Innovative Recipes that Put Your Thanksgiving Leftovers to Good Use

Posted: November 25, 2022 3:00 am

If you’re looking for exciting twists on Thanksgiving leftovers, you’ve landed in the right place. Gone are the days of the same old assortment of side dishes slapped on a plate and thrown in the microwave. There are many delicious and innovative ways to make use of your Thanksgiving leftovers that go beyond the hot open-faced turkey sandwich. Take a look at some of the tastiest recipes, both traditional and newfangled, that incorporate your Thanksgiving leftovers as ingredients.

Turkey Soup

If you’re looking for turkey recipes with a more traditional tone, there’s nothing more delicious and hearty than this Turkey Soup recipe. Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is the ultimate comfort meal, but what’s just as comforting is a bowl of hot, homemade Turkey Soup. This Turkey Soup recipe makes use of some of the leftover vegetables you bought to prep your turkey; carrots, onions, and celery, all of which you likely have on hand after hosting Thanksgiving, are the base for this soup. Simply chop up all that leftover turkey and add in orzo, and this soup is tasty, comforting, and savory. Best of all, it will keep in your refrigerator for up to four days and can even be frozen for a longer shelf life. Serve it with leftover biscuits or bread, and voila, the best in comfort food!

Turkey Pot Pie

Another classic Thanksgiving leftover recipe is this Turkey Pot Pie. What’s more scrumptious than a piping hot pot pie fresh out of the oven? Not only does this recipe scream “mom’s home cooking,” but, best of all, it uses so many Thanksgiving leftovers in a single recipe. If like so many people, you live for the Thanksgiving side dishes and merely prepare the turkey out of obligation, this recipe will gobble up (pun intended) all of those bland turkey leftovers. A creamy mixture of vegetables and turkey housed in an all-butter crust, this Turkey Pot Pie recipe is to die for. Whether you prefer to roll out your crust from scratch or prefer the simplicity of a store-bought crust, the filling is the real star of this recipe. The filling is made of veggies, turkey, and fresh herbs that come together in a savory and flavorful dish that will feed the whole family.

Thanksgiving Crunch Wrap

This delightful recipe is a spin on the age-old turkey sandwich. Forget the leftover turkey sandwiches and channel your inner foodie with the Thankgiving Crunch Wrap. The Crunch Wrap is packed full of so many Thanksgiving foods that you’ll easily clean up your leftovers with just a few of these handhelds. The Thanksgiving Crunch Wrap loads mashed potatoes, turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and gravy all into one drool-worthy wrap. Simply layer your ingredients into a flour tortilla, neatly wrap it, and toast it in a lightly greased, piping-hot pan. The result is what leftover dreams are made of. What’s more, even if you don’t have all the same leftovers on hand that the recipe calls for, it can be easily tweaked to account for your arsenal of leftovers. Serve your crunch wrap with a side of leftover gravy for dipping, and this handheld is the chef’s kiss.

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas

Another spicy take on Thanksgiving leftovers is this innovative recipe. If Taco Tuesday comes around and you’re still hanging onto Thanksgiving leftovers, consider making Leftover Turkey Enchiladas. If you’re sick of eating Thanksgiving leftovers but aren’t ready to part with all the remaining food, you won’t even recognize Thanksgiving in this recipe. Leftover Turkey Enchiladas turn your leftovers into an authentic Tex-Mex meal with a Southwestern flavor profile. The enchiladas are loaded with shredded leftover turkey and topped with loads of melty cheese as well as an authentic homemade mole sauce. The enchiladas are lined up in a single baking dish making for minimal mess considering the big-time flavor delivered in this recipe.

Cranberry Turkey Salad

This Cranberry Turkey Salad is a great use of your Thanksgiving leftovers. This is an especially quick and delicious recipe to whip up for lunch the next day. Whether you’re packing up for work or gearing up for a full day of Black Friday shopping, this recipe is great for on-the-go. A simple mixture of chopped-up turkey, celery, nuts, cranberries, and mayo, this recipe has the same delicious flavors of Thanksgiving in a tasty salad. What’s really cool about this recipe is its versatility; it can be served on a sandwich, in a pita pocket, in a wrap, or atop a bed of greens. Either way, it’s light, perfect for a packed lunch, and beyond delicious.

