These Thanksgiving Gobbler Rolls are seriously the most DELICIOUS way to transform those Thanksgiving leftovers into something truly mouth-watering! A tender sweet roll dough packed with mashed potatoes, corn, roasted turkey and stuffing topped with “gravy” icing and cranberry relish garnish!
Question – what’s your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal? Is the eating it when it’s straight out of the oven with your loved ones all around? Or is it that 2am fridge raid for those cold turkey sandwiches? Or what about leftovers the next day – or as my Mom would call it “Thanksgiving #2”? For me it’s all of them but honestly I’d have to say my all time favorite is how I get to revamp those leftovers into something incredible. You’ve seen my Gobbler Wrap and Gobbler Pizza. However I have to be honest guys, this recipe today… it’s something special. Like if I had to choose between this and my gobbler pizza, this will win out And you all know how much I LOOOOOOOOVE pizza. But this, dear God people it’s literally everything you would expect how a cinnamon roll would be BUT instead of sweet it’s full-on savory Thanksgiving-fied!
So did you survive Thanksgiving yesterday? Hopefully no family squabbles, dry birds or failed desserts. Growing up Thanksgiving was a big deal in my house; hell any day where there was a huge feast was a big day. But for us Thanksgiving is where Mom would cook for days, pies upon pies, and people coming in and out of the house all day long. Our main meal was at 2pm, 3pm if Mom was making a backup meal. Yes you read that right, back up meal.
When Mom made her turkey it was at least 25 pounds….at least. However since our kitchen door was pretty much a revolving door, she’d make 2 turkeys with pretty much a double batch of sides. At a minimum we had 10-15 pounds of mashed potatoes. Her thought was we’d have our family meal, we’d need enough for leftovers for 8pm that night, 2am and for the next few days. And if we had company they all needed to be able to take home their own pie and a full plate of food per person.
As I said we’d eat at 2pm and then always reconvened at the kitchen table at 8pm for our ‘2nd’ meal. Stuff was reheated and that’s when you had your leftover rehash. Some would stick with the norm – just a full plate of Thanksgiving foods, some would have turkey sandwiches on white bread with mayo. My one brother would make a Thanksgiving bowl (even before we knew to call them ‘bowl’). He’s start with a huge pile of mashed potatoes with a whole in the middle. In the middle he’d place green bean casserole, chopped up stuffing chunks, chopped turkey, corn and gravy. This then was eaten with a spoon in one hand and copious amounts of rolls in the other to help scoop it up.
Now me, I was that one that took those leftovers and turned the into new meals. I just couldn’t into the whole cold turkey sandwich and mayo. They are good (well minus the mayo) but even at a young age I was one to revamp them into new meals. I’ve made grilled turkey and mashed potato sandwiches with a gravy dipping sauce, Thanksgiving casserole bake, crispy potato stacks with turkey & stuffing patty topped with green bean casserole…honestly I could go on and on.
So this recipe, well it started the Saturday after Thanksgiving. You see Mr. Fantabulous wanted cinnamon rolls and don’t ask me what I was thinking but I ended up making a double batch of dough. Now I realized this before I added the sweetness and cinnamon to the dough. I took out half of the dough, finished up the cinnamon rolls and then sat there looking at the rest of the dough. That’s when I threw caution to the wind and decided to make a savory roll but with a Thanksgiving twist.
Now these rolls, yeah they are all that and the Thanksgiving bird. The gravy icing… OMG it’s well, the icing on the cake. Yeah I know <groan>. LOL The smell is seriously everything Thanksgiving in a single pan. The rolls are tender, buttery and just melt in your mouth. In one bite you get the creamy mashed potatoes and corn, the next that perfectly seasoned stuffing and in another that oh-so-tender roasted turkey. And all the while that peppery thick turkey gravy. And let’s not forget that cranberry relish. Folks it adds such a beautiful sweet note to this dish. If this were a sundae, that relish would be the proverbial cherry on top…. well except on my sundae as you all know I loathe those demon seeds.
This is one of those dishes where it would be killer for brunch or a church bazaar. How about after a long day of Black Friday shopping? You’re whooped from standing in line for hours, dealing with the crowds and you don’t have the energy to throw together a plate of food. Instead, these you made earlier that morning and all you have to do is pull of a roll, reheat it and indulge. Trust me, you’re going to fall in LOVE with these rolls!
So instead of reaching for your slices of sandwich bread, mayo and cold turkey for leftover turkey sandwiches, take some time and whip these up. You’ll never look at Thanksgiving leftovers again the same way. This is that recipe you’re going to want to share/pin/tweet and gram because this is going to be your next favorite Thanksgiving leftover recipe! So with that, I’m off to whip these up again and do some online Black Friday shopping because there is no way this child is going out to the stores. I’m completely fine shopping in my jammies.
- 3/4 cup milk, warmed to 110F
- 1 1/2 tsp instant active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 Tbl unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 2 large eggs, room temperature and beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 3/4 cups ap flour
- 1 Tbl vital wheat gluten (optional)*
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all the warmed milk, yeast and 1 Tbl of the sugar. Stir to combine and allow to foam up (~5 minutes).
- Next add in the flour, rest of the sugar, eggs and vital wheat gluten (if using).
- Mix on low just to combine, scraping the sides down slightly for 3 minutes.
- Add in the salt and 4 Tbl butter, one Tbl at a time allow the butter to become incorporated in the dough. It will incorporate – just let it work its magic. This step should take about 5 minutes on low-med and 4-5 on medium. The dough will become smooth and slightly tacky though not sticking to the side of the bowl.
- Place the dough in a lightly buttered bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size.
- Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.
- After dough has risen, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
- Brush the dough with the 2 Tbl melted butter with pastry brush.
- Spread out the mashed potatoes in a thin layer over the dough taking all the way to ends on 3 sides, leaving a 1/4” of the edge furthers away from you untouched.
- Next sprinkle on the corn, turkey and stuffing.
- Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in Thanksgiving Gobbler rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
- With a serrated knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section.
- Gently saw to cut.
- Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly.
- The unbaked rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
- Cover loosely with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 40 minutes or until doubled in size. At this point the rolls should be touching one another.
- While the rolls are doubling, preheat the oven to 350F, rack in the middle.
- Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and drizzle on 1/2 of the turkey gravy.
- Return to the oven and allow to make for 5-10 minutes more or until the rolls are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- To serve drizzle on more gravy and top with cranberry relish.