In addition to taking the time to be thankful for so many things in our lives, especially the people by our sides with whom we celebrate, lets face it, Thanksgiving is also a day of food. Lots of food. Whether you host and have a fridge full, or you are a guest sent home with containers, the days following the big feast usually mean leftovers, and lots of them!
While many of us are just as happy to eat leftovers in their true form (especially for those once-a-year holiday dishes), there are a few things, like the big bird itself and pounds of mashed potatoes, that can become a little lack-luster after the second day.
With that in mind, we are sharing our favorite ways to enjoy leftovers with not a ton of extra work!
Potato pancakes: We make ours by eye with a good balance of mashed potatoes, an egg or two, some breadcrumbs or panko to bind them together (we don’t recommend flour), garlic powder, salt & pepper and even some chopped scallions and cheese. You can get creative on your own or google a few recipes. Either way, they are perfect for post-Thanksgiving breakfasts for yourself and guests, or as a dinner side.
Shepard’s Pie: Tons of turkey left? Shred it up and use it as the base of your Shepard’s pie. Add in veggies that work well, layer on mashed potatoes and bake for a super easy dinner. Use your own recipe for seasoning or look one up online.
Turkey Pot Pie: Have a few extra pre-made pie crusts that need to be used? Put shredded turkey, veggies & gravy in one pie crust tin. Gently remove crust from second tin and lay over the top of the first tin. Gently pinch the top and bottom crusts together to seal and poke a few holes in the top to release steam when cooking. This is another one you can google for a more exact recipe idea if you need.
Thanksgiving On a Roll: Keep the meal going! (see what I did there?) We certainly aren’t reinventing the wheel on this one. People have been throwing their leftovers between bread for decades. Nothing new here, but if you have out of town guests or just want to spice things up for yourself, get creative with the breads you choose as the vehicle for your leftovers. Take a warmed flaky croissant, mix a little cranberry into your mayo and top your turkey with it, or press all your favorites together on panini bread. Make it into a wrap. You get the idea. Which leads me to another favorite:
Turkey/Gouda/Cranberry Quesadilla: Yes, it’s as good as it sounds, and if you have some gouda left over from your cheese platter, then you don’t even need to get out of your jammies and head to the store for this one. Prepare like you would a regular quesadilla. Add shredded turkey, shredded or small cut pieces of gouda and a few dollops of cranberry sauce into your tortilla of choice (even gluten free), brown in a pan until tortilla is crispy, slice and enjoy! (Make a kid friendly version with mild cheddar and turkey and let them dip it in gravy)
Sliced Turkey Over Greens: This one kind of seems like a no-brainer, but until recently, I was so busy making room for my left over turkey next to my stuffing that I was not thinking about how good (and um, healthier) it would be to layer some great pieces of white meat over a garden salad. This is especially great for when you are feeling like you are in a bit of a food coma and need/have to cut back on the carbs a little. Throw it in a container and bring it to work!
So, there you have it! Our top ways to make your leftovers into something a bit more exciting. Do you have a favorite way you like to prepare your leftovers? Comment below. We love new ideas and would love to give them a try this year!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, be sure to check out our Ode to the Stretchy Pant: a thank you to the workhorse that allows us all to eat a little more than we should, and is there to support and never judge.