More Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Sun, Nov 01, 2015 at 4:45PM

Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce… Thanksgiving and all of our favorite foods are just around the corner! We hope that you enjoy the big day with loved ones and feast on all the traditional dishes. But when Thanksgiving comes to an end, you might be facing a big question… what do you do with all the food?

For many families, there’s a simple solution—eat and reheat! But if you want to try something new with your leftovers this year, we’ve got a few ideas you may want to consider.

New takes on turkey

Instead of simply adding your leftover turkey to a Black Friday sandwich—which, we admit, is delicious in its own right!—consider trying something new with your turkey. Put your chef’s hat on as you try one of the following dishes (or venture out on your own and make something different entirely!):

  • Turkey tetrazzini: Peas, mushrooms, parmesan—and, of course, turkey!—characterize this classic dish. This meal isn’t quite what you’d associate with the holidays… which makes it perfect for helping you switch up your post-Turkey Day meals. (Incidentally, while turkey tetrazzini may sound Italian, it was actually made in America. It is said to have been named after opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini.
  • Turkey soup: Switch up the traditional noodle soup by adding turkey in place of chicken. It’s tasty, doesn’t require much prep, and is perfect for the cooler months ahead.

Reinvented sides

Your favorite sides are delicious enough when reheated and eaten plain, but you can dress them up and create something new as well! Try one of the following ways to reinvent your sides:

  • Fried mashed potatoes: Fried and mashed? The name may be a mouthful, but this dish is just as tasty as anything you’d eat on Thanksgiving Day. There are a few ways to prepare this fun snack, but most methods consist of simply rolling leftover mashed potatoes into balls, (optionally) adding extras like bacon and cheese, and frying on the stovetop!
  • Soup creations: Just about anything you eat on Thanksgiving can be enjoyed afterward in soup form. Sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetables are warm, feel-good foods and can keep you and your family fed long after Turkey Day ends.

Thanksgiving sweets

We all have a sweet tooth—instead of running to the bakery to satisfy yours, whip something up with the ingredients and leftovers you already have on hand! You can try sweets such as:

  • Cranberry muffins: The same cranberries you used for your cranberry sauce can be used to make delicious cranberry or cranberry orange muffins. Find your favorite recipe (and add optional icing) for a sweet treat you can enjoy and enjoy.
  • Homemade pumpkin bread: This isn’t just a bakery treat! Make warm pumpkin bread at home if you end up with extra pumpkin puree after baking pies.

Giving back

Finally, if you’re stumped with leftovers, why not give back to someone in need? While prepared dishes are great treats for family and friends, you can give unused cans and other nonperishables to your local food bank or church charity to help those in your community. This way, you’ll be avoiding waste and contributing to a great and worthy cause.


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