Looking for some inspiration to deal with the pile of leftovers from your big meal? While there is absolutely nothing wrong with the classics — eat a slice of pie for breakfast or throw everything on a sandwich — we asked readers of our daily newsletter The Sunriser to share their favorite ways to make the most of the big day’s leftovers.
Got a recipe to add? Use this form to send your ideas — but hurry, there are only so many leftovers out there.
“This is SO easy, even I can make it!” writes Sue McHenry.
- 1 C. sugar
- 1 C. flour
- 1 C. persimmon puree
- 3 Tbl. melted butter/margarine
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
(optional 1 C. raisins, dried cranberries, dates, walnuts, pecans, etc. I say the more the merrier)
Mix all together and add 1 C. raisin or chopped dates AND 1 C. or less chopped walnuts or pecans.
Butter bottom AND sides of baking dish or casserole WITH cover. Preheat oven to 250, yes 250, degrees.
Bake covered at least an hour in 250 oven. Test with toothpick and when it comes out clean, it is done. Serve hot or cold with whipped cream or topping if cold and hard sauce if served hot. To make hard sauce mix butter and powdered sugar and cream and add vanilla.”
Mme. M. translates our Thanksgiving flavors into francais with this interesting crepe treatment.
Make a ragout composed of sauteed shallots, mushrooms,celery ( all finely chopped) in butter. Add white wine and bone broth (veg or chicken) .Then add chopped turkey.
Make classic crepes (here’s a version of the classic Larousse Gastronomique recipe). After the ragout has simmered and reduced after a few hours, you are ready to make the crepes. Serve with steamed asparagus.
The Easiest Breakfast Recipe Ever
Submitted by Katherine Delanoy, the genius of this one-sentence recipe is its brevity:
“Just put your leftover cranberry sauce on your oatmeal.”
Whatever You Have Turkey Noodle* Soup**
(*any grain/legume, **Shepherds’ or pot pie)
Danielle M. sums up her very flexible recipe: “TLDR: make turkey stock; fortify stock with gravy; sauté vegetables; make roux with 1:1 fat:flour; add stock and simmer; add turkey and noodles and heat through; season with salt throughout cooking.
Make turkey broth:
Toss all the turkey bones / carcass / bag of giblets / turkey drippings in your biggest pot with water, leftover vegetable scraps (ends of celery, fennel, onions, shallots, carrots, dark green leek parts no recipe ever asks for), peppercorns, and whatever spices & herbs you’d like (bay leaf, turmeric, star anise, fennel seed, red pepper flakes, the rest of the “poultry mix” herb pack). Let simmer for a few hours, then strain. Add in leftover gravy.
Make noodles, or boil whatever noodles / grains / lentils / beans / rice you have.
I love making egg noodles for soup, because they reheat better than a regular box of noodles and don’t require bringing out the pasta roller (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/11991/egg-noodles/).
Sauté leftover diced vegetables (from your vegetable tray, random vegetables substituted in your delivery order) in butter / oil / turkey fat and season with salt & pepper. Add in equal parts (1:1 fat:flour) flour and whisk to make a roux. Cook for a few minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste, not so much that it’s stuck to the bottom of the pan forever. Slowly, steadily pour in broth while whisking. The fat:flour roux will absorb a lot at first, once it’s more liquid-y than paste-y, add stock faster if you want.
Simmer vegetables for 10ish minutes then add noodles. Not using noodles? Simmer for 20-30 minutes until your vegetables are the texture you prefer, then add in precooked grain/legume Season with salt and pepper (could be a lot of salt from an unsalted turkey stock). Add in leftover cooked turkey meat, cook until heated through.
Leave out noodles, add less broth to make it thicker. Put in a pie pan, and top with the extra pie crust from your one-crust pie recipe that you made from a cookbook that only has a pie crust recipe for 2 (or from the 2-pop pack store pie crust). Now it’s pot pie! Or top with your mashed potatoes and sprinkle with cheese. Now it’s shepherds pie!
Gluten free? Don’t add flour for thickener for a more broth-y soup and don’t add the gravy if it was made with flour.”
Leftover turkey enchiladas
Submitted by Kathe White
5-6 med/lg tortillas, leftover turkey cut into cubes, 1 can cream of chicken soup, ~ 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 small can green chilies, cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes & cilantro
Mix soup, sour cream, green chilies together. Spread a thin layer onto each tortilla followed by turkey & cheese. Roll tortillas closed & place next to each other in greased pan. Spread rest of soup mixture over top & sprinkle more cheese over. Bake covered for ~ 40 minutes at 350. Sprinkle tomatoes & cilantro on once plated.
“A favorite of my children and although they are in their 60s they still make it for their children and grandchildren,” writes Jean Yale.
Take a pie pan and line it with stuffing. Add chopped up turkey. Cover with mashed or sweet potatoes and add gravy to cover.
Bake at 350 until hot. (Test after 15 minutes but don’t burn your mouth).
Serve with cranberry sauce. And veggies if your conscience is bothering you.
Thanksgiving Leftover Pie
Laura Emerson writes: “This recipe is adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Heritage Cookbook published in the 1980s. You press mashed sweet potatoes into a pie pan and fill it with the other leftovers – turkey, peas, corn, gravy. The diced tomato on top sounds a little bit over the top, but it adds a nice finish of freshness.”
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted*
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 17-ounce can sweet potatoes (drained and mashed) or leftover sweet potatoes (*they might already have butter in them, and if a stray pecan or brown sugar finds its way in, no harm)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups diced cooked turkey
- 1 10 3/4-ounce can cream of mushroom soup (or thick white sauce – recipe below)
- 1 cup or so whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 cup or so frozen peas
- 2 – 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- (Leftover gravy with whole berry cranberry sauce in it, heated up)
- (1 small tomato, peeled and diced)
Preheat oven to 350.
Beat melted butter, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and salt into the sweet potatoes. Line a greased 9 inch pie plate with potato mixture, building up edges 1/2 inch high.
Cook onion in 1 tablespoon butter until almost tender. Stir in turkey, soup (or white sauce), vegetables, and parsley.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes until heated through.
Optional: when serving pour some hot gravy with cranberry sauce over each portion if desired. Top with diced tomato if you have it.
3 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1/4 tsp salt – melt butter, stir in flour, cook 1 minute. Stir in milk and salt. Heat until thickened.”
Tastes Like Thanksgiving Casserole
Karen Diamond says “So, I make what is in essence a kind of shepherds pie. So good! Served with a side of the leftover cranberry sauce if you have any. Enjoy!”
Anything you have leftover including but not limited to, turkey, gravy, stuffing, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes.
I chop up the turkey and mix it with the leftover gravy, (Sometimes I make an extra packet of gravy if I need to supplement), and spread it in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan. Metal or glass is fine. Then I start layering everything left ending with stuffing then mashed potatoes on top. Bake in the oven until bubbling. A quick round under the broiler to brown the potatoes if you want to go the extra mile.
Heidi Vielhaber shared her take on the same idea: “This is the official recipe, but last year I just layered mashed turkey with gravy/cream of anything soup, then stuffing, then mashed potatoes, topped with cheddar cheese and served with cranberry sauce on the side. I didn’t remember having a lot of leftovers, and it’s because my partner ate about half of this casserole in a sitting.”