What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Let’s get real here… I don’t like leftovers. I try to make just enough food for Eric and I so I don’t have to put any leftovers in a container and then put it in the refrigerator. Why? Because it then usually sits in the refrigerator until it gets moldy and then I just throw out the whole container. I know…. I am probably weird and in the small minority that do not like leftovers. UNLESS it’s Thanksgiving leftovers.

There is nothing more delicious than a home cooked comfort meal. One that you enjoy for the majority of your day on Thanksgiving. Mmmmm…. the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, noodles, green bean casserole…. My mouth is drooling just typing this!

I am gearing up to make Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow for just Eric and I. I do plan on however having leftovers. It is the one day a year, I can actually say I LOVE leftovers. But…. if you don’t want just that plain meal again for the next day or two (because let’s face it, there is ALWAYS more than we need and a lot in containers in the refrigerator). Here are some fun and easy recipes that will make those leftovers like a brand new meal!

1) Thanksgiving in a Blanket by Delish.com

Ingredients

  • 1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 3/4 c. shredded roasted turkey
  • 3/4 c. prepared stuffing
  • 3/4 c. prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1 c. cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 c. prepared gravy, warmed (for serving)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out Crescent Rolls. Top with mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing and cranberries. (You’ll want just a small spoonful of each.) Roll up and transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with gravy for dunking.

2) Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole by FavFamilyRecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 2-3c. leftoverturkeyshredded
  • 1 1/2c.cranberry sauce
  • 3-4c. leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2c.corn
  • 1-2c.turkey gravy
  • 1/3c.milk
  • 4-5c. leftover stuffing
  • 1/4 – 1/3c.chicken brothor to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
  2. Combine turkey and cranberry sauce and spread evenly on the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish.
  3. Evenly press on leftover mashed potatoes and sprinkle corn over the top.
  4. Mix together milk and leftover gravy and spread evenly over potatoes and corn.
  5. Sprinkle on leftover stuffing and lightly drizzle chicken broth over the top (this will keep the stuffing from drying out).
  6. Cover with tin foil and bake at 400-degrees for appx. 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

3) Turkey Cranberry Quesadillas by LittleDairyOnThePrairie.com

Ingredients
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • ½ to 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Turkey
  • ¼ c. cranberry sauce
  • 1 T. butter
  • chopped parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle grated Swiss cheese all over one side of a tortilla.
  2. Add turkey. I pulled it apart, kind of shredding it, with my fingers.
  3. Then add another layer of cheese.
  4. Next spread cranberry sauce over those layers.
  5. Sprinkle another layer of cheese.
  6. Put the other tortilla on top of the whole thing. Melt butter in a skillet,over medium heat. As soon as the butter is melted add the quesadilla. I like to cover my skillet with a lid because it helps warm the whole quesadilla. Let fry until golden brown. Flip, cover with a lid, and let the other side get brown.It should take just a few minutes
  7. Remove quesadilla to a cutting board. Allow to rest for a minute or two. Cut into wedges.
  8. I sprinkled my quesadillas with a little chopped parsley.

4) Thanksgiving Shepherd’s Pie with Stuffing Crust by PastryChefOnline.com

What You’ll Need

For the Crust

  • About 2 1/2-3 cups of stuffing/dressing made from the recipe of your choice(leftover is just fine)
  • About 1/2 cup turkey or chicken broth/stock

For the Potatoes

  • 2each medium Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes(you can use all of one or the other, I’m just letting you know what I did).
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • about 2 ounces butter
  • about 1 cup warmed milk(maybe a bit more. I just put it in a pan over medium heat until it was hot but not scalding)

For the Filling

  • 3Tablespoonsfat(you can use oil, butter, coconut oil, chicken fat–whatever you like here)
  • 1medium onion, finely diced
  • 1large rib celery, finely diced
  • 1large carrot, finely diced
  • 1teaspoonpoultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2Tablespoonsflour
  • 1-1 1/2cupschicken or turkey stock
  • sweet potatoes in 1/2″ dice.(I used about 1/2 cup or so, I guess)
  • 2-3cupsdiced chicken or turkey(leftover is fine. If you’re making “new,” the meat doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through since it’ll bake up in the pie)
  • 1cupfrozen peas
  • 1/2cupdried cranberries

