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8 Ways to Turn Your Thanksgiving Fare into Fantastic Leftovers

24 November 2020
A group of people sharing Thanksgiving Dinner

This year especially may have been a tough adjustment to how much food you prepared for your Thanksgiving meal. If you are feeling weighed down by the amount of leftovers that managed to fit in your fridge turn to these ideas to start making good use of all your Thanksgiving effort you put in on the days before. 

  1. Breakfast Hash: You can take this breakfast many different ways depending on what you have leftover. Cook up any combination of leftover poultry, potatoes, stuffing, Brussels sprouts, and any other veggies in a skillet and top with a couple eggs to complete the hash.
  2. Try a post-Thanksgiving staple like some Creamy Leftover Turkey and Rice Soup (recipe below) Bonus: Make homemade stock from your turkey carcass.
  3. Sliders and Sandwiches: Another classic in my house, fit your Thanksgiving leftovers between two buns or pieces of bread for a Turkey-Stuffing-Potato-Cranberry Sauce-you name it- sandwich! For a fun twist, try Leftover Thanksgiving Sliders (recipe below).
  4. Turkey Chili: If the days following the holiday are cold and demanding warm chili then shred some leftover turkey and cook it in a big pot of chili.
  5. Pancakes or Waffles: Cook up your favorite pancake recipe and slather on leftover cranberry sauce from that gallon size tub in the back of the refrigerator. 
  6. Frittata, Omelet, or Quich: Choose your own adventure with these breakfast staples and add in any of your veggie leftovers. 
  7. Casserole: To knock out most of your leftovers in one swing, try Shepherd’s Pie or Turkey Pot Pie. 
  8. Pizza time: If Friday’s call for pizza, then give your Friday routine a spin with a Thanksgiving pizza - mashed sweet potato cranberry sauce start your base. Then let your creativity go from there! 


Happy Feasting!


Creamy Leftover Turkey Soup

Prep: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock, preferably homemade 
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light-green parts only, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and well washed 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 2 large egg yolks 
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving 
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken 
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice 
  • Chopped fresh dill and extra-virgin olive oil, for serving


Step 1 
In a medium pot, bring stock and 2 cups water to a simmer over medium-high heat; add leeks and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.

Step 2 
In a small heatproof bowl, whisk together egg yolks and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in 1 cup stock mixture, then gradually stir back into soup. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until creamy, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in turkey and rice; continue cooking until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste. Serve with dill, more pepper, a drizzle of oil, and lemon wedges.

Recipe: Martha Stewart


Leftover Thanksgiving Sliders

Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 12



  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (12-count) package Sweet Dinner Rolls, halved lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • 3/4 pound leftover turkey, shredded
  • 8 slices Havarti cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine Dijon, mayonnaise and green onions; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread mixture on top half of dinner rolls; set aside.
  3. Place bottom half of dinner rolls onto the prepared baking sheet. Top with cranberry sauce, turkey, cheese and top of dinner rolls. Brush tops of dinner rolls with butter; sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  4. Place into oven and bake until golden brown and toasted, about 15-18 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.
  5. Serve warm.