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 »
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.
Get the top three recipes »
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 »