Six Easy and Creative Ideas For Thanksgiving Leftovers

Six Easy and Creative Ideas For Thanksgiving Leftovers



Hello Broads! Now that we have all risen from our holiday-induced food comas, we have to address the pounds and pounds of leftovers free-riding in the kitchen.

What to do? Sure, today you’re eating turkey sammiches with cranberry sauce and cream cheese, but isn’t there more? What else can you concoct with these marvelous heaping piles of left-behinds?

The following are six of my favorite unique ideas for your leftovers that will be as good, if not better, than the original feast!



Eggnog French Toast Casserole with Cranberry Compote




This works best if bread is slightly dry or stale for maximum absorption. You can leave bread out overnight. If you forget, no biggie.


Casserole Ingredients:

4 large eggs

4 cups eggnog

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

8 large slices slightly stale bread


Compote Ingredients:

2 cups cranberry sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup wine



Grease a 9 by 12 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange 8 pieces of bread in dish, slightly overlapping each other.

Whisk together first six ingredients until well blended. Pour over bread, coating evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Leave dish covered with foil and bake for 25 minutes.


For cranberry compote:

In medium saucepan, combine leftover cranberry sauce, vanilla, brown sugar, and wine (red or white, or even the stale champagne leftover from last night). Bring to boil. Turn heat down and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until thickened up.

Serve 2 pieces french toast topped with 1/2 cup cranberry compote. Drizzle with pure maple syrup.



Breakfast Stuffing Hash



Breakfast hashes are great ways to use up leftovers from lots of different types of meals. A day-after-thanksgiving hash is one of the best! You will make this part of your yearly tradition after trying it once.



6 slices bacon, diced

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced

2 cups frozen diced potatoes

1 cup stuffing

1 cup diced turkey

1 cup shredded cheese



In a large heavy cast iron skillet, saute diced bacon over medium heat, until slightly crisp. Remove to paper towel to drain.

Melt butter in bacon grease. Toss in diced onions and frozen potatoes, and cook until potatoes are golden brown and onions are translucent, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Return bacon to pan, and mix in stuffing and diced turkey. Cook until everything is heated through. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Serve topped with an over-easy or over-medium fried egg.



Mashed Potato Bowls:



I love mashed potato bowls! Something about the layers of amazing leftovers mixing together, so you get a bit of each in every bite, is just perfect and comforting. These one-dish-wonders are easy and forgiving, and you can put pretty much anything you want in them. Here’s my favorite way to have them:



Mashed potatoes


Turkey, shredded or diced

Green beans


Shredded cheese



Layer ingredients in order in a microwave safe bowl. I usually put about even amounts of each (with extra gravy, of course), but adjust according to your taste. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Bon appetit!



Turkey Pot Pie:



Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, taught me how to make fantastic turkey pot pie. I add a few of my own little twists, but credit goes to Ree for the basis of this deliciousness.



2 frozen pie crust sheets

2 cups chopped turkey

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced carrot

splash of Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup frozen peas

salt and pepper, to taste



I try keep pre-made pie crust sheets and frozen peas in my freezer, which makes this dish a cinch.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Melt a stick of butter in a deep skillet on medium heat. Add diced onion, celery, and carrot. Stir in a splash of Worcestershire sauce and paprika (i like to use Smoked Spanish paprika). Saute until veggies become slightly translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

While veggies are sauteing, coat your 8 or 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray, and press a pie crust sheet into it.

Add roughly chopped leftover turkey to veggies and let warm up for about a minute. Then mix in flour. You want to get the starchy taste out of the flour, so let mixture simmer for about 4 or 5 minutes. Stir in low sodium chicken broth, heavy cream, and frozen peas. Allow to come to a soft boil, stirring frequently so cream doesn’t scorch. When it has thickened up, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into prepared pie crust. Top with another sheet of pie crust. Trim both about 1/2 inch wider than the pie pan, and crimp bottom and top crusts together by pressing with a fork. Make four small slits in center to allow steam out.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbly and crust is golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.



Fancy Turkey Salad



This is such a versatile salad! You can eat it alone, on bread, in a wrap, or over a couple of cups of greens. The Greek yogurt keeps the base healthier and less fatty, but the mayonnaise retains a needed creaminess. This beats plain old turkey on rye!



2 cups diced leftover turkey

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 sticks celery, diced

1 medium apple, diced

1/2 cup finely sliced green onion

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1/2 cup raisins, lettuce, 1/4 cup cranberry sauce



Combine turkey, almonds, celery, apple and green onion in large bowl and stir until combined.

Mix Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, dried mustard, salt and pepper in smaller bowl. Stir very well, then add to larger bowl with turkey. Toss everything together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to marry, if possible.

I like to spread cranberry sauce over two slices of bread, add a piece of lettuce and about 2/3 cups of turkey salad and enjoy!



Pumpkin Pie Milkshake



Pie milkshakes are a stroke of genius. Whoever the hell thought of stuffing a piece of pie into a blender with ice cream was a hero. They probably rescued children from burning houses and kittens from trees on the daily.

This milkshake is nothing short of decadent! One piece of pie make 2 milkshakes. Just in case you need another!



1 piece of pumpkin pie (1/8 of the pie)

2 cups vanilla ice cream

1 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Whipped cream and nutmeg for garnish



Add all ingredients except whipped cream garnish nutmeg into blender. Cover and blend on medium speed until there are no chunks left. Pour into two glasses. Top with whipped cream and a pinch of nutmeg and enjoy!



There you have it! My top favorite recipes to create with the stacks of leftovers from Thanksgiving.

Now you won’t get sick of turkey sammiches and just end up throwing away all those leftovers. Waste not want not, they say!

In fact, after trying each of these, I bet you’ll start looking forward to the days after Thanksgiving just as much as the actual day!


Happy Holidays Broads! Now get those Christmas trees up!

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