What To Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers

Come get some different ideas for what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers that isn’t soup or a sandwich!

If you are like many people, today you are faced with the question of what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers that is not just a reheated plate, a casserole or everything thrown into a soup. And perhaps what might get accidentally or purposefully disposed of. Gosh, we’ve had a few “Oops!” moments with a brought-along green bean casserole – we just can’t figure out why that particular dish gets spilled so. many. times! /s

A festive table loaded with traditional Thanksgiving items - come see what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers to empty that fridge!

Now in our house, the first day is devoted to the building of what we call “Scooby Sandwiches”. Each person has their own list of must haves, no ways and the specific order in which things are added. This is a MUCH debated topic in my house. My personal “recipe” is mayo, cranberries (whiskey roasted, none of the canned), cold stuffing pressed into a layer, turkey, and a thin layer of squash. And always on “good” bread – Ecce Panis Neo-Tuscan Boule is a family fave.

After sammies though, we are always looking for fresh ideas for what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers and because we never know ahead of time how much of each thing we will have – this year there are NO brussel sprouts left but TONS of sweet potatoes – I like to collect recipes for each thing and then see what hits my taste buds.

Here are a few of my personal faves.

For Leftover Stuffing

  • These Bacon Wrapped Stuffing Bites are ridiculously yummy and let’s face it, if you have a ton of stuffing left there are only so many ways you can use it up.
  • If these don’t appeal to you, try making a few walnut sized balls, cooking them in a waffle iron and dipping them in leftover cranberry sauced heated with some chili or cocktail sauce or a spicy salsa.

For the Cranberry Sauce You Can’t Bear To Throw Out

  • These Cranberry Oat Bars aren’t too sweet and since they are heavy on the oats they could be considered maybe, I dunno, sort of like a breakfast dessert? They freeze well, too, so you can make them now and save them for the whole holiday season.
  • One of our favorite ways to use up cranberry sauce is to add a can’s worth to a crockpot with an equal amount of barbecue sauce. Add frozen meatballs and cook on low until everything is hot and saucy. You can make these ahead and freeze to reheat for a holiday appetizer.

Got Enough Leftover Mashed Potatoes To Choke a Horse?

Leftover Gravy – Not Just For Pot Pie!

  • I will be honest – when I have leftover gravy and I don’t have an immediate need for it, I freeze it. Ours is flour based (cream based gravies will freeze but can separate when they thaw) so it freezes beautifully. I do it in small cubes so when I need just a bit I can grab a couple of cubes and use it in a recipe or as a base for a sauce. Also, if your gravy turns out so good you could eat it with a spoon like soup, you can use it as the base for your Christmas gravy!
  • Now if it did turn out SO good that you can’t not have it, this Poutine recipe is incredibly easy and makes a great all in one side or shareable appetizer.

The Star of the Show – The Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey!

  • Tried and true and classic, this Turkey Tetrazzini is also very easy to make, is ideal cold weather comfort food and is a great thing to bring to someone who needs a little support this time of year.
  • For a different twist and new flavor profile, these Thanksgiving Leftover Tacos are the bomb! They are also a great place to chuck in any random bits and bobs – what can’t be improved with a little Mexican flare? (Except that green bean casserole……)

OK – now you have some ideas of what do to with Thanksgiving leftovers – what are you trying first?

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