Last Updated on January 16, 2023 by Anne-Marie
Use leftover turkey and cranberry sauce in this turkey cranberry crescent braid recipe. This crescent roll dinner recipe makes a tasty appetizer too.
Why this recipe works
This turkey cranberry crescent braid is a fantastic way to use leftover turkey and cranberry sauce. Use leftovers from my Easy Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe.
But don’t worry about waiting for leftovers! You can make crescent roll braid recipes like this one with turkey from the deli and canned cranberry sauce, too.
My family loves this braided crescent roll turkey recipe. Even my crazy kids, who don’t like turkey and cranberry sauce, ask me to make this for them.
Make this turkey cranberry crescent braid anytime!
Since it uses holiday colors and the presentation is so fun and eye catching, this Pillsbury crescent braid will be your go to party appetizer during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But don’t wait for the holidays!
Making this turkey and crescent roll recipe is so easy that you’ll find yourself making these up:
● for a quick afterschool snack
● to nibble on while watching evening sports on TV
● as part of dinner along with some vegetable soup or a salad
Check out the Best Gluten Free Thanksgiving Desserts Recipes and the Best Keto Thanksgiving Recipes for more delicious recipes for your holiday table.
How to make a crescent roll braid with leftover turkey
Crescent dough: This crescent braid recipe is made with a Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheet. I had no idea that crescent roll dough came in sheets until I saw them at my local Walmart.
Of course I was familiar with the classic Pillsbury Original Crescents, that are rolled up and are part of many family dinners. Now that I know about the dough sheets, I’m looking forward to trying them out in breakfast casseroles, pot pies, and many more fun recipes.
If you can’t find the sheets, you can use crescent dough. But you have to lay out the dough, then press all the seams together to form a rectangle.
However, it’s flexible. You can use whatever leftover you have like ham, turkey or chicken.
If you don’t have leftover cranberry sauce, make more using my Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce recipe.
Cheese: You can change the cheese to provolone or gouda.
Go vegetarian: You could even make a vegetarian crescent roll braid using sautéed veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower or Portobello mushrooms, instead of the turkey. Leftover veggies are terrific in this turkey braid recipe.
(If you love Portobello mushrooms, check out my Shepherd’s Pie with Ground Turkey Recipe. It’s made with Portobellos, peas and carrots – delish!)
If you don’t want to go through the work of sautéing vegetables, cut them into thin slices, and zap them in the microwave for a few minutes to soften them. This should guarantee that they’re cooked through by the time the cheese melts.
Braiding: I made thin, 1/2 inch cuts for my braid since I like the look of the thinner pieces. If you want, you can make the braids thicker.
When braiding, don’t worry if your braid isn’t even. Once the Thanksgiving leftover crescent roll recipe bakes, the dough will puff up and everything will even out.
Tips on making the crescent braid recipe
I found using parchment paper under the turkey braid helped me in a variety of ways:
Use parchment paper when cutting: I found it easier to make the cuts in the crescent roll appetizers when the parchment paper was sitting on my counter top.
(I used a pizza wheel to make the cuts, so the wheel kept bumping into the sides of the cookie sheet.)
Once I assembled the crescent braid on the parchment paper on the counter, I then carefully lift it by the sides of the paper, and placed it on to the cookie sheet.
Use it when baking: You can bake this turkey cranberry crescent roll dinner recipe right on the parchment paper.
This helps you to pick up the braid by the parchment paper and bring it over to your plate or board after it’s baked. It also keeps the cookie sheet clean, making for easier clean up.
Moving it to a platter or board: After baking, let the crescent roll braid rest for 10-15 minutes. Then place a couple of spatulas underneath the braid and carefully move the braid over to a serving plate or cutting board.
If you’re too nervous to move the crescent roll braid with the spatulas, place the braid on your platter or cutting board by lifting it by the ends of the parchment paper and moving both to the platter or board.
Serving the braid recipe: If you’ve brought both the paper the braid over to the platter, then carefully cut around your braid with kitchen scissors or a knife to remove the parchment paper from view.
Or use the parchment paper in a decorative way – scrunch it up, draw or write on it, cut or tear the edges, and garnish it with more parsley.
More awesome appetizers and dips
Looking for some fabulous appetizers for your next party? Try these:
● This Pimento Cheese Spread Recipe is a classic Southern recipe that everyone will flip over.
● Pumpkin Dip is fun for Halloween or Thanksgiving parties.
● Refrigerator Pickled Okra is delicious on charcuterie plates. Or in Bloody Mary’s!
● There’s nothing better than noshing on spicy Chicken Shawarma served on a stick.
● Serve this sweet Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip Recipe with pretzels, fruit, and cookie dippers.
- 6 ounces turkey, sliced or shredded
- 2/3 cup cranberry sauce
- 6 ounces lite Swiss cheese deli slices
- 1 Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheets
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Measure and cut a piece of parchment paper that will cover a large cookie sheet.
- Spread the crescent roll dough out on the piece of parchment paper. Leaving 4 inches in the middle, make 1/2 inch cuts down the side of the dough on both sides. Carefully place parchment paper on to the cookie sheet.
- Place pieces of turkey down the middle of the dough. Spread the turkey out evenly.
- Spoon the cranberry sauce evenly over the turkey.
- Lay the slices of Swiss cheese over the cranberry sauce. You may need to tear deli slices of cheese in half. Distribute cheese evenly.
- Evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley over cheese.
- To braid the dough, take a dough strip from one side and fold it over the middle section at a slight angle. Then take the dough from the opposite side, fold it over the middle at a slight angle, crossing the other dough strip. Continue folding strips, alternating from side to side, until the braid is completely folded over. Don’t worry if your braid isn’t even since once it bakes, the dough will puff up and everything will even out.
- Pinch close each end of the braid so the filling stays inside the braid during baking.
- Sprinkle finished braid with 1 tablespoon parsley.
- Place cookie sheet in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before moving and cutting.
- Garnish pieces with remaining parsley.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 260mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 18g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.
Originally published on November 30, 2015, December 2, 2016, and November 24, 2017.
Updated with new pictures and information.