Got the pals to give thanks for but don’t have the oven space (or emotional capability) for a full day of turkey roasting? Have a Dorms-giving day where each friend brings a side, with a panini press in hand, and maybe even a grocery store pre-roasted turkey — and the most epic Thanksgiving sammies are born.


Photo by Helena Lin

To get started, you must know how to properly slice a loaf of ciabatta bread. Even the best fall down sometimes, which is what we learned while recipe testing, and since fall is the season of the carb, we don’t want you cutting any fingers off either.

The key is to take your loaf of ciabatta and hold it down on the cutting board with your non-dominant hand, while holding the bread knife with your dominant hand. Cut the loaf horizontally (shown below).


Photo courtesy of

Now that you know how to not cause a slight scene at Dorms-giving by losing a finger, make some of these panini leftover combos to carbo-load for the feast of a lifetime.

#SpoonTip: While we used ciabatta, Challah bread is without a doubt the second best or equally masterful bread for next-day sandwiches because it’s doughy enough to soak up every bit of gravy and cranberry sauce.

Some other killer combos that we didn’t have room in our stomachs for:

  • The Moist Maker: Anybody can make the iconic sandwich that costed Ross his job on Friends, and everyone wants to. All you need is three pieces of bread, some leftover stuffing, some leftover gravy, and then either vegetables or turkey. Allow the third piece of bread to soak in the gravy, and then arrange the other ingredients as you like on the sandwich.
  • The On-the-Go: If you have a wrap, you can throw any of your potluck extras into the wrap to bring to class if you’re in a rush.
  • The College Student: Grilled cheese is versatile, easy, and really hard to screw up. Make your most memorable grilled cheese yet by smearing gravy or cranberry sauce on one side of the bread before throwing it in the pan.

Not into sandwiches? You can make an entire Thanksgiving meal in just 3 hours like this, or check out this compilation of creative ways to use up your leftovers.