Repurposing Thanksgiving Ingredients: What to do with that leftover turkey

You’ve got a fridge full of turkey, only a few days to eat it, and you’ve reheated the same food twice already. Don’t give up on your leftovers. We have some ideas.

NORFOLK, Va. — You’ve got a fridge full of leftovers, only a few days to eat them, and you’ve reheated the same food twice already. Put down your phone – don’t you dare order pizza.

We looked up some fun ways to repurpose those Thanksgiving classics, to keep you eating well without repeating meals. 

You probably don’t need us to figure out the turkey sandwich. This is a classic all year long – but when you have those thicker slices of Thanksgiving bird, you can try out some new dishes.

  1. Tasty has a recipe for a Turkey sandwich with dijon mustard vinaigrette that’s just different enough to keep things interesting.
  2. We all know and love chicken pot pie – did you know it’s fancier cousin, turkey, also has a pot pie? Allrecipes calls this one “Dad’s leftover turkey pot pie.” It’s got enough vegetables in there to almost push this dish into the “healthy” category.
  3. Pillsbury crescent rolls hit different around the holidays. With a tube of those and your leftovers, you’re only 20 minutes away from some adorable finger-food Thanksgiving rolls. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce can all go into Delish’s “Thanksgiving in a Blanket” dippers. What are you dipping in? Gravy, of course.

Skip the ham biscuits this year. We’ve got some new ideas.

  1. We’re looking to the southern staple comfort food on this one: casserole. SpendWithPennies, a cooking website made for the frugal chef, came up with a broccoli, cheese and leftover ham casserole topped with breadcrumbs that has us drooling.
  2. Breakfast has a special place in our hearts. You won’t find a cuter leftover ham recipe than these Mini Ham ‘n’ Cheese Frittatas from TasteofHome. They do require a lot of eggs, but they look worth the sacrifice.

We can hear you thinking “mashed potatoes are only good the first day.” If you’re trying to reheat them with a microwave, maybe. If you bake them into a new meal, we bet you’ll change your mind.

  1. This was new to us, but we’re here for it. Easy potato bread takes a cup of mashed potatoes, butter, a few eggs and some flour, and makes a soft loaf of white bread. TheSpruceEats said it’s the perfect medium for grilled cheese.
  2. We’re back to SpendWithPennies for these well-reviewed loaded mashed potato cakes. Some cheese and seasonings bring these browned patties to the next level. Top with scallions, and enjoy.
  3. We couldn’t believe how few ingredients you’d need to make leftover mashed potatoes gnocchi. LifeAsAStrawberry shared this versatile recipe for the adorable little pasta balls we all love. Thank you, Italy.

Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without stuffing. If you have some of this left over, your relatives have been kind to you. We found a few repurposing recipes for it, just in case.

  1. Stuffin’ Muffins – say that ten times fast. BudgetBytes takes that leftover crumbly goodness, throws in some of the Thanksgiving ham and turkey, and elevates stuffing to the next level in a muffin tin.
  2. Savory stuffing waffles are hard to beat. The secret ingredient in this Tasty recipe is cheese – and lots of it. You’ve got to hold your bread together! Instead of traditional syrup, you can opt for a maple cranberry sauce on these pressed circles of goodness.

Cranberry sauce, turkey, stuffing, gravy – it’s all going into the Moistmaker sandwich from the popular sitcom, Friends.

Binging with Babish is a cooking channel on YouTube known for recreating food from television shows. He does things from scratch, but if you’ve already got the Thanksgiving classics cooked – don’t reinvent the wheel.

Perhaps enjoy this masterpiece of a sandwich while watching shows with your loved ones this holiday weekend.

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