Leftovers, the second best thing about Thanksgiving dinner

Leftovers, the second best thing about Thanksgiving dinner

Food! So much food! Leftovers from Thanksgiving can be quite overwhelming, especially when you are lying on the couch recuperating from the food coma brought on by the turkey, ham, and all the other fixings. But what’s going to happen when you are no longer stuffed from stuffing? Leftovers can be a nightmare, and turn into a boring routine for the next several days. But they don’t have to be. Fun, delicious, and some downright creative possibilities for that green bean casserole are just a click away. But, just in case the computer or smartphone is just out of reach from your nap zone, The Weekly Dish has included some of our favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Day-after-Thanksgiving biscuits – These individual meals are perfect: not too big but filling. Make with your grandma’s recipe for biscuits, or use any leftover ready-to-bake dough you have still in the fridge. Layer the warm biscuits with shredded turkey and/ or ham slices over an egg. Add cranberry sauce or orange butter for that extra zesty flavor. No biscuits? No problem. Substitute the flakey goodness with a fluffy roll, or even with moist cornbread. Waffles and pancakes, and even warm tortillas would also work wonders. Best part? They are portable for when you are out battling the crowds on Black Friday.

Dessert parfait – Mix cranberry sauce or your favorite pie with vanilla yogurt for this sweet treat. In a cup or bowl, spoon the yogurt of your choice and mix in a slice of cherry, apple, pecan or even pumpkin pie. Leftover cheesecake makes a delicious mixture, especially if you top the parfait with graham cracker crust. Try the yogurt with warmed leftover candied yams as well. Don’t forget the whipped cream!


Turkey Salad – Finely chop some of the leftover bird and mix with mayo, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Smear cranberry sauce on toast, or wrap and add the turkey mix. For a bit more pizazz, include a dollop of stuffing. This works perfect for any kind of quick-fix sandwich or Panini.

Ham Pesto – Tired of the same ol’ sandwiches with cranberry and turkey? Try mincing the ham and adding a dab of warm orange marmalade. Mix together with pesto, chopped pecans and celery and you have a thick dip you can put on anything like bagels, salads, or even nibble on with crackers.


Turkey pasta – Create a pasta dish with Thanksgiving leftovers such as turkey and pumpkin. This pasta has the colors of autumn and great flavor. Sautee cubed turkey (or any kind of meat you have left over), butternut squash, Kabocha pumpkin, and shallots in olive oil until browned. Add this mixture to your favorite cooked pasta (angel hair or vermicelli are preferred, but you can use whatever kind is hiding in the cabinet). Sprinkle shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese on top and enjoy this savory dish.

Leftover Pot Pie – Trying to get rid of the last few dishes? This is leftover city. Start with a pie crust you didn’t use. Layer the rest of your mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, veggies, turkey, ham and gravy into the pan. Top with cheese and bake until the crust is done, as per instructions. Crumble up the rest of the cornbread in a casserole dish instead of the pie crust in case you used the last one for the sweet potatoes.


The three days after Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be overwhelming. All the guests are gone, you have wrestled your way to the last trending toy, and now the game is on. Enjoy the rest of the left over foods by using your imagination. You never know, you might just come up with the best dish for the next holiday meal.

Remember, don’t put the container full of cranberry sauce in the freezer just to throw it away years later. Get creative!