Blogsgiving + Leftover Turkey Salad Sandwich

Hold onto your hats ladies and gents because THANKSGIVING IS SO SOON! Like mega-close. I bet you can almost taste the gravy—I know I can! Really, though, how can you not be excited for Thanksgiving? It is literally a day-long celebration of food. Is there anything better?

But there are some setbacks to Thanksgiving…if you could call it that. Really more of a predicament. There are piles and piles of leftovers. After three identical Thanksgiving dinners for three days in a row, a girl needs some variety. So we need to get creative with our leftovers.

Enter this wonderful sandwich. I guarantee that huge turkey, and some other fixings, will disappear in a snap if you follow my lead.

This turkey salad is similar to a chicken salad sandwich you might buy at the deli—but it’s better. I’ve spiced it up and made it reminiscent of the flavors of the holiday season! Also PSA: this sandwich is a phenomenal contribution to any and all of those fun parties you’ll be asked to bring something to. So festive!

Onto this recipe! The roll I like to use with this turkey salad is a sweeter dinner roll (though feel free to use leftover dinner rolls from your Thanksgiving feast). The mild sweetness from the roll is a nice contrast to the tangy turkey salad.

What better way to ring in Thanksgiving than to celebrate what makes dinner rolls possible? Yeast! Yeast is a microorganism (Saccharomyces cerevisiae if you want to get specific) whose sole purpose in life is to eat sugar and generate CO2 (carbon dioxide) and ethanol as byproducts. Fat in the dough creates layers and traps the air. But there are three steps to making yeast act its best!

First: hydration. Baking yeast is manufactured by freezing it in its most productive growth state through drying. In order to bring it back to life, you need a warm, cozy environment with some food.

Second: proofing. Yeast eats the sugar in the dough and causes the initial lift. As the yeast gets more productive, it begins to reproduce and cause even more activity. More yeast cells = more rise in the oven.

And third: baking! As the heat begins to bring the temperature up in the dough, the yeast becomes super active. That activity creates more carbon dioxide than ever before and lifts the dough dramatically. This is also called oven spring. As the temperature of the dough continues to increase to the oven’s temperature, the yeast dies, and the rest of the baking proceeds.

Hooray for Thanksgiving! Or rather Blogsgiving! This post is part of an epic round-up to celebrate Thanksgiving organized by the wonderful Meghan from Cake ‘n Knife and Susannah from Feast + West. Because we all know that this holiday is all about family, friends, and delicious food—and the blogging world is too!

The idea is based on an old-fashioned potluck dinner party where each blogger brings a dish to the party. There are more than 60 blogs sharing recipes, so follow along to make sure that you don’t miss out! All of us are posting to social media with the hashtag #blogsgivingdinner, but you can see the whole menu in Part 1 and Part 2 of the recipe round-up.

Sweet Dinner Rolls

Makes 12 large rolls or 15 smaller rolls

Adapted from Handle the Heat

½ cup milk

2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)

½ cup pineapple juice, room temperature

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

2 large eggs

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

4 ½ cups bread flour

1 egg for egg wash

  1. Over medium-low heat, heat the milk in a small saucepan until just warm to the touch (about 100⁰F). When it reaches temperature, remove from heat and sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Let sit until fragrant—about 3 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk mixture, pineapple juice, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to combine the ingredients.
  3. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and turn to medium-low speed. Add the rest of the flour, ½ cup at a time, while continuing to mix. When all of the flour is incorporated, let the mixer run for 4-5 minutes to knead. A smooth ball should form.
  4. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size—about 1 hour.
  5. Oil 2 6 inch round pans (for 12 rolls) or 1 13×9 inch baking pan (for 15 rolls). Set aside.
  6. Once risen, divide the dough into 12 or 15 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place into prepared pan/pans. In a small bowl, combine the egg with a splash of water. Brush all over the rolls.
  7. Cover the rolls and let rise again about 30 minutes.
  8. Bake the rolls in a 375⁰F oven for about 20-30 minutes (depending on size of rolls). Serve warm.

Holiday Turkey Salad

Adapted from All Recipes

3 ½ – 4 cups cubed, cooked turkey meat

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

1 ½ cups dried cranberries

1 cup chopped celery

2 green onions, chopped

1 cup chopped walnuts

Ground black pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl combine the turkey, mayo, paprika, and seasoned salt. Add the rest of the ingredients a few cracks of ground black pepper. Mix to combine. Chill for 1 hour, and serve!

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6 Comments

  1. This looks so great! I used to make myself Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches when I was a kid. I would put turkey, sweet potato, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and to make it even more ridiculous a little bit of mashed potatoes, all smashed together between bread! What it lacked in elegance it more than made up for in taste :-) HAPPY Blogsgiving dinner!!

    • Kelsey
      November 10
      Reply

      Yes it’s as if someone designed Thanksgiving food to all go together perfectly! Completely agree with your sandwich choices Kathryn 😉 Happy blogsgiving dinner!

  2. Dad
    November 10
    Reply

    Kelsey, as usual, your post looks fabulous. You need to make this when you are home for the holiday! Please!

    • Kelsey
      November 11
      Reply

      :) Thanks dad!

  3. November 10
    Reply

    Celebratory leftovers are the best!!! These look so good and such soft rolls. I am starring at my screen feeling so envious! You guys have so many celebrations this time of year. First Halloween then Thanksgiving! We don’t have anything until Christmas. So not fair 😛

    • Kelsey
      November 11
      Reply

      Yeah it’s a real holiday season over here from October to January 😉 I love it! xoxo

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