Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Amber Raiken

What to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Thanksgiving feasts are about to begin, but there’s one important thing to consider when the holiday is done: What do you do with all the leftovers?

Thursday is just one day away and many Americans are already in planning mode, from buying the turkey to decorating their home for guests. While much of the work begins on Thanksgiving morning, with the fast-paced schedule of cooking dinner, perhaps an even bigger task is trying to finish all the servings of stuffing, turkey, green bean casserole, steamed vegetables, and pies that were leftover from Thanksgiving.

Some people may opt to eat their leftovers separately, but why not combine all the Thanksgiving food to create an even bigger dish? Here are five fun meals you can create with your Thanksgiving leftovers this year.

Turkey Soup

The cold months are fast approaching, so a warm bowl of soup is perfect comfort food for the winter. Begin this dish by bringing your broth to a boil and adding in different seasonings, such as salt and pepper. Then, spice up your soup by adding some of your Thanksgiving leftovers.

According to Martha Stewart, one simple recipe for turkey soup calls for eight cups of turkey stock – which can be made with turkey bones and water. Then add one and a half cups of shredded cooked turkey leftover from Thanksgiving, as well as leftover vegetables and seasonings used to cook for the holida - lemon wedges, chopped dill, three small carrots, salt, and pepper. The recipe also calls for one non-Thanksgiving-related ingredient: three dried wide egg noodles.

After the stock has been seasoned, add the noodles and carrots and return the pot to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots are “tender” and the noodles are “al dente”, which will take about four minutes. Stir in the cooked turkey and let it simmer for about a minute, before sprinkling dill and serving the soup with a lemon wedge on the side.

Pot pies

A beloved pot pie dish usually consists of meat cooked inside a flaky pastry. However, this pot pie doesn’t necessarily have to be filled with chicken or veggies, as you can instead make the savoury meal with the help of some leftovers.

One recipe from Bon Appetit - called the “Leftover-Turkey Pot Pie” - includes a range of Thanksgiving foods, such as half a cup of leftover vegetables, one and one-half cups of cooked turkey, one and one-fourth cups of turkey gravy, and the optional cranberry sauce for serving.

Other ingredients include one tablespoon of unsalted butter; one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil; one cup of chopped onion; six ounces of button mushrooms; kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper; one cup of thinly sliced, peeled carrots; one teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme; one-fourth cup of thawed, frozen green peas; one tablespoon of chopped, fresh Italian parsley; one large egg white; one nine-inch pie crust and all-purpose flour.

For cooking, begin by putting one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, before adding a cup of chopped onion. Cook for for seven minutes, before adding mushrooms with the stems trimmed and caps cup in half. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and stir for about four minutes.

The recipe then calls for adding carrots to the skillet and covering it for two minutes. After that, add the leftover cooked vegetables, cooked turkey, turkey gravy, and thyme. As you bring the mixture to a boil, season it with salt and pepper and mix in the parsley and thawed green peas. Then pour the mixture into a glass pie dish and wait for it to cool, which will take about 30 minutes.

For the next step, gently brush the rim of the pie dish with one large beaten egg and a teaspoon of water. Now that the filling has cooled down, add the pie crust to the top of the filling and fold the edges of the dough. As you preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, brush the top of the pie with the egg mixture. Then make three to four small slits in the centre before pressing parsley leaves onto the crust. The pie will bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.


A casserole, whether it’s filled with green beans or sweet potatoes, is a fan-favourite dish for Thanksgiving. But when the holiday is done, why not create your own casserole out of the stuffing and turkey that’s left in the fridge? The Pioneer Woman, also known as foodie Ree Drummond, has one receipe for a casserole called the “Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole”. Luckily, it allows for all the Thanksgiving leftovers to be used in one dish.

The ingredients include four cups of stuffing, four cups of chopped turkey, one and one-half cups of green beans, one and one-half cups of gravy, three cups of mashed potatoes, one large egg yolk, one cup of shredded Monterey jack cheese, and cranberry sauce for serving.

Before cooking the dish, begin by preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and buttering the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add the stuffing into the dish to create a crust for the casserole. From there, layer the turkey and green beans over the stuffing and pour the gravy on top. Combine the egg yolk and mashed potatoes into another bowl, and pour the mixture over the turkey. Once you’ve sprinkled cheese onto the dish, cover it with foil, place it on the third rack of the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes.

Once 20 minutes have passed, uncover the dish and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes. After taking the dish out of the oven and letting it cool for 10 minutes, the casserole can be served with cranberry sauce.


Whether it’s during a lunch break or at dinner with friends, any type of sandwich makes for a great meal. Instead of buying the lettuce and tomatoes for your usual sandwich, now you have the opportunity to turn your Thanksgiving leftovers into a delectable sandwich.

In the recipe for Delish’s “Best Thanksgiving Sandwich” - which makes two sandwiches - the ingredients include two tablespoons of mayonnaise, one tablespoon of Dijon mustard, four slices of toasted sourdough bread, two cups of roasted turkey, half a cup of mashed potatoes, half a cup of cranberry sauce, half a cup of stuffing, one fourth cup of warmed gravy, and one fourth cup of baby spinach.

To prepare the sandwich, begin by mixing mayo and mustard into a small bowl and spreading it on one side of the two pieces of bread. Add one cup of turkey, one-fourth cup of mashed potatoes, two tablespoons of cranberry sauce, and one-fourth cup of stuffing onto the bread slices. Finish off each sandwich with two tablespoons of gravy and spinach, before placing the second piece of bread on top - making the ultimate Thanksgiving sandwich.


Although the savoury pastry is typically filled with cheese and meat, make the quiche your own with the help of Thanksgiving leftovers.

According to the Food Network, one recipe calls for a nine-inch frozen pie shell. To make the quiche’s filling, assemble one cup of crumbled stuffing, one cup of chopped turkey, one cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, one-fourth cup of parsley leaves, kosher salt and pepper. For the custard in the dish, you’ll need one and one-fourth cups of half and half, three large eggs, one-fourth teaspoon of grated nutmeg, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.

To make the quiche, begin by partially baking the empty pie shell without the filling - which you can do by following the directions on the package. Then, create your filling by sprinkling the turkey and stuffing into the pie shell, topping it off with parsley and cheddar. Next, season the dish with salt and pepper. For the custard, mix the half and half, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in one bowl. Finally, pour the mixture over the filling.

Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let it bake for about 35 to 45 minutes. Give the quiche at least 30 minutes to cool, and serve!

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.