Let’s face the facts that what we’re most thankful for post-Thanksgiving are the leftovers! Hot turkey sandwiches, second day mashed potatoes, stuffing that’s had a chance to meld with wild rice—all with gravy of course.

With so many tastey leftovers…well, leftover, it only makes sense that we gobble them up quickly in delicious dishes that require little prep time and cooking. Go beyond the same old hot turkey sandwich with these eight leftover Thanksgiving meals…

1. Turkey Pot Pie

A golden turkey pot pie baking in the oven just got a heck of a lot easier thanks to all of that leftover turkey, veggies, and sides, which can be easily transformed into a savory, seasonal pie filling.

Shred leftover turkey, chop leftover veggies, pour in the gravy and Thanksgiving spices and envelop the whole feast into a store-bought or prepared piecrust. Bake in a casserole dish until bubbling. Trust us; no one will imagine you used mostly leftover ingredients.


Source: Food Network

2. Curried Turkey Casserole

Repurpose your entire Thanksgiving feast, including leftover turkey and all the fixings! The whole family will applaud your creativity as you cover leftovers with a truly unique and exotic creamy, curry sauce.

You can reutilize all of your main dishes and sides—like leftover turkey; day 2 veggies like broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower; and even use day-old bread that’s a tad dried out as the crusty casserole topping.


Source: Martha Stewart

3. Turkey Soup with Mushrooms, Sherry, and Rice Pilaf

Light dishes are in store the week following one huge Thanksgiving feast—or two, or three. This soup repurposes left over turkey or chicken meat by infusing it with a seasonal broth that will warm your loved ones from toes to nose.

It’s like enjoying the flavors of Thanksgiving all over again in a soup fragrant with fresh rosemary, garlic, thyme, chopped leeks, fresh button mushrooms, long grain rice, and a splash of dry Marsala wine or sherry.         Serve in big steaming bowls alongside warm crusty bread or buns with butter.


Source: Rachael Ray

4. Dinner Mac and Cheese

Don’t dare throw out that juicy spiral ham! All of the meat can be used as the savory base of a comforting mac and cheese recipe—using, of course, leftover ham, leftover veggies, and even the day-old crackers and cheese platter.

A faster and more satisfying mac and cheese was never made—using cute corkscrew pasta noodles; creamy butter and milk; shredded and melted sharp cheddar, white cheddar, and cream cheese; pre-cooked ham cubes, and assorted veggies (i.e., like carrots and spinach). Crumble stale crackers for the crunchy topping.


Source: Southern Living

5. Club-Style Turkey Enchiladas

Forget serving yet another round of hot turkey sandwiches. Take your leftovers south of the border with this club-style turkey enchilada recipe—which incorporates roughly one cup of shredded, leftover turkey meat.

The rest of the toppings are up to you, but we recommend a traditional club-style assortment of Swiss cheese, bacon, sweet bell pepper, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and onions, creamy Alfredo sauce, and warm yellow corn tortillas.


Source: Taste of Home

6. Indian Samosas

I look in my refrigerator and all I see are mashed potatoes! It seems that all of the other leftovers—the turkey, stuffing, and sides get gobbled up…but everyone skips seconds of my massive pot of mashed potatoes. Good thing I can reuse them to make samosas!

These savory, Indian-inspired appetizers can also be used as a main dish. I make mine with repurposed mashed potatoes (you can even use leftover sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, and squash) infused with Indian spices, and wrap them in sheets of frozen phyllo dough to bake in the oven.


Source: Cooking Light

7. Leftover Turkey & Stuffing Panini

Leftover turkey always tastes great as sandwich filler. That’s why we’re not wasting it on plain old turkey and mustard on two slices of bread. Take a turkey sandwich to work that you’ll really be thankful for the week following holiday festivities!

This gourmet Panini recipe calls for shredded roast turkey, a ladle of turkey gravy, day-old Thanksgiving stuffing, a smear of mayonnaise, and a smear of tangy cranberry sauce piled high on rustic white or whole grain bread and grilled until golden brown and crunchy.


Source: Kraft

8. Turkey Gumbo

This Thanksgiving-inspired and repurposed gumbo will stretch out the gratitude for weeks to come. Particularly when you’re able to repurpose shredded turkey meat and even use the turkey carcass to make a divine meat-based soup broth.

The authentic Cajun and Creole flavors of this soup base will give your old holiday turkey a new, spicy life. Add some chunks of fresh Andouille sausage to take the fiery flavors up a notch and serve with crusty bread and salad.


Source: Epicurious.com


Anna adores cooking, drinking wine, and listening to records, but she does a lot of yoga to balance things out ;) This explains the black bean brownie disaster of 2007 (don't bring that up). She's noshed in countries like Greece, Turkey, France, Ireland, Costa Rica, and numerous other weird, yummy places that will get her waxing all poetic about her favorite recipes.

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