These Leftover Turkey Cranberry Sliders are the perfect way to repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers! Made with Kings Hawaiian rolls, caramelized onions, cheese, and leftover turkey and cranberry sauce, they're an easy meal for the day after Thanksgiving (and will give you so much more time to do all that Black Friday shopping!)
Who has Thanksgiving leftovers? What if I told you there's a way to transform your leftover turkey, tart cranberry sauce, and those sweet Hawaiian rolls into a dish that tastes new but helps you use up all that food?
These mini turkey sandwiches are not just a convenient way to repurpose holiday leftovers but a savory treat that will leave your family begging for more. We all know that leftovers are really the best part about Thanksgiving, and in all honestly, a leftover holiday turkey cranberry sandwich may just be one of my favorite things about a Thanksgiving meal.
What Makes This Recipe Work:
Personally, I love this recipe for the sole fact that it gets all that leftover food out of my fridge, but there are so many reasons to love it!
- Delicious. These Hawaiian roll turkey sliders are truly delicious. The sweetness of the cranberry sauce plays so well with the caramelized onions and the mustardy, poppy seed glaze that's brushed over the top. This savory combo makes for the best turkey cranberry sliders. Add some melty cheese to these babies and you're good to go.
- EASY! Have I mentioned yet that these are a cinch to make? Mostly because you already have everything on hand and prepared. Just caramelize some onions, add some cheese, make the mustardy butter sauce, and pull out the slab of Hawaiian buns you didn't get to on Thanksgiving and you're good to go. They cook quickly too, meaning you can have dinner on the table FAST!
- Crowd favorite. EVERYONE loves these. Even if you just ate this food yesterday, it's such a great transformation and comforting dish that these tend to go down fast at our house.
- Uses up the leftovers. Did I mention that already? Haha! This is such a great way to finish off those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers that are typically lurking in your fridge for weeks.
- Perfect party food. Have family in town for the holidays? These leftover turkey sliders are a great way to feed a large group AND use up your leftovers. They're also the perfect size for casual parties where your'e serving up appetizers or smaller dishes.
These sliders only need a few simple ingredients. What you don't have already, you can easily find in the grocery store.
- Soft Hawaiian rolls. You'll want an entire slab of rolls for this recipe, which will make the whole thing a bit easier to make.
- Leftover turkey and leftover cranberry sauce. Leftover turkey is obviously the goal, but sometimes I've been known to make these delightful sandwiches even if I don't have leftovers. Just use turkey slices and cranberry jelly instead.
- Havarti cheese. I like Havarti's mellow taste but if you're looking for something with a bit more bite Swiss cheese is a great option for these cheese sliders. Or just use your favorite cheese.
- Poppy seeds or everything bagel seasoning. I used poppy seeds here but have used everything bagel seasoning in the past and it adds a nice blend of flavors.
- Caramelized onions. Ok, this is maybe the part that will take you the longest. It does take a while to caramelize onions, but if you're not into it, just brown them in a skillet until their softened a bit and go with that.
- Butter dijon sauce. A delicious blend of melted butter, dijon mustard and Worscterchire sauce create a delicious sauce that is then brushed over the tops of the buns.
How to Make Leftover Turkey Cranberry Sliders with Hawaiian Rolls
This is such an easy recipe to make and takes just a few minutes of prep.
Preheat and prep. Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a large baking dish with cooking spray, ensuring it's spacious enough to fit all your sliders.
Caramelize the onions. Saute onions in butter and a teaspoon of sugar for about 20-30 minutes until caramelized. Set aside. (Note - if you don't feel like standing around the stove for this long, just saute the onions until they're tender, about 5 minutes.)
Prep the Hawaiian rolls. Slice off the top of the entire slab of Hawaiian rolls, creating a bottom half and a top half. Place the bottom half in the prepared baking dish.
Layer the ingredients. Assemble the sliders by layering leftover turkey, cranberry sauce, Havarti cheese, and caramelized onions on the bottom buns. Add the top half of the rolls.
Prepare butter mixture. In a small bowl, melt butter and add Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and poppy seeds. Stir everything together and pour the poppy seed butter mixture over the top of sliders.
Bake. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the buns are toasted to a golden brown perfection.
Serve: Once done, cut in to individual sliders and serve the immediately.
Variations and Substitutions
These delicious turkey cranberry sliders are perfect as is, but here are a few creative ways you can change them up if you'd like:
- Change the cheese. Experiment with different cheeses like Swiss, Brie cheese, or Provolone cheese.
- Add more leftovers! Add a layer of leftover stuffing for an extra Thanksgiving touch.
- Use your favorite deli meat. Substitute leftover ham or deli turkey if you're out of leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
- Change out the rolls. I love buttery hawaiian rolls but you can try different types of rolls for a unique twist, such as sweet rolls or dinner rolls.
- Mix up the seeds. I used poppy seeds here but feel free to try sesame seeds or everything bagel seasoning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Prepare the sliders up to the point before brushing the sauce on the top, and refrigerate them in an airtight container. When ready to serve, prepare the sauce, brush it over the top of the sliders, and bake according to the instructions.
Store any leftover sliders in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day or two (keep in mind that your turkey is already a day old!). Reheat in the oven for a minute or two, until the cheese is melty.
Leftover Turkey Cranberry Sliders with Hawaiian Rolls are not just a creative way to tackle holiday leftovers but a crowd-pleasing, game day favorite that will have everyone asking for the recipe.
If you try these Turkey Cranberry Sliders, let me know what you think in the comments below. And don't forget to tag me on Instagram @frontrangefed so I can see your masterpiece!
More Great Sandwich Recipes
- Easy Salmon BLT Sandwiches With Garlic Aioli
- Spanish Sliders With Chorizo And Roasted Red Pepper
- The BEST Crispy Sourdough Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Easy Rotisserie Chicken Banh Mi Sandwiches
- Hot Honey Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe
Leftover Turkey Cranberry Sandwiches On Kings Hawaiian Rolls
- 1 package Kings Hawaiian Rolls (12 rolls)
- 1 lb turkey (leftover from Thanksgiving or turkey slices from the deli)
- 1 cup cranberry sauce
- 5 slices Havarti Cheese
- 1 tablespoon Poppy Seeds
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large onion sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and coat a large baking dish (big enough to fit all your sliders) with cooking spray.
- Caramelize the onions by sauteing in butter and 1 teaspoon of sugar for about 20-30 minutes, or until soft and browned. Set aside.
- Slice off the top of the entire slab of Hawaiian rolls so that you have a bottom half and a top half. Place the bottom half of the Hawaiian rolls in a large casserole dish, coated with cooking spray.
- Layer the turkey, then the cranberry sauce, then the cheese, and then the caramelized onions. Add the top to the casserole dish.
- Heat the butter in a microwave safe bowl (or over the stove) until fully melted. Add the dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds and stir well to combine.
- Pour the butter mixture over the top of the sliders, then cover the entire baking dish with aluminum foil.
- Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the buns are a toasted, golden brown.
- Caramelizing the onions can take a while, so if you don't have time for it, just saute them for 5-7 minutes until they're soft.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.