Don't Let Those Thanksgiving Leftovers Go to Waste: Delicious Ways to Use Them

Nov 19, 2023, 6:09:28 PM

Thanksgiving is over, and you're left with a fridge full of leftovers. Don't let those delicious dishes go to waste! Instead of reheating the same meal day after day, why not get creative with your Thanksgiving leftovers? We've gathered eight mouthwatering ideas that will transform those remnants into sensational new dishes. From drool-worthy sandwiches to savory pot pies, this blog post has got you covered. Get ready to give your taste buds a second round of Thanksgiving bliss as we show you how to turn ordinary leftovers into extraordinary meals!

The aftermath of Thanksgiving and the abundance of leftovers.

Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday that brings families and friends together to celebrate and give thanks for all the blessings in their lives. It's a time filled with delicious food, laughter, and cherished memories. However, as the festivities come to an end, there's one thing that we all dread – the aftermath of Thanksgiving leftovers.

After indulging in a feast of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the other traditional dishes, it's common to be left with an abundance of food that seems impossible to finish. But before you throw away those leftovers or let them go bad in the fridge, take a step back and consider all the delicious ways you can repurpose them into new meals.

Not only will this save you money on groceries for the next few days, but it will also help reduce food waste – which is a significant issue during this time of year. According to statistics from ReFED (a nonprofit dedicated to reducing food waste), Americans generate 6 million tons of additional household waste between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

So instead of letting those Thanksgiving leftovers go to waste, let's explore some creative and mouth-watering ways to use them up!

Creative ideas for using leftover turkey: From sandwiches to soups

Thanksgiving is over and you have a fridge full of leftover turkey. While the traditional turkey sandwich may be tempting, there are so many other creative and delicious ways to use up that leftover bird. From comforting soups to flavorful casseroles, here are 7 ideas to transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into new and exciting dishes.

  1. Turkey Cranberry Panini: Take that classic turkey sandwich to the next level by turning it into a hot and crispy panini. Layer leftover sliced turkey with tangy cranberry sauce, creamy brie cheese, and some fresh arugula between two slices of crusty bread. Grill until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown for a tasty lunch or light dinner option.
  2. Turkey Pot Pie: Use up any leftover vegetables from your Thanksgiving feast by making a hearty pot pie filled with tender chunks of turkey. Simply sauté some onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms in a large skillet until softened. Add in chopped turkey meat and top with a homemade biscuit dough or store-bought puff pastry for an easy yet satisfying meal.
  3. Turkey Noodle Soup: This classic comfort food is perfect for using up any remaining turkey carcass or bones. Simmer them in water with herbs and vegetables to create a flavorful broth before adding in shredded pieces of leftover turkey meat along with some veggies like carrots, celery, and noodles. Let it all simmer together for a warm and comforting soup that will make you forget about those cold November days.

Transforming side dishes into new meals: How to turn mashed potatoes into potato pancakes and other creative ideas for using leftover sides.

Instead of letting those Thanksgiving side dishes go to waste, why not transform them into new and creative meals? In this section, we'll explore how you can turn mashed potatoes into potato pancakes and share other ideas for using leftover sides.

  1. Potato Pancakes
    Mashed potatoes are a staple on most Thanksgiving dinner tables, but they can get boring after a while. Transform them into crispy and flavorful potato pancakes with just a few additional ingredients. Start by mixing in some chopped scallions or chives, grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan work great), and an egg to bind everything together. Form the mixture into patties and cook them in a pan with oil until golden brown on both sides. These savory potato pancakes make for a delicious breakfast or lunch option.
  2. Shepherd's Pie
    Another popular dish during Thanksgiving is green bean casserole, but it often doesn't reheat well as leftovers due to the crispy onions becoming soggy. Instead of reheating it as is, use it as a base for shepherd's pie by layering it with leftover mashed potatoes and shredded turkey or chicken from the main course. Bake in the oven until heated through and serve this hearty meal topped with gravy.

Sweet treats with leftover desserts: Recipes for repurposing pie

  1. Pie Milkshake:
    Who doesn't love a good milkshake? And when you add in chunks of leftover pie, it becomes even better. To make this indulgent treat, simply blend together a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a splash of milk, and a slice or two of your favorite Thanksgiving pie (apple, pumpkin, and pecan work well). You can also add in some whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon for an extra touch of flavor.
  2. Pie Parfait:
    A parfait is not only visually appealing but also easy to make. Simply layer crumbled pieces of leftover pie with yogurt or whipped cream in a cup or jar. For added texture and crunch, you can also top it off with chopped nuts or granola. This makes for a tasty breakfast or dessert option.
  3. Fried Pie Bites:
    If you're feeling adventurous, try frying up small bites of your leftover pie for a crispy twist on the classic dessert. Cut the pie into bite-sized pieces and dip them in batter (you can use pancake mix) before frying them until golden brown. Serve them warm with powdered sugar dusted on top.

Our team here at Kent's hopes you've had a fantastic Thanksgiving and we look forward to serving you the rest of this holiday season!