So the big day has come and gone – or it will soon and you’re super prepared! The family got together. Everyone gave thanks. And your Turkey dinner was a success. You survived. But now what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers? Well, here are 12 ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers so you never have to wonder what to do with them again!
12 Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers
So You Never Wonder What to do With Thanksgiving Leftovers Again!
What can you make with with Thanksgiving leftovers? A lot! Make brand new dishes out of your leftover turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes and all of your Thanksgiving leftovers.
1. Turkey Pot Pie
Turkey pot pie is a delicious and simple way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s especially easy if you use the Quick Spooned-On Crust we use in our Chicken Pot Pie recipe! Just switch out the chicken for leftover turkey. You can even use some leftover mashed potatoes in place of regular potatoes and you’ve go yourself one delicious and quick pot pie!
2. Turkey and Stuffing Sandwich
This one is easy – and one of my brother-in-law’s favorite uses for leftover turkey and stuffing! Just spread a little butter on two slices of bread, add leftover turkey and a scoop of stuffing. If you like you can even add some lettuce, mayo, dijon mustard or a pickle slice or two as well!
3. Leftover Thanksgiving Casserole
Casseroles are the most basic of things to make. Okay, maybe not THE most basic. But essentially you just add a bunch of ingredients into a casserole dish, season and bake. There are so many versions of a leftover Thanksgiving casserole out there. One of the simplest is just to layer stuffing, turkey, and leftover mashed potatoes into a greased casserole dish, top with cheese and then bake until heated through and cheese melts. Of course, you could always add some leftover gravy before the cheese for a more moist casserole too.
4. Leftover Turkey Soup
I’d like to say that leftover turkey soup is my sister’s specialty. Don’t get me wrong, she can cook many things. But no one makes leftover turkey soup quite like she does. Basically she puts all the leftovers (turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots and turnips, green beans, stuffing) into a large stock pot with some broth or water and adds garlic and other seasoning. Then she lets it simmer for a bit to meld all the flavors. Often she’ll do this right after dinner and then puts the whole stock pot into the fridge overnight and reheats it for lunch the next day. If you happen to be low on veggies, you can add some frozen beans or peas, etc. to the pot before simmering.
5. Shepherd’s Pie with Turkey
Technically Shepherd’s Pie should be made with lamb (shepherd’s, sheep, lamb – get it?). But I’ve made and served it with ground beef, ground turkey and ground chicken too. If you find yourself with too much leftover Thanksgiving turkey and mashed potatoes, you could also make Shepherd’s Pie with those. Simply replace the ground meat in any Shepherd’s Pie recipe with leftover turkey and season as the recipe suggests. Plus, you could save yourself a step and use leftover mashed potatoes for the top too!
6. Turkey Chili
This is another one of those easy replacement options. Take our Slow Cooker Chili recipe and replace the ground meat with leftover turkey. Or make a lighter leftover turkey chili with white beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano, garlic and chicken broth if you’d rather not use tomatoes.
7. Turkey and Stuffing Quiche
Much like casseroles, quiche is another one of those fairly simple recipe styles to master. We have a yummy Spinach, Herb and Garlic Quiche here. Even if you don’t want to use cheese, you can make a simple turkey and stuffing quiche by placing leftover turkey and stuffing into a greased pie plate and then pour 8-10 beaten eggs on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through (the quiche won’t ‘jiggle’ when it’s moved). Serve with a side of leftover cranberry sauce or salsa for a spicier kick.
8. Leftover Thanksgiving Panini
If you have a sandwich press, you can make delicious hot sandwiches and paninis. To use up Thanksgiving leftovers to make a panini, simply place leftover turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce between two slices of bread with some cheese (or a cheese substitute) and press or grill.
9. Turkey Bolognese
Bolognese sauce is simply an Italian meat sauce for pasta. So you can make an easy Turkey Bolognese sauce using our Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe and add leftover turkey. Serve with hot, fresh pasta.
10. Turkey, Cranberry and Almond Salad
Sometimes I crave something a little lighter after feasting at Thanksgiving. Something like salad. I’m sure you fell the same! But even the lowly salad can be made tastier with Thanksgiving leftovers. Using our Chunky Chicken Salad recipe as a base, trade the chicken for leftover turkey and the grapes for leftover cranberry sauce. Add almonds as the nuts. Voila! Turkey, Cranberry and Almond Salad. Now you’ve got yourself a lighter version of Thanksgiving leftovers!
11. Quick Pulled Turkey
If you like pulled chicken, you could make a quicker version with leftover turkey. Just replace the chicken breasts in our 3 Ingredient Pulled Chicken recipe with leftover turkey and reduce the cooking time to an hour or until the chicken is heated through and the sauce is bubbling.
12. Turkey Caesar Salad
Everyone has heard of chicken Caesar salad, but I think that Turkey Caesar salad is really yummy too. Especially when you use plenty of garlic, like we do in our Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe and even our Halfway Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing! If you need a crouton recipe to got with your turkey Caesar salad, we’ve got a great gluten free one here. Or try leftover stuffing instead of croutons!
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers! Now you never have to wonder what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers again!
How do you use Thanksgiving leftovers?