You cooked for hours, roasted a giant, delicious turkey, hosted friends and family, and then ate yourself into a tryptophan-induced oblivion. Now your fridge is bursting at the seams with leftover Thanksgiving food, and you feel like you’ll never be able to use it all.
Don’t let it go to waste! Get creative with your leftovers, and use recipes that will prevent your good food (and money) from going to waste. Don’t left a frugal Thanksgiving meal go to waste by not eating leftovers.
You can make way more than just cold turkey sandwiches with your leftovers. Here are 10 creative ways to re-cook, re-use, or freeze your Thanksgiving leftovers into fun, easy, or convenient meals.
1) French Toast Casse(roll)
If you have a bunch of leftover dinner rolls, turn them into French toast casserole for breakfast the next morning. Rip or cut the bread into little pieces. Whisk eggs with some milk, sugar, and cinnamon, and toss the mixture with the bread. Bake in a casserole dish at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or until cooked through and lightly browned on top. Serve with syrup or leftover whipped cream.
2) Mashed Potato Latkes
To leftover mashed potatoes, add minced onion, garlic, some flour, and egg. Fry in some oil until cooked through and brown on both sides. Check out this recipe if you don’t feel comfortable winging it.
3) Leftover Pie
You’re going to have to trust me with this one. It sounds disgusting, but it actually works out really well. In a pie pan, stack layers of each course from Thanksgiving dinner. It would go something like this: stuffing on the bottom, followed by cranberry sauce, turkey, green beans, gravy, and then top it all with more stuffing or mashed potatoes. Get creative with whatever you have leftover in the fridge. It will be delicious. I promise you.
4) Turkey Pot Pie
You have turkey, mixed vegetables, and gravy. You have everything you need for the filling of a pot pie. I like to make my pie crust from scratch, but you can find easy store-bought pie crusts in with the dinner rolls and pizza crust in the cold section of the grocery store. Fill your crust with your filling mixture and bake until the crust is brown. Easy as pie!
5) Frozen Dinners
Use your lunch sized food storage containers to portion out homemade frozen dinners. You’ll appreciate the effort you went to on those hectic nights when you don’t have time to cook a meal.
Don’t throw away those turkey bones! You spent a ton of money on that turkey, don’t let it go to waste. Use the bones to make a hearty bone-broth. Bone broth freezes easily and you can use it later to make soup, rice, or a number of casseroles.
7) Frozen Turkey Meal Portions
When you de-bone your turkey, make sure to set aside a few quart-sized freezer safe baggies of the meat for future dinners. Frozen, previously cooked turkey works really well in stir fry, soup, casseroles, enchiladas, tacos, etc.
8) Cranberry Turkey Barbeque
Add your leftover cranberry sauce to your favorite barbeque sauce, toss with shredded turkey, and serve with your favorite sandwich rolls. The cranberries add an unexpected fall-flavored sweetness to the barbeque. This works great as an easy crockpot meal for the Monday after Thanksgiving.
9) Turkey and Stuffing Waffles
Put a Thanksgiving twist on the Southern favorite, chicken and waffles. Toss your leftover stuffing with an egg and some oil and press the mixture into your waffle maker. Serve your stuffing “waffles” with leftover gravy and top with turkey.
10) Leftover Wine Marinade
Did you open a bottle of wine to have with Thanksgiving dinner but didn’t get around to finishing the whole bottle? Use the leftover wine as a base for a marinade. Red wine especially makes a great marinade. Add salt, pepper, herbs, and spices to the leftover wine, add your favorite meat, and then let it marinade overnight for dinner
Don’t let your good food and money go to waste. Use every bit of your Thanksgiving meal leftovers, and you’ll have easy meals for at least a few weeks, if not more. If you won’t have a chance to eat the leftovers in the next few days, take the time to freeze the food for later.
If you want some step by step recipe ideas, just type “leftover Thanksgiving food recipes” into the Pinterest search browser. The ideas for Thanksgiving meal leftover are endless.
What is your favorite way to use Thanksgiving meal leftovers?