Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, the feast continues to give as you find ways to grant the leftovers a second life in made-over dishes all weekend long. Turkey soup and sandwiches are timeless choices, but there are indeed ways to dress them up this year, plus other ideas for making the most out of the side dishes as well. Sunny recommends frying the stuffing into eat-with-your-hands bites, while Rachael creates a casserole out of the meat and mushrooms. Check out Food Network’s top-five recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers below to find the how-tos for making these next-day favorites and more.
5. Second-Day Fried Stuffing Bites with Cranberry Sauce Pesto — It doesn’t matter whether you’ve made stuffing with sourdough, cornbread or another bread variety on Thanksgiving; put what’s left to work in Sunny’s two-bite beauties pictured above. They’re crispy on the outside with a tender center of stuffing, and they’re best served with a pestolike mixture of tangy-sweet cranberry sauce and crunchy walnuts.
4. Turkey, Mushroom and Corn Mexican Casserole — Not only does Rachael’s cheesy, comforting casserole feature leftover turkey, but it also incorporates some of the miscellaneous items — like chicken stock, cream, mushrooms and onions — that you have in your refrigerator after the holiday.
Get the top-three recipes
Fast-forward to tomorrow, when you’ll be ladling heaps of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce on your plate. Try as we might, your fridge is likely to be stacked to the brim with Thanksgiving leftovers, no matter how many rounds you and your guests enjoy. Rather than simply serving Thanksgiving on repeat — again and again and again — reinvent your favorite sides with recipes that won’t leave a drop to waste.
Start with the classic Open-Faced Thanksgiving Sandwich, the timeless stacking of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Chances are, you’ll whip one of these up before bedtime tomorrow.
Even the biggest meal of the year will leave you hungry the next morning. Crack a few eggs and load up Food Network Magazine’s Extra-Veggie Frittata with your leftover sides, like stuffing, seasonal broccoli, cauliflower and more.
The decadence of the holidays is only just beginning. Keep things light with a Turkey Waldorf Salad laden with shredded leftover turkey, crisp in-season apples and red grapes.
Get more Thanksgiving leftover recipes from friends and family
I love perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs. They need nothing more than a sprinkle of salt and make for a quick, protein-filled breakfast or snack. I’m guessing right about now we’re all trying to decide how to use up those eggs leftover from Easter celebrations, too — let’s face it, you’ve probably got at least a dozen in the fridge!
When life gives you too many hard-boiled eggs, it’s time to crack open some recipes for using them all up. Today I’m sharing one from my new cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen. It’s my take on the perfect tuna salad, and it has an extra tasty twist — a few sprigs of fresh mint. The mint brightens all the flavors and offers a refreshing burst with every bite that reminds me of a Vietnamese banh mi, which is where the inspiration to tuck a few leaves into my sandwich came from in the first place.
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So it’s the day after Easter and you look in your fridge to see half a baked ham and a bunch of hard-boiled eggs (maybe even colored ones) and you think: What am I going to do with all these holiday leftovers? Luckily Food Network has some great ideas for using them up, helping you take the rut out of leftover food.
But these aren’t your average hash and deviled egg recipes. Here you’ll find a hearty lentil soup with ham (pictured above), jambalaya with ham and eggs, salmon salad with crumbled hard-boiled eggs and even Scotch eggs. If you don’t know what that last one is, you’ll have to read on to find out.
Get all 10 leftover Easter ham and egg recipes
Eating on a budget can be challenging, especially when trying to feed your family the best-quality food possible. Planning your grocery list wisely isn’t just about searching for sales or clipping coupons. Think about the hidden dollars and food that gets wasted — sometimes without us even realizing it. I’m talking about leftovers from recipes that once enjoyed front and center stage, only to be cast in the back of the fridge to be forgotten.
