12 Best Ways To Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

November 25, 2020

If you’re hosting family Thanksgiving this year, odds are you’re going to have leftovers the day after. Whether those include green beans, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, or turkey, there are numerous ways to turn your leftovers into a brand new dish. Here are just a few ideas to get the creative wheels turning.

Thanksgiving leftover turkey pizza

1. Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza from The Stay at Home Chef

Keep the carb train rolling and mix things up with Thanksgiving leftover pizza. Use a homemade or ready-to-make crust for this recipe and bake it on a pizza stone for the crispiest result. Top with gravy, turkey, leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. You might even add some sweet potato casserole and top with extra marshmallows for dessert.

Potato croquettes

2. Mashed Potato Patties from The Spruce Eats

Use up those leftover mashed potatoes with this handy recipe. Just add some swiss chard or spinach, flour, and a few more ingredients, and fry the patties in a pan with a bit of oil. When they’re crispy and golden brown, remove them from the heat and dip in ranch or sour cream.

Turkey Shawarma

3. Turkey Shawarma with Crunchy Vegetables from Bon Appetit

Shake up your leftover game with this saucy, stuffed sandwich. This recipe calls for six different spices, greek yogurt, vegetables, leftover turkey, and a few other ingredients. While it does require a few more items than most leftover meals, the result will be more than worth the work. Stuff your pitas with the crunchy filling, top with hot sauce or yogurt sauce, and enjoy!

Cranberry Labneh

4. Cranberry Labneh Dip from The Spruce Eats

If you’re a fan of chunkier sauces brimming with real cranberries, then this homemade labneh dip is for you. Make your own cranberry sauce to customize this recipe to please your taste buds. Then, make the labneh by combining the yogurt and salt. Wrap the mixture in cheesecloth and strain for an hour. Swirl the sauce and labneh together and serve as a dip.

Turkey Congee

5. Turkey Congee with Crispy Shiitake from Bon Appetit

Don’t toss that turkey carcass away! Use it to make a comforting congee. This Thanksgiving twist on the traditional Chinese dish is loaded with immune-boosting mushrooms and spices. Add onions, ginger, cinnamon, and star anise to create a more intense flavor profile. Season with pepper, top with cilantro, and drizzle with chili oil. Bon appetit!

Thanksgiving leftover sliders

6. Thanksgiving Leftover Sliders from Fox and Briar

Keep the day after Thanksgiving simple with pull-apart turkey sliders. Between the turkey and cranberries, you’ll want to cook these mini sandwiches a bit longer, so the rolls don’t get soggy. Layer on the cheese, turkey, stuffing, and cranberries, and add jalapenos for a bit of crunch. Then, butter those buns, pop them in the oven, and bake until they’re crispy brown. Slice and dip in your leftover gravy.

Turkey Croquettes

7. Turkey Pot Pie and Turkey Croquettes from Ask Chef Dennis

Prepare a pot pie and dinner-worthy croquettes in just 40 minutes with this quick and easy recipe. You likely already have most — if not all — of these ingredients in your fridge. So pull out your leftover turkey, stuffing, and gravy and get to baking. Serve the pot pie with buttered noodles and the croquettes with gravy and your favorite vegetable.

cornbread stuffing fried rice

8. Cornbread Stuffed Fried Rice from Bon Appetit

This specific recipe uses cornbread stuffing with sausage and corn nuts. However, you can just as easily crumble up that leftover Thanksgiving cornbread and add it to the fried rice. Toss in scallions, garlic, ginger, and top with sesame seeds or corn nuts. If you want to use more leftovers, feel free to add green beans, corn, peas, and turkey.

Thanksgiving leftover quesadillas

9. Three-Cheese Turkey, Cranberry and Sage Quesadilla from The Cookie Rookie

After Thanksgiving, you’ll likely have plenty of sage and cranberry sauce lying around. Why not put them to good use and make these delicious quesadillas. All you have to do is toss all the ingredients together and slap them on a tortilla. Get creative and add in broccoli, sweet potatoes, and any other leftovers you’d like. Then, dip in gravy, salsa, or sour cream and enjoy!

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins

10. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins from Taste of Home

If you have leftover mashed sweet potatoes, consider making muffins out of them. This recipe only requires a handful of ingredients, plus four more to make the sweet, sugary glaze. Whip up two dozen of these bite-size beauties in just 25 minutes. Store any leftover, unglazed muffins in the freezer and thaw at room temperature when you’re ready to indulge.

Green Bean Casserole Soup

11. Green Bean Casserole Soup from Lady Behind the Curtain

If you have second-day green beans and turkey, this recipe is the perfect way to use those leftovers. The only other ingredients you need are probably hiding in your fridge and cupboards already. Plus, you can make an entire pot of this warm, comforting soup in under an hour. Serve with crunchy bread and leftover pumpkin pie.

Deep fried stuffing balls

12. Deep-Fried Stuffing from Spicy Southern Kitchen

These deep-fried stuffing balls are the perfect game day appetizers. Making these simple balls will only require 20 minutes of your time and only seven other ingredients. Cook them in oil in a dutch oven until they’re golden brown on all sides. Then, enjoy them by themselves or dip in gravy or cranberry sauce for extra flavor.

Use Your Imagination

The best thing about leftovers is you can use them however you wish. Use the recipes above as mere suggestions and take creative liberties as you repurpose your favorite Thanksgiving foods. You might just whip up something even tastier than the original dish.