What To Do

For the Crust

  1. If you’re using cold, leftover stuffing, cut it into kind of manageable 1″ chunks.
  2. Put in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of stock and pulse until it still has some texture but isn’t too chunky.
  4. Test to see if it is still crumbly. If it is, add the other 1/4 cup of stock and pulse again.This stuff will be sticky, so look out.
  5. Spray a deep-dish pie pan lightly with pan spray.
  6. Dump the stuffing into the pan and roughly press it out with the back of a spatula. Lightly spray this with pan spray so you can work with it, then press the stuffing in the pan and up the sides trying to make it look as nice as possible. It should be about 1/4″ thick.
  7. Bake in a 350F oven for about 30 minutes, until the crust is dry on top and has taken on some color. If any of it has slumped, you may have to futz around with it a bit once it comes out of the oven. Just press it back in place with a spatula or something. It will be fine. Set aside.

For the Mashed Potatoes

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into 1″ dice (more or less) and place them in a pan of cold water.
  2. Add a healthy sprinkle of salt and several grinds of black pepper to the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Let the potatoes simmer about 12 minutes until tender. Check by stabbing them with a knife. They should offer no resistance. Resistance is futile.
  3. Drain off all the water, put the lid on the pan and let the potatoes dry over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Mash the potatoes with your favorite masher.
  5. Add a bit of salt and pepper and the butter and mash well to combine.
  6. Taste for seasoning and add the milk, a bit at a time, until you like the consistency. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and set aside to stay warm.

For the Filling

  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat until hot.
  2. Add the fat. When it is melted and shimmering, add the onions, carrots and celery (mirepoix) to the pan along with a heavy pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper, and the poultry seasoning.
  3. Stir and saute for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened and somewhat translucent.
  4. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes or so. The mixture will seem very dry. If you want to add a bit more fat, you can. It’s your call.
  5. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. The mixture will be quite thick. You can add a bit more stock if you want, if you want your final pie to have a bit more gravy in it. Personally, I think thicker is better.
  6. Add in the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring, for about 5-7 minutes, just to give them a head start since they’re kinda hard.
  7. Stir in the meat, peas and cranberries and stir everyone around for a minute.

To Assemble and Bake

  1. Spread the filling evenly in your stuffing crust.
  2. Top with the mashed potatoes, making it swirly if you want.
  3. Tent the pie with foil and bake at 400F for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more at 375F.
  5. Take the pie out of the oven, tent with some foil, and let set up about 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Recipe Notes

I used a blender to make the crust. Use the food processor. It’ll be much easier. Trust me.

Ingredients
12 Dinner Rolls
1 1/2 Cups Stuffing
Turkey, Sliced
1 cup Cranberry Sauce
Mayonnaise
6 Slices Swiss Cheese
1 Stick of Butter, melted
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
1/4 tsp Ground Mustard
1 TBSP Dried Onions

Directions
1.  Cut rolls in half and lay the bottom half next to each other in a 9×13 pan.
2.  Spread out stuffing evenly over rolls.
3.  Lay sliced turkey over the top in an even layer.
4.  Spread cranberry sauce over the turkey.
5.  Place cheese over the cranberry sauce.  It will overlap some.
6.  Lightly spread the underside of the tops with mayo and place on top of the cheese.
7.  Preheat oven to 350.
8.  In a small bowl mix together melted butter, poppy seeds, ground mustard and dried onions.
9.  Pour evenly over the top.  Let it drip down the sides a bit.
10.  Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
11.  Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until tops are brown and slightly crispy.
12.  Let them sit for 10 minutes before serving.

* These are even better if they are made ahead and covered and chilled in the fridge for 12 hours.
* And even better if they are dipped in gravy!

All of the recipes are linked to the original owners above. Please support their blogs as well and find more yummy recipes there! 

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