Those leftovers needn’t go to waste, even smaller portions. A few leftover meatballs may not make a complete meal for a family of four, but they’re a necessary ingredient for my Shortcut Bolognese Sauce. The sauce comes together quickly — in about the same time it takes for the water to boil and pasta to cook. Mash the meatballs and saute them with some chopped onions and olive oil in a deep skillet. Once the onions are golden, stir in some marinara sauce and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, so the meat can soak up the flavors in the sauce. With minimal effort, you’ve transformed a humble meal into a hearty one by using a few meatballs to bulk up a simple tomato sauce.
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During the eight days of Hanukkah, we’ll be celebrating the festival of lights with essential recipes for parties, nightly dinners, desserts and using up leftovers (after all, those leftovers deserve a second chance). Today, latkes are making another appearance, this time as one of the most clever vehicles to date that Jeff Mauro has used to make his sandwiches.
Potato latkes become the foundation for this towering creation. Whether you make them fresh or utilize leftovers, each latke sandwiches lean corned beef and homemade apple and sour cream slaw.
Get the recipe: Latke Corned Beef Sandwich With Apple and Sour Cream Slaw
Watch the Sandwich King makes this sandwich
With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, you’re probably already starting to plan your all-star menu. What you may not be planning for, however, is how you’re going to store and preserve all those leftovers. With FridgeSmart containers by Tupperware, you can keep your Thanksgiving dishes fresh and flavorful long after the big day. They are equipped with a simple venting system that allows you to control how much air flows into the containers, and they are easily stackable so you can finally fit everything in the fridge.
You can buy your own FridgeSmart containers here, which come in five different sizes, or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us your favorite Food Network dish to make with Thanksgiving leftovers in the comments (must include recipe URL in the comments). We’re giving away a four-piece set that includes one each of the small, medium, medium-long and large containers to one grand prize winner and one medium-sized container to four other winners.
Read official rules before entering
Leftovers: This is what Family Meal is all about at Food Network Kitchens. It’s important that we limit the amount of wasted food in the kitchens. This past week, we had multiple meals left over: some jerk chicken from a dinner we hosted for one of our cable partners, grilled meats from a lunch meeting we held with the digital department and some fennel from Anne Burrell’s satellite media tour. Miriam, the Throwdown queen, roasted the fennel with lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper, then finished it off with Parmesan breadcrumbs. It was so good — I ate it and I don’t even like fennel. (Try Giada’s Roasted Fennel recipe at home.) So even though we get swamped with various types of projects, we’re grateful that they help make Family Meals happen.
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One of the perks of hosting Thanksgiving dinner is that you get to keep most of the leftovers. But how are you ever going to use up the remains of that 20-pound bird and what can you do with all of those extra vegetables? Food Network’s five best leftover recipes below offer creative suggestions to rid your fridge of those Turkey Day remnants and more by repurposing them in easy ways that won’t slow you down on Black Friday.
5. Turkey Bolognese — To save time, Giada uses pre-made marinara sauce to make this simple but satisfying pasta dish, featuring dark-meat turkey and chopped vegetables.
4. Potato Croquettes — Paula coats leftover mashed potatoes in breadcrumbs and pan-fries them until golden brown with a crispy coating.
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Leftovers are practically guaranteed after a meal as large as Thanksgiving dinner. In my house, we ensure them by making a small, extra turkey and several batches of stuffing, so that everyone can take some home. But beyond making turkey sandwiches and soup, what can you do with all of that extra meat and how should you use up those spare potatoes and vegetables? We have the answers, plus helpful tips on how to safely store leftovers and inventive recipes for next-day dishes.
Shelf Life: Though there’s no reason to rush through Thanksgiving dinner in order to get the leftovers in the fridge, it is best to start packaging them within two hours of the meal. In general, most leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to four days. Frozen leftovers, however, are best within 2-3 months, though they’ll remain safe to eat forever, so long as they are kept at 0 degrees F.
Unstuff the Stuffing: If you chose to stuff your turkey, remember to unstuff it before storing. Scoop it out of the cavity of the bird and keep it in one container, and put the carved meat and each of your side dishes in their own separate containers.
Follow these easy food safety tips »