Cupid's Pulse Article: Food Tips: 6 Recipe Ideas for Thanksgiving LeftoversCupid's Pulse Article: Food Tips: 6 Recipe Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers

By Nicole Maher

One of the biggest food holidays of the year is Thanksgiving. From full-sized turkeys, to mounds of mashed potatoes, to various types of desserts, there is no shortage of options when it comes to preparing the perfect holiday meal. However, after you’ve cooked and shared the day with your family, you’ll likely be left with numerous leftovers. Check out some of the following food tips that’ll allow you to use these Thanksgiving leftovers and transform them into entirely new meals. 

Get ready to enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers with these food tips and six potential recipe ideas.

1. Old-fashioned turkey sandwich: The easiest thing to make with Thanksgiving leftovers is a simple turkey sandwich. In the days following the holiday, you are probably tired of cooking and looking for an easy way to use up the leftovers in your fridge. A simple sandwich complete with sliced turkey, cranberry sauce, lettuce, and tomato is an easy way to clear out some of the extra food and keep the cooking to a minimum! Use some leftover dinner rolls or rye bread to free up even more room in your kitchen. 

Related Link: Food Tips: Healthy Thanksgiving Meal Alternatives 

2. Turkey pot-pie: A turkey pot-pie, or shepherd’s pie, is a great way to eliminate some of the leftover meat and vegetables. Throw your remaining turkey into a pot along with your leftover vegetables and gravy before covering the top with potatoes or stuffing. This food tip will leave you reliving your perfectly created Thanksgiving meal a few days later, with all the flavors in one bite! 

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3. Sweet potato waffles: Not all leftover recipes have to be devoted to lunch or dinner meals. Make use of some of your leftover sweet potatoes the following morning by making sweet potato waffles for breakfast. By mashing your remaining sweet potatoes and adding them to your favorite waffle recipe, along with some brown sugar and cinnamon, you’ll cook up the perfect fall-flavored breakfast to round out the autumn season.

4. Turkey and vegetable soup: Another option that allows you to use numerous different leftovers in one new dish is turkey and vegetable soup. This one is relatively self explanatory as you simply cut or shred some leftover turkey and mix in your remaining carrots, potatoes, and celery from your Thanksgiving meal. This food tip also provides for a lighter option if you still feel stuffed from the large meal you prepared days before!

5. Thanksgiving leftovers casserole: While the idea of cooking a casserole may sound old-fashioned, they are still a great way of utilizing leftovers from any major holiday, especially Thanksgiving. This option allows you to use everything from leftover turkey, to vegetables, to even your leftover stuffing. Incorporating different spices is also a great way to modernize your casserole and eliminate some of the traditional Thanksgiving flavors you may be tired of at this point! 

6. Cranberry-apple pie: Finally, no week of Thanksgiving leftovers is complete without a dessert option. While you may be finishing off various baked goods from Thanksgiving day itself, that doesn’t mean you should skip out on making a new dessert from your leftovers. Mix in some cranberries and apples into a pie crust to use some of your remaining cranberry sauce. You can also substitute sweet potatoes into a pumpkin pie recipe if you prefer that option, which still allows you to make use of some leftovers. 

What are some other recipe ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers? Start a conversation in the comments below!