12 Delicious Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers

You did it: You cooked up a sensational holiday meal. Now reap the rewards of leftovers with tips that will have you raiding the fridge in style.

When the annual feast is over, the guests have gone, and the warmth and compliments have been savored. What’s next? Leftovers! They’re almost as good as the celebration itself, with the added benefit that you can enjoy them at a leisurely pace, with no expectations−you’re now free to go wildly untraditional! We’ve got a cornucopia of ways to enjoy your delicious bounty. But first, whet your appetite with this video of our ultimate Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwichthen read on for more creative ideas and some foolproof  recipes.


It’s the queen of the leftovers, and amazingly versatile. Storing it properly will keep it moist and delicious: Remove all the meat from the carcass the night of Thanksgiving, then portion it out in either airtight containers of  freezer-safe bags; freeze what you won’t use within a couple of days to give you a stash for future recipes.

  • Take turkey to lunch in sandwiches and wraps, over salads, and in a host of comforting soups. 

  • The carcass and bones make a glorious stock, so even if you don’t have time right away you can freeze them and simmer them later. Use turkey bones as a substitute for chicken bones in an easy recipe like Golden Chicken Broth. Enjoy a mug of this soothing elixir on its own (as a great way to try out the trend of sipping bone broth), or make it the base for a healthy, soulful soup like Turkey Noodle Soup.

Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe


Some think the stuffing is tastier than the bird itself; you can agree or disagree on that, but there’s no doubt that it’s a prized leftover.

  • It’s fabulous served as an accompaniment to sunny-side up eggs, or used as base for a frittata. Savory Stuffing Cakes is a stellar three-ingredient recipe, or try these indulgent Breakfast Stacks (if your stuffing already has sausage in it you can omit the sausage patty).

Turkey Nachos with Cranberry Salsa Recipe

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce’s sweet-and-sour flavor makes it perfect for casual eats.

  • Perhaps the simplest is as a counterpoint to sharp Cheddar in a grilled cheese sandwich or on a cheese plate.

  • Or check out Turkey Nachos with Cranberry Salsa a creative incarnation.

Mashed Potatoes

Leftover mash can be repurposed deliciously for just about any meal.

  • Add extra milk or butter when reheating mashed potatoes to keep them creamy.

  • Top them with poached eggs for a comfort-food breakfast.

  • Stir them into broth for a base for simple creamy soups, or use them to top shepherd’s pie.

  • Mixed with an egg and chopped veggies, they make great pan-fried patties, as in this recipe for Crispy Mashed Potato and Scallion Cakes.

Pumpkin Dutch Baby Pancake


Hungry for more? Learn about 19 delicious ways to enjoy leftover turkey, how to make new exciting dishes with your leftovers, and how to love your leftovers. For even more holiday inspiration, visit the Whole Foods Market holiday headquarters for recipes, menus and gift ideas and crafts.

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