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

If you’re looking for a sweet way to repurpose some of your Thanksgiving leftovers, consider whipping up these enjoyable Cranberry Sauce Muffins. A delicious post-Thanksgiving snack, breakfast treat, or dessert, these muffins are subtly sweet and delightfully tart. The main leftover ingredient you can plan to use in this recipe is cranberry sauce. That coupled with your standard baking ingredients as well as cinnamon and cardamom truly captures the essence of Thanksgiving in a baked good. Whether your family prefers the jellied variety or the whole-berry variety of cranberry sauce, either is suitable for this recipe. The Cranberry Sauce Muffins come together in less than 40 minutes and they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Turkey Chili

This Turkey Chili recipe is a sweeter spin on a traditional chili recipe. Besides putting your turkey leftovers to work, this recipe is also a great use of that extra can of pumpkin puree that might collect dust until next Thanksgiving. The perfect meal for a cold fall day, this turkey chili calls for many of the same spices in a traditional chili, however, the addition of pumpkin puree, chopped turkey, and brown sugar gives it a hint of sweetness that will have you coming back for seconds. After gorging on a full Thanksgiving dinner, this high-protein yet satiating leftovers recipe is on the lighter side. Just be sure to grab the canned pumpkin puree and not the canned pumpkin pie mix; doing so changes the flavor and turns this great dish into a dud.

Stuffing Dumpling Soup

This Stuffing Dumpling Soup is a creative spin on the classic turkey soup recipe. If you’re obsessed with Thanksgiving stuffing but can’t imagine eating another reheated plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, consider this delectable soup. This soup starts with the typical root veggies as a base, but it’s built upon with your Thanksgiving leftovers. Fresh mushrooms, chopped leftover turkey, and the star of this recipe, crumbled chunks of stuffing plopped into the broth, not only incorporate multiple leftovers, but it’s supremely delicious. Serve your piping hot bowl of Stuffing Dumpling Soup with a side salad, a dinner roll, or nothing at all; either way, it makes a hearty, comforting meal that will keep for days.

Four Cheese Turkey Mac and Cheese

A great way to incorporate leftover cheese from your charcuterie board, as well as your turkey leftovers, is in this outstanding dish. The Butterball Four Cheese Turkey Mac and Cheese is perfect for feeding your big family. What’s more, children will love this just as much as adults. The crowd-pleasing Four Cheese Turkey Mac and Cheese is a simple macaroni and cheese recipe that calls for cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and swiss cheeses, however, you can just as easily substitute any cheese you have on hand. Mix in diced-up leftover turkey, top it with breadcrumbs and bake it to perfection. Here’s a tip: if you have leftover Thanksgiving dinner rolls or bread, consider making homemade breadcrumbs for a touch of sophistication.

Potato Leek Soup

One of the things that are inevitably leftover in bulk following a Thanksgiving feast are those delicious homemade mashed potatoes. If you’ve had your fill of mashed potatoes and gravy and the hard work of hand-mashing your potatoes gives you pause about chucking them, this is the recipe for you. This Potato Leek Soup, unlike similar recipes, calls for mashed potatoes instead of whole peeled potatoes. The leeks add a touch of elegance that you don’t typically get from a creamy potato soup, however, the recipe’s simplicity makes it a no-brainer. No matter the potato variety your mashers stem from, the leeks, vegetable stock, and fresh thyme turn them into a sophisticated and hearty soup that you can make a meal out of.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Another tempting breakfast recipe that incorporates Thanksgiving leftovers are these Sweet Potato Pancakes. If like your leftover mashed potatoes, you also have a vat of mashed sweet potatoes, this recipe is calling your name. The recipe is similar to a traditional pancake recipe, which is why it works. A combination of leftover mashed sweet potatoes, sour cream, nutmeg, and cinnamon among other baking ingredients, the recipe comes together to make delicious pan-fried Sweet Potato Pancakes. They can be tastily topped with your favorite accouterments; a squirt of whipped cream, a drizzle of maple syrup, or even a fruit topping are just a few of the simple ways to enjoy these flavorful pancakes. What’s more, your leftover pancakes can be kept frozen to enjoy over and over again.

These epic recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers run the gamut from sweet to savory and traditional to inventive. With a recipe for a variety of leftover foods, you can easily try out a few of these delicious recipes after Turkey Day. Whether you’re looking for something tasty to whip up for lunch, a whole new dinner recipe, or something to satisfy your sweet tooth, these are some of the best recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers that you’ll find on the web. With some of the best turkey recipes all in one place, this list of Thanksgiving leftover recipes doesn’t disappoint. Bon appétit!



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