Here are 25 yummy Thanksgiving leftover recipes and ideas so you don’t waste any Thanksgiving leftovers! Great uses for leftover turkey, stuffing and more!
25 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes And Ideas
Don’t you just love Thanksgiving? It’s the most guilt free holiday of the year. You don’t have to worry about getting the right gifts or whether everything is decorated perfectly. You don’t have to wonder whether you made enough cookies or whether the food is on your diet. You have permission and can eat to your heart’s content! At times like this, I have to wonder, “Have I died and gone to Heaven?!”
There is one problem — What happens when everyone rolls away from the table? You stand there in the shadows of mounds of Thanksgiving leftovers and the guilt sets in. You really can’t wedge in another bite, but you can’t bring yourself to throw away all that good food. You know that there are people starving in Bangladesh, but you can’t afford the shipping cost to send it to them… What do you do with it?
Here are some Thanksgiving leftover ideas to help you put those leftovers to good use and keep your clean conscience!
- Mix gravy, cubed turkey and leftover vegetables into a casserole dish. Top with refrigerator biscuits, leftover pie crust or crescent rolls (unbaked). Bake at 350 degrees until the dough is cooked and golden brown.
- When making pies on Thanksgiving Day, save the extra dough or make extra to use to make pasties (recipe below). Roll out discs of dough in whatever size you want and fill with meat, vegetables and leftover potatoes.
- Don’t forget to use your leftover Thanksgiving relish dish items. Chop and use in salads, soups or casseroles. If you’re really sick of the vegetables, chop and freeze to use later.
- Use leftover mashed potatoes to thicken soups and stews.
- Make potato pancakes: Add 1 egg and 2 Tbsp. flour to 2 cups mashed potatoes. Make into patties and fry in a pan with margarine.
- If you have a small amount of whipped topping left over, place dollops of it on a wax paper and freeze. Then place in an air tight container. When you need a quick topping for a dessert or some to go on a late night cup of hot cocoa you can just grab one out of the freezer.
- Don’t throw out that pickle juice from the pickles you used on your relish dish. Use it to make French dressing next time instead of vinegar.
- Grilled Turkey Sandwich We stayed with friends over Thanksgiving. The husband fixed a kind of turkey sandwich we had never seen before. He used stuffing and turkey for a moist sandwich and then fried it like you would with a reuben. My husband said it was delicious. From Delores
Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes:
Easy Pocket Sandwiches
This easy pocket pies recipe is a great Thanksgiving leftover recipe! You can easily adapt this to use leftovers from any meal for a different and tasty treat!
Crust: Use any of the things listed below for the crust:
Store bought pie crust
Make extra pie crust when you are making your Thanksgiving pie and save to use for these pocket pies.
Use crescent rolls
Canned biscuits slightly flattened
Preheat oven to 450 degrees if you are using pie crust or use the temperature suggested on the rolls or biscuits. Cut the pie crust into whatever size circles you like. Lay a bowl on top of the crust and cut around it.
Lay the Thanksgiving leftovers you want to include on top of your circle – cranberry sauce, dressing, turkey, veggies and so on. You can then drizzle with a little leftover gravy. You might want to save the gravy to pour over the top or to use for dipping the pocket pies after they are cooked. Lay another circle of crust or roll dough on top and seal the edges well. Brush with a little milk or egg wash if you want and cook until golden brown.
You could make larger circles, place leftovers on one half and then fold the other half over and seal the edges.
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1 Tbsp. water
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2-1 lb. ground beef, turkey or chicken, cooked
salt and pepper (to taste)
Use leftover pie crust or use the following recipe:
1 cup shortening
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
6 Tbsp. water
In a saucepan, simmer the carrots in the water, butter, and chicken bouillon cubes. Add potatoes, onion, meat and salt and pepper. Divide into fourths. Mix dough ingredients and roll into four 10 inch circles. Put the meat mixture on one side of the dough. Fold the other half of the dough over and seal with fingers or a fork. Bake 1 hour at 375 degrees. Serves 4-6.
You can also add other vegetables. This recipe is a good way to use those Thanksgiving leftovers, so be creative!
Turkey Soup Recipe
garlic powder (to taste)
onion powder (to taste)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
Place turkey bones in a large pot and cover with water. Simmer, following directions for Basic Chicken Soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Saucy Turkey Sandwiches
In place of the usual lettuce and mayo, try making your turkey sandwiches with a slice of leftover cranberry sauce and cream cheese instead. Spread butter on one slice of bread and cream cheese on the other adding a slice of turkey and cranberry sauce in the middle.
Swiss Turkey Stuffing Pie
3 cups prepared stuffing
2 cups cooked turkey, cubed
1 cup (4 oz.) Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 cup milk
Press stuffing into a greased 9 inch pie plate, coming up the sides, too. Layer with turkey and then cheese. Beat eggs and milk and pour over everything. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Turkey Hodge Podge
1 cup turkey gravy
2 cups turkey, cooked and cubed
2 cups mixed veggies (frozen that have been thawed or leftovers)
2 medium potatoes, cubed and cooked
1 can refrigerator buttermilk biscuits
Mix all but biscuits together and heat through. Pour into an 8 inch square baking dish and top with biscuits. Bake at 400 degrees 12-16 minutes until biscuits are golden and mixture is bubbly.
Turkey Crescent Roll Bake
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.
3 cups (about 5 small) carrots, cooked
2 Tbsp. margarine
1/4 cup jellied cranberry sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
In sauce pan, melt butter. Add cranberry sauce, sugar and salt. Add carrots and simmer 3-4 minutes. This can easily be doubled or tripled.
Here’s a different way to use the Thanksgiving leftovers from the relish dish.
2 tomatoes, sliced (could use cherry tomatoes, too)
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets (pieces of broccoli)
1 cup cauliflower pieces
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup vinegar
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. each sugar, salt and parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves of fresh garlic crushed.
Mix and place all the veggies in a casserole dish. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over veggies. Cover and chill for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Garnish with diced green onions.
Vegetable Stuffing Bake
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 degrees about 20 minutes until all is heated through and bubbly.
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
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 degrees for 40-45 minutes (just to heat through). Top with marshmallows and bake about 5 minutes longer or until marshmallows turn brown.
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
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 degrees 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.
Homemade Potato Fudge
3 Tbsp. shortening
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. cocoa
1/3 cup mashed potatoes
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. (16 oz.) powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
In a microwave safe bowl, melt shortening and butter in the microwave. Stir in cocoa until smooth. Add potatoes, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Blend in powdered sugar, mix and add nuts. Dough will be very lumpy. Knead until smooth. Press into a buttered 8×8 inch pan. Cool in the refrigerator before cutting. Makes 64 pieces (yeah right!).
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 degrees uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
Pumpkin Pie Bars
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!
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 degrees for 20 minutes until lightly brown.
2 (15 oz. each) cans pumpkin
2 (12 oz. each) cans evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
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 degrees 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.
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.
Make Canned Cranberry Sauce Taste Homemade
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
1 can (15oz.) jellied cranberry sauce
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. mustard
1/4 tsp. ground clove
Mix together all ingredients. Makes a great topping for ham or turkey. Makes 1 1/4 cups.
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.
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