Make these sweet and savory Waffled Cranberry Turkey Sandwiches with your Thanksgiving leftovers. Stuffed with cream cheese, cranberry sauce, fresh greens and turkey and finished with a dusting of powdered sugar, these sandwiches hit the spot!
Normally I have no trouble devouring Thanksgiving leftovers within a few days. Between cornbread stuffing topped with a fried egg, creamy mashed potato bowls, and apple pie for breakfast (obviously), we usually have those leftovers polished off in no time.
But this year I enjoyed a total of 4 different Thanksgiving dinners, each of which came with leftovers. Don’t hear this as a complaint. I mean, I LOVE a good leftover turkey sandwich on a Hawaiian roll with some Miracle Whip. Especially when the leftover meat is from my favorite Oven Roasted Turkey recipe.
But come Friday, I was over it. If we had any hope of finishing up those turkey leftovers, the sandwich was going to have to be reinvented.
So reinvent we did–in the form of waffles, cream cheese, and leftover cranberry pear sauce.
Consider this a Thanksgiving makeover of the classic Monte Cristo. Crispy waffles sandwich a sweet and tangy cranberry cream cheese filling, turkey leftovers, and a bite of peppery arugula.
Finished off with a little powdered sugar, these sandwiches are pretty enough to serve for a fancy brunch, but simple enough to enjoy for a lazy lunch.
For those of you who get all weird when your meat and your fruit mix, I beg you, give this sandwich a try. The Mr. hates when fruit invades his savory food. Hawaiian pizza? No. Cranberry pork chops? No. And God forbid someone slip some mandarin oranges into his salad.
But even the fruit hater had to admit he enjoyed this sweet and savory sandwich.
A few notes on how this all comes together:
I was really excited to find this recipe for whole wheat waffles from Faux Martha. They’re light and fluffy with a crispy exterior that’s sturdy enough to hold onto your sandwich fixins.
This batter makes 6 waffles, which is enough for 12 quarter sandwiches. If you’re not looking to feed a crowd, you can freeze any leftovers for a quick and easy breakfast.
I’ve left the amounts for all the sandwich fillings blank, since it will depend on how many sandwiches you’d like to make. As a guide, I used one 8 oz. block of cream cheese and about 1 cup cranberry sauce to make all 12 sandwiches.
You can serve these at room temperature, but I prefer to assemble them then warm them up just a bit in the oven until everything kind of melts together. Perfection.
For the waffles:
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the sandwiches:
- Leftover sliced turkey
- Leftover cranberry sauce
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
For the waffles:
- Heat your waffle iron to high heat.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Melt the butter in the microwave in a large measuring cup. Add the buttermilk to the hot melted butter mixture and whisk together. Whisk in the egg and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. The batter will be a little lumpy.
- Pour batter into the heated waffle iron until it just covers the outside edges (always better to err on the side of too little batter rather than HUGE mess on your counter).
- Remove waffles when they're browned and crispy on the outside and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. I got 6 waffles out of this batter, which will make 12 sandwiches. If you don't want that many sandwiches, you can wrap the extra waffles in saran wrap, place in a freezer safe bag, and save them for breakfast another day.
For the sandwiches:
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Break the waffles into fourths. Smear cream cheese all over one side of the waffles, then spread cranberry sauce on top of that. Place slices of turkey on the cranberry sauce followed by the arugula. Top with another quarter of a waffle, then place the sandwich back on the baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Place the sandwiches in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar, if desired, then serve.
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