35+ Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas

posted by Andrea | 11/27/2013

thanksgiving leftover ideas

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving — and while I’m not trying to rush my most favorite holiday away, I also know that by tomorrow evening, you could very well be stranded in your kitchen with piles and piles of delicious Thanksgiving leftovers — and no desire to spend hours in the kitchen dealing with them all.

So instead of letting them go to waste (or eating traditional Thanksgiving dinner every night for the next 2 weeks) I thought I’d share a bunch of simple recipes and ideas I use to repurpose our yummy Thanksgiving leftovers!

Leftover Punch

  • Depending on the type of punch, you could freeze it in ice cube trays and use it to add flavor to other beverages later on, or use it too chill (without watering down) punch the next time you make it.

Leftover Soda

Leftover Fruit

  • Freeze for smoothies
  • Mix in a can of peach pie filling (keeps the fruit from going brown) and make a whole new fruit salad
  • Chop it up into tiny bits and add it to fruity gelatin for a new twist (note: this doesn’t work with with fresh pineapple)
  • Add leftover cranberry relish to ham or turkey sandwiches as a little extra kick
  • Freeze leftover applesauce or use it in any number of baking recipes to replace the oil

Leftover Veggies

Leftover Potatoes

Leftover Chicken or Turkey

You can use chicken or turkey for any of the recipes listed below.

Leftover Broth and/or Gravies

  • Use the broth in soups or stews
  • Use the gravy for hot chicken or turkey sandwiches as mentioned above
  • Freeze it in 1 or 2 c. portions for easy use later — seriously, I never throw this stuff out!

Leftover Rolls

Leftover Desserts

  • Eat them :)
  • Make up some goodie bags for your guests or neighbors
  • Freeze it for later — you’d be surprised how well baked goods freeze — even frosted cakes, cupcakes, brownies, bars, muffins, cookies, fudge, cream pies, etc. The only thing I haven’t tried freezing is fruit pies.

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OK, I think I covered most of the basics here… and hopefully gave you a few creative ideas to use up some of your leftovers.

What are your favorite ways to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers?

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6 comments

  1. Deni

    11/27/2013

    My Mom has always made a big pot of Turkey frame soup with the leftover turkey meat. It’s made just like old fashioned chicken and vegetable soup. She adds any leftover vegetables like butterbeans and corn. She puts several quarts in the freezer and there is plenty to go around. I’ve started making this soup as well, It’s my favorite soup! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    sounds a lot like my chicken and rice soup — delicious!!

    [Reply]

  2. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    11/27/2013

    Last year I discovered the joy of the turkey, cranberry relish, and cream cheese (or other soft cheese) sandwich. To me, it’s better than the main event. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    [Reply]

  3. Pamela S. Wade

    11/27/2013

    Sounds like some yummy ideas! Thanks! ~~Pam

    [Reply]

  4. Chris

    11/27/2013

    We usually go back to my father-in-laws the next day and maybe even the next if there is food. We never have leftovers after that.

    [Reply]

  5. Robyn

    11/27/2013

    FYI-I freeze apple pies all the time! It works pre cooked or afterwards too!

    [Reply]

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