The potatoes are passed around for the fifth time and a bowlful still remains.
Another pot of cranberry sauce still sits on the stovetop.
There’s still half a turkey yet to be carved.
And no one has touched the salad.
With the variety of dishes that are often prepared for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, leftovers are often inevitable. Whether you miscalculate on how hungry your eaters are or intentionally plan for excess, leftovers can be a great thing to look forward to, even after you take that Instagram photo of your plate.
For some, taking care of these leftovers may just mean reheating scoops of mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and enjoying the same way as at the original meal.
But with such flavorful and rich dishes, the potential for re-purposing goes beyond just the microwave. By adding in some other ingredients or preparing the same foods in a different way, you can continue celebrating Thanksgiving foods for the next week, without getting tired of the same thing.
As you see the stacked plastic and glass containers in your fridge, we’re here to help. Here we share five of the best ways to revamp your Thanksgiving leftovers for the week to come.
There’s a lot you can do between two slices of bread, including using up some Thanksgiving leftovers. Slice up those dinner rolls no one had room for or get a fresh loaf and pile on your Thanksgiving favorites. Start by spreading some cranberry preserves or dijon mustard on your bread slices to provide a pop of flavor. Then, stack on your leftover carved turkey, layer on some lettuce and spoon on some stuffing for even more of a bread component. You can even turn your sandwich into a panini by throwing it on a panini maker or skillet after drizzling on some olive oil like Tuscan Herb or Basil.
Making a sandwich with leftovers can be a quick and easy lunch you can take to work the next day or have ready for your family members to make themselves whenever they’re hungry again.
One of the easiest dishes to “repurpose” is the turkey. Chop it up for a new take on a classic Waldorf salad. Throw it into some tortillas and smother with sauce for a revamped enchilada or burrito. Add some Asian or Thai flavors for a vibrant stir-fry with other fresh veggies. Make a pulled turkey sandwich with barbecue sauce and pickled onions. Whatever the type of cuisine you’re craving, you can incorporate your leftover turkey.
Bring out mini ramekin dishes or other oven-safe dishes and bake up a pot pie using ingredients you already have. Add in turkey, cream, veggies and any other fun add-ins you can think of for this new take on a chicken pot pie. Use up that extra pie crust you didn’t use for a crispy, flaky topping.
Need to make a breakfast dish for extended family staying over? Add your leftovers into an egg bake that’s easy and quick. Leftovers like turkey or ham, roasted sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and corn can be great add-ins that add some substance to a morning protein-rich dish.
Take your leftover turkey, roasted veggies and other easy ingredients and transform them into a soup. Add some chicken stock or cream and any other veggies and flavorings you want for a warm bowlful that’s perfect for the transition to colder temperatures. Bonus points if you slice your leftover bread slices to make croutons for your soup.
If you’ve got extra roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash, you can also puree them for a creamy, rich soup that’s packed with beta carotene and flavor. This recipe for butternut squash soup brings in the flavors of cinnamon and garlic Gremolata olive oil.
With such a memorable meal as many Thanksgivings, there’s bound to be leftovers. Amp up your take on these classic dishes by bringing in new flavors and ingredients that will keep you enjoying leftovers for the next week. Try out new recipes and discover what else you can do with these classic holiday dishes.
What are your go-to ways for re-using and re-enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers? Let us know in the comments or on our social media platforms!
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