More Creative Ways To Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

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More Creative Ways To Use Thanksgiving Leftovers 

More Creative Ways To Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

If you are like us, you spend the week after Thanksgiving eating leftovers. I personally think the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. To me, the best tasting breakfast in the world is a hot cup of coffee and piece of leftover pecan pie. You must eat this early, of course, before the other members of the family are up so you can savor not only the moment, but also each bite of the pie. It gives me the emotional and physical strength I need to go in and face the havoc and the rest of the leftovers in the kitchen from the day before.

There have been years, though, after having eaten turkey and the never ending relish dish in every shape and form known to man, I did wish I could finally see the last of them. Here are some recipes to help give that endless supply of leftovers a different look!


Cranberry Chops

6 pork chops
1/2 cup cranberry or apple juice
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. spicy mustard
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Salt and pepper to taste

Place chops in slow cooker. Mix juice, cranberry sauce, sugar and mustard together and pour over chops. Cook for 7-8 hours. Take out chops. Mix cornstarch and water in a saucepan and stir until smooth. Slowly add cooking juices to the cornstarch and water. Boil and stir until thick. Salt and pepper and serve with chops.


Crustless Sweet Potato Pie

This is a cross between a sweet potato pie and the traditional sweet potatoes and marshmallows. It’s the best of both dishes combined into one delicious recipe!

6 cups warm sweet potatoes, mashed
1 cup milk
1 egg
5 Tbsp. margarine, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
18 large marshmallows

In a large bowl, mix everything except the marshmallows. Beat well. Pour into a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Bake uncovered at 325° for 40-45 minutes (just to heat through). Top with marshmallows and bake about 5 minutes longer or until marshmallows turn brown.


Stuffing Supreme

Make some stuffing, either from a box or from scratch. Add to it dried fruit, apricots, cranberries, apples, raisins or whatever you like. Toss in some nuts and roll into balls about the size of large meatballs. Bake at 375° uncovered for 20-25 minutes.


Here is a recipe where you get to have your pie and eat it too — without the hassle of a pie crust. Remember, canned pumpkin is another item that goes on sale this time of year. Stock up on it to use later in the year!

Pumpkin Pie Bars


1 cup flour
1/2 cup oats, quick cooking
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine

Combine and press into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes until lightly brown.


2 (15 oz. each) cans pumpkin
2 (12 oz. each) cans evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt

Beat all the above until smooth and pour over baked crust. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.


2 Tbsp. margarine, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts

Combine and sprinkle over the above (after it has baked the 45 minutes) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool. Store leftovers in fridge.


Turkey Crescent Roll Bake

Leftover turkey
Leftover veggies, cooked (Don’t forget to use the veggies from your relish dish. Cook them in the microwave first.)
Leftover gravy 1/2 -1 cup
grated cheddar cheese
1 can crescent rolls or refrigerator biscuits

Layer the leftovers and cheese in a greased pan. If using crescent rolls, open them and lay in rectangles pressing seams together. Cut into strips and place in a lattice work design on top of everything. If using biscuits, just flatten slightly and lay on top of everything. Bake until crescents or biscuits are golden brown and everything is hot and bubbly.


Sweet Potatoes

If you have a few leftover mashed sweet potatoes, add them to the stock of your vegetable soup for a thicker soup with a different but good flavor.


Mashed Potato Balls

Mashed potatoes
Ritz crackers or potato chips, crushed*

Cut the Velveeta into 3/4 inch cubes and shape leftover mashed potatoes around each cube. Roll them in the crackers or chips and bake at 350° until they are golden brown.

*This is a good way to use those leftover potato chip crumbs that are always left at the bottom of the bag. You might experiment with different flavored chips to see how they change the taste. For example, sour cream and cheddar chips, onion flavored chips or even some nacho flavored chips would create interesting flavors.


Cranberry Fruit Dip

This is a great way to use your leftover cranberry sauce and that little bit of whipped topping.

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup cranberry sauce
1 cup whipped topping

Beat the cream cheese and cranberry sauce together. Then fold in the whipped topping. Serve with fruit.

Save this recipe for Christmas or New Year’s and serve with fruit like red and green grapes, apples, kiwi, strawberries, etc.


Vegetable Stuffing Bake

Leftover stuffing
Leftover veggies, cooked (things like broccoli, cauliflower, corn, Brussels Sprouts)
1 small can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 -1/2 cup milk American or Velveeta cheese

Press leftover stuffing into a greased pan or baking dish. Layer veggies on top of that. Lay slices of cheese to cover everything next. Mix soup with enough milk to make it easy to pour and pour on top. Bake at 350° about 20 minutes until all is heated through and bubbly.

photo by: vintagehalloweencollector


  1. susan says

    Happy Thanksgiving! I really enjoy your tips. After today I will dig out all the presents I have been buying all year and see if there is anything else I need to get. We enjoy Christmas but we do not go into debt over it. I love shopping thru the year at thrift stores and yard sales! God bless you all!

  2. Mary Crabtree says

    Dear Tawra, Jill, and families,
    Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I am very thankful for you and for all the encouragement that you share throughout the year. God bless you all! MaryC

  3. Mildred Whitfield says

    I used your recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole which was absolutely delicious. My family really liked it. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • says

      Isn’t that a good sweet potato recipe? I don’t care for sweet potatoes but I will eat them like crazy in that recipe. I need to start eating them at other times too. : )

  4. AutumnGal says

    Thankful for so many things today albeit, the past 2 months have been very stressful and will continue for a while. However, I read your previous post immediately :) and Jill, it meant so much to me when I read your words that you were not meaning to put anyone on a guilt trip”. It would have been very easy to have taken “that trip today” yet because of that one comment I was able to “pull myself up by my boot straps” and made a simple Thanksgiving meal for hubby and I! AND… I made the Pumpkin Crunch Cake…. OH my goodness… I’d been craving ever since you posted the recipe yet it was even better than my imagination!!! Alterations to the recipe was; powdered milk and eggs and 3 Corning Ware dishes rather than the 9×13, just 1 stick of unsalted butter. (I didn’t have any pecans:( But if the nuts made it any better I don’t think I could have stood it!! ha ha
    I also greatly appreciate your deep understanding for those of us with FM and all the other debilitating syndroms. It means so much to have support to take care of myself even if no one “understands”. Thankfully my husband does now. You are a VSP (very special person) to so many! May God bless and minister to you!

    • says

      Autumngal I am so glad you were able to fix even a small Thanksgiving dinner. I remember the first year I became sick it was pretty bad. I had a neighbor come over (we had no friends or family here in Kansas) and she put the turkey in the pan for me because I was to weak to lift it. The next day, with help I propped myself in a chair, resting my arms on the table peeled 4 whole potatoes for mashed potatoes. I almost didn’t get that done.

      It was way to hard that is why about every other year now if we can afford it we go out to eat instead of staying home. Tawra and I neither one usually have the energy even still to do a huge meal.

      Anyway I just say that to let you know I understand what it took for you to fix things. One thing that hurt me the most and was hardest to deal with when we got sick was not the physical part of it (although that isn’t easy) but the emotional part of people not understanding. But that is another whole post in and of itself so must quit before I get started : ).

    • says

      Trish I’m so glad your turkey turned out good. I remember the first year I posted this turkey recipe and gave different ones instructions on how to do it, I held my breath all Thanksgiving day wondering how everyone did. I told Tawra you would think I was the one having to do it. Then the comments started coming in how great their turkeys had turned out and I breathed a sigh of relief. : ) It was like running a marathon and winning. : ) : ) I really do read all your posts and think about you guys.


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