Turkey and Cheese Sliders

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Hawaiian Roll Turkey and Cheese Sliders — Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders Recipe

My readers love my sliders recipes and this version gives you a way to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas and repurpose it in tender, soft, and gooey baked turkey sliders.

This turkey and cheese sliders recipe features juicy turkey and Swiss cheese, cranberry sauce, and it’s all nestled in soft, sweet Hawaiian rolls, and topped with melted butter and poppy seeds.

Don’t have leftover turkey? No problem! You can still make the sliders with deli turkey, shredded rotisserie chicken or deli chicken, or even ham. More on that below.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

If you’re reading this the day after Thanksgiving, and you’re starving from all that black Friday shopping, these are the perfect snack!

The day after Thanksgiving, I’m usually not up for a big meal, nor anything complicated in the kitchen, and this turkey cranberry sliders recipe is so fast and easy to make!

You probably have most of the only 6 ingredients on hand already from your holiday leftovers and all you’ll need to do is pick up a package of Hawaiian rolls and in 20 minutes, you’ll be devouring these family favorite turkey sliders.

They are also great for football Sundays, game day parties, or anytime you need a comfort food sliders recipe.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Ingredients in Turkey and Swiss Sliders

Making turkey and cheese sliders on Hawaiian rolls only requires a handful of easy to find, and very common, fridge and pantry ingredients including:

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

How to Make Turkey and Cheese Sliders 

It doesn’t get any easier to use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey than these sliders! Here’s an overview of how the turkey and Swiss sliders come together: 

Preheat the oven and spray a 9 x 13-inch pan or casserole dish with cooking spray. If you’re using a metal pan, I always line my pan with nonstick foil for easier cleanup but it’s optional.

  1. Using a large serrated knife, slice the rolls. 
  2. Evenly add the turkey.
  3. Evenly add the cranberry sauce.
  4. Evenly add the cheese. 
  5. Place the top of the rolls back on, brush with butter, sprinkle with poppy seeds, cover with foil, and bake covered for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, peel back the foil, and bake for 5 more minutes or until lightly golden brown before serving.

Why Use Hawaiian Rolls for This Recipe? 

Although you could use regular slider rolls or small hamburger buns to make this easy recipe, I highly recommend using Hawaiian sweet rolls

Hawaiian rolls are soft, buttery, and slightly sweet. They pair perfectly with the melted Swiss cheese and your leftover turkey or deli turkey.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Slicing Options for Hawaiian Rolls

You have two ways to go when slicing the Hawaiian rolls for your turkey and cheese sliders:

  1. Slice the rolls in half horizontally so you have a ‘slab’ of tops and a ‘slab’ of bottoms. This is the way that I usually make them because I think it’s easier.
  2. You can also slice each roll in half individually and place the 12 halved and separated Hawaiian rolls into your baking dish. When you do add the turkey, cranberry sauce, and cheese, you need to be more precise about placing it on each individual sandwich. The benefit is that the baked sliders are easier to grab without much slicing or cutting after you bake them.

For instance, on the photo below, I did separate these before baking so you can easily slide a knife in without a struggle for the photos.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

What Kind of Turkey Should I Use?

The best kind of turkey to use for Hawaiian roll turkey sliders is whatever you have on hand!

If you’re lucky enough to have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, Christmas, or you’re one of those people that makes turkey other times of the year, it would be amazing in these baked turkey and cheese sliders. My goal with this recipe was to help people use up their leftover holiday turkey.

You can use white meat, dark meat, or a mixture. Whatever you feel like and have!

However, if you don’t have leftover turkey, feel free to pick up about 3/4 of a pound of sliced deli turkey. 

Or you can also use a package of turkey from the prepackaged options that I always use to make sandwiches for lunch. You can make these baked slider roll sandwiches with that type of turkey as well.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Can the Turkey Be Substituted? 

Yes! This recipe will also work with shredded rotisserie chicken or sliced chicken.

Or make my Ham and Cheese Sliders if you find yourself with extra holiday ham or use sliced deli ham.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

What Type of Cheese Is Best?

When it comes to selecting the cheese for your Hawaiian roll turkey cranberry sliders  you’ve got quite a few options.

My favorite cheese options include:

  • Swiss (what I use because it’s the most convenient)
  • Provolone
  • Havarti
  • Mozzarella

It’s most important to use something that melts especially well and all of the above listed cheeses do just that.

