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 Sandwich opens in a new tabthen 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. opens in a new tab 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. opens in a new tab

Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe opens in a new tab


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.

Turkey Nachos with Cranberry Salsa Recipe opens in a new tab

Cranberry Sauce

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

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 opens in a new tab.

Pumpkin Dutch Baby Pancake opens in a new tab


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

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