Don't Toss That Turkey! Recipes For Thanksgiving Leftovers

A photograph of the author, Annie Bergman.

By Annie Bergman

November 8, 2018

Don't Toss That Turkey! Recipes For Thanksgiving Leftovers

In This Article

  • For some, leftovers are better than the Thanksgiving day meal!
  • You don't have to throw away the food you don't eat on Thursday.
  • We found a few recipes that you can use to turn those cold leftovers into new, hot dishes.

Let’s face it: Leftovers are divisive. You either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. That makes Thanksgiving either wonderful or terrible depending on which camp you fall into.

Sure, everyone can stomach a turkey sandwich or two after the big meal. And we know some folks who’ve made leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches an art.

But if you happen to be one of the former, we’re here to turn those leftovers into brand new, hot dishes so that you don’t have to waste the food you worked so hard to make. 

Leftover turkey doesn't have to be boring!

First up, the main attraction: in which turkey becomes the star of a new dish. We present a number of ways to turn your turkey into a new meal.

Turkey Noodle Soup

Sure it’s expected and even a little boring. But who doesn’t love soup on a cold November night, and who doesn’t want a bit of a lighter meal after the feast? 

You can do this a few ways, including boiling the turkey carcass with onions and spices. Or you can go the easy route by buying pre-made broth, tossing in the turkey, some veggies and spices and letting it simmer. 

Turkey “Shepherd’s Pie”

If you have turkey, green beans AND mashed potatoes leftover, this recipe will take down all three easily.  Beware, this one is a hearty dish, so maybe reserve it for a few days post-holiday when your appetite has returned?

Mashed potatoes today, potato pancakes tomorrow.

Next up, those sides. It’s not often leftover vegetables or stuffing can become stars on their own, but we have few ideas.

Potato Pancakes

Who doesn’t love a crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside potato? Martha’s got a pretty great recipe, but I think no matter how you prepared your Thanksgiving side-dish, they’re bound to taste great as a pancake.

Food Network has a brunch dish with an egg on top of a potato pancake. Yum.

Stuffing bites? Yes, please!

Stuffing Bites

This one is new to me, but I love stuffing, so it sounds amazing. And also perfect for snacking while watching the myriad of sports programming that I'm subject to in the post-Thanksgiving glow. 

Get the Food Network recipe here