Give Thanks for the Thanksgiving Leftovers and for How to Use Them

Credit: Flickr user "stevesworldofphotos"
Credit: Flickr user “stevesworldofphotos”

The dust has settled, but the bird remains—its half-eaten carcass taking up valuable space in the fridge. Despite your best efforts, there are plenty of leftovers: Uneaten mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce sit alongside the bird in cellophane-covered dishes or Tupperware containers.

You know what you have to do. It’s time for Thanksgiving: Round Two.

Sure, you could just toss everything in the microwave, or even feed the remains to your pets. But it’s not just about getting rid of the dregs. It’s about taking down a whole Thanksgiving meal, even if it takes a few days, and a few extra ingredients.

1. Turkey Sandwich

There are a million things you can do with leftover turkey, so let’s get the #1 classic out of the way first.

Slice that meat and squeeze it between two pieces of bread. Some people like to pile on some stuffing and cranberry sauce, but if that’s a little too boring for you, try this turkey banh mi from Martha Stewart. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to use that Asian chile sauce that’s been taking up space in the door of your fridge.

2. Turkey Soup

Making soup is the classic way to recycle leftovers, and for good reason: It’s dead simple, and can use up all of your leftover vegetables. It’s also Carl Weathers–approved.

Check out this brand-new recipe for Curried Turkey Soup from Simply Recipes, which takes a familiar meat in unfamiliar directions, to spectacular success. If you’d prefer something a bit more straightforward, there’s also the old reliable from the Betty Crocker cookbook.

One last thing: This recipe from Food Network also includes a way to turn your remaining mashed potatoes into patties that can complement virtually any turkey soup. It’s an easy recipe to follow that should leave you with very few leftovers remaining, if any.

3. Turkey Pot Pie

Although this one takes a bit of forethought, no Thanksgiving cleanup recipe list is complete without it.

In order to make turkey pot pie out of Thanksgiving leftovers, you need to have a pie crust prepared for the occasion. Sure, you could head out and buy one the day of, but it’s Cyber Weekend out there. You’re not suicidal. But if you came prepared, this simple recipe from the Food Network should keep you safe in the kitchen—far away from the chaos out in the streets.

4. Mashed Potato Soup

“But we already have a soup on the list,” you might be saying. Well, dear reader, this here is Rachael Ray’s brilliant and perhaps a little masochistic mashed potato soup. Yep, a soup based entirely around mashed potatoes.

(I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.)

Topped as it is with bacon and melted cheese, it’s fair to wonder if this veritable monument to gluttony should’ve been a part of the Thanksgiving meal in the first place.

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Source: | Johnny Yu