Turkey Cranberry Sliders
Need an idea for using up all of the Thanksgiving leftovers? My favorite way to turn the turkey into a whole new meal is to make Turkey Cranberry Sliders. They couldn’t be easier and they are super tasty! Simply fill Hawaiian rolls with turkey, cranberry sauce, your favorite cheese, and you could even add potatoes or stuffing. Top with poppy seed butter, then bake to golden brown perfection. The ultimate way to use Thanksgiving leftovers and feed a crowd!
For this turkey sliders recipe, feel free to use just turkey (or another deli meat variety) and cheese (leaving the cranberry sauce off) for an awesome anytime party snack. Perfect for game day!
One of the main reasons I get so excited for Thanksgiving, besides my pumpkin pie dessert squares, is Black Friday. And these sliders are a Black Friday must! Black Friday is one of my favorite traditions. We’re old school and go shopping the morning after Thanksgiving because this girl needs her beauty rest. But I absolutely love getting up early on Friday, grabbing a white chocolate peppermint mocha and checking gifts off my kiddos’ wishlists, all with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. When we get home and are all just about to drop, I whip up these leftover turkey sliders. It’s the most delicious way to make a new meal out of the leftovers.
How To Use Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey
These Turkey Cranberry Sliders are so good and almost better than the big meal. The sweet and savory combo is so delicious and I’m pretty much a fan of any recipe using Hawaiian rolls.
If you’re looking for more ways to use the leftover turkey, just use any recipe that calls for shredded chicken and swap the chicken out for turkey. This Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup, these Easy Chicken Enchiladas or this Turkey Pot Pie would work great!
Ingredients For Turkey Sliders
There are just a few essential ingredients to make these sliders amazing!
- Hawaiian rolls. I highly recommend using Hawaiian buns. They’re absolutely perfect for baking sliders. The inside of the bread stays soft and tender while the outside of the sliders have an ever-so-slight crispiness.
- Turkey (or another meat option). If you have leftover turkey or even ham, that’s great! But you can make these year round by simply using your favorite deli meat.
- Cheese. Use any favorite cheese. We typically go with Swiss or smoked gouda. So good!
- Cranberry sauce. This ingredient isn’t actually essential. If you don’t have cranberry sauce, use any favorite jam or jelly or don’t use a sauce at all.
- Poppy seed butter. Brush a mixture of butter, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds over the top of the buns before baking. This butter mixture gives these sliders SO much flavor. It’s a must!
How To Make Leftover Turkey Sliders
Start off by grabbing all of the leftovers, plus a package of Sweet Hawaiian rolls, cheese, butter, and seasonings. If you don’t happen to have leftovers, but you want to make this recipe, you can use sliced deli turkey and store-bought cranberry sauce. Trader Joe’s makes a tasty option! You could also use jam, jelly, or another favorite sauce.
The first step to make these is to slice the Sweet Hawaiian Rolls. You want to keep all of the rolls together. Next, you’re going to start layering the ingredients. Feel free to layer on more leftovers, if you have them. I think sweet potatoes or stuffing would be awesome on these as well. It really doesn’t matter the order you layer ingredients, but I start with the turkey.
Then, spread the cranberry sauce over the turkey. Use as much or little as you like. This is where you would also layer on any additional ingredients, like potatoes or stuffing.
The last layer here is the cheese. You can use any type of cheese. I like a white cheese for these sliders and I’ve used Swiss, Gouda and Provolone. A good smoked Gouda is my favorite.
Last, place the top half of the rolls over the cheese layer. Use a brush to spread the melted butter mixture over the rolls. If you don’t have a brush, you can spoon the melted butter over the rolls. Cook the rolls until cheese is melted and the turkey is heated. I cooked mine with foil over the top for about 15 minutes, to keep the tops from getting too brown. After 15 minutes, take the foil off and continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and slice into individual sliders and serve immediately. If you have leftover gravy, it makes a great dip for these turkey sliders! Sliders are best served right after being removed from the oven. These don’t store or re-heat very well.
Tips For Turkey Sliders
- These sliders can be assembled up to 4 hours before baking. Store them covered in the fridge until you’re ready to bake and enjoy.
- Turkey sliders are best eaten immediately after they come out of the oven.
- Don’t forget to cover the sliders before baking with foil, so that the tops don’t burn. After 15 minutes, you can uncover the sliders and let them bake for about 5 more minutes and until golden brown.
- This recipe as written makes 12 sliders and most people eat about 2 sliders. You can easily double or triple the recipe to feed a crowd.
While turkey and cranberry are a pretty great pairing on their own, you can add more ingredients or change up the ingredients to these sliders to fit your preferences.
- Spicy. Add pickled jalapeños in between the meat and cheese.
- Bacon. How delicious would bacon taste in these sliders?!
- Italian. Use marinara sauce instead of cranberry sauce and mozzarella cheese. You can even swap the turkey for pepperoni!
More Fall Favorites to Enjoy
Need an idea for using up all of the Thanksgiving leftovers? My favorite way to turn the turkey into a whole new meal is to make Turkey Cranberry Sliders. They couldn't be easier and they are super tasty! Simply fill Hawaiian rolls with turkey, cranberry sauce, your favorite cheese, and you could even add potatoes or stuffing.
- 8 ounces leftover turkey or thick cut turkey deli meat
- 4 large slices Gouda, Havarti, Swiss or Provolone cheese (or other favorite cheese)
- 1 cup cranberry relish or sauce
- 1 package Hawaiian dinner rolls (12 rolls)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon poppy seeds or Everything Bagel seasoning
Preheat oven to 375° F. and prepare a 9X13 (or slightly smaller) baking dish with cooking spray.
Slice Hawaiian buns in half while keeping all of the buns attached to one another. Remove the top buns and set aside.
Place the bottom buns in the pan. Add the turkey over the buns and top with cranberry relish or sauce, slices of cheese and the tops of the buns.
In a small microwave safe bowl, mix the butter, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon and seasoning or poppy seeds. Microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until the butter is melted.
Brush the butter mixture over the top of the buns. Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and slice into individual sliders and serve immediately. If you have leftover gravy, it makes a great dip for these turkey sliders! Sliders are best served right after being removed from the oven. These don't store or re-heat very well.
*Measurements for turkey, cranberry sauce and cheese are all approximate. Use the preferred amount for your sliders.
Photos by Molly at Yes to Yolks.
This post was updated with new content October 2020.