7 Creative Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes
According to the Mayo Clinic, leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days before the risk of food poisoning rises. That means if you prepared your feast on Wednesday or Thursday, you may be frantically trying to use up your remaining leftovers before they spoil. But you don’t have to eat the same meal over and over to make sure no food goes to waste! These seven innovative recipes put a new twist on Thanksgiving leftovers.
Even if you don’t have time to make a new dish, you might consider freezing whatever leftovers you think can hold up. You may be tired of leftovers right now, but those same leftovers might make for mouthwatering freezer meals.
We’ve included this recipe for two reasons: it can use up a lot of leftovers and it’s super convenient. The recipe calls for turkey, gravy, and vegetables, so you might be able to use several of your leftovers in one fell swoop. Additionally, the casserole can be frozen. Just defrost it in the fridge the day before and heat it up as directed for an easy meal!
This recipe makes the cut because chili is so comforting in winter, and it often freezes well. While this recipe doesn’t use tons of Thanksgiving leftovers, it does use a good amount of turkey, so if you made too big a bird, this dish might be a great solution.
This recipe uses both leftover turkey and leftover stuffing. But the real reason we included this recipe is that it sounds so rich and comforting. We think it might be a wonderful dish to enjoy the next time you catch a cold. And since soups often freeze well, it could also be convenient!
The earthiness of mushrooms pairs beautifully with Thanksgiving leftovers while adding a new twist. That’s why we’ve included this recipe for stuffed mushrooms on the list. The recipe uses stuffing and butternut squash that you might have leftover, but we think you could also add a wide variety of other leftovers, like turkey, gravy, green beans, or Brussels sprouts.
If you ask us, leftover mashed potatoes are pretty amazing all on their own. But when you add mix-ins and fry those mashed potatoes, they become downright irresistible. We’ve included this recipe on the list because it’s so versatile. You can add chopped turkey if you want, but we also think some other Thanksgiving leftovers, like corn or broccoli, might work well. And since you could dip the balls in cranberry sauce or gravy, it’s a good opportunity to use up quite a few different leftovers.
Pies are already pretty standard at Thanksgiving, but what about hand pies? Well, that’s what these tasty empanadas are, so they seem totally appropriate this time of year. Not only are they super cute, but they can use up so many different leftovers, which is why we’ve included them on the list. Not only can you use up some of your leftover turkey, but you can also use other ingredients you might have sitting around, including pie dough, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables, stuffing, and gravy! And did we mention that they are freezable? They are! If you decide to serve them at Christmas, no one has to know you were just trying to get rid of your Thanksgiving leftovers.
Are you tired of the standard Thanksgiving flavors but desperate to use up your leftovers? We’ve included this recipe just for you! This recipe uses turkey, cranberries, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and stuffing. But it also incorporates a whole host of Mexican flavors, like enchilada sauce, lime, cumin, and avocado that move the dish away from standard Thanksgiving fare towards an autumnal take on an enchilada.
How do you use up your Thanksgiving leftovers? Let us know in the comments section below.