Holiday Hack: 10 Satisfying Recipes Made from Thanksgiving Leftovers

Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry . . . these are the typical leftovers that crowd a fridge after a Thanksgiving meal. For some, this is ideal; after all, such a feast only comes once a year and should be prolonged for as long as possible. But others may view the leftovers as burdensome. If you find yourself in the latter camp, it’s time to think outside the box (or roasting pan, as it were) and work a little magic in the kitchen. 

With a small amount of effort and a large dose of creativity, you can transform your turkey dinner into a multitude of new tastes. Sure, soups and casseroles are the standard. But you can do better than that. Go beyond the sandwich to spectacular. Take breakfast to new dimensions. Tantalize your palate with intriguing new combinations, and before you know it your leftovers will be all but a memory.

Here are some satisfying recipes to get you started:


  • Start the day on a sweet note: Did someone say doughnuts? Check out these tasty sweet potato-cranberry treats from Taste of Home.
  • Turn it over: What looks like a scone and uses up the cranberry sauce in the fridge? That’s right—these delicious Cranberry Turnovers from Country Living.
  • Move over chicken, it’s turkey time: You’ve heard of chicken and waffles, but have you ever tasted turkey on a stuffing waffle? This is breakfast reinvented. 


  • Thanksgiving Thursday, meet Taco Tuesday: Arguably two of the best meals, this recipe from Table for Two brings together tacos and Thanksgiving for a delightful display atop flour tortillas. Yum!
  • Up your game with this decadent grilled cheese: Dripping brie slathered with cranberry sauce nestled between two toasted bread slices . . . this finger-licking indulgence is a must.
  • OMG croque madame: Sure, it’s a sandwich. It is also quite possibly the most decadent sandwich on the planet. Besides, what isn’t made infinitely better with a fried egg on top?


  • Good-bye slices, hello spices: Add bold spices to turkey leftovers and what do you get? Flavorful, delectable, “this tastes nothing like Thanksgiving” Turkey Enchiladas. Enjoy!
  • Beans take center stage: Take those green beans off the sidelines and let them shine in all their vibrant glory. This salade niçoise puts them front and center.
  • Have a pizza party: Pass on the dough and pile up a puff pastry with your favorite Turkey Day toppings. It’s pizza with a twist!  

Sweet Tooth

  • Shake up dessert: Forget apple pie à la mode served on a plate. For this fantastically reenvisioned delight, toss it all in a blender instead (except for the plate, of course—leave that out) and sip this perfect-for-any-time-of-day dessert from a glass instead.

There you have it—Thanksgiving leftovers reimagined. Embrace your post–Turkey Day food and take your best shot at these recipes. Who knows—maybe you’ll find a new favorite! Enjoy time with loved ones this November 28; after all, that’s what it’s all about. Gobble, gobble . . . and happy Thanksgiving.

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