Stop! Here’s What You Shouldn’t Toss from a Thanksgiving Meal
We've put together your playbook for holiday leftovers.
We love Thanksgiving. The cooking, the time with family, the laughter, the celebrations, the gratitude—and the leftovers. We love it all, but especially the leftovers. When the holidays arrive, we realize that we've been looking forward to turkey sandwiches and reheated dressing all year long, ever since the last slice of cornbread and the last scoop of squash casserole disappeared from the refrigerator last Thanksgiving. However, we also know that once the holiday supper is over and it's time to clean the table, it can be tempting to just toss it all in exhaustion. But, for the love of leftovers, wait!
Every single dish on your table can be repurposed into meals for days, not just the noble turkey, which always provides sandwiches for the duration. Take a spin through our holiday leftovers playbook and ready your post-meal game plan. Once you're munching on these effortlessly prepared leftovers recipes, you'll never think about tossing those holiday-meal remnants again. Check out our recipe recommendations below—we've already done the math for you.
Turkey + Mac-and-Cheese + Roasted Vegetables + Pie = Mexican-Inspired Meal
These four seemingly different ingredients can all be used to create one delicious, Mexican-inspired meal. If you’re sick and tired of the typical Thanksgiving flavor profile, switch things up with something entirely unique. These fixings can be easily transformed into Leftover Turkey Quesadillas, Green Chile Mac-and-Cheese, Leftover Roasted Vegetable Slaw, and Fried Ice Cream With Pecan Pie & Apple Pie Chunks.
Turkey + Gravy + Cornbread Dressing + Cranberry Sauce = Thanksgiving Po'boy
The ultimate post-Thanksgiving sandwich, our fan-favorite, leftovers-filled Thanksgiving Po'boy will have all your guests returning for oh-so delicious seconds.
Turkey + Mashed Potatoes + Green Beans + Gravy = Savory Hand Pies
Our Savory Hand Pies combine your favorite holiday dishes (plus gravy!) into one easy-to-eat and easy-to-love leftovers recipe.
Sweet Potato Casserole + Cranberry Sauce = Sweet Potato Casserole Hotcakes
Thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast? Yes, please.
Turkey + Pepper Jelly + Arugula = Turkey Panini
When it comes to making your perfect post-Thanksgiving sandwich, go big, go flavorful—go for this recipe.
Turkey + Collard Greens = Turkey-and-Collard Green Stew
This hearty stew is practically begging for a spot in your post-Thanksgiving lineup.
Chicken + Carrots + Bacon + Biscuits = Chicken-and-Biscuit Cobbler
If you're one of those rare Southern families who serve up chicken at Thanksgiving, use your leftovers to whip up this savory cobbler.
Turkey + Cranberry Sauce = Turkey Tostadas with Spicy Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce
Turkey Tostadas are an unexpected way to repurpose your holiday turkey. Pair with our addictive Spicy Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce for a delicious post-holiday nibble.
Green Bean Casserole + Rye Bread = Green Bean Casserole Sandwich
For minimal effort and maximum flavor, break out the green bean casserole leftovers, layer them on toasted rye bread, and enjoy an easy lunch.
Sweet Potatoes + Chorizo = Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage Bites
You can't eat just one of these tasty chorizo bites. They're a stellar breakfast or pre-dinner app option for your holiday guests.
Turkey + Carrots + Spinach + Tortellini = Turkey Tortellini Soup with Greens
Veggies, leftover turkey, and tortellini combine beautifully in this warming autumnal soup.
Mac and Cheese + Broccoli = Roasted Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
You won't need to sneak broccoli into your leftovers this year. This dish is so tasty, the kids will be requesting broccoli-laced macaroni and cheese all season.
Turkey + Bread + Blue Cheese = Smoked Turkey-Blue Cheese Open-Faced Sandwiches
Take your classic turkey sandwich up a few notches with the addition of creamy blue cheese and crisp arugula.
Turkey + Peppers = Turkey Quesadillas
Update your classic quesadilla recipe for the season (and add tasty Thanksgiving leftovers to the mix!) to keep the celebration going in the kitchen for as long as possible.
Turkey + Andouille Sausage + Okra + Rice = Gumbo-Style Turkey Soup
Go gaga for gumbo in the days after Thanksgiving with this incredibly easy turkey-repurposing recipe.
Collards + Black-Eyed Peas + Ham + Turkey = Hoppin' John Soup
Throw it all together, and wait for the best bowl of hoppin' John you've ever eaten.
Sweet Potatoes (or Sweet Potato Casserole) + Turkey + Spinach = Harvest Pizza
No one can resist a pizza made of leftovers, especially one topped with savory sweet potatoes and hearty turkey. It's still Thanksgiving vacation, and we're determined to enjoy every bite.
Ham + Carrots + Peas = Ham-and-Vegetable Cobbler
Cobbler isn't just for dessert anymore. It's a tasty Thanksgiving leftover dish you'll crave all year round.
Sweet Potatoes + Ginger + Buttermilk = Sweet Potato-Ginger Scones
After Thanksgiving, you inevitably will have a few chilled, roasted sweet potatoes on hand. Put them to use in this delicious scone recipe; it's ideal for breakfast, brunch, or teatime.
WATCH: Sweet Potato-Ginger Scones
What leftovers recipes will you be saving for your post-Thanksgiving meals this year? Almost all of your lovingly prepared holiday dishes are even more delicious two or three days later, don't you think?