Make the most of your Thanksgiving feast with these easy Thanksgiving leftover ideas. With a little creativity, we found delicious ways to use leftovers in every meal–breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner! After all, shouldn’t your leftovers taste just as good as the main meal? From eggs and potato pancakes to fried stuffing bites, read on for more Thanksgiving leftover ideas!
For breakfast, have this: Eggs and Potato Pancakes
If you’re looking for savory breakfast food, you’ve come to the right place: eggs and potato pancakes made from yesterday’s mashed potatoes will fill you up for the whole morning. The marinara sauce is optional, but adds a deliciously warm and creamy texture to the pancakes.
2 c. mashed potatoes, chilled
⅓ c. all-purpose flour
2 T. olive oil
1T. onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Whisk one egg in a large bowl, then add the potatoes, onion and flour. Mix it completely together and then get out a ½ cup for measuring out the pancakes! Each pancake should be made from a ½ cup of potato mixture–2 cups of mashed potatoes will make four pancakes. Press into pancakes about 1/2″ thick.
- Heat up the olive oil in a large, nonstick pan or skillet over medium heat. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side. They should be golden brown when done. Then, set them on paper towels to let any excess liquid soak into the towels. Set them on a baking sheet or just directly on the oven rack, and keep them warm while you make the eggs.
- Now it’s time for the eggs! Pour out any excess liquid from your pan or skillet, and place it back on the stove over medium-low heat. Crack four eggs into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and fry them for about 2 minutes. The white should be firm when you poke at it. Then turn the eggs over with a spatula and cook for about 30 more seconds.
- Serve the pancakes with the eggs.
For lunch, have this: Grilled Turkey Sandwich
A grilled turkey sandwich is the staple of Thanksgiving leftover ideas; mix it up a little with apple butter and brie cheese. Want to really go for the gold? Treat yourself with fancy, artisan bread from the bakery for a really fancy lunch. Prefer plain white bread? Not a problem–the apple butter will elevate any sandwich from plain to plain amazing!
2 slices of white, wheat, or artisan bread
2 t. unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ t. store-bought apple butter
3 to 5 slices of deli turkey
2 to 3 slices of brie cheese
A handful of store-bought lettuce
- Spread a generous amount of regular butter on one side of each of the pieces of bread. Then, spread an equally generous amount of apple butter on top of that regular butter; aim for about a tablespoon on both sides. On the buttered side of one of the pieces, put a few slices of turkey, 2 to 3 slices of brie, and a few leaves of lettuce. Put the second bread piece on top of the lettuce, buttered side down.
- Put a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-low heat. Melt a tablespoon of butter so that it evenly covers the pan, and then add your sandwich. Cook for two to three minutes on both sides; look for the cheese to be melty and the bread to turn golden-brown. Then, just cut the sandwich in half (every grilled sandwich tastes best when cut in half). Delicious!
For a snack, have this: Fried Stuffing Bites
Have a craving for something deep-fried and delicious? Fire up the deep fryer and get out the Thanksgiving stuffing for some fried stuffing bites. These taste delicious on their own, but if you have some leftover cranberry sauce, use it to dip the bites into when serving.
3 T. milk
1 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1 c. cranberry sauce (optional)
Oil, for frying
- In your deep fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees.
- Using your hands, roll the leftover stuffing into meatball sized balls.
- Whisk together eggs and milk in a bowl, and then dip each stuffing chunk in the mixture. Roll the stuffing chunks in bread crumbs until they’re totally covered.
- Once the oil is at 350 degrees, fry the stuffing pieces for a minute or so. They should be golden brown. Let them dry on a paper towel and then serve them! Feel free to add a bowl of cranberry sauce for dipping.
For dinner, have this: Homemade Turkey Pot Pie
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best recipes, like this homemade turkey pot pie. It just requires a little chopping, a handful of common pantry ingredients, and two cups of Thanksgiving turkey. There’s no reason you can’t have a good dinner on the day after Thanksgiving!
2 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 c. carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. water
1/2 t. cumin
2 c. chicken or turkey stock
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1-2 c. shredded turkey
1 prepared pie crust
salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion, carrots and celery, and cook over medium-high heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are tender (5-10 minutes). Stir occasionally.
- Add the stock and heat all until bubbly
- Mix the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl and pour into the stock while stirring. Keep over heat and stir until it thickens to gravy consistency. Add cumin.
- Add the peas and turkey and stir everything together. Remove from heat and add salt & pepper to taste.
- Spray a pie pan with cooking spray, and pour in the whole mixture. Cover with the pie crust. Cut a couple slits in the crust to let heat escape as the pie bakes.
- Bake at 350° F for 30-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Serve immediately!