Thanksgiving means delicious turkey, sides, and plenty of leftovers. Instead of wasting all of that hard work, transform Thanksgiving leftovers into delicious casseroles, soups, sandwiches, and more with these creative recipes.
Even after a second helping (or two), there is still plenty to go around. Now, putting away leftovers turns into a game of refrigerator Tetris – and wracking your brain about how to use up the hodgepodge of what’s remaining of Thanksgiving
How to Use Up Thanksgiving Leftovers
As much as one may love this meal, there are only so many times you can eat a turkey sandwich.
Mashed Potatoes – only if made with heavy cream, not broth
Cream-based custards, mousse, or pies
Turkey Gravy – made without dairy.
Avoid freezing cream-based casseroles, many desserts, and gravies/sauces, as they can “break” when frozen and won’t have the same texture.
How long are Thanksgiving leftovers good for?
Leftovers are good for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
How do you reheat Thanksgiving leftovers?
Reheating Thanksgiving leftovers depends on what you are reheating.
Most leftovers can be reheated in the oven at around 350F for 15-20 minutes at a time.
I recommend assembling a “meal” in a casserole dish (or oven-safe dish). For example, add the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green bean casserole. Then, cover and warm at 350F degrees for about 20 minutes.
Tips on Storing Thanksgiving Leftovers
It’s easy to get sidetracked when you are hosting a large holiday meal, but after everyone has served themselves and retired to the sofa, put those leftovers away!
Thanksgiving leftovers should be left out for no more than 2 hours. Longer than 2 hours can create an environment for bacteria to grow.
Before Thanksgiving Day, make sure you have plenty of food storage containers.
Leftovers are always overlooked when planning large holiday meals. If you are looking for extra creative ways to reuse those leftovers, the recipes below are all excellent ideas. Don’t let a single morsel go to waste this year with these recipes!
Repurpose your leftover stuffing with this recipe! Leftover stuffing waffles are an easy and absolutely delicious way to reimagine and enjoy your Thanksgiving recipes! Best of all, they come together quickly and everybody loves them!
Cranberry Maple Vinaigrette is an easy recipe for homemade salad dressing that combines your leftover cranberry sauce with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar for a sweet and tangy vinaigrette that compliments any salad!
Use up your favorite holiday sauce in this healthy quick bread recipe! This Cranberry Sauce Quick Bread uses homemade cranberry sauce and is gluten-free, vegan, allergy-free and perfect for breakfast, brunch, a snack, or dessert!
This Grilled Turkey Cranberry Cream Cheese Sandwich is the perfect light meal after a decadent Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Creamy and tart on the inside, toasty on the outside. It’s worth cooking chicken for all on its own!
I can’t imagine a better way to use up leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey than the Ultimate Leftover Turkey Breakfast Sandwich. Holiday turkey layered over a patty of mashed potatoes and stuffing, melted provolone, and topped with a fried egg.
This Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is so easy to make and freezes like a dream! If you’ve had enough turkey for a few days, pop a few of these in the freezer and thaw them out when you’re short on time and looking for some quick and delicious comfort food!
Are you a pumpkin spice lover? Drop everything and make this over-the-top delicious milkshake using a big slice of pumpkin pie (yes, the whole thing)! If you've ever needed an excuse to bake a pumpkin pie (besides Thanksgiving) and don't have any leftover right now - this is it. In fact, if you're buying a pie from the store - grab two so you have enough for these easy & creamy milkshakes!