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12 Best Recipes to Easily Use Up Thanksgiving Leftovers

best most delicious and clever recipes to help easily use up the Thanksgiving leftovers this year, including salads, appetizers and entrees

Once the Thanksgiving festivities are over, and the first round of gobbling up leftovers are done, there’s a pressing question that arises in many households: What are we going to do with all this leftover food? Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has rounded up some of the best most delicious and clever recipes to help easily use up the Thanksgiving leftovers this year, including salads, appetizers and entrees.

12 best recipes to easily repurpose your leftover Thanksgiving items

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday in many ways – time with friends and family, time to eat incredible food and enjoy each other’s company. But there is, of course, one problem – what do you do with all those leftovers?

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Now that the big day is over, you may be looking at the Tupperware containers in your fridge and wondering how you, a person who cares about sustainability, can best create a plan of attack to finish them off before they go bad. We know – some years it seems impossible.

best most delicious and clever recipes to help easily use up the Thanksgiving leftovers this year, including salads, appetizers and entrees

The best most delicious and clever recipes to help easily use up the Thanksgiving leftovers this year, including salads, appetizers and entrees.

If you’re feeling in over your head, we are here to help you manage those leftovers. Here are twelve recipes to help you reduce, reuse, and recycle your unfinished Thanksgiving dinner. We hope you enjoy.

12 best recipes to easily use up the Thanksgiving leftovers this year

1. Best Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich from New York Times

Everyone knows about the Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. Everyone has eaten the Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. These day-after sandwiches are so legendary, the TV show Friends even had an episode about them. Restaurants throw them onto their menus as a Thanksgiving-week special.

best Thanksgiving recipes for leftovers

And now you can make your own. As promised, this recipe will guide you towards the best Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich, with advice from expert Sohla El-Waylly to help get you there. If you want a simple, foolproof way to enjoy those leftovers, this sandwich – which substitutes the third piece of bread (or “moist maker” – thanks Friends) for a fried slab of leftover stuffing – is your go-to.

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2. Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pie from Joy the Baker

If some of your post-Thanksgiving plans include a Friendsgiving, or any other second-Thanksgiving, consider making this Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pie from much-loved chef Joy the Baker.

best Thanksgiving recipes for leftovers

Though you will need a pie shell and a box of stuffing, this is a genius way for you to use up any leftover turkey, and serve it as an all-new meal! This pot pie, with its rich, turkey base, and flavorful stuffing crust, will be your new favorite Thanksgiving dish. We guarantee you.

3. Leftover Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake from Savoring Italy

We assume that many of your post-Thanksgiving plans involve brunch. Whether you have people staying with you, or you’re simply enjoying a day off from work, we hope that you’re indulging in an extra-long morning of delicious treats.

best Thanksgiving recipes for leftovers

And with this recipe, those treats can also help you use up the rest of your cranberry sauce – if you somehow didn’t finish it at Thanksgiving dinner. The sauce adds a ribbon of perfection through the center of this sweet cake, making it the perfect item for your day-after brunch.

4. Leftover Stuffing Hash from Garlic & Zest

And if you also want a savory option at brunch, this easy, quick (15 minutes!) recipe will be your new best friend. It’s basically fried stuffing, paired with an egg of your choice – so simple and delicious, we can’t believe we didn’t think of it first.

best Thanksgiving recipes for leftovers

And once you start to imagine it, you realize that stuffing was always the perfect brunch item. The real question is, why don’t we eat it all year long?

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5. Mashed Potato and Stuffing Patties from Taste of Home

Hanukkah starts next weekend, and though it’s true that these mashed potato and stuffing patties are not traditional latkes, well, we’re not telling anyone. They also include a little bit of turkey in them – making them a kind of salty, savory, turkey burger, if you think about it.

So you could also throw these yummy patties on a bun, perhaps with a little cranberry sauce (or some homemade cranberry aioli).

6. Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole from Favorite Family Recipes

As with the Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich, this casserole feels like a no-brainer. It’s a way to eat up all those leftovers in one-go, while maximizing the flavor-meld for optimal taste.

The best Thanksgiving recipes for leftovers. Courtesy Photo.

A warm, hearty dinner to eat Friday or Saturday night, after all your Thanksgiving guests have gone home.

7. The Best Leftover Turkey Soup from Mel’s Kitchen Café

It’s cold outside, and if you’re anything like us, that means you’re craving a bowl of soup right about now. Well, lucky for you – and for all of us – you have all the most important components of that soup already at your fingertips.

Those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers will find a happy second life as a base for this turkey, veggie and rice soup – and you will be happy to have this staple around, once the thermostat drops below 30 degrees.

8. Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce from The Kitchn

If you haven’t baked already all of your cranberry sauce into coffee cake, hang onto it. It would make the perfect appetizer – along with some baked brie – for any holiday parties you have on your calendar.

Sustainability isn’t just about avoiding waste – it also saves you time and energy.

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9. Leftover Thanksgiving Salad from Delish

If you’re still feeling a little full today, we understand. We’re sure many people are in the same boat. Perhaps that is why Delish has a recipe for a Thanksgiving leftovers salad – like the sandwich, but a little greener and a little lighter.

Here’s a way to use up the rest of yesterday’s dinner, even if you are still-stuffed.

10. Sweet Potato Spoon Bread from Country Living

Sweet potatoes are the unsung heroes of Thanksgiving dinner, so it’s possible you don’t have any left – but if you do, Country Living has a great suggestion of how to make the most out of them: spoon bread.

Made with a sugary caramel-pecan topping, this scrumptious dessert would make the perfect post-Thanksgiving weekend treat.

11. Turkey and Mashed Potato Croquettes from The Food Network

It’s Friday, you’re tired, and you just want a way to get all of that turkey out of your fridge and into the mouths of those around you.

Throw together these crunchy, crispy croquettes, and now you have a snack for your weekend afternoon of lounging around.

12. Stir Fried Turkey and Brussels Sprouts from The New York Times

This recipe takes only ten minutes – ten minutes! – and is a genius way to repurpose any remaining meat or vegetables.

All you need to add is some soy sauce, garlic, and oil, and you’ll have a totally transformed Thanksgiving dinner – perfect for anyone whose palate is in need of a little change.

12 best recipes to easily repurpose your leftover Thanksgiving items

Those the recipes we vote for as best for using up all Thanksgiving leftovers that you and your gang amassed but can’t possibly consume. What do you think, dear reader? 

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

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