4 Meals You Can Make With Thanksgiving Leftovers
Every Thanksgiving, I plan my family's meal with the intention of having leftovers. It's not just a matter of avoiding waste, though. I've found that a lot of leftover meals — including tasty turkey sandwiches and potato patties — are surprisingly cheap, especially when you factor in all the heavy work has already been done. Depending on how big your turkey is, though, you may want more than just one leftover option — after a few big Thanksgivings, I've come to the conclusion that every cook should have plenty of leftover options. (See also: 8 Fancy Ways to Use Leftover Food)
There are thousands of chicken salad recipes and if you have a favorite, I recommend simply subbing in turkey for the chicken (you may need to adjust your seasonings a bit). If not, this is my quick-and-easy recipe.
- 3 cups cooked turkey, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 4 tablespoons red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sweet pepper relish
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix ingredients thoroughly. Makes a great sandwich.
Turkey and Stuffing Casserole
My only problem with this casserole is that I can't face eating it the day after Thanksgiving. However, it freezes as well as any other casserole and is great a week or two after the holidays.
- 4 cups prepared stuffing
- 2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
- 2 cups gravy
Butter bottom and sides of a 2-quart baking dish. Place half the stuffing in bottom of dish. Layer half the turkey and gravy on top. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes.
Mashed Potato Patties
If you've got leftover mashed potatoes, these tasty patties make for a great way to use them up. I've been known to scale this recipe down, based on how much mashed potatoes I have on hand, for a quick lunch. Add a little salt and pepper and a side and you have a meal.
- 1 quart mashed potatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cheese, grated
Combine potatoes, onion, egg and cheese. Shape into large balls, roll in flour and flatten. Melt butter in frying pan and brown for approximately five minutes on each side.
Ham and Bean Soup
If you're from one of those families that prepares a ham for Thanksgiving instead of a turkey, my favorite soup recipe is perfect for you. You can substitute the beans easily if you have something else on hand.
- 1 lb navy beans
- 1 ham bone
- 3 cups ham, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 quarts water
- Pepper to taste
Wash beans thoroughly. Cover beans with 2 quarts water and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes and remove from heat. Cover and let beans and water stand for one hour. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the onion. Heat to boiling, and let cook for 3 hours. Add onion and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
If you have any leftover recipes of your own, please add them in the comments. I know I'm always looking for more, and I don't think I'm alone.