Leftovers Whether you spend the holiday with family or opt for a Friendsgiving instead, it’s impossible not to have a ton of leftovers after turkey day.
So, what do you do with all those leftovers? Sure, you can enjoy another traditional Thanksgiving feast. But there are plenty of other recipes out there that’ll put a unique twist on the classics. Here are 10 things to do with your leftover Thanksgiving food.
1. Turkey pot pies
The rich, buttery flavors of Thanksgiving food are what make this once-a-year meal so appealing. If you’re looking to make another comfort meal, repurpose your leftover turkey, green beans and vegetables and make a large turkey pot pie.
Made with leftover Thanksgiving food, this is the perfect winter meal. In under 90 minutes, you’ll have a delicious dinner ready to serve, and the best part is that it was made entirely from leftover food!
2. Turkey roll-ups
If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, turkey roll-ups are your go-to option. All you’ll need is leftover stuffing, turkey and gravy and you’ve got a complete dinner.
Simply take pieces of turkey and put a portion of stuffing in the center. Then, roll the turkey like a wrap, bake until hot and drizzle with gravy. This leftover meal can be served with any side dish.
3. Monte Cristo sandwiches
If you’re looking for a way to spice up the traditional leftover turkey sandwich, the Monte Cristo is your answer. A scrumptious mix of sweet and savory, this sandwich is grilled and layered with turkey and brie cheese then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with cranberry sauce on the side for dipping.
And for those vegetarians out there, you can skip the turkey but still enjoy this not-so-classic grilled cheese.
4. Loaded mashed potato bites
Mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving menu item, but there are so many additional ways to use those leftovers. Try making deep-fried loaded mashed potato bites accompanied with all your favorite mixings (think bacon, chives, sour cream, cheese).
Host a small dinner party and serve this finger food as an appetizer while your guests mingle.
5. Turkey fried rice
Thanksgiving weekend is made for eating, napping, shopping and watching football. If you’re looking for an easy meal to make while lounging around, turkey fried rice is a great option.
Simply add turkey, vegetables, fried egg and rice or cauliflower rice to a pan, stir fry and voila, you’ve got yourself a yummy meal.
6. Sweet potato bisque
There’s nothing quite like hot soup on a cold winter day. If you’re looking for an easy slow-cooker recipe, consider making sweet potato bisque with your leftover sweet potatoes.
All you’ll need is sweet potatoes and some seasonings and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal.
7. Turkey stock
Thanksgiving dinner can be expensive, but if you’re strategic with your leftover food, you can get a lot out of it. You may think that the turkey bones and leftover vegetables are garbage, but they can all be used to make homemade turkey stock.
Then, the turkey stock can be used for future meals to enrich the flavor. Now, you’ve even made use of the scraps.
8. Pie milkshakes
Everyone likes pie a la mode, right? Well, this idea combines them both.
Simply take a piece of apple or pumpkin pie, add some vanilla ice cream and blend them together. You’ll be left with a creamy, sugary treat.
9. Cranberry oatmeal
Cranberries at Thanksgiving are like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. They’re subtle but essential. With this leftover Thanksgiving recipe, cranberries take center stage.
Take any oatmeal recipe but add a dollop of cranberry sauce to it. You’ll enjoy a sweet and delicious breakfast with the tangy taste of cranberries mixed in.
10. Dog treats
Now that you’ve enjoyed a variety of leftover Thanksgiving food, let’s look at some pet-friendly options for your furry friend.
Made with leftover turkey, veggies, potatoes and flour, you can give Fido a homemade Thanksgiving bone.
Keep these expiration dates for leftover Thanksgiving food in mind
While we all want to savor the flavor of Thanksgiving food, we don’t want to get food poisoning from old food. All of your leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen within two hours of coming out of the oven.
Here are some quick guidelines to keep in mind when preparing leftovers to stay safe and healthy.
- Turkey can last four days in the fridge and four months in the freezer
- Veggies can last three to four days in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer
- Pies can last three to four days in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer