13 Delicious Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Leftovers
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving are the leftovers. I’m not just saying that—I really love cooking with the extra turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry. A fridge filled with delicious and flavorful dishes just waiting to be turned into something new and possibly even more scrumptious? It’s an adventurous home cook’s dream come true! While you can’t beat a classic turkey sandwich on white bread with cranberry sauce, this year why not step up your leftover game a notch? To inspire you to savor every last bite of the Thanksgiving meal, here are 13 inventive and tasty leftover recipes.
Begin your Black Friday with a real homemade pumpkin spice latte. You’ll use up the rest of that can of pumpkin puree and any cloves, fresh ginger, or cinnamon sticks you have lying around.
Why not avoid the shopping crowds, stay home, and enjoy brioche French toast with brown sugar-cranberry sauce? It pairs perfectly with homemade pumpkin spice lattes!
When I saw this recipe for creamed greens tartines in the most recent issue of Bon Appetit, I considered adding creamed greens to my Thanksgiving menu just so I could make these leftovers! Crusty bread, leftover creamed spinach, and gravy come together in this fried-egg topped, finger-licking good tartine. Delish!
Another welcome addition to a day-after-Thanksgiving brunch spread? Kentucky hot browns. This decadent open-faced sandwich recipe tops crisp toast with roast turkey, cheese sauce, fresh tomatoes, and salty bacon.
Turn leftover mashed potatoes into an addictive bite that’s scrumptious when served with champagne. Be sure to watch the croquettes while they are frying—if you leave them in too long, the potatoes will taste oily. Serve with gravy as a dipping sauce!
You don’t need a panini maker to enjoy this traditional leftover Thanksgiving sandwich. Simply assemble and cook as you would a grilled cheese. To weigh the sandwich down, place a heavy can on top of it.
If you need an effortless post-Thanksgiving meal, consider this fast-and-easy stovetop turkey tetrazzini. All of the ingredients—mushrooms, onions, milk, chicken broth, whole wheat pasta, and shredded turkey meat—are tossed into a pot. You’ll have a nostalgic and comforting dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
What happens when you top buttery homemade shortbread with chunky leftover cranberry sauce? You get this delectable cranberry shortbread dessert bar.
Use both white and dark meat to make this deep-dish turkey pot pie. If making your own pie dough seems too complicated for the day after Thanksgiving, use puff pastry or store-bought pie dough instead.
Open-faced leftover sandwiches are clearly on my mind! This variation of an arugula pesto and turkey tartine takes inspiration from Italy. The turkey is topped with sweet julienned sun-dried tomatoes and melt-in-your mouth mozzarella cheese.
Who could turn down a plate of this amazing-looking cheesy turkey tamale pie? Certainly not me! It’s filled with layers of polenta, leftover turkey and gravy, black beans, spices, and queso fresco. Serve with cranberry margaritas and call it a party.
This cranberry grilled cheese sandwich recipe combines cheddar cheese with leftover cranberry sauce and a dollop of dijon mustard. It’s simple but sophisticated.
When I came across this recipe for butternut turkey tacos with cranberry sauce, I couldn’t help but think why haven’t I thought of this?! You take the regular leftover components and jazz them up with avocado, black beans, tortillas, and a little dressing. Then—bam! Thanksgiving leftover tacos are born.
Shop items to cook and enjoy a hot leftover turkey sandwich below.
All-Clad Stainless-Steel Professional Flexible Solid Spatula ($29)
What's your favorite dish to make with Thanksgiving leftovers?