What We’re Thankful For: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Who said turkey leftovers are just for sandwiches?

Turkey Day is so close we can almost taste it. What’s not to love about Thanksgiving? Spending time with loved ones should never be eclipsed by less important things, but even we have to admit: it’s difficult not to get excited about the food. Between the turkey, cranberries, and mashed potatoes, there’s a favorite dish out there for everyone, even your picky aunt. After all the chaos of meal planning and preparation, it’s time to relax…but what about the day after Thanksgiving? Or the day after that? Eventually, leftovers need to be eaten, but even those favorite dishes can get exhausted after days of eating them. Fortunately, leftovers need not be left alone! A few creative twists here and there and Thanksgiving becomes an entirely new meal to be loved and enjoyed. Here are a few ideas to cook up some serious inspiration:

The Turkey
More than anything else, we tend to have an excess of turkey after the feast. It takes the most time and the most love, so wasting it is a real tragedy. No need to let it sit around and get dry, because you can make so much more than sandwiches and salad with it!

One Skillet Turkey and Roasted Green Chile Pot Pie: Pot pie is the ultimate comfort food for many. Roasted green chiles make this one particularly savory while the use of leftovers makes it easy.

Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Vegetable Stew: No need to wait for hours to enjoy a hearty, cold-weather stew when you have leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

Turkey Tetra-ziti: Noodles, cheese, and creamy goodness, this casserole is the king of casseroles when made with Turkey Day turkey. With something from every food group (some of which might even come from your leftover sides), this meal lets you taste the love.

Stir Fry Cashew Chicken or Turkey: Considering takeout, but feeling guilty for not eating those leftovers first? This simple, delicious stir-fry is the answer!

The Sweet Potatoes
Loaded with fiber, vitamin A, and a host of other nutrients, tossing out leftover sweet potatoes should never be an option. Their texture makes them a perfect add-in for many baked good, whether sweet or savory, such as:

Sweet Potato and Sausage Pancakes: The sweet-savory combination everyone loves in a great breakfast, brunch, or brinner. You can either serve these as a side or as the main dish.

Sweet Potato Biscuits: It doesn’t take much to make plain biscuits into sweet-potato biscuits when you already have the leftover sweet potatoes. The flavor is mild, but the texture is unbelievably good, so you can serve these in any way you like without losing the goodness of those potatoes!

The Other Sides
You made that entire dish of cranberry sauce for one special person—or maybe you just went a little overboard with the mashed potatoes. Whether you want to do some creative baking or simply throw a few things into a bowl and repurpose them, here are some good options for when you’re getting sick of looking at the sides.

Butternut Muffins: Like pumpkin and sweet potatoes, butternut squash has both texture and vitamins you don’t want to waste. These muffins are a simple way to appreciate the last bit of squash from your meal.

Cranberry Raspberry Streusel Bars: How many ways can we love cranberry? Tart, flavorful, and packed with antioxidants, cranberries are often relegated to juice and sauce only. Mistake! Leftover cranberry sauce is the perfect flavor for these sweet-tart, decadent bars.

Mashed Potato Cakes: An oldie but a goodie. The classic mashed potato cake is an easy, tasty way to reuse old mashed potatoes. Crisp and golden on the outside, fluffy and creamy on the inside, you can have them with your eggs for breakfast or as a side with dinner.

Mashed Potato Cakes-004

There are endless ways to get the most out of what’s left after Thanksgiving, so don’t let all that delicious food go bad in the fridge. Green beans, stuffing, gravy, corn… What was your least favorite yesterday could be your favorite today, with just a touch of creativity and fresh ingredients. Thank goodness for Thanksgiving leftovers!

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