Thanksgiving is not just a day to give thanks for the time spent with family and friends; it's also a day when you can give thanks for abundance (we're talking about the food!). However, sometimes that abundance is a little too abundant, and you're stuck with tons of leftovers.
We've got you covered! We've developed a list of easy recipes to help you use leftovers and reduce food waste. These dishes are just as tasty as the original holiday meal you enjoyed with your family!
Turkey Day Leftover Casserole
Using up your extra turkey bits doesn’t have to be challenging! This casserole is a delicious, filling option reminiscent of a holiday dinner without the dishes. Plus, it's easy to pack up in separate containers so that you can send some home with your kids, family members, and friends.
You can never go wrong with pizza! This deliciously sweet and savory recipe will help you use a variety of leftovers, including turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, butternut squash, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other veggies on hand. This yummy take on a traditional pizza is a great option for those of all ages – from kids to adults.
Pro Tip: This recipe is easy to turn into a grain-free pizza, making it a great option for those with gluten allergies or intolerance. Ensure you're also leaving off any items containing gluten, such as regular stuffing, to keep the whole recipe grain-free.
Have some extra nuts, herbs, stuffing mix, and cranberries on hand from cooking? If so, you can easily whip up this sweet and salty snack mix. Including turkey bacon helps provide additional saltiness and a slight decadence to the recipe. It's perfect for adding to lunches or keeping around the house for snack time. Plus, you can create this recipe in less than an hour.
It seems like every year; there's always a ton of leftover turkey and stuffing! Here's an easy way that you can use up these dishes. You'll also be including cranberries in this recipe and making a cranberry sauce dipping sauce to help use up additional leftovers. This recipe works great as an appetizer or snack during the week.
Pro Tip: You can also use cornbread mix or leftover cornbread bits instead of stuffing to create these meatballs. The flavor will change slightly, but they will still be incredibly tasty.
The best part about these kitchen sink crunchwraps, is that you can use whatever leftovers you have on hand from Thanksgiving! Cornbread, green beans, turkey, and sweet potato casserole are all excellent options for stuffing inside a tasty crunchwrap. You can even layer cranberry sauce in the crunchwrap, to balance the savory flavors. You'll use leftover gravy from the festivities for the dipping sauce.
Tacos are always a winning dinner dish in the household. While this recipe calls for chicken, you can easily swap it out with leftover turkey meat. You can also get creative with the salsa and add chopped cranberries for a tangier flavor. Or, add seasoning and jalapeños to cranberry sauce for a sweet and spicy combo.
Another fun way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers is by turning your mains and sides into a sweet and savory pastry puff. Stuffed with turkey bits, stuffing, cranberries, and cranberry sauce, you'll find these bites addictive. After baking, you can freeze any extra puffs, helping extend your leftovers even more.
Any extra cornbread mix can go toward creating this vegan tamale pie. It's flavorful and filling and provides a great option for vegan or meat-free family members. If you're on the meatless Monday bandwagon, you'll also find this recipe a great option. If you have leftover turkey, you can include it in the filling mixture. Of course, the recipe will no longer be vegan or vegetarian.
Arepas, South American cornmeal cakes stuffed with a savory filling, are an excellent way to use leftovers. This recipe includes shredded beef. However, you can use shredded turkey instead. Most of the ingredients are easy to swap out to use additional leftovers. For example, you can use mashed potatoes or stuffing instead of fried plantains.
Pro Tip: Skip the leafy greens and add any leftover green beans you have. If you made green bean casserole, you could use that in the arepas. Extra fried onion bits are also an excellent option for this recipe.
Nachos are an ideal vessel for Turkey Day extras. You can add turkey, extra veggies, and a cranberry sauce drizzle to this recipe. Plus, if you have leftover cheese from a charcuterie board or appetizer platter, you can shred it up and use it as a topping for the nachos.
Have a lot of extra sweet potato casserole? Consider creating this sweet potato bread for your household! You can even make a few extra loaves to gift to friends and family, depending on how much sweet potato casserole you have left. This sweet bread includes a delicious spice mixture with nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon, adding a complex flavor that will remind you of fall time. After baking the bread, you’ll drizzle a homemade glaze on top for the perfect amount of sweetness.
Pro Tip: You can freeze any extra loaves (glaze and all!). This bread will stay good in the freezer for about three months. Whenever you’re ready to enjoy a loaf, you can defrost it on the counter.
Still not sure what to make with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Try our Use Up Leftovers tool to help find yummy recipes. Add three ingredients (for example, turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce), then browse the results. You'll have yummy options ready in no time! You can also use this tool for leftovers from other holidays, special occasions, or simply weekly leftovers for new, inventive ways to use the available ingredients.