The goal with Thanksgiving, America’s favorite feast day, is always MORE: more turkey, more stuffing, more cranberry sauce. And lots more Thanksgiving leftovers, so we spend one busy morning cooking up a storm and enjoy the fruits of our labors for days afterwards.
Thanksgiving leftovers can become a quick lunch or snack in very simple ways — the classic, of course, is leftover turkey (preferably dark meat) on a hard roll with mayonnaise and dill pickles. Put some cranberry sauce on there if you have some leftover. Some folks add aged cheddar, avocado, lettuce, chipotle mayo, red onion or fresh tomatoes. Do what you want; it’s all good.
There are dozens of options for Thanksgiving leftovers, but the key points are twofold: not only must the dish make use of your already-prepared bounty, they must not take so much time and effort in and of themselves, they feel like making Thanksgiving all over again.
Robin Miller’s turkey shepherd’s pie uses both leftover turkey and mashed potatoes for the topping.
At the blog of the Noble Pig, leftover turkey/cranberry monte cristo sandwiches get a boost from a delicious egg batter.
“This sandwich is a great way to use up leftovers, especially if you have to feed a house full of holiday visitors,” wrote Cathy, earlier this month. “I think re-purposing (Thanksgiving) leftovers into a completely different meal is always a great way to use them up. No one wants to keep eating the same thing over and over again.”
Turn stuffing into mini savory muffins with an egg or two and a bit of cream or broth. Take roasted root vegetables and use them to top a pizza — butternut squash is a great match for feta cheese; sweet potatoes are beautiful with bacon.
The Nourishing Gourmet likes to use leftovers for turkey and rice soup, yam and turkey hash and turkey enchiladas, among other things.
Make pumpkin pie muffins with leftover pie filling; try this recipe from canned pumpkin maker LIBBY. Turn leftover green beans into a simple salad with blue cheese and walnuts and sherry vinaigrette, or add them toward the end of Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe for Sauteed Green Beans with Tomatoes and Basil served with Parmesan Crisps.
National Public Radio encourages us all to “think outside the sandwich” when it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers. The Kitchen Window blog offers recipes for a Cranberry-Honey Smoothie; Migas (a southern scrambled egg dish); Mashed Potato Cakes; Turkey, Quinoa And Persimmon Salad With Warm Cranberry-Maple Dressing; and Cheesy Turkey And Kale Quesadillas.
According to NPR’s Susan Russo, “For many Americans, the best part of Thanksgiving dinner happens on the Friday after the holiday, when the leftovers begin.”
Find great ideas for using Thanksgiving leftovers when you download our FREE Ultimate Turkey Guide (click the link below).
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