioneer Woman’s Thanksgiving panini

Ree Drummond wears a blue blouse and speaks to the audience at a Pioneer Woman event
Ree Drummond | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hearst

Sure, Drummond might think her Leftover Turkey Panini is a weird sandwich but reviewers love it. 30 people have reviewed the recipe at the time of publication. Not only that but it averages five stars. Those numbers don’t earn Drummond’s panini a spot on the list of her most popular Pioneer Woman recipes but it’s still a winner with those who have tried it. 

“The best use of Thanksgiving leftovers ever!!!! We have been feasting on these since Thanksgiving,” one reviewer wrote. “Our kids even asked if they could have them in their school lunches. Our Panini maker has gotten quite the workout!” Others love how it still turns out delicious when subbing in whatever leftovers are on hand. 

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