I am something of a sweet potato fanatic. As soon as the weather starts to turn crisp, I stock up on those dense orange tubers and eat them at least three times a week. I’m especially fond of them when they’ve been sliced into rounds, rubbed with a little olive oil and roasted until crisp in a hot oven.
This year for Thanksgiving, I didn’t get the chance to make a sweet potato dish (I was assigned mashed potatoes), and so, in order to satisfy my obsession, I’ve been making an array of sweet potato dishes that would have fit in nicely as part of a celebratory meal.
I’ve made a vanilla-flecked puree. I’ve formed grated shreds into fritters. I folded together a batch of sweet potato biscuits for a weekend brunch with friends. And I made Bobby Flay’s Grilled Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Molasses Nutmeg Butter.
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You may remember the waffle obsession we revealed earlier this month. Well, in addition to 12 Favorite Foods Totally Transformed with a Waffle Iron and 8 Classic and Creative Waffle Recipes, Food Network Kitchens came up with one more waffled meal especially for Thanksgiving. Instead of the same-old turkey sandwiches, put a waffled spin on your day-after feast this year. Leftover stuffing works perfectly in waffle form — just top it with all the trimmings for a unique and satisfying brunch dish.
Get the Recipe: Waffled Leftover Thanksgiving Brunch
Check out more inspired recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers and tell us: What new dishes do you make with your leftovers?
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
Every day this week we’re giving you a recipe that reinvents your Thanksgiving leftovers in an easy, tasty and creative way. After all, those leftovers deserve a second chance. This recipe from Jeff Mauro stays true to the ingredients but assembles them in an unexpected way.
Stuffing becomes the foundation for this towering dish. It’s formed into patties and seared in bacon fat. Each patty gets topped with leftover turkey meat, gravy, cranberry sauce, crispy bacon and fried sage leaves.
Get the Open Faced Turkey Stuffing Patty With Gravy and Cranberry Sauce recipe
Every day this week we’re giving you a recipe that reinvents your Thanksgiving leftovers in an easy, tasty and creative way. After all, those leftovers deserve a second chance. This recipe from Rachael Ray gives you a main dish and dessert, both made from leftovers.
Leftover turkey meat goes into this festive shepherd’s pie, which is topped with sweet potato mash that’s been sweetened with a secret ingredient: banana. Leftover cranberry sauce is used to create layered ice cream sundaes that are topped with chopped pecans.
Get the Turkey Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie and Cran-applesauce Sundaes recipe
When it comes to consuming Thanksgiving leftovers, my parents are of two fairly divergent schools of thought. My mother likes to enjoy replicas of the original meal for a night or two after the event, after which she gracefully transitions to open-faced turkey sandwiches and, eventually, a large pot of soup.
My father’s approach is a bit messier. As soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are washed, he begins to anticipate a full week of a dish we’ve taken to calling “Mo’s Turkey Mash.” He layers diced turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, any remaining green beans and puréed squash in a serving bowl, adds a generous pour of gravy and microwaves the whole thing until suitably warm. Then he works it with a soupspoon until it reaches a homogenous distribution. Then it’s ready to eat.
As far as leftovers go for me, I have a limited capacity to eat the exact same thing over and over again. I like a replay of Thanksgiving for lunch on Friday, but then I’m ready to start reimagining the leftovers into something wholly different. Some years, I’ve opted for a creation I like to call “Turkey Pot Shepherd’s Pie.” It’s essentially the insides of a pot pie, topped with mashed potatoes instead of a pastry crust. Other times, I’ve done a thick turkey chili with the leftover meat.
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Every day this week we’re giving you a recipe that reinvents your Thanksgiving leftovers in an easy, tasty and creative way. After all, those leftovers deserve a second chance. This recipe makes use of a lot of different leftovers, but it’s the reinterpretation of stuffing as dumplings that will get everyone’s attention.
This soup goes the extra mile for achieving great flavor by using the leftover turkey bones for the broth. It also contains shredded turkey, corn and dumplings made from stuffing.
Get the Turkey Vegetable Soup with Stuffing Dumplings recipe
Get more Thanksgiving leftover recipes
Every day this week we’re giving you a recipe that reinvents your Thanksgiving leftovers in an easy, tasty and creative way. After all, those leftovers deserve a second chance, especially if they weren’t the star dish of the table to begin with (the turkey gets all the attention!).
This recipe reinvents one of the holiday’s most popular dishes, mashed potatoes, to create something entirely innovative. Giada turns leftover mashed potatoes into pancakes. Each one is served over marinara sauce and topped with a fried egg.
Get the Eggs in Purgatory recipe
There are two absolutes at the end of Thanksgiving Day: a food coma that has you so stuffed you might not want to see a turkey again, and a seemingly endless array of leftovers that you have no idea what to do with. Luckily, Food Network can help you out with ideas for that last part. Every day this week we’re giving you a recipe that reinvents your turkey day leftovers in an easy, tasty and creative way that will actually have you excited about eating again.
Forget the same old cold turkey sandwich; try this sweet and savory version hot out of the oven. Jeff tosses sliced leftover turkey with a BBQ sauce made with cranberry sauce and serves it up on a hoagie roll with Fontina cheese and fried shallots.
Get the Cranberry BBQ Turkey Sandwich recipe
After all the excitement of Thanksgiving has ended, the big feast has come to a close, all dishes have been washed and the last of the family heads home, there are always the leftovers. Sometimes I think the leftovers are more exciting than the actual Thanksgiving dinner itself. I mean, what’s better than a few days of mixing and matching foods to create a meal, adding a few things here and there and being able to call it dinner? Pretty fabulous, huh?
The best leftover in my opinion has to be the mashed potatoes. Whether you use regular mashed potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes, they are always excellent for a few days post-Thanksgiving. And what better way to use them up than by turning them into little croquettes and inviting some friends over for nibbles and drinks.
Get one of Gaby’s favorite croquette recipes »