Pulling together a Thanksgiving meal is no easy feat, but if you’re fortunate you’ll be rewarded with leftovers – glorious leftovers. After you’ve had your fill of microwaved plates with all the fixings…and sandwiches… you may be left wondering what else to do with your leftover turkey. Luckily we’ve got you covered. Don’t get stuck in a Thanksgiving leftover rut!
Reinvent that food as something new and exciting, from addictive croquettes to guest-worthy brunch. Think beyond these suggestions as well. Use your leftover turkey in the same way you might incorporate rotisserie chicken into a recipe – add it to soups, make salads heartier, shred and make burritos, and beyond.
Give your turkey leftovers a Middle Eastern spin with this flavorful fattoush salad. A simple salad of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers earns entree status with the addition of homemade pita chip croutons and leftover turkey. It’s finished with a light dressing of lemon juice, za’atar, and olive oil – the perfect foil to holiday heavy eating.
This recipe has all the flavors of Thanksgiving in a totally new package. You can even put your leftover turkey and mashed potatoes to use here, along with celery and sage (we always end up with tons after Thanksgiving). These deep fried balls of goodness make amazing appetizers, or could be a meal of their own with a nice salad.
What’s a Thanksgiving leftovers roundup without at least one turkey sandwich recipe? But this isn’t just any turkey sandwich. This is an amped up leftover turkey panini with melty fontina cheese, cranberry fig chutney, and arugula. Make your own chutney, use store-bought, or substitute leftover cranberry sauce instead. If you don’t have a panini press cook the sandwich in a regular pan weighted down with a lid or smaller pan.
Leftover turkey for breakfast? You betcha! Think outside the sandwich box with these nested eggs, the perfect way to repurpose your Thanksgiving meal first thing in the morning. A potato and turkey hash cooks in the oven then forms a “nest” for eggs cracked into the pan. It looks as impressive as it tastes, and feeds a crowd with little effort.
Chicken salad is one of our go-to ways to use leftover chicken, so why not do the same with your remaining Thanksgiving turkey? Dried cranberries can be used to really stick with the Thanksgiving theme, but tart-sweet dried cherries are a real treat. Mixed with celery and celery root, as well as pine nuts, there’s plenty of pleasant crunch. Light sour cream is used as well as mayo so it’s not too heavy, and a dash of Champagne vinegar gives it just the right hit of acid to balance the creaminess of the dish.
Ok, so this is a recipe for chicken enchiladas but when you sub in your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, you’ve got yourself a super speedy shortcut for a recipe that’s already been simplified. Use 1 1/4 cup white or dark meat turkey meat, which should be about 4 cups shredded. Here tortillas are stacked instead of rolled, which gets you all the ooey gooey goodness of enchiladas with a fraction of the effort. This recipe takes leftover turkey casserole to a whole new level!
If you’re working towards zero waste, then this soup is for you. You can throw in leftover turkey meat at the end to make it even more substantial, but the real secret to this soup is the use of leftover turkey gravy and turkey fat in place of butter. Use your turkey bones to make the stock that is the base of this soup. We love that every scrap goes to use to create a hearty, healthy, deeply flavorful one pot meal.
Use 1 1/2 cups shredded leftover turkey as a brilliant shortcut (dare we say hack?) in this elegant, handheld recipe. Frozen puff pastry speeds things up even further as all that’s left to do is make the creamy spinach filling and assemble. These freeze beautifully so store them away for a rainy day.
Find Thanksgiving table ideas, essential tools and dozens of recipes at the Williams Sonoma Thanksgiving Headquarters.