While you could use something like American cheese, cheddar, or Parmesan, they don’t melt as easily and from a flavor perspective, I prefer the other white cheeses listed above.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Can I Omit Cranberry Sauce In Hawaiian Roll Turkey Sliders?

Yes, you can omit the cranberry sauce if you don’t have it on hand.

However, if you’re making these turkey and cheese sliders with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas, chances are you may have some cranberry sauce on hand, and so I definitely recommend using it. The cranberry sauce adds a tart and tangy flavor element plus some texture to these comfort food sliders and I just love it.

Not sure what cranberry sauce to use? I’ve got you covered!

I have a few homemade cranberry sauce recipes:

  1. Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce – Move over, boring cranberry sauce! Cranberries are so much better with blueberries and wine! Make your own fresh cranberry and blueberry sauce in 30 minutes. It’s so easy, everyone loves it, a hands-down Averie Cooks reader favorite for almost a decade!
  2. Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Apples –  Fast and easy homemade cranberry sauce that’s made with cranberries, apples, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and allspice. A lovely balance of sweet-yet-tart with warmly spiced flavors!
  3. Cabernet Cranberry and Currant Sauce – Make your own easy homemade cranberry sauce in 30 minutes! This unique cranberry sauce recipe is especially great because of the wine!
  4. Cranberry Pineapple Mango Preservatives – Much more uniquely flavorful than traditional cranberry sauce from the addition of pineapple, mango, cinnamon, and ginger, which sweetly spice and enhance fresh cranberries and made in just half an hour!

Store-bought is also fine. If you’re going this route, opt for a tried-and-true cranberry sauce that you know you like. The chunkier the better, in my opinion. Whole berry is best.

Tip

Whatever cranberry sauce you use, I recommend only using the thickest and chunkiest parts of the sauce. If it’s watery, drain off the water and opt for the thickest part of the sauce. You don’t want excess water literally water-logging your sliders.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Should I Use Poppy Seeds on the Sliders? 

If you’re thinking that you can get away with skipping the poppy seeds on your baked turkey sliders on Hawaiian rolls, I don’t recommend that.

Those little poppyseeds cling to the top of the sweet Hawaiian rolls and add a bit of texture and very slight crunch, combined with the flavor they add and do make a difference. So use the poppy seeds!

Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning blend is a handy substitution if you don’t have pure plain poppy seeds, but have that instead. 

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

What to Serve with Turkey and Cheese Sliders

Hawaiian roll Turkey sliders are so versatile! You can make them for a quick and easy lunch or dinner, especially if you’ve got leftover turkey on hand!

And at that point whatever you feel like serving with them with will work just fine.

If you’re serving the sliders with other appetizers and snack recipes here are some of my favorites that will pair great:

If the turkey and cheese Hawaiian roll sliders are going to be the main dish, then I recommend sides and salads such as:

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Can This Sliders Recipe Be Prepared in Advance?

This is one of those recipes that is so fast and easy to make.

You are basically making a giant baked sandwich and this does not require hardly any time commitment nor great kitchen skills. Therefore, I really don’t see a point to making these in advance.

However, if you absolutely think this will benefit you, you can cut the rolls into “slabs,” then layer on the turkey, cranberry sauce, and Swiss cheese, and top with the remaining top slab of Hawaiian rolls.

Cover the pan tightly with foil and refrigerate for up 12 hours until you’re ready to add the butter mixture and bake. 

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Can Leftover Turkey Sliders Be Frozen or Refrigerated?

Your turkey sliders on Hawaiian rolls are truly best served hot and fresh from the oven. I highly doubt you will have a problem with leftovers.

Whether you’re serving these as a day after Thanksgiving light lunch or snack, as a holiday entertaining appetizer, or as a fan favorite game day recipe idea people love these turkey and Swiss sliders!

That being said, I suppose you could freeze these airtight for up to 3 months.

Leftover sliders will also keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days, noting that the buns will become soggier as time passes.

Zapping to warm them a bit in the microwave is my reheating suggestion.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Tips for the Best Hawaiian Roll Turkey Sliders 

This is such a simple, quick, and easy recipe, but here are some of my parting tips and tricks, so that you have the best turkey and cheese sliders!

Hawaiian Rolls – When making baked ham and cheese sliders, you need to use Hawaiian rolls. They’re slightly sweet, which pairs perfectly with the savory turkey and cheese.

I am a big fan of King’s Hawaiian Original Sweet Rolls. In my opinion, there’s really no substitutions for that brand. I’ve never tried a generic or store brand.

Keep Them Covered – You’ll bake the sliders for about 20 minutes total. However, the first 15 minutes your baking pan needs to be covered tightly with foil.

The primary reason is to protect the tops of the Hawaiian rolls, which are prone to burning. Secondarily, keeping them covered, helps the cheese melt easier.

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

Don’t Overbake – As I’ve mentioned, Hawaiian bread is a tender delicate bread, and it is prone to burning, so keep an eye on your sliders, and make sure not to over bake nor burn them!

Extra Cheesy – I adore cheese and tend to use more than indicated in most recipes. If you’re a cheese fanatic, you can add a few extra slices without thinking twice. Or nearly double the amount of cheese that I call for but note that it may not all quite melt, but that’s OK.

Extra Buttery – If you’re a person that likes finger lickin’ good type of sliders, then increase the amount of butter. Double or triple it, whatever you like.

Leftover Turkey? – If you’re still wondering what to do with your leftover turkey, my Turkey Tetrazzini, Turkey Pot Pie, or 30-Minute Turkey Noodle Soup are all great options!

Turkey and Cheese Sliders - Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.

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5 from 7 votes

Turkey and Cheese Sliders

By Averie Sunshine
Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12
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Ingredients  

  • 12 count package King's Hawaiian Original Sweet Rolls
  • 2 cups shredded leftover turkey or sliced deli turkey
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce*, homemade or store bought
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese, or more if desired (Provolone, Havarti, or Mozzarella may be substituted(
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9 x 13" baking dish or metal baking pan with cooking spray. Tip - If you're using a metal baking pan, I like to line my pan with nonstick foil for easier cleanup; set aside.
  • Either sliced the Hawaiian rolls in half horizontally so you will have a bottom "slab" and then a top "slab" OR separate the rolls and slice each one and a half horizontally. Note - I find the first "slab" method easier because you don't have to be as precise about the placement of the remaining ingredients. However, slicing the final baked sliders is a bit easier with the second method.
  • Place the bottom half of all the rolls in your baking pan and then evenly sprinkle the cooked shredded turkey over the rolls.
  • Evenly spread the cranberry sauce over the turkey, making sure to use whole berry sauce or thicker cranberry sauce, and nothing that is watery.
  • Evenly layer the cheese over the top. Tip - If you like cheese, you can easily add a few extra slices, or you can even almost double the amount of cheese. Note that if you do double it, it may not fully melt, which is fine.
  • Place the tops of the rolls over the cheese.
  • Evenly brush the tops of all the rolls with the melted butter. Tip - For extra buttery sliders, you can double or triple the amount of butter.
  • Evenly sprinkle with poppy seeds, cover tightly with foil, and bake covered for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the baking pan from the oven, peel back the foil and bake for about 5 minutes uncovered, or until the tops of the rules are likely golden browned. Tip - Make sure to keep a close eye on the rolls in the last few minutes of baking so that they do not burn because Hawaiian bread is prone to burning.
  • Serve immediately. Sliders are best served warm and fresh but leftover sliders will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months, noting that they will not have the same texture, and will likely become soggier as time passes, or during the thawing process.

Notes

*I have a few homemade cranberry sauce recipes:
Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce – Move over, boring cranberry sauce! Cranberries are so much better with blueberries and wine! Make your own fresh cranberry and blueberry sauce in 30 minutes. It’s so easy, everyone loves it, a hands-down Averie Cooks reader favorite for almost a decade!
Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Apples –  Fast and easy homemade cranberry sauce that’s made with cranberries, apples, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and allspice. A lovely balance of sweet-yet-tart with warmly spiced flavors!
Cabernet Cranberry and Currant Sauce – Make your own easy homemade cranberry sauce in 30 minutes! This unique cranberry sauce recipe is especially great because of the wine!
Cranberry Pineapple Mango Preservatives – Much more uniquely flavorful than traditional cranberry sauce from the addition of pineapple, mango, cinnamon, and ginger, which sweetly spice and enhance fresh cranberries and made in just half an hour!
Store bought is also fine. If you’re going this route, opt for a tried-and-true cranberry sauce that you know you like. The chunkier the better, in my opinion. Whole berry is best.
Tips: Whatever cranberry sauce you use, I recommend only using the thickest and chunkiest parts of the sauce. If it’s watery, drain off the water and opt for the thickest part of the sauce. You don’t want excess water literally water-logging your sliders.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 198kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 156mg, Sugar: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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