HAPPY ALMOST TURKEY DAY!
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Which is funny, because when I was a kid I remember it being one of my LEAST favorite holidays. We cook all day and then eat dinner weirdly early and then take a nap? “BORINGGGGG,” said 8-year-old-Jessie.
Fast forward a few decades and now my attitude is more liiiiiike: We get to cook all day? And then STUFF OUR FACES? And then NAP? All while DRINKING?! “AWESOME,” says 25-year-old Jessie. <– GROWTH.
As a notorious buy-too-big-of-a-turkey-er and overestimate-the-mashed-potatoes-er, I’ve come to love recipes that help me use up Thanksgiving leftovers as much as I love the original dishes themselves. After a few days, we’re all ready for a bit of a shake-up to the ol’ “let’s heat up more turkey and mashed potatoes” routine, am I right? So I’ve put together a handy list of 20 of my favorite ways to repurpose those Thanksgiving leftovers. Some of the recipes in this list call for chicken or require a few tweaks, but I’ve noted any substitutions you might need to make.
Soooo, I’m not much of a cranberry sauce person. But I am 110% a cranberry MAYONNAISE person. Follow this recipe as written but substitute leftover cranberry sauce for the cranberries called for in the recipe. Then slather it on turkey sandwiches and do a happy dance. It is seriously SO GOOD. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
If you haven’t made your own turkey stock yet, you haven’t lived. Making your own stock is the best! It’s insanely easy, makes your house smell amazing, and lets you control the salt content and additives in your stock so you can keep it on the healthier side. Freeze extra stock to pul out for soups throughout the winter! CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
These pierogis are one of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions, and it’s easy to repurpose those tasty mashed potato leftovers into some post-thanksgiving pierogi love! Swap your leftover mashed potatoes for the filling portion of the recipe and follow the rest of the directions as written. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
This is one of my FAVORITE soup recipes. It technically calls for chicken, but just use turkey instead and you’ll be golden! It’s easy, quick, relatively healthy, and perfect for these cold-weather days. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
This is another one that originally calls for chicken, but just swap it for turkey and follow the recipe as written. Then faceplant right on into this cheesy, sauce-y, lasagna-y goodness. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
Healthy foods are for January. Use that leftover pumpkin bread for this tasty french toast and take your post-Thanksgiving breakfast to a whole new level! CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
Post-Thanksgiving pot pies have become as much a tradition for me as the actual Thanksgiving food. I make a big batch, assemble everything, and keep a few pot pies in the freezer so we can pull them out for easy dinners throughout the winter. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
Or any kind of fruit-infused vodka, really, to help you use up any booze-y leftovers (wait, what are those?) your guests may have left lying around. Infusing your own vodka is a fun way to take care of any excessive alcohol without being stuck with twelve days of vodka tonics. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
While we’re on the subject of drinking, let’s talk booze-for-breakfast. THIS FRENCH TOAST IS EVERYTHING. Use leftover bread, soak it in a faaaabulous whiskey-and-custard-mix, and fry it up . Bonus points if you top it with leftover cranberry sauce! CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
I loooooooove this recipe as a chicken salad, and it’s even better with Thanksgiving leftovers as a turkey salad on leftover pumpernickel (my bread of choice for Thanksgiving stuffing). Grapes and Greek Yogurt keep it on the light side while lending a hint of sweetness and freshness. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
Stuffed mushrooms are an AWESOME way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers. Swap the chicken for turkey in this BBQ Chicken and Pepper Jack Stuffed Mushroom recipe, or stuff mushrooms with leftover stuffing and top with a bit of cheese, then bake as instructed. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
I first made this chili more than two years ago, and it’s STILL one of my most favorite things ever. Swap ground turkey for a few cups of chopped leftover turkey pieces and follow the rest of the directions as written for a hearty and healthy chili. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
Phew. Say THAT ten times fast. Top your leftover potatoes with goat cheese and this balsamic reduction and prepare to be amazed. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
These wraps are a great way to use up not just leftover turkey, but any leftover apples as well. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
This is the perfect solution for those post-Thanksgiving food coma days when you’re craving leftovers, but maybe with a side of nutrients? Load a bowl up with leftover turkey then add rice, a bucketful of veggies, and a tasty, easy-to-make crema for a healthy option. This recipe calls for chicken, but substitute your turkey leftovers and any other veggies you have on hand to make it your own. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
I looooove this hash, and it’s even better when you add a handful of leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Bonus points for adding leftover stuffing as well, and crisping it up with the potatoes. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
This lasagna is one of my FAVORITES, and it’s a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. PLUS, it freezes really well – so you can make a big batch and keep a lasagna or two in the freezer for easy meals during the busy holiday season. Follow the recipe as written, but stir a few cups of chopped turkey into the sauce before assembling the lasagna. (I’ve also added leftover spinach dip to the sauce before – works like a charm!) CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
Here’s another tasty option if you’re in I-NEED-VEGETABLES mode after your turkey day spectacular. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
This is another one that originally called fro chicken, but swap in your turkey leftovers for an easy update! CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
Who else totally overestimates the amount of apples they might need for apple pie (or just gets way too excited while apple picking and comes home with more apples than anyone will ever need ever?) Apple Butter to the rescue! Easy, simple, and an amazing way to use up those extra apples. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >>
That’s a wrap! Have a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving if you’re celebrating tomorrow, and I’ll see you next week with all-new recipes!