Thanksgiving Leftovers Grilled Cheese Recipe

Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

This is the Thanksgiving leftover sandwich that you make late, late Thanksgiving night when the apple pie has settled, but the red wine is still kicked in at full force. Bread. Butter. Cheese slices. Fistfuls of leftovers jammed into the middle. All grilled until golden, buttery brown. Gravy.

Ah, contented sleeeeeeep.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Makes: 1 fat grilled cheese

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1/2 pound mixed Thanksgiving leftovers (turkey, stuffing, vegetables)
  • 2 slices cheddar, jack, Swiss, or American cheese
  • 1/4 cup leftover gravy


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat until melted. Add bread and swirl to coat evenly in butter. Cook, shaking pan and moving bread occasionally until light golden brown on one side. Transfer bread to cutting board, browned-side up.

  2. Place 1 slice of cheese on top of browned surface of each slice of bread. Top with thanksgiving leftovers, layering as desired. Close sandwiches so that non-browned side is facing outwards.

  3. Heat half tablespoon butter over medium heat until melted and add sandwich. Cook, moving occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove sandwich and melt remaining half tablespoon butter. Return sandwich to skillet to brown second side, about 3 minutes longer. Serve with hot gravy.