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The New Englander Panini with Easy Cranberry Orange Mayo

When I came home New York (and meeting Bobby Flay!) on Monday, I was totally inspired … by sandwiches. I haven’t worked much with sandwiches recently, and I couldn’t wait to work on some new flavors.

This sandwich is all about New England. Lettuce from Boston, cheddar from Vermont, cranberries from Cape Cod … Oh, and turkey! First Thanksgiving and all (is that too much of a stretch?). And it’s served warm, panini-style, on marble rye bread. Delish.

The big flavor punch in this comes from a super simple condiment: Cranberry Orange Mayo, which is more spread and less mayonnaise. It’s a little sweet, a little tangy and has a great citrus punch.

The Cranberry Orange Mayo is as easy as it comes to make. You combine dried cranberries, orange zest and a few seasonings with mayo in a food processor. Pulse it a bit and then add a little bit of cranberry juice and pulse it again. Then it goes into the fridge for the flavors to meld and marinate. That’s it.

What do you like on your sandwich?

Yield: 1 sandwich (plus extra mayo)

The New Englander Panini with Easy Cranberry Orange Mayo

The New Englander Panini with Easy Cranberry Orange Mayo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes


  • 2 slices marble rye bread
  • 1/2 tbsp - 1 tbsp Cranberry Orange Mayo, (recipe follows)
  • 1 leaf Boston Bibb lettuce
  • 2 1- ounce slices Vermont cheddar
  • 3- ounces roasted turkey deli meat
  • olive oil spray

Easy Cranberry Orange Mayo (yields about 1/2 cup)

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • zest of 1 small orange, (such as a Minneola or tangerine)
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp cranberry juice


  1. Heat a panini press, panini grill or George Foreman grill.
  2. Lay out the two slices of bread and spread with desired amount of Cranberry Orange Mayo (dividing it equally between the two). Place the lettuce on one slice of bread and top with the two slices of cheddar. Drape the turkey on top and then cover with the other slice of bread, mayo-side down.
  3. Spray the top slice of bread with olive oil spray and place, olive oil side down, on the panini press, grill or Foreman. Spray the now-top side of bread with olive oil and close the press or grill.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned.
  5. Serve immediately.

Cranberry Mayo:

  1. Combine the dried cranberries, orange zest, dry mustard, pepper and mayonnaise in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add the cranberry juice and pulse to incorporate.
  2. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

NOTE: I first created this sandwich while at the kickoff for Hellman’s Build the Perfect Sandwich event. However, I wasn’t asked to write about this or develop this recipe. I am affiliated with Hellman’s Club Sandwich program, but that didn’t impact this post.


Friday 22nd of April 2011

I was wondering where you were finding cranberriesthis time of year! So glad this used dried cranberries, we always have those on hand.

Sarah Caron

Friday 22nd of April 2011

Kate, that was one of the reasons I deviated from the Cranberry Relish Mayo that Bobby Flay made. They aren't in season now ... although I did see some frozen at Trader Joe's. Still, I think it's better to have something that can be made year-round. Without the added stress of making a big batch of relish first (and the recipe only used 2 tablespoons of the relish).

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