Now that Thanksgiving is over, there is a better than good chance that you have a lot of leftovers to deal with. Whether you were the host, and no one was willing to take home leftovers, or you were a guest and your host provided you with leftovers, you are going to need to eat them before they go bad. I, Mark Roemer, am going to give you a few possible ways that you can make use of these leftovers.
Obviously, people around the country and the world celebrate Thanksgiving in their unique ways. However, for our purposes here, we are going to go with the traditional Thanksgiving meal. That means, below, you will find suggestions for leftover turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and mashed potatoes. You can make use of any or all of these ingredients in new and exciting ways. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into my suggestions for Thanksgiving leftovers.
Turkey Pot Pie
Depending on the amount of turkey leftover, this can be a great way to use a large amount of it all at once. I mean, why not go from one comfort meal right into another one. All you will need is some packaged pie crust. If you are feeling very adventurous, you could make the pie crust from scratch. I find using the ready-made stuff a lot easier to do. After the long day of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I am not too keen on making another meat that takes a lot of preparation.
To make this tasty dinner, all you are going to need to do is to place the pie crust in a pie tin. Make sure to reserve some dough to place on top after you put the filling in. Drop in your turkey, green beans, maybe some carrots and peas, and top it all off with some of that fantastic gravy you made. Don’t add too much. We only want to add a creamy texture to the meal, not have it swimming in sauce. Pop it in the oven at the temperature the package recommends and cook for the same amount of time. Slice and serve. Turkey pot pie is always a crowd-pleaser.
For those with a limited amount of turkey leftover, this one will be right up your alley. I generally will have my wife reserve some turkey for me (from any leftovers of course) so that I can take this to work on the Monday following Thanksgiving.
All you have to do is take the strips of turkey, place in a small amount of stuffing, and give them a good roll-up. Take a little bit of gravy for dipping or drizzling, as well. When the time comes for lunch, pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to heat them. Heat the gravy as well. Then you are all ready to make your coworkers jealous of your spectacular leftover lunch.
Monte Cristo Sandwiches
If waiting until Monday to utilize your leftovers isn’t your thing, then I have another lunch idea for you. Chances are, if you like most Americans, you will spend the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving getting a head start on your Christmas shopping. That means when it comes to Sunday, you are pretty tired and want to make use of the leftovers before they go bad. Wow, do I have the perfect Sunday brunch sandwich just for you.
To make my Monte Cristo sandwiches, you are going to need turkey, bread, butter or mayonnaise, brie cheese, powdered sugar, and cranberry sauce. Start by putting butter or mayonnaise on the outside of the slices of bread. Then flip them over. Place a small amount of brie cheese on each slice and then pile on the turkey and a small amount of cranberry sauce. Preheat a pan and then assemble the sandwich. Place the sandwich in the hot pan and cook as you would a grilled cheese. Once the cheese is all melty, pull it out. Top with a generous amount of powdered sugar. You can have some extra cranberry sauce for dipping if you like. Serve alongside some scrambled eggs, bacon, or sausage for a beautiful brunch with the family.
Loaded Mashed Potato Bites
I don’t have mashed potatoes leftover too often, but when I do, I like to make these little treats for snacking between shopping trips on the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving. All you are going to need is mashed potatoes (make sure you have some of your favorite mix-ins on standby [i.e., bacon, chives, sour cream, or cheese]).
To make these, all you are going to need to do is mix in some of the above-suggested ingredients, or come up with your own, and then roll them into golf ball-sized balls. Grab a couple of eggs and flour or panko crumbs and bread them the way you like. You can then take these and store them for up to a month in your freezer. However, if you are looking to use them faster than that, just let them freeze for about an hour. Take them out and drop them into 375-degree oil until golden brown. They are a significant energy boost between trips to the mall.
Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes
No leftovers list would be complete without a suggestion for leftover pumpkin pie. I am going, to be honest, here, I don’t think that people living in cold climates will find this suggestion too appealing. The reason is that they are cold and don’t need a cold drink. However, those of us living in warmer climates might still enjoy a refreshing drink.
This recipe couldn’t be more straightforward. All you are going to need to do is take a slice of your pie (I have suggested pumpkin, but this could easily be apple, cherry, or any other sweet pie you happen to have) a couple of scoops of ice cream and a splash of milk. Drop it all in the blender and blitz until smooth. Pour it into a frosted glass with a straw and long spoon.
I, Mark Roemer, hope that you have found this list to be helpful. There are many ways that you can utilize leftovers, and these are just a few of my favorites. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope you have a great time shopping for Christmas. Be safe and respect each other.