The best part about a holiday feast isn't always the feast itself… It's the leftovers. Think about it: With the stress of all the holiday prep and hosting anxiety behind you, the only thing left is peace, quiet, and a whole lot of deliciousness tucked away in the fridge. Or on the other hand, you may feel the exact opposite, and that's okay, too.
Allow us to present you with a silver lining: Leftovers are a great way to stretch the festivities beyond the day of the holiday itself. And since we all know this world is made up of more than two types of people, we're also addressing the third type of person, who basically despises leftovers because that means they have to eat the same thing on a loop for every. single. meal.
The good news is that we're full of ideas that'll inspire exciting new ways to repurpose your holiday leftovers, from turkey to mashed potatoes, sauces, and any other side dishes aging in the fridge. So scroll through the 11 recipes below to make the most of out of your Thanksgiving and winter holiday leftovers and all the hard work that went into them. We promise they'll satisfy everyone.
Turn Them Into a BREAKFAST SANDWICH
Why stop the marathon of delicious eating after Thanksgiving when you can keep things going with this turkey, cranberry, and gravy croque madame recipe from Half Baked Harvest. You'll need something to fuel you before your Black Friday bargain hunt anyway, and this indulgent sandwich will do the trick.
Turn Them Into SOUP
With chilly weather and the holidays in full swing, our soup cravings are at an all-time high. To repurpose your turkey, make this green chile turkey enchilada and quinoa soup from Half Baked Harvest. You could also use leftover wild rice or whatever grain you have lying around to give this dish a hardier edge.
Turn Them Into GRAIN BOWLS
Make a healthy bowl with all your random leftovers, from cheese-plate stragglers to unused produce and grains. Get inspired by this roasted sweet potato, quinoa, and feta bowl from Salt & Wind if you need a little guidance.
Turn Them Into a STEW
Honestly, you don't really need an extra recipe to enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers. You could just scoop the mashed potatoes into a bowl, top with turkey, and let on the gravy flow. But if you're feeling ambitious, follow this mouthwatering recipe from Half Baked Harvest. It'll walk you through a recipe for gumbo, and then you can just add your leftover turkey at the end.
Turn Them Into a SCRAMBLE
Chances are you did a lot of dishwashing yesterday. For a light load this morning, opt for a simple scramble that only requires one pan. Just toss in all your leftover produce and/or potatoes and meats, and then scramble them all together with eggs. This Paleo-friendly recipe from Food Faith Fitness is a good recipe to follow if you're looking for a healthy option.
Turn Them Into a WAFFLE SANDWICH
It doesn't get any more delicious and delicious than this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. Just stick all of the delicious sides and mains from your feast between two waffles, and eat it like a sandwich. This particular recipe calls for turkey, smashed avocado, cranberry sauce, brie, and mashed potatoes all melted inside perfectly crispy and fluffy waffles.
Turn Them Into a SALAD
And now we're switching gears here a little with a light, healthy, hearty salad recipe from Salt & Wind. It calls for all the Waldorf salad classics like grapes, walnuts, and celery, but then adds seasonal favorites like cranberries and shredded turkey breast.
Turn Them Into a SANDWICH
If you have leftover meat and want to repurpose it into a sandwich that features a slightly different flavor profile, turn it into a banh mi sandwich. You'll just need to grab a few basic extras at the market, like carrots, jalapeños, and cucumber. This recipe from I Am a Food Blog also calls for a fried egg, making it perfect for brunch.
Turn Them Into a VEGGIE MEDLEY
If you have a bunch of veggie-based side dishes left over, just toss them all into one bowl and then add your grain of choice for a flavorful, healthy, well-rounded meal. It'll be like a makeshift harvest salad.
Turn Them Into STUFFED PRODUCE
Similarly, you could use your leftover squash (or get more at the market) to make your own version of a healthy bread bowl with all the leftover sides from your holiday feast. This is a great alternative if you want to cut out grains and also don't have enough of the same side dish for one full meal. Follow this stuffed squash recipe from Salt & Wind.
Turn Them Into ENCHILADAS
And last but definitely not least, we present you with this delicious enchilada recipe from Half Baked Harvest. They're surprisingly easy to make and give your original holiday dishes a new twist that'll keep things interesting. On a similar note, you could also make burritos instead if you don't feel like doing all the heavy lifting in the kitchen.