Thanksgiving Leftovers Get Rolled Up

A freshly baked turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce roll is a savory twist on traditional sweet rolls.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.  Afterwards, most of us always have leftovers.  As an alternative to the basic after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich or ‘everything’ casserole, I though it would be fun to do a savory twist on the traditional sweet roll.  By rolling leftover turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce in a rosemary infused dough, you get a flavorful once piece meal that you can eat with your hands.  If you pour a bit of warmed leftover gravy on top, it’s an even tastier entrée with a knife and fork.

Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Rolls*

1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
2 tbl Flour
1 tsp Granulated Sugar
1/2 cu Warm Water (about 110°)

1/2  cu Warm Milk (about 110°)
2 tbl Granulated Sugar
1/2 cu Butter, melted
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary, finely minced
1 lg Egg, beaten
3 1/2 cu All-Purpose Flour

4 tbl Butter, melted
2 cu Cooked Stuffing
2 cu Cooked Turkey, roughly chopped
1 cu Cranberry Sauce

Leftover Gravy (optional)


In a medium sized bowl, mix yeast, 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Add warm water and stir. Let mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes until yeast activates and mixture starts to bubble.

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk,  2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, salt, egg, rosemary, and 3 cups of flour. Add yeast mixture and continue mixing until soft dough forms. Add remaining cup of flour and combine until a firm dough forms. Place dough on a floured surface and kneed for about 8-10 minutes. Lightly grease a large bowl with about 1 tablespoon of butter. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat with butter on all sides.

Cover and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove dough from bowl, punch down and roll out to a 14"x14"  square. Brush surface with about 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Spread a layer of stuffing over the entire surface of the dough but leaving about 1" along one side not covered.  Top the stuffing with chopped turkey and then spoon cranberry sauce on top.  Starting on the side opposite the 1" uncovered side, tightly roll up dough and filling mixture to from a 14" long log. Pinch and seal the long edge.

Using a very sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 slices. Brush about 1 tablespoon of the melted button on the bottom of a 8" x 8" baking dish. Place rolls closely together in the dish with the cut side exposed.

Brush the top of the rolls with remaining butter. Cover rolls and let them rise for an additional 45 minutes.  Bake rolls in a preheated 350° oven for 35-40 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

If you have leftover gravy, thin it a bit with water or stock, if necessary, and heat it to a simmer.  Remove rolls from oven and give your guests the option of spooning a bit of gravy on top. Serve warm.

*This dish is also good anytime with precooked chicken (or turkey), freshly prepared stuffing (optional) and canned cranberry sauce.

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