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Making Magic with Thanksgiving Leftovers

At my house, we go all out for Thanksgiving. Even though there are only two adults and two children, we usually do up a whole turkey and all the standard fixings. Why do we make so much food? One word: leftovers! 

While leftovers might not be appealing for everyone in the family, I view Thanksgiving leftovers as a challenge to making the most creative recipes I can.


Almost everyone has leftover turkey, so view this as your time to shine in the kitchen. Remove all the meat from the carcass the night of Thanksgiving, portion it into freezer-safe bags, and freeze what you won’t use within a couple of days. This will help reduce pressure on using things up, and give you a stash for future recipes!

Thai-Style Red Curry with Turkey and Green Beans

Turkey Pot Pie

Curried Turkey and Rice Casserole

Tomatillo Turkey Enchiladas

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is great on a variety of meats or even spread on your morning toast, but take it a step further with these recipes. (Plus they’re perfect for eating while watching the game!)

Turkey Nachos with Cranberry Salsa

Five-Spice Cranberry Glazed Chicken Wings


You might have a leftover can or partial can of pumpkin puree hanging around. Think past pie and try one of these twists.

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chile Con Queso

Creamy Pumpkin Brown Rice

Pumpkin-Blue Cheese Biscuits


Cooked potatoes can be repurposed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Add extra milk or butter when reheating mashed potatoes to keep them creamy.

Breakfast Stacks

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

How do you use your Thanksgiving leftovers?

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