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Thanksgiving Leftover Grilled Cheese

November 20, 2012

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!


serves Makes 1 fat grilled cheese, active time 10 minutes, total time 10 minutes

  • 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.

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