Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, which means your grocery list and your to-do list are getting longer. To make your life a little easier post-feasting, try to extend your Thanksgiving meal by a few days with some creative leftovers. You have earned a break from the grocery store and the kitchen after all!
Below you will find leftover ideas divided by Thanksgiving staples like turkey, sweet potatoes and bread. We also added recipes for each recipe idea. Scroll to the bottom for more tips and to download the full infographic.
Leftover Turkey Recipes
You are likely to have a few tupperware containers full of this Thanksgiving star sitting in your fridge. Once you get tired of reheating the same meal, try creating a whole new dinner! We included both cold and hot recipes, as well as a few lunch and dinner options. Having extra protein is always a bonus when cooking with leftovers because you can add it to almost any dish! There is plenty of room for creativity with leftover turkey.
- Turkey and stuffing casserole
- Day after Thanksgiving Turkey salad
- Thanksgiving turkey sandwich
- Turkey pot pie
- 20 minute turkey chili
- Turkey Cobb salad
- Green chile turkey enchiladas
Leftover Bread Recipes
After sitting out all evening, you might not want to use your bread for a fresh sandwich. We recommend toasting it instead. All of our recipe suggestions offer ideas for fun ways to use day-old bread. You can make a meal, an appetizer or a dessert with this versatile leftover. If none of these recipes fit your family’s needs, turn your bread into breadcrumbs and store for later use!
Leftover Potato Recipes
With mashed potatoes try making the British classic, shepherd’s pie. You can use leftover turkey as your base too! If you made baked potatoes or potato wedges, turn them into latkes or breakfast potatoes. You can also always turn any style of leftover potato into a breakfast potato by simply frying them up in the morning!
Leftover Cheese Recipes
Having leftover cheese from your snack platter is great because it lasts longer than other leftovers and you can use it in anything! Like protein, adding cheese to recipes just makes them even more delicious. If you aren’t up to preparing a new meal, save the cheese and slowly use it on salad, pizza, casserole and other dishes as needed.
Leftover Vegetable Recipes
Like cheese, leftover vegetables are extremely useful! Cooked or fresh, they can be added to almost any dish for flavor and nutrition. You can throw them on a pizza, mix them in a frittata or dump them in a soup. We love veggie chips as a tasty way to get picky toddlers to consume their daily greens!
Leftover Sweet Potato Recipes
You can also make chips or fries with your leftover sweet potatoes! if you are looking for a sweet treat, try baking a sweet potato pound cake. Sweet potatoes are a super trendy vegetable at the moment. They are becoming more and more popular in salads, soups and pastas. They no longer need to be buried under marshmallows to get consumed, but those classic Thanksgiving sweet potatoes sure are tasty!
We have a few tips for those looking to avoid wasting food. First, store all the food properly and efficiently. Avoid letting it sit out for too long and spoiling. While combining foods into one container may seem easier when you are cleaning up, we recommend separating items so you can use different ingredients for different recipes. Reheating is good in a pinch but you can also make a brand new meal!
The best part about cooking with leftovers is that you can be creative! Think of your family’s favorite meal and try making a version with the ingredients you have in your kitchen. You can make a spin on lasagna or pizza if your kids love Italian or curry if they like exotic flavors. If you need a few pointers on adding flavor, check out or herb and food pairing guide. We hope you enjoy all the delicious food and time with your family this holiday season!