This turkey cheddar apple butter panini is the perfect fall lunch. Pressed until the cheese is super melty with crisp apples, sage and fresh turkey, it’s like fall in a bite.

A couple of months ago, I drove down to Asheville, NC and back straight through with Brandy for a conference.

When we bought the tickets, I envisioned it as a fun road trip. When it came to down to it though, a 12 hour trip took almost 15 due to road closures, traffic and obviously, bathroom and food breaks.

My back was spasming, I was literally losing my mind by the time we pulled into the hotel and I swore I’d never do it again.

Guess where I’m headed today? (and thankfully missing out on the flocks of small children ringing my doorbell and selectively choosing their candy with their grubby little hands without even saying “trick or treat”)

Turkey cheddar apple butter panini

Asheville, NC.

This time though, there are four of us and I don’t plan on driving the full 12-15 hours myself.

However, four people in a car packed with a week’s worth of clothes and food, towing a trailer with two dirtbikes and mountain bikes is not going to make for a very luxurious trip down.

Trailer tires don’t appreciate speeds of 85+ mph so between that and the fact that any time we’ve ever road tripped with “boy accessories” like this something has broken (trailer lights, tie downs, flat tires, etc.) and caused a nice little delay at some middle of nowhere rest stop/gas station.

Turkey cheddar and apple butter panini

All I’m asking for is that when (yes, when, because I’m mentally preparing myself so I don’t get all pissy when it does occur) it happens, there’s a Chick-fil-A nearby.

Turkey cheddar apple butter and sage panini

Not that it can compete with this turkey cheddar apple butter panini, but those waffle fries and sweet polynesian sauce can surely make a small automotive setback a bit brighter.

For more fall inspired apple butter recipes, check out 10 ways to use apple butter!

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Turkey Cheddar Apple Butter Panini

Servings: 2 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
This turkey cheddar apple butter panini is the perfect fall lunch. Pressed until the cheese is super melty with crisp apples, sage and fresh turkey, it's like fall in a bite.


  • 4 slices of hearty bread, I used sprouted Ezekiel bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh turkey
  • 8 leaves fresh sage
  • handful pea shoots


  • Butter one side of each piece of bread.
  • Flip the bread over so that the non-buttered side is face up and spread the apple butter on each piece.
  • Layer the following evenly among two of the slices of bread: cheddar, apple slices, turkey, sage, pea shoots, apple slices and cheddar.
  • Top with the other piece of bread, buttered side up.
  • Place sandwiches in a preheated panini press or a heated skillet and use something heavy to press down on the top. Cook for about 4-5 minutes per side until cheese is melted and bread is crispy and browned.
  • Cut in half and serve.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 727kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 47gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 751mgPotassium: 604mgFiber: 9gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 1009IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 428mgIron: 3mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. Wow, this really does look like the perfect fall lunch!! I don’t have apple butter, but I do have pumpkin butter…looking forward to trying this :)