Purging your kitchen of leftover holiday ingredients can feel both necessary and overwhelming, especially when you’re working with limited storage space like I am. (Curse you, tiny New York City apartment.) In other words, yes, I understand how tempting it can be to throw out a half-empty carton of heavy cream or a mound of frozen pie dough scraps — in fact, I’ve succumbed to that temptation more times than I would like to admit. This year, in an effort to save money and reduce food waste, I’m hoping to use up as many leftovers from my holiday cooking arsenal as possible. Because who doesn’t want to start the new year with a fresh, tidy kitchen? I’ve found that it’s all about locating the right recipes to take care of your specific leftover needs — and recruiting enough friends to come over and help polish off the fruits of your labor. Here are the eight ingredients that I happen to have in surplus this month — and maybe you do too — plus, a few ideas on how to get rid of them as deliciously as possible.
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Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family, friends and food, glorious food. It seems that no matter the size of the bird or the number of sides on the table, the holiday spread stretches into at least the next day or two. But what to do with the leftover turkey, sweet potatoes and cornbread? These chefs have the answer: turn them into creative breakfast and lunch items for the next day. Read more
After Thanksgiving dinner, you might think you’ll never want to look at a plate of food again — until you wake up the next morning to that familiar stomach rumble. Put all those turkey day leftovers to optimal use with one of these creative ways to reinvent them throughout the holiday weekend.
Leftover Thanksgiving Nachos (above)
This might be the easiest, most-satisfying way to empty all of those containers of leftovers: Pile ‘em on a tray of tortilla chips and top with fixings like french-fried onions, cilantro, olives and pickled jalapenos.
There’s no doubt about it: Leftovers happen to the best of us. No matter how much you try to portion plan or how much you pile onto your plate, there’s bound to be some extra fixings from dinner from time to time. And when it comes to using up those leftovers, you can simply reheat them and enjoy them as they are, or you can follow the lead of The Kitchen co-hosts and transform them into an all-new dish. After Marcela Valladolid prepped her smoky-sweet pork tenderloin on this morning’s all-new episode, Katie Lee put the leftover grilled meat and apricot salsa to work in a cheesy quesadilla, guaranteeing the leftovers will be anything but boring the next day. Check out both of the dishes below to see how they’re made.
It’s the day after Easter, which means yesterday’s bounty of pastel-colored eggs becomes this week’s leftover food challenge. Chances are, you’ve got at least half a dozen of them stocked away in your refrigerator — and time is of the essence, since hard-cooking removes an egg’s natural coating, making it easier for bacteria to enter through the shell’s pores. In fact, we recommend that hard-cooked eggs should be refrigerated no longer than one week. Here are a few simple, big-batch recipes to help you use them up quickly.
Hard-boiled eggs join forces with in-season asparagus in this comforting spring casserole that’s ready in under an hour. Top it off with simple Cheddar sauce and a saltine-crumb topping.
You’ve roasted the turkey, mashed the potatoes, baked the dressing and seen the sun set on another Thanksgiving dinner. Now the real party begins: reinventing all of those turkey-day leftovers. Soup and sandwiches are tried-and-true picks for a reason — nothing satisfies a savory craving quite like a midnight turkey sandwich, right? — but if you want to turn your spread into next-level next-day fare, look no further than Food Network’s best ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers.
Thanks Benedict on Stuffing Cakes with Sage Hollandaise
Giada De Laurentiis’ creative take on traditional eggs Benny features golden-brown stuffing patties as the base instead of the usual English muffins. She tops the cakes with crispy pancetta, a runny-yolked poached egg and a drizzle of buttery, sage-laced hollandaise sauce.
As the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait. Though fresh, hot meals are put on a pedestal, full-fledged meals beyond wine and cheese get better with age too. In fact, when braised meats, sumptuous stews and hearty casseroles are left to sit in the fridge and cool down for hours or even days, a little magic happens. Flavors meld together as individual ingredients mingle and achieve a more well-rounded flavor.
Before you scarf down an entire dish, slow your roll. These hearty recipes prove that some things are best taken as leftovers, whether you zap them in the microwave or sneak a bite out of the fridge cold.
Your mornings may go more smoothly than mine, but in order to get the kids out the door on time I need to have a bunch of lunch staples on hand. And sometimes those supplies come right from last night’s dinner. Hint: Make it even easier on yourself by packing up these lunches as you clean up dinner, while everything’s still out.
1. Homemade Pizza: Some schools balk when you send kids with takeout pizza, but the fresh stuff should be fine. We love ham and pineapple, as well as good ol’ cheese. But Ree Drummond’s 5-star Pepperoni Pizza and Four-Cheese Pizza (pictured above) look so good, we’ll venture out this week.
2. Rolls: Any time we serve rolls or crusty bread, I always use the extras for sandwiches the next day. We have small kids and the size is perfect. If yours are bigger, pack two of these mini sandwiches. (Feeling industrious? Bobby Flay has 164 [and counting] perfect reviews for his Parker House Rolls.)
Comforting, bubbling casseroles such as this down-home comfort Turkey Tetrazzini have long been prepared by the ladies of the Methodist church in the south Georgia town where I grew up. They were taken to the families in celebration. As different as most faiths seem to be, they all share some sort of ceremony at key moments in human life: the union of two people, the birth of a child, the celebration of adulthood — whether that be a bat mitzvah, a confirmation or a hunter killing his first antelope — and the celebration of death. Food is more than keeping the family fed. Food is the adhesive that binds the community. This sentiment is especially clear at Thanksgiving as friends and family gather together in gratitude.
You’ve planned for your Thanksgiving dinner, prepared the meal and hosted the holiday party, and you’re now looking at a refrigerator full of leftovers. While simply reheating the fixings and enjoying a next-day feast is surely a can-do approach to tackling what remains, try reinventing the turkey, potatoes and vegetables into all-new dishes, like an easy-to-make frittata or over-the-top sandwich. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving leftovers ideas, then head over to Thanksgiving Central for more leftover inspiration.
5. Turkey Pot Pie — Made with leftover turkey meat instead of the traditional chicken, this comforting pot pie boasts a buttery premade pie crust, so it’s a cinch to prepare.
4. Turkey Frittata — An all-in-one breakfast featuring creamy eggs, boiled potatoes and bell peppers, this potato-studded frittata is topped with a blanket of cheese and turns fluffy after just a few minutes in